Vet Sustain is a UK-based social enterprise working to enable and inspire veterinary professionals to continually improve the health and wellbeing of animals, people and the environment. They produce tools, training and communications for veterinary professionals centred around their six Veterinary Sustainability Goals (SDGs), aligned with the UN’s SDGs.
In the face of mounting environmental concern, and pressing government and corporate targets for reducing carbon emissions, veterinary practitioners working at the human-animal-environment interface have the desire and the responsibility to take action. This action starts with understanding our current carbon footprints; although numerous carbon calculators are available for household and personal use, none are available that are tailored to the specific impacts of veterinary practice.
Vet Sustain are currently working on a collaborative project, alongside BVNA, BVA, BSAVA and SPVS, to develop a novel carbon calculator bespoke to UK veterinary practices. Originally developed by Investors in the Environment, this calculator will be accessible via the Vet Sustain website and would, for the first time, provide veterinary practice teams with the ability to compute their carbon emissions, using data entry from utility records.
Carl Gorman, Junior Vice President, and Chair of British Small Animal Veterinary Association Sustainability Working Group says: “Sustainability is one of the foundations of BSAVA’s strategy. As well as working hard to optimise sustainability in our activities such as publishing and CPD, we have a working group aiming to help our members achieve greener ways to practice. We strongly support Vet Sustain in their mission and are pleased to help them deliver their carbon calculator for practices.”
Justine Shotton, British Veterinary Association President says: “The BVA is committed to supporting the veterinary profession to be more sustainable and is proud to be supporting this new resource. The carbon calculator will help veterinary teams to assess their carbon footprint and enable them to identify the ways in which they can practically reduce their impact on the environment. This tool will add to the suite of currently available tools such as the Greener Veterinary Practice Checklist and the Investors in the Environment accreditation scheme, which can help veterinary workplaces to operate more sustainably. We strongly encourage members of the profession to engage with these tools and look forward to the new carbon calculator.”
Nick Lloyd, Society for Practicing Veterinary Surgeons President says: “SPVS is Proud to support Vet Sustain Carbon Calculator, as we all need to do our part to act quickly to avert this oncoming crisis. This initiative will allow practicing vets to identify the biggest carbon reduction gains they can achieve.”
Jo Oakden, British Veterinary Nursing Association Senior Vice President says: “We have been incorporating sustainability into everything we do at the BVNA; we are proud to be part of the launch of the Greener Vet Practice Checklist – making that goal to be ‘green’ achievable; supporting the smaller steps. The Carbon Calculator is another tool to move forward with understanding and recognising our impact on the environment with our practices; a carbon calculator tailored to the veterinary profession is huge – as some of our areas of impact are unique to the veterinary world, and this carbon calculator is going to be easily accessible to all.”
Gudrun Ravetz, Vet Sustain Chair says: “Vet Sustain was set up to support veterinary professionals to become leading forces for sustainability and having a bespoke carbon calculator will be a fantastic resource for the profession to make further positive changes as it champions sustainability. We are delighted to be leading this meaningful and collaborative project.”
Although still in the early stages of production, the Vet Sustain team are working with supporters and web developers with the intention of having the calculator available on the website from spring 2022. Please keep an eye out for further updates on the Vet Sustain website.