Expert Q&A with Vet Sustain Director, Gudrun Ravetz on Vet Sustainability

21 August 2021 5 min read


Championing a greener, more sustainable vet practice

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Sustainability is a fascinating topic in all industries. Everything from our buildings, its energy efficiencies, fitout of the environment, air quality, lighting, recycling policies, use of durable, sustainable materials, stock wastage management, to the daily behaviors of your practice staff; there’s a range of tools and things that you can do to implement best practice.

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Only it seems like a lot to do and not necessarily ‘easy’ to take charge in being greener. That’s why we interviewed sustainability expert, Gudrun Ravetz, current Director of Vet Sustain and past President at the British Veterinary Association. Our Q&A session with her is an inspiring read on the mission of Vet Sustain as sheds light on the importance of the veterinary industry leading the way as moral, passionate human beings. Even in our core values, we believe in doing good, giving power, being passionate and never settling. This applies to mother earth too.

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Achieving carbon neutrality and zero waste in a vet practice can be challenging , but we hope this Q&A will take you in the right direction in Championing a Greener Environment, especially with the Greener Vet Practice Checklist. Get it for free here. Your practice’s commitment will also speak volumes to clients about your ethos.

In the Q&A, you’ll discover how key attitudes have changed; what a sustainable practice looks like, first steps, how to empower your staff and four key areas to focus on.

Click here for the full Q&A

Here’s a sneak peek:

Q: What inspired you to get involved with Vet Sustain?

quotation marks in greenMy experience in the veterinary industry has allowed me to appreciate the unique privilege that we in the veterinary profession hold. We are at the interface of the One Health agenda and a key touch point for environmental, animal and human wellbeing. As a past president of the British Veterinary Association and of The Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons I also appreciate the force and positive impact the profession can play for good across these areas. I believe if we work together, we can really make a difference.
When Vet Sustain formed, I felt inspired. It was brilliant to see a group of people coming together, many of whom I already knew and respected, and I knew this was exactly what the profession needed.
Sustainability initiatives need the right leadership and infrastructure to work. Even with the right will and motivation, teams need guidance and a framework from which to start. That was the piece that was missing and Vet Sustain can provide. To be asked to join at the very beginning was exciting, a privilege and an opportunity to make a difference.
We are all volunteers at Vet Sustain, which I think is incredible. In our industry, we know it can be hard work finding the time to volunteer, but if you are passionate about something, there’s that motivation to do it and there are always learnings to take from each experience. Giving your time often means getting something back in return, whether that’s learning a new skill or meeting a new person or achieving something you didn’t think was possible. Volunteering can be a time-juggle but it’s such a rich opportunity for self-learning and can often lead on to other positive things.quotation marks in green

Q: What does a sustainable veterinary practice look like?

quotation marks in greenSustainability can mean different things to different people but for me, it means that you can carry on doing what you are doing today, tomorrow and into the future without having a negative impact on the environment, those around you and generations to come.
While it would be fantastic for all practices to be carbon zero with minimal waste, we must be realistic and understand that every veterinary practice is different. For me, becoming sustainable starts with the motivation, will and adaptability to change – that’s what a sustainable veterinary practice should look like now and it must be one that is taking action. We need to be careful not to set the bar too high and allow practices to take that first step forward. It starts with small changes from everyone which can lead to the really big changes we need. quotation marks in green

To access the whole Q&A for free click here.

For more information on how we help practices become more sustainable and in areas like stock management (a hot spot for wastage!), check out how we helped Duncan McGinness Veterinary Surgery with their inventory management.

Or get in touch with our team to talk to one of our experts. We’re here to help.