The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) announced on 24 March that it has achieved Bronze level membership with Investors in the Environment (iiE), an environmental accreditation scheme designed to help businesses reduce their environmental impact, raise awareness among colleagues and save businesses money on their energy costs where possible.
Achieving Bronze level membership is recognition that the RCVS has successfully introduced a robust environmental policy and established processes to measure the organisation’s use of resources, including gas and electricity.
The RCVS has been making efforts to improve its environmental impact over the past few years and in July 2021, following a recommendation from the Environment and Sustainability Working Party, signed up to iiE.
Internally, the improvements at the RCVS have been driven by the staff Green Team, who support the College in improving ways of working to make it more sustainable, and plan staff engagement events and initiatives around sustainability and environmental issues, such as celebrating Earth Day and running sustainable Christmas competitions. Meanwhile, profession-facing improvements have been catalysed by the Environment and Sustainability Working Party.
The Green Team has implemented an environmental policy that is available to all staff. Some of the actions that have grown from the policy include working with the College’s IT department to ensure screens have power saving mode enabled on all company computers, improved waste and recycling within the RCVS former and existing office premises and looking into how travel for work can be made more sustainable. The Green Team now has its sight set on iiE Silver level, a step up from Bronze which will require the College to have a sustainable travel plan and undertake an additional resources efficiency project.
Lizzie Lockett, RCVS CEO, said: “I’m proud of the achievements that the RCVS Green Team has made and want to thank its members for all their hard work to help the RCVS become a more environmentally friendly place to work.
“Improving our carbon footprint is important to the organisation and all our staff members, so it’s fantastic that the strides we’ve made to reduce our environmental impact have been recognised with this iiE award.”
Sue Paterson, RCVS Council environment lead, said: “I am delighted that all the hard work and commitment of the RCVS Green Team has paid dividends.
“I have noticed the little changes the team have made at RCVS over the last twelve months such as introducing the power saving mode on employee laptops and running lunch and learn sessions where staff can hear about the College’s environmental policy. These and the many other initiatives they have introduced reflect their drive to make the College more sustainable.
“I am really proud of their achievements and look forward to the College achieving Silver level in the hopefully not-to-distant future.”