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NEW Greener Veterinary Practice Webinar Series launches this month

Veterinary professionals will soon be able to tune into a new webinar series for advice on how to take the first steps towards being more sustainable in their workplaces. 

The new Greener Veterinary Practice Webinar Series, which will be launched by the British Veterinary Association (BVA), VDS Training and Vet Sustain, aims to help veterinary professionals achieve a more sustainable way of working. Each month will focus on a different element of the Greener Veterinary Practice Checklist, giving practical tips, and providing an opportunity to ask questions as well. 

Veterinary teams have a vital part to play in reducing the impact of the profession and the communities it serves on the environment. The series aims to demonstrate how even small, simple actions – such as making it easier to recycle, using resources responsibly or just starting a conversation with colleagues about sustainability – can really make an impact. 

Becoming greener can help more than just the planet; being more sustainable can also benefit workplaces by helping to save money and resources, reducing waste and improving staff engagement. It can also help to retain and attract employees; a BVA Voice survey found that almost six in ten vets (57%) said that workplace engagement in sustainability would be quite (40%) or very (17%) important to them in their choice of workplace if they were changing job.

The first of six webinars will launch on Wednesday 23 March and will focus on ‘Empowering the team’ and how to get your colleagues engaged and working towards a more sustainable workplace. BVA President Justine Shotton, Vet Sustain Director Zoë Halfacree, VDS Training Consultant Elly Russell and British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) Senior Vice President Jo Oakden will explore the benefits of becoming greener in the workplace, the positive impact on team members’ mental wellbeing, and ensuring sustainable ways of working support patient safety.

They will also give advice on how to handle common obstacles to making changes, such as how to stay motivated and what to do if you feel your concerns and suggestions are not being heard.

BVA’s Justine Shotton said: “We all have a vital role to play in making our workplaces more sustainable and it’s important the veterinary community is aware of both the impact the profession has on the planet and the opportunities they have to help reduce this. 

“Becoming more sustainable may seem daunting at first but there are so many really simple steps you can take which really make a difference to all employees and workplaces, as well as the environment. 

“The webinars will be a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested to find out more information on how to involve their colleagues and see how their workplace could begin the journey to becoming more sustainable and environmentally friendly.”

VDS Training’s Carolyne Crowe said: “VDS Training are thrilled to be partnering with BVA and Vet Sustain on this webinar series. Sustainability is everyone’s responsibility so it’s important to bring your team and colleagues with you as you journey towards a greener veterinary practice. 

“Overcoming barriers to change, leading teams, and keeping people motivated and engaged are themes that are at the core of what we do here at VDS Training, so myself and my colleague, Elly Russell, are really looking forward to what we’re sure will be some really interesting and valuable conversations around this important topic.”

Zoë Halfacree of Vet Sustain said “We are excited to be delivering this webinar series with BVA and VDS. The webinar series will cover a broad range of sustainability issues and provide some great discussion points with advice on how to get started.”

There’ll be a total of six webinars in the Greener Veterinary Practices Webinar Series, all on Wednesday evenings, 7 to 8pm. The full series is: 

  • Wednesday 23 March: Empowering the team
  • Wednesday 20 April: Using water and energy responsibly 
  • Wednesday 18 May: Sustainable surgery and use of consumables
  • Wednesday 15 June: Using medicines responsibly 
  • Wednesday 20 July: Reducing your carbon footprint 
  • Wednesday 21 September: Helping others make greener choices

To register for the online events and find out more visit www.bva.co.uk/greener or follow #GreenTeamVet for social media posts and links throughout the series.

Notes to editors

  1. The 2021 July Voice of the Veterinary Profession Mini Survey polled the BVA Voice of the Veterinary Profession panel including student and retired BVA members. There were 430 vets who responded. Almost six in ten vets (57%) said that workplace engagement in sustainability would be quite (40%) or very (17%) important to them in their choice of workplace if they were changing jobs.
  2. The Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey is a survey of vets drawn from BVA members run four times every year. The Voice of the Veterinary Profession captures the profession's views and experiences by asking questions about animal health and welfare, public health, and trends in the veterinary profession. The panel is broadly representative of the BVA membership, which is largely in line with RCVS membership. For more information about the survey please go to www.bva.co.uk/voice
  3. BVA is the largest membership community for the veterinary profession in the UK, representing the views of over 19,000 vets and vet students on animal health and welfare, and veterinary policy issues to government, parliamentarians and key influencers in the UK and EU.
  4. VDS Training is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Veterinary Defence Society Limited (VDS). Created and run by veterinary professionals and industry experts, VDS Training's training courses, online programmes and coaching for whole practice teams and individuals help veterinary professionals manage real-life situations, build teams, develop skills and manage risk.
  5. Vet Sustain is a UK-based social enterprise working to enable and inspire veterinary professionals to help secure the wellbeing of animals, people and the natural world. We produce tools, training and communications for veterinary professionals centred around our six Veterinary Sustainability Goals, aligned with the UN’s SDGs. www.vetsustain.org

About VDS Training
VDS Training are passionate about developing all members of the veterinary team, to help you overcome the personal and professional challenges you face on a daily basis, and to build practical skills and techniques to make a real difference to you and your life.