We support participants to become 'Climate Champions' who work with their team to implement changes that improve environmental sustainability. They'll learn about key aspects of sustainability in veterinary practice, and how making improvements in these areas helps conserve precious natural resources, reduce pollution and, most pressingly, mitigate climate change.
The program is delivered online using the Tribal Habits learning management system. It comprises an introductory module and six sequential content based modules, each addressing a different sustainability topic. We'll provide guidance about how to get the most out of each module, depending on the time the Climate Champion has available. The modules cover the following topics:
- Water for Life: Where our water comes from and the impacts of climate change on our water supply. Assess your water use and make simple changes to save money and protect our precious water resources.
- No Time to Waste: What happens to waste and how this contributes to climate change. Learn how to be more efficient at using and disposing of resources to reduce your costs and keep waste out of landfill.
- Energy Efficiency: How our energy use contributes to climate change and understanding energy use in your practice. Implement simple changes to improve your energy efficiency and save money.
- The Power of Renewables: The types of renewable energy and how your practice can purchase, produce, store and use energy from renewable sources. Start reducing your carbon footprint so your practice can eventually become carbon neutral!
- Buying for a Better Future: Introduces the concepts of ethical procurement and the circular economy and explores the buying power of practices and how we can use this to advocate for better products and services.
- Healthcare without Harm: Using anaesthetic gases, pharmaceuticals, disinfectants, and other chemicals to care for your patients and keep your teams safe while minimising their environmental impact.
There'll be some minimum criteria for the Climate Champion to meet before progressing to a new module and we'll support you along the way with all the necessary information, tools and resources.
Climate Champions - embedding environmental sustainability into everyday clinic life!
One 'Climate Champion' is nominated per clinic. However a Climate Champion cannot be expected to do it all on their own. To help generate momentum, provide support and help facilitate problem-solving, we encourage Climate Champions to find at least one 'buddy', from within their team. Together they'll build a team around them, so that environmentally sustainable practices become embedded in everyday clinic life.
With extensive design input from a collaborative team of vets, vet nurses, sustainability engineers and specialist tertiary educators, we know what it's like to work in a busy veterinary clinic, so the program considers the Climate Champion to be one part of a bigger team or community taking action. And if you find yourself in the position of being in a smaller work team or flying solo, there's a community of vet professionals across Australia ready to welcome and support you through our 'Climate Care Champions Facebook Community' group for all current and alumni Climate Champions across Australia. Here, Climate Champions can interact and support each other as they progress their environmental sustainability journey.
We believe that if you actively participate in the program, it’ll be able to take veterinary professionals and teams from talking about what they'd like to do to knowing and feeling as though they're equipped to do it!
A note about self-care and the Climate Champion
We want this program to offer you hope, but we also recognise it can be challenging to learn about the urgency of the need for climate action. We hope this program motivates you while giving you small actions to feel empowered by making even the smallest changes. However, we know that no change is linear, and we expect that you may experience frustration, setbacks and barriers to change from time to time. This is normal and expected. It's reassuring to know there are many people and organisations who - like you - are keen to make a difference and are helping people to work together in practical ways to achieve this common goal. Taking action is an important part of tackling concerns about climate, and the Climate Care Program is designed to help you do just that.
If you're experiencing feelings that are impacting your mental wellbeing or behaviours or psychological safety in the workplace, we recommend taking a look at Psychology for a Safe Climate and Love Your Pet, Love Your Vet for support and further resources.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Certification
The Climate Care Program is a recognised professional development course with the relevant materials to make a credentialed course eligible for CPD. Climate Champions may be eligible for CPD Points. Find out more.
Registration gives Climate Champions access to the Tribal Habits learning management system for 12 months. Engagement with the modules is flexible. The program is self-directed and based on key adult learning principles which means you can choose how best to manage your time and the tasks within each module.
It's paced out to allow our programs team time to support you as you move through the modules while also providing you with tasks, actions and opportunities to connect with other Climate Champions through our Climate Care Facebook Community.
While there is no set weekly time commitment, it's anticipated that each module will take approximately 2 months to complete, and the full program has been designed to take approximately 12 months to complete.
Got questions about the Climate Care Program?
Email us at [email protected] or register for a call from one of our team!
We will be happy to help!
Are you ready to be a Climate Champion?
Registration is now open to all veterinary practices located within Australia.
The Climate Care Program has been developed conscientiously and in good faith. It is however presented as an assessment of the sector as a whole and is updated at set intervals only. Vets for Climate Action (VfCA) and the Climate Care Program (CCP) provide no representation or warranty that the Program's contents will satisfy the needs of every practice. You should make your own enquiries as to the options best suited to your business, as there may be more suitable choices available in the market that respond to your specific needs.
VfCA collaborates with a number of commercial partners and business sponsors who support our work and the Program's goals. Some of their products/services are discussed in the Program. The CCP's creators have investigated these and all other referenced products/services, and have determined all of them to be compatible with the Program's ethos of empowering a climate-conscious sector. Uptake of any referenced options is in no way compulsory, and has no bearing on participants' completion of the Program.