A free report focusing on how veterinary practices can make changes to benefit the environment has just been unveiled. 

Turning Over a New Leaf: How to Make Sustainable Change in the Veterinary Profession features a range of authors across the veterinary industry, representing organisations including the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), Mars Veterinary Health and Investors in the Environment (iiE). 

The report covers upcoming changes to the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme; the value of external accreditation to support sustainability; and how to approach behaviour change within your team. Two further articles highlight how changes in clinical practice can combat antimicrobial resistance and reduce levels of surgical waste. The report also features the personal experiences of practice sustainability leads, who discuss how they have worked with others to improve their sites.

Primary care practices and referral hospitals across the UK feature in the report, with authors representing Blacks Vets in the Black Country, Donnachie & Townley Veterinary Centre in Staffordshire, Davies Veterinary Specialists in Hertfordshire, Wear Referrals in County Durham and Willows Veterinary Centre & Referral Service in the West Midlands. 

Ellie West, Environmental Sustainability Lead at Linnaeus, has contributed an article about integrating sustainability within a large veterinary organisation. She said:

“Changing the way we work day-to-day, when we are all so busy as a profession, can be a lot to juggle but sustainability brings a huge range of benefits. As well as helping the environment, it can promote the wellbeing of our patients and colleagues while also improving our performance as a business. 

“It is important, however, to avoid dictating what sustainable change should be made because it will vary greatly between different teams and locations. This report shares ideas from contributors with a variety of roles and responsibilities, who have taken different approaches to supporting the environment but are all united in their commitment to delivering excellent clinical care.”

Sue Paterson, RCVS Junior Vice-President and RCVS Council lead for Environment & Sustainability, commented: 

“Contributing to this report highlights the importance of working together as a profession to understand the environmental challenges we face and adopt solutions that will benefit our planet and the animals we care for. Upcoming changes to the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme will cover sustainability across a range of areas and we are committed to ensuring the veterinary profession can fully realise the benefits of this new guidance.”

April Sotomayor, Principal Consultant at iiE, added: 

“Greater awareness of climate change has many people across the veterinary sector wondering how they can improve their environmental performance. This report offers a range of perspectives that highlight how the veterinary profession can become a leader in sustainability and a shining example to other sectors.”

Turning Over a New Leaf: How to Make Sustainable Change in the Veterinary Profession is part of a drive by Linnaeus to share best practice in sustainability and clinical excellence across the veterinary industry. It is the second in a series of reports compiled by Linnaeus, with the first – Sparking the Clinical Mind: How Collaboration Leads to Clinical Excellence – launched in September last year.

As well as highlighting opportunities to become more sustainable, Linnaeus has also rolled out a series of initiatives to support people, pets and the planet. Two such campaigns, ‘We Go for Lower Flow’ and ‘Safeguarding Antibiotics’, have enabled Linnaeus to lower its anaesthetic gas purchases by 9% and reduce its antibiotic purchases by 15% during 2021-22.  

To download Turning Over a New Leaf: How to Make Sustainable Change in the Veterinary Profession please visit the Linnaeus reports page at http://bit.ly/42KFrMK

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