Climate Care Program – October Update

It's been a busy few months for the Climate Care Program team and the 'Climate Champions' who participated in the preliminary launch. We’re inspired by the positive response from 21 clinics across the country who've taken the first steps towards reducing emissions and becoming more environmentally sustainable.

Take a look at some of the environmentally friendly changes they've already implemented below. We also share easy water saving tips for your practice and we hope to see you at The Vet Expo in Sydney next week!



Thanks to all the teams who've participated in the preliminary launch. In particular, a shout out to the 'Climate Champions' who continue to be instrumental in leading their teams to make changes that benefit our precious environment and animals. Here's some of the changes they've implemented: 

  • Flow regulators installed on taps.
  • Rainwater tank connected to toilets.
  • Updated protocols for washing laundry, scrubbing packs and scrubbing for surgery.
  • Recycling stations implemented in convenient places.
  • Recycling of masks, syringes and fluid bags.
  • Worm farms installed.
  • Increased signage and information to remind staff about how they can minimise their impact.
  • LED lighting installed.

What’s next...

The Climate Care Program is now scheduled for launch in early 2023. While we take time to evaluate and implement vital feedback from our trial clinics, you can check out the resources page on our website and help us spread the word! If you know others who are yet to register their interest in the program, let them know they can sign up via our website to be kept up to date on the latest program information.

"The background info about climate issues is well presented. It's good to have a comprehensive plan for reducing our impact. It can save money, it can help staff morale and... it may make a difference for clients.
Catherine, Veterinarian

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That lowering the flow rate of your taps is a game changer in reducing your water waste forever?

Low-flow taps and flow restricting aerators work by mixing air into the water-flow. This gives the feel and impression of full water-flow even though the water volume is greatly reduced. Check out our infographic for more water saving 'tips for taps' you can easily implement in your practice!

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Visit us at The Vet Expo, Oct 26 & 27  ICC Sydney

We’re looking forward to exhibiting at The Vet Expo next week! Bringing together 1000s of veterinary animal health experts to learn, exchange ideas, network, it’s guaranteed to be huge! Stop by and say hello if you're attending and look out for presentations by VfCA board members and volunteers…

  • Climate change: A Veterinary problem 'How the climate impacts animals' – Dr Angela Frimberger, VFCA Deputy Board Chair (Oct 26, 10am).
  • Design & build your own practice: Practice design featuring environmental benefits – Dr Jeremy Watson, VfCA Volunteer (Oct 26, 10.30am).
  • Creating a Legacy in your Practice – Dr Jeannet Kessels, VfCA Board Chair (Oct 26, 2pm).
  • Creating a Team Culture of Sustainability: VfCA Climate Care Program – Dr Mariane Morin, VfCA Volunteer (Oct 26, 2.30pm).
  • Getting to Net Zero. Why and How? – Dr Jeannet Kessels, VfCA Board Chair (Oct 27, 10am).
  • Sustainable Building Function & Design rom a Lived Experience – Dr Jeremy Watson, VfCA Volunteer (Oct 27, 11am).

AMA  Actions in Animal Health Sustainability 2022

Released last month, this report outlines the Australian animal health sector’s contribution to a sustainable future. It describes the role animal medicines play in ensuring Australians have access to safe, nutritious and affordable food, improving the health and wellbeing of the people and animals that make up our communities, and contributing to the health and biodiversity of our natural environment. Download the report.

The Climate Change Bill explained in 60 seconds!

With the passing of the Climate Change Bill in the Senate last month, Australia now has clear national minimum emissions reduction targets enshrined in law. But what’s it all about? Check out this great 60 second explainer video from The Climate Council’s Head of Advocacy Dr Jen Rayner.

Now more than ever businesses will be thinking about how they can achieve net zero emissions and for vet practices, the Climate Care Program will be a great tool to help your practice on their sustainability journey!

Single use plastics ban extended in NSW

Following the ban on single use plastic bags in June, the ban will be extended on 1 November 2022, to include:

  • single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, bowls and plates
  • expanded polystyrene food service items, like cups and hamburger containers, single-use plastic cotton buds, and
  • rinse-off personal care products containing plastic micro-beads.

For helpful resources and more information about how these changes may impact you, visit the NSW Government website.

NSW now joins other states in Australia who’ve already implemented bans on various plastic products. Take a look at which states are leading the race to ban single-use plastics in Australia!

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Welcome Liz Malcolm – Climate Care Program, Product Development Manager

Liz joined VfCA in August and brings with her a broad range of skills and experience that stems from a foundation in education, and an innate drive to engage, inspire and inform. As a Diversity Consultant, Liz created and facilitated training programs embedding workplace equity and inclusion, and is now excited to bring her love of instructional design to the passionate VfCA team and the Climate Care Program.

Volunteer opportunities – would you like to join our team? 

  • Research support for the Healthcare without Harm module – Can you help us find environmentally safe alternatives to disinfectants and other chemicals used in everyday practice? The research will take into consideration the downstream effect and possible carbon footprint in manufacturing as well as exploring the best way to dispose of these chemicals to cause the least harm.

  • Research support for the Buying for a Better Future module – We’re looking for someone to investigate non-medication products with good sustainability credentials that clinics can sell. This includes things like collars and leads, pet food and treats, bedding, dog poop bags, puppy pads etc.

If this sounds like you, email our team to find out more. Visit our website to learn more about volunteering for VfCA.

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Help us spread the word... If you know others who are yet to register their interest in the program, let them know they can sign up via our website to be kept up to date on the latest program information.

And be sure to follow Vets for Climate Action on our social media channels! 

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