Sustainability Policy

Our sustainability policy commits the University to being a responsible corporate citizen that leads by example with regard to environmental sustainability. The current version of the sustainability policy was signed by Vice-Chancellor professor Karen Cox and the Chair of Council Dame Ursula Brennan in December 2022.

The University acknowledges that its activities and operations have environmental, social and economic impacts. As signatories to the Sustainable Development Goals Education Accord, the University is committed to embedding the goals across our institution throughout our leadership, education, operations, research & innovation, engagement and partnerships. 

This Sustainability Policy commits the University to being a responsible corporate citizen that leads by example with regard to sustainability. It provides the framework for setting and reviewing sustainability objectives and targets. 

 Through implementation of this policy, the University commits to continual improvement across all areas of environmental management and sustainability and to ensuring that we meet or exceed all our legislative, regulatory and voluntary compliance obligations. 

The main objectives and commitments are:  

Energy, Carbon and Water Management 

By improving energy and water efficiency and investing in the estate we will reduce carbon emissions in line with the University’s target to achieve net zero scope 1 & 2 emissions before 2040. 

Emissions, Discharges and an Environmental Management System (EMS) 

To monitor and improve performance, identify opportunities and manage risks through operating an EMS to ISO 14001, putting in place appropriate controls to protect the environment, prevent pollution and work to reduce emissions and discharges to air, land and water. 

Education for Sustainability (EfS)

Continually develop and expand education for Sustainability in the curriculum to ensure all our students graduate equip with the skills and knowledge to contribute to a sustainable future. 

Research and Innovation 

Promote and develop sustainability related research & innovation activity through existing signature research themes and institutes and through development of new focuses for research and innovation 

Community engagement and culture change 

Communicate with our students, staff and other interested parties to develop resilient partnerships which enhance lives and the local economy and empower our community to develop the knowledge and skills to embody sustainable behaviours.

Sustainable Buildings 

To develop our Estate in a sustainable and sympathetic way in line with our growth plans and Masterplan for the Canterbury campus finding ways to utilise our spaces and built environment to reduce environmental impact whilst improving wellbeing.

Circular Economy 

Considering waste as a resource, recognising its value, encouraging prevention and reduction, reuse of resources prior to recycling or disposal. 

Sustainable Procurement Incorporating and embedding life-cycle considerations into procurement, promoting sustainable procurement, both internally and through the University’s supply chains. 

Landscape and Biodiversity 

Manage our campuses to protect and enhance biodiversity, developing spaces for wildlife and people, and enhancing health and wellbeing. 

Sustainable Travel 

Reduce the impacts of transport and travel and encourage sustainable alternatives for travel activities including commuting, fleet management, business travel and deliveries 

Responsible Investment 

Maintain our socially responsible investment approach by not investing directly or in pooled investment funds related to pornography, gambling, tobacco, fossil fuels or armaments and to regularly review indirect exposure to these areas. 

Sustainable Food 

Reduce the impact of our food served in our outlets and internal catering  

This policy applies to all staff, students, visitors, contractors, premises and activities under the control of the University and will be publicly available on the University’s website. 

The University of Kent Sustainability Policy is fully supported by the Executive Group, University Council and the Sustainability Steering Group (SSG). The SSG has delegated responsibility in conjunction with the EMS Team for determining this Policy and for setting and reviewing its objectives. 

 The EMS Team will review the Policy annually and report on all relevant matters to the Sustainability Steering Group for further consideration, including recommendations for improvement. 

The Health, Safety & Environmental Sustainability Department specifies and manages core administrative elements of the Environmental Management System, including training and internal auditing, and advises on environmental compliance and best practice. 

Divisions and Professional Service Departments are responsible for delivering sustainability objectives and for the management and operational control of major aspects of the Environmental Management System within their scope, as specified in the Aspects register (EMS-Aspects)

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