The Student Sustainability Guide

Vet Sustain have put together a Student Sustainability Guide to provide tips and tricks for veterinary and veterinary nursing students to champion sustainability whilst completing their studies.

The Vet Sustain Veterinary Student Sustainability Guide provides suggestions for students to consider while at university during clinical and preclinical placements with EMS hosts.


Engage: Join or establish a sustainability society within your veterinary school.

Participate in campus or nationwide sustainability challenges: Energy-saving competitions, zero-waste initiatives or BBVA Bee friendly schemes.

Sustainability research: Discuss your ideas with staff and consider writing it up alongside your degree or help contribute to existing projects

Waste management: Promote recycling and alternative waste disposal where appropriate.

Transportation: Walk, cycle, carpool or use public transport where safe and feasible.

Energy: Using renewable energy providers, turning off devices when not in use, air-drying clothes instead of using a tumble dryer.

Minimise disposable material usage and replacing with reusable alternatives where possible.

Source and sell clothing through second hand online platforms or charity shops, or purchasing from sustainable brands

Choose local and seasonal food and employ methods to reduce food waste such as use of the TooGoodToGo.


EMS placements allow contextual application of vet school knowledge and a place to learn. They are also a fantastic opportunity to have conversations about where the placement provider are on their sustainability journey, what they have done so far, their motivations, and what else they would like to achieve.


Commute: Can you minimise your transport and ecological impact by finding onsite/nearby accommodation or choosing placements locally to your home? Can you car share with the vets to visits to reduce individual journeys?

Reduce waste, bring your own: Reusable scrub hat, name badge, packed lunch.


What are they doing to champion sustainability? Have they created a Green Group? Do they know about the #Greenervetchecklist from Vet Sustain?

Discuss practice accreditation schemes: Investors in the Environment, RCVS PSS Environmental Sustainability modules and award, BBVA Bee Friendly Practice Scheme, etc.

Discuss responsible medicine use and disposal: antimicrobial and parasiticide use, efficient stock-keeping.

How do they minimise the impact of anaesthetic gases? What agents do they use and are they practising lower flow rates.

Sustainability in the community: How do they communicate their sustainability efforts to their clients or engage with local projects?

How do they approach waste management and product sourcing? Do they know about the Green Procurement List from Vet Sustain?

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Complete the form for a free PDF download our student sustainability guide