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Vet Sustain Launch Student Sustainability Guide

Will Brookes is a long-standing member of the Vet Sustain champions network and is the leader of our student champions group. Recognising the wide sphere of influence that veterinary students can have as they complete their veterinary and veterinary nursing degree, Will has helped to create a Student Sustainability Guide, offering guidance in how students can introduce sustainability practices whilst at university and on placements.

Vet Sustain

Will Brookes joined the Vet Sustain community as a volunteer student champion whilst he completed his veterinary studies at the University of Nottingham. After graduating in 2023, he now works at Avonvale Vets in Heathcote as a small animal clinician and has taken on the role of leading our Vet Sustain student champions group, bringing together students from all the UK veterinary institutions to share knowledge and ideas on sustainability topics. As a student, Will recognized the impact that veterinary students and veterinary nursing students can have in championing sustainability whilst completing their studies. This not only relates to the direct impact students can have in consider their own sustainability whilst at university, but also the wider influence students can have whilst attending extramural study placements and intramural rotations.

Within the university setting the Student Sustainability Guide provides ideas on how students can get involved with sustainability initiatives such as joining a university sustainability network, take part in sustainability campaigns such as ‘switch off’, carry out research into sustainability topics and reduce their carbon footprint through green transport and waste management practices. Whilst on placements and rotations, the guide provides further details on how students can open conversations with placement providers, signposting key resources and initiatives that might be of use for those wanting to find out more.

When asked about his motivations for creating the guide, Will said ‘Sustainability needs to be sustainable. As the future of the veterinary profession, the next generation of vet students already have a lot on their plates, but have a unique opportunity to guide the profession going forwards. I wanted to create a resource that offers guidance for veterinary students and veterinary nursing students on how they can introduce achievable sustainable practices into their veterinary journey. We don’t expect every vet student to become the next Greta Thunberg or to make drastic lifestyle changes. Instead, we encourage them to adopt feasible, smaller actions into their university routines and initiate sustainability conversations with peers, professors, and EMS hosts.’

We hope that the Student Sustainability Guide will help students to proactively champion sustainability during their academic studies and encourage a sustainable culture within academic institutions and key placement providers.

The Student Sustainability Guide