Solar panels on rooftop


We are firmly rooted in Kent and Medway’s communities – from Canterbury to Tunbridge Wells and 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 2015-2022 , is embedded in our values and mission statement, and is a cross-cutting theme in our plans for the future.

Current students and staff at Canterbury Christ Church University can find more information on current projects and initiatives by visiting our sustainability staff and students pages

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), going on to win both the national and then the international Green Gown award for Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change.

Sustainability in the Christ Church community

The Christ Church Heritage A-Z

Bakehouse 01

Our ‘Heritage A to Z’ is an integral part of our University’s celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the inscription of the Canterbury UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS), of which much of the university’s main campus is a part. The Heritage A-Z has been written by academic staff and students (past and present), and others representing our wider partnership within the WHS; including the King’s School, staff of the Cathedral, and a representative of St. Martin’s Church. It is designed to be both informative and entertaining, with entries varying from the conventional to the eccentric!

Working together with students

Working together with students

Our students get actively involved in building a more sustainable future with us through the Student Green Office (SGO), through our city wide Student Sustainability Action Group, through the Us In The World programme, which between them aim to engage fellow students with sustainability and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and provide opportunities for volunteering, work experience and paid roles.

Heritage, Hops and Honey

heritage hops-&-honey-270px

We have opportunities across our campuses for students and staff to grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs in on-campus allotments, and on our Canterbury site also offer opportunities to practise bee-keeping and hop-growing, and take part in annual honey and hop harvests from which we produce our own heritage Christ Church ale and honey. Each year our ale, brewed in collaboration with a local microbrewery The Canterbury Brewers, is rebranded by Year 2 Media and Communications students and is launched at the Canterbury Food and Drink Festival in late September.

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.

Us In The World


‘Us In The World’ brings together activity from across the University that engages with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is a collective effort, built upon student, staff, team and project partnerships, to encourage active participation in debate and action around sustainability, equality, environment and social justice issues raised by the SDGs. We welcome students and staff to engage with us through a programme of events, campaigns, and opportunities across the academic year.

The Autumn 2018 programme for Us In The World is available for download under strategies and policies.

Futures Initiative

Futures Initiative team working with students

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.

Exploring Sustainability


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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Last edited: 05/06/2020 09:56:00