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Carbon Literacy for the Veterinary Profession – new course from Vet Sustain!

Jen Gale

Getting started on your ‘sustainability journey’ as an individual, or as a practice, can be a daunting task. There’s so much to think about and so much information out there, some of it useful, some of it not, and some of it conflicting! It’s very easy to feel like we don’t know enough about which are the most impactful choices, and often we might lack confidence to share our thoughts and ideas with others in the practice.

This is where the new Carbon Literacy for the Veterinary Profession course from Vet Sustain comes in! We wanted something accessible for all members of the veterinary team, and that anyone could join in without any need for prior sustainability knowledge. And we wanted something that would not only help people to understand the impact that we’re having as a profession on the environment and where our emissions are coming from, but that would really importantly empower and equip people to make changes and to talk to others about what they were doing.

‘Carbon Literacy’ is defined as: “An awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis.”

Essentially the idea is that we all end up knowing what are high impact actions, and what are low impact ones, in the same way that we can easily recognise that a £50 note is a high value note and a £5 note is lower value.
This means that we can make more informed decisions, and make better decisions more of the time, with a better understanding of their impact on the planet.

From a veterinary perspective, knowing where our emissions are coming from, on a practice level, and a profession wide level, means that we’re better equipped to make the decisions needed to ensure that we are not only upholding our oaths to ensure the health and welfare of the animals committed to our care, but are also able to consider the impact of our actions on the environment.

"I recently attended the Carbon Literacy Course with Vet Sustain and it’s some of the best hours I have invested in CPD.

You come away with the personal things you can do that are achievable and you feel empowered to find what will work for you."

Dr Ebony Escalona BSc (Hons) BVSc MRCVS PhD AHE, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Vets Stay Go Diversify

According to a 2019 BVA survey, 89% of vets said that they would like to play a more active role in the UK sustainability agenda – the Carbon Literacy course from Vet Sustain is a brilliant way to start to understand our impact, and then to inspire action!
As trusted professionals we also pay a key role in not only influencing our clients to make more sustainable choices, but in spreading awareness more generally. And of course we can exert influence on our supply chains – the more of us that are asking for more sustainable options, the quicker this will happen.

“I’m so pleased there are courses like this available now, when I started out on my sustainability journey it took me months of research and webinars to gather all this info, now it’s all wrapped up in one neat bundle.”
Laura Binnie, MRCVS, BVM&S, BSc (Hons)Paragon Vets

The course is 8 hours of online inter-active learning, culminating in the creation of two carbon reduction pledges – one that can be done as an individual and one as a group. It's designed to be accessible to all members of the veterinary team, from receptionists through to Directors. No prior knowledge of sustainability is needed, and it's a safe place to come and learn what we need to do to reduce the impact of our profession on the planet.
Successful participants receive a Carbon Literacy certificate and over 51,000 people worldwide are now certified as ‘Carbon Literate’. We’re excited to be offering one of the first veterinary specific courses not only in the UK, but globally and are looking forward to the day when there is at least one Carbon Literate member of staff in every veterinary setting!

Do come and join us!

Enrol Now

"I absolutely loved the carbon literacy course, thank you so much!" Hannah Davies, Veterinary Clinical Teaching Fellow BVMS MRCVS, GCLT, MSc IAH, BSc (Hons), University of Surrey