Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

14th - 28th Feb 2020 is SDG Fortnight!

Over the next 2 weeks, the Sustainability team in conjunction with Kent Union have put together a serries of events based around the Sustainable Development Goals. The full calendar and descriptions of events can be downloaded here.

SDG Fortnight Timetable FINAL

SDG Teach-In

17-21 February. In support of the University’s commitment to embedding Sustainability into our teaching, we are encouraging lecturers and teaching staff to pledge to incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their teaching for one week. See further down this page for more information and downloadable resources.

SDG Lunch

25th February, 12-2pm, Keynes Teaching Foyer. Are you getting involved with the SDG Teach-In? Interested in finding out more about the SDGs or how Kent is planning to meet Sustainability challenges? Join us for our Sustainable Development Goals Lunch to talk to operational and academic staff from across the University and beyond about sustainability over a fantastic bespoke Sustainable lunch. Book your place by emailing


SDG timetable



SDG teach in


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Teach In is an NUS-coordinated campaign where universities across the UK aim to make links to the SDGs within their taught courses during the week of the 17th - 21st February 2020.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals are 17 'global goals', which set out targets to end poverty, protect the planet, and achieve prosperity for all by 2030. Alongside being a standalone goal, education is also vital for attaining all the other goals. Six years of NUS-led research has found that 60% of students, regardless of discipline, want to learn more about sustainability.

Lecturers and teaching staff interested in getting involved can:

  1. Identify one or more sessions where they can teach the SDGs during or after the week of the 17th - 21st February 2020.
    This could be through case studies, debate, discussion, group work, or simulations and ideally, students will learn the relevance of the SDGs to their course.
    Resources, including 5, 10 and 30-minute session plans, can be found here
  2. Pledge to take part on the SDG Teach In website
  3. Confirm on that you are taking part –  guidance can be provided to help to plan your session

Please see the web links below for more information about the Sustainable Develoment Goals. Most of these links can be incorporated into a lecture or seminar to introduce the goals

Do you know all 17 SDGs? (played as session intro/as class sit down - no speech so can be played silent if preferred):

'We The People' for The Global Goals:

How We Can Make the World a Better Place by 2030 | Michael Green | TED Talk:

Teaching Sustainable Development Goals Microsoft Course:


Sustainability Education is often referred to as Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), which has been defined as:

UNESCO, 2014

"Education for Sustainable Development allows every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future.

Education for Sustainable Development means including key sustainable development issues into teaching and learning; for example, climate change, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, poverty reduction, and sustainable consumption.

It also requires participatory teaching and learning methods that motivate and empower learners to change their behaviour and take action for sustainable development. Education for Sustainable Development consequently promotes competencies like critical thinking, imagining future scenarios and making decisions in a collaborative way.

Education for Sustainable Development requires far-reaching changes in the way education is often practised today."

ESD at Kent - Responsible Futures

ESD at Kent - Responsible FuturesThe University and Kent Students’ Union, in partnership, have signed up to the Responsible Futures scheme – an NUS framework to facilitate institution change in embedding sustainability throughout all parts of the student learning experience

Responsible Futures looks to ensure every student – from architecture to business, and chemistry to digital arts – is prepared with the knowledge and understanding of sustainability, and possess the sustainability skills and attributes, and the desire and willingness to deal with these issues.


Sustainability in Teaching


Introduction to Sustainability

Running in the Spring term in 2020 this module explores the meaning of sustainability and encourages participants to further understand the challenges facing our environment and society and how we might overcome these.

Cultures of Sustainability SCL505

This module encourages students to engage critically with the multiple and complex meaning of sustainability.




Environmental Management and Auditing

Returning in 2021, this module guides participants through the process of establishing and maintaining an environmental management system including conducting basic environmental audits

The Anthropocene: Planetary Crisis and the Age of Humans SE558

This module seeks to engage directly with the central provocation of the Anthropocene: that the speed, scope and scale of human industrial activities are having unparalleled, unintended and poorly understood impacts on the earth as a system.


Past Events

In March 2019 we held a conference titled 'Teaching Sustainability: Sustainable Teaching' open to staff and students across the University. All of the presentations from the conference are available below.

Conference website






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Last Updated: 12/02/2020