Investors in the Environment (iiE) is a national environmental accreditation scheme designed to help organisations reduce their impact on the environment. The annual iiE Awards celebrate a wide range of sustainability achievements, and this year, BVNA were one of just three organisations shortlisted for the ‘Sustainable Transport Champion’ Award.

There were three finalists shortlisted for this award:

  • BVNA
  • Elanco Animal Health
  • The Mayne Veterinary Clinic

While we sadly didn’t win the award this year, even making the shortlist is a fantastic achievement. This recognition comes following our achievement of iiE’s ‘Silver’ accreditation in March 2023, and as part of our 2023/2024 strategic plan, we’ve committed to continuing our efforts to improve our environmental sustainability.

As we have a small head office team, who now mainly work from home or in our managed office, we recognised that one of our biggest areas of impact was the mileage travelled by our staff and committee members for regular meetings and to attend conferences. In our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment leading up to achieving ‘Silver’, we adopted a business-wide travel plan, which has included:

  • Moving two-thirds of our bimonthly Council meetings online
  • Generally avoiding travel where online meetings would suffice
  • Promoting the use of sustainable forms of transport, such as rail or bicycle

In other areas of the Association, we are:

  • Transforming the VNJ into a digital publication; inviting authors to write about good sustainability practices in the veterinary workplace
  • Leading an annual Exhibitor Sustainability Award at BVNA Congress. This encourages exhibitors to be more conscious of their environmental practices, surrounding both attendance at our event and more generally as a business
  • Reducing our overall printing across our activities – from reducing social event tickets, to flyers and leaflets at external events. We also provide recycling bins and lanyard recycling points at BVNA Congress
  • Exploring ways to encourage our members to enjoy green space and the benefits of physical exercise, such as our parkrun at BVNA Congress 2023
  • Encouraging BVNA Congress delegates and exhibitors to consider travelling via public transport or car sharing

Since joining the iiE scheme, BVNA have made great strides in reducing our carbon footprint, and we’re committed to reducing our environmental impact even further.