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Business benefits of sustainability

29 Apr 2022 | Gudrun Ravetz


We are all aware of the need to collectively and individually act in a more sustainable way to preserve our planet, and as veterinary professionals we are very cognisant of the One Health triumvirate of animal, human and environmental health and welfare. From a business point of view there are several reasons why adopting an ethos of sustainability can have positive consequences beyond the important environmental ones. BVA Past President and Chair of Vet Sustain, Gudrun Ravetz explains some of these benefits.

Business benefits of sustainability Image

Recruitment and retention

Current and potential employees are seeking workplaces that reflect their views on sustainability. Recruitment and retention in the veterinary profession is at crisis point and previous studies have shown the importance of fitting into a workplace for motivation, satisfaction and ultimately retention of colleagues. Most recently in a BVA Voice of the Profession survey almost six-in-ten vets (57%) said that workplace engagement in sustainability would be quite (40%) or very (17%) important to them in their choice of workplace if they were changing job.

A workplace that reflects the profession’s motivation to be more sustainable and enacts positive social responsibility is more likely to have teams that flourish. Putting a focus on sustainability can be a great way to renew culture within a workplace and create a collaborative purpose. The BVA Good Veterinary Workplaces working group heard evidence from several sectors, as well as the veterinary sector, and it was clear how important a sense of common purpose around sustainability in the workplace is for a business to prosper.

Customers and community

More and more customers are scrutinising the sustainability and social responsibility of businesses and are ready to praise those that take positive action. Sharing your sustainability journey may attract new clients who are looking to make more ethical choices and may also lead to more positive feedback from your existing ones.

Sustainability initiatives can also include customers and provide opportunities for engagement, which increases bonds in the community. In practices we have the privilege to be able to educate and influence those we meet, which allows us to magnify positive sustainable actions by helping animal owners and keepers manage their animals in a more sustainable way.

Financial savings

Being more sustainable can also save you money. Adopting sustainable measures in the fabric of our workplace buildings, the tools that we use, the way we transport ourselves, and in the veterinary care that we provide and advocate can lead to a reduction in resource use, and this may have a long term positive financial impact. Reducing unnecessary waste and cutting down on the energy we use can help to reduce our costs, which is especially important as prices are increasing everywhere.

Creating spaces for nature where we can in our work environment and providing facilities that can encourage active methods of transport to work can have positive physical and mental wellbeing effects for teams. As well as the long term positive impacts on your team, this can bring benefits such as increased productivity and reduced sickness, which also has a financial benefit to the business.

In summary

Beyond being the right thing to do, taking positive action on sustainability in your workplace will have multiple benefits that will endure.

You can make a start today by following the Greener Veterinary Practice Checklist. Vet Sustain, BVA and VDS Training have also teamed up to bring you a series of webinars to help you work through this, so register now and become a part of #GreenTeamVet.


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