An Ongoing Green Commitment: the VDS makes continuous strides towards sustainability

An Ongoing Green Commitment: the VDS makes continuous strides towards sustainability

At the Veterinary Defence Society (VDS), sustainability isn’t just a buzzword, it’s the natural evolution of our ethos of protection and support of the veterinary profession. We were recently awarded the highest accreditation, Green, from Investors in the Environment (iiE), demonstrating our commitment to environmentally friendly practices and sustainable growth.

“Embracing sustainability is not just an obligation, but a responsibility and a choice, which we at the VDS have proudly taken. We are working towards a thriving future for veterinary professionals, practices, and the environment we all share." Joanne Stonehewer, Director of Membership, VDS

Our journey towards sustainability has focused on three key areas:

  1. Getting our own house in order - We mean business when it comes to cutting resource use and reducing our carbon footprint. We've formed a Green Team with colleagues from across our organisation, working to implement eco-friendly initiatives. From creating a travel and car sharing plan and implementing effective waste management processes, to sourcing high-welfare food as part of our new food procurement policy, we’re reducing waste and increasing recycling efforts.
  2. Supporting the professions - In 2021, we partnered with Vet Sustain to survey our profession and help us to understand the risks surrounding sustainability issues that affect veterinary practices and how we can best support them. The findings were published in the Veterinary Record, and you can read them here. We know that our members care deeply about sustainability but might not always know where to start in their own veterinary business. That’s why, in 2022, VDS Training collaborated with BVA and Vet Sustain to produce the Greener Veterinary Practice webinar series.
  3. Green tilting our investments - Our commitment to sustainability extends beyond our daily operations. We have aligned our investment portfolio with environmentally responsible choices, contributing to a greener future.

How our members can help us to help the planet

We’re excited to share this journey with you and encourage all our members to join us in making a positive impact. If you’re still using paper, why not make the switch to digital?

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Our 2023 Sustainability Impact Report, released in June 2023, provides a view of our efforts to move towards a business model that places environmental sustainability at its heart. Celebrating our successes, understanding our challenges, and envisioning the possibilities of a sustainable future. One that aligns with our professional obligations and our ethical commitments.

To find out more about our approach, our alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals and our plans for a sustainable future, read our full 2023 Sustainability Impact Report on the Reports & Reviews page of the VDS website.

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