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RCVS Inspiration Award Recipient - A personal note from Laura

Laura Higham

I feel absolutely honoured to have received one of Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)’s Inspiration Awards this year for sustainability work and establishing Vet Sustain alongside an amazing team of co-Directors. What a huge career highlight! Thank you so much to the RCVS and to my nominee Anna Judson for your kindness.

It’s been a labour of love since 2019 and over COVID-19 to bring Vet Sustain to fruition, but the late meetings and long nights have been so worth it, for the community we have built and the shard of hope it’s provided to me personally and I think others, in the face of so many societal and planetary challenges.

I one hundred percent believe in the power of the veterinary community to help bring about meaningful and significant change. As custodians of animal welfare, there is a building recognition of our need to consider the wellbeing of the animals under our care and those that are directly and indirectly impacted by human activity. I believe that as a society we are transgressing many of our duties to the animals and ecosystems on which we depend, and that we all have a responsibility to rebuild our relationship with the natural world that moves beyond reducing harm, towards generating positive impacts in pursuit of a common goal of interspecies and intergenerational wellbeing.

Veterinary professionals are in a unique position to catalyse these conversations and enact change, and I feel our role at Vet Sustain is to make veterinary-bespoke sustainability guidance and education widely available to our profession, to turn concern and intent into knowledge and action.

This award recognises the work of the whole Vet Sustain team, and I’m privileged to work alongside a growing collective of directors, working group members, volunteers, and more latterly, two talented new members of staff who have both joined us this year. Although our team and our resources are growing, our focus remains on our impact - how we are inspiring and enabling our profession to leverage its unique position to evolve our own veterinary operations and also the care of animals, for a more sustainable and regenerative future.