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Environmental sustainability module and award

On 9 June 2022 RCVS Council approved a new Environmental Sustainability Module and Award.

The new module comes into effect from 1 June 2023 and contains Core Standards and General Practice level requirements, which would need to be met by all PSS practices at the relevant accreditation levels.

There are two new changes at Core level which include requirements around responsible and accountable use of ectoparasiticides and endoparasiticides as well as requiring all practices to have a written environmental sustainability policy.

At General Practice level there are eight new requirements (and two amendments to existing requirements) such as having a dedicated sustainability champion and/or team, advising clients to return unused medicines for safe and sustainable disposal, and employing techniques to reduce the usage of anaesthetic gas. 

The changes to Core Standards will also impact practices that are not in the Scheme as, under the Code of Professional Conduct, all veterinary practices must maintain equivalent standards.

The Core Standards requirement in this module is effective from 1 June 2023, unless you applied for the optional Environmental Sustainability Award.

The new Environmental Sustainability Award came into effect from 1 January 2023 to provide accredited practices with an opportunity to demonstrate that they are excelling with their environmental sustainability credentials and have embedded sustainable behaviours. You will be expected to meet the core standards in the Environmental module to achieve this award.


In the webinar video below, hosts RCVS Junior Vice President Sue Paterson FRCVS and Lead PSS Assessor Alice Duvernois MRCVS cover the environmental sustainability standards being introduced from June 2023. They also answer questions submitted by webinar attendees.

Guidance slides and other resources

You may also find the following external resources helpful: