Dr Kristen Baxter introduces some of the sustainability steps Zoetis NZ is taking in the kiwi vetmed industry

Dr Kristen Baxter – Large Animal Veterinarian & Sustainability Lead at Zoetis New Zealand


Zoetis New Zealand and sustainability

In 2019, Zoetis NZ set up a new internal group to examine environmental, social and governance aspects of its business, with a focus on driving long term business sustainability. 

As Zoetis’ Sustainability Lead – based in the South Island – Large Animal Veterinarian Kristen Baxter’s responsibilities have been primarily focused on improving the environmental footprint and looking at all areas of the product life cycle – from packaging, to transport, and to then managing product waste. 

Wearing her sustainability hat, Kristen looked at the human contribution, including air and vehicle travel, and office management. 

Last year – in 2020 Kristen set up the first progesterone device waste management programme in the North Island, and this year – which Kristen talks about today, the first teat sealant tube collection and recycling programme – which aims to collect back millions of tubes from farmers and vet clinics.

Kristen Baxter – Large Animal Veterinarian + Sustainability Lead at Zoetis New Zealand

Dr Kristen Baxter – BSc(Agr) BVSc – Kristen has a Bachelor or Science – Agriculture – cum laude from McGill University in Montreal with a major in animal and molecular biology, she’s a graduate from Massey’s Bachelor of Veterinary Science class of 2007, in 2017 she was selected to participate in Zoetis’ Leadership Development Programme.

Kristen said she found the programme provided a sound basis for personal growth, and feels it’s increased her emotional intelligence. The programme required a project – Kristen created a technical induction and training programme, which is in use in New Zealand today.

And because she has an appetite for learning, development and the environment, in 2018 Kristen embarked on a Masters of Environmental Management at Massey.  

For her thesis she thinks that sustainability of our food production systems in the future is critical, but to make important environmental decisions, we need them to be based on science. 

Kristen’s focus in this study has been to look at environmental policy and decision making and how life cycle assessment can be successfully integrated into those systems, particularly within the animal health industry. 

Kristen Baxter is a mum, wife, large animal veterinarian and sustainability lead at Zoetis and also a kiwi farmer.

Links mentioned in today’s episode

Zoetis New Zealand email

Fonterra sustainability programme:

The Fonterra Co-operative Difference

Sustainability courses:

Sustainable Business Network

Climate Action Toolbox


Ministry for Primary Industries – MPI

NZ Institute of Primary Industry Management

Paws Claws & Wet Noses at Facebook


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