We are firmly rooted in Kent and Medway’s communities – from Canterbury to Tunbridge Wells, Broadstairs to Medway – and we therefore recognise our significant role in protecting and enhancing our wider environment.
Making our approach count
We recognise the contribution that the whole university community can make to sustainability, and that our successes thus far and continuing progress is thanks in no small part to combining a top-down approach, with support from our Vice-Chancellor and Senior Management Team, alongside our grass-roots approach to students and staff engagement.
Sustainability is at the heart of our University Strategic Framework 2015-2020 , is embedded in our values and mission statement, and is a cross-cutting theme in our plans for the future.
Success so far
We have developed a dedicated Framework for Sustainability, and have achieved and maintained ISO14001 accreditation for our Environmental Management System (EMS) through the EcoCampus programme in which we have earned our platinum award.
We have made great strides in reducing our carbon footprint, investing in sustainable materials and buildings and making sustainability a central concept in our plans for the future development of our estate, and have been zero percent waste to landfill since 2013.
We have held full Fairtrade status since 2007, which helps to guarantee good prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. Closer to home, our Roast and Grill Bar has a Bronze Award Food for Life Accreditation and our Touchdown Cafés are proud to serve food based on fresh, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
We also won a first class award in the People and Planet Green League three years running, and in 2015 were shortlisted for no less than three Green Gown Awards by the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC).
Sustainability in the Christ Church community
Working together with students
Our students get actively involved in building a more sustainable future with us through the Student Green Office (SGO) and Accommodation Wardens teams which exist to engage fellow students with sustainability, and provides opportunities for volunteering, work experience and paid roles.
Growing an Edible Campus
We have a flourishing Edible Campus project, through which students and staff grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs in on-campus allotments, practise bee-keeping and hop-growing and take part in annual honey and hop harvests from which we produce our own Christ Church beer and honey. Our very first brew, in collaboration with a local microbrewery The Canterbury Brewers, produced the incredibly well-received Green Chapel Ale which was launched at the Canterbury Food and Drink Festival in the Autumn of 2015.
We have wonderful grounds across the campus network which are maintained by our dedicated Gardens team, including wildflower banks, a heritage orchard and our very own beehives which all encourage biodiversity.
In the academic year 2015/16 we were one of thirteen UK universities to launch and host WHOLE EARTH? an exhibition of powerful photographs and words by environmental photographer Mark Edwards and journalist Lloyd Timberlake spanning over sixty feet in length which was displayed on each of our campuses during the autumn term, and to actively engage our students and staff in developing responses to some of the sustainability issues depicted therein.
Finally, our Futures Initiative team is working hard alongside staff and students from various disciplines and schools across the University providing funding and support to find new and innovative ways to embed sustainability and sustainable thinking into as much of our curriculum as possible.
Global climate change, the loss of biodiversity, population growth and conflicts between unequal social groups raise complex and inter-related issues. Schools and universities, along with other educational institutions, have an important role in developing critical and creative thinking about such problems. Visit our Exploring Sustainability site to examine these issues in more detail.
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