The sustainability team at Canterbury Christ Church University is comprised of the Director of Sustainability Development, two academics and a visiting Reader, three projects, engagement and coordinating officers, along with a growing number of colleagues in Faculties and the Students' Union.
Since its inception in 2011, the team has influenced the University in redesigning its Strategic Framework, to incorporate the aim of “building a sustainable future”, with “sustainability” as a key cross-cutting theme. Subsequently, sustainability has been embedded within the University Learning and Teaching Strategy through the principles of “Educating the Whole Person”, “Building Learning Communities” and “Global Citizenship”.
In practice, the team has had an influence in placing Education for Sustainability at the core of programme design and delivery, as well as informal and subliminal curricula. It has facilitated the delivery of hundreds of projects involving students and staff, across our four Faculties and three campuses, and with regional, national and international partners. The team generated new lines of enquiry and impact, which are underscored by creative, personal, interpersonal and an inter-intellectual dynamic. Hundreds of staff and students each year take part in a variety of workshops and activities which enhance their critical thinking and enable them to reflect on their role in society both now and in the future.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have helped the team to influence the framing of Christ Church’s curricula and learning and teaching practices in all Faculties. The team’s initiatives have inspired other higher education institutions to follow their model by publishing the evaluation of their projects through journals and books, as well as frequently presenting them at various conferences organised in-house, nationally and internationally.
As an independent team within the University, reporting to the senior management team, we are empowered to highlight real world risks and opportunities that, for many, do not seem to be related to the University’s core business, but underpin the University’s values, mission and purpose within the communities we serve. The team has received the National (2017) and International (2018) Green Gown Awards for Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change.