Annual Sustainability Report

A few months ago, the Sustainability Office released its annual report for 2015.

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After a busy year it is illuminating to look back at some highlights and achievements.

Sustainability planning at the University of  Canterbury is based on the draft ‘Sustainability Strategy 2012-2022’, which breaks sustainability planning into short, medium and long term objectives. Annual planning for sustainability at UC is handled by the Sustainability Office and the operational elements of this are part of the Engineering Services Operational Plan.

This 2015 report, for the first time, presents the continuous data  since 2009. This helps to paint a picture of our overall sustainability performance, and helps us to identify some gaps in our current reporting framework (like biodiversity/ecological health data).

Certain indicators are trending in a positive direction, including more people attending Community Gardens working bees, increased levels of engagement through social media, and an increase in the number of cost centres purchasing Fair Trade certified products for their kitchens.

There has also been a significant shift in student attitudes with respect to knowledge about sustainability practices and future employment: students indicate sustainability is important to them. Other indicators remain in a steady state or are exhibiting a negative trend. The volumes of waste sent to landfill continues to increase, with a concurrent decrease in recycling an organics which is particularly concerning.

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Can’t find your way? Have your say!

Remember your first day at UC? Was it easy to find your way around, or did you feel like you were in a maze? Were the signs around campus helpful?

We’re looking for student volunteers to give input into a signage and wayfinding project to improve navigation around UC. All participants will receive a $35 voucher to use on food at any UCSA outlet.

Our design consultants would like to talk to a group of students for around an hour on Thursday 2 June, 4 – 5pm. This will likely be via Skype/teleconference, venue to be confirmed.

If you can help please contact Alan Palmer, Project Manager –

‘Different, but not less’ – Diversity Film Series Recap


‘Different, but not less’ – Temple Grandin

This month UC Diversity, UC Film Club, Q Canterbury and DeSoc joined together to show two films that address topics about diversity: Temple Grandin and Pride.

Here are a few comments from students who attended the events:

  • “Many of the comments made to us afterwards indicated that people really appreciated the chance to explore their understandings of diversity through these forms of media.” Luke, Q Canterbury
  • I learned to “never underestimate and discriminate the underrepresented [as they] tend to view life from a very different perspective which allow them to solve issues that cannot be solved by the majority.” Aaron, DeSoc
  • “It was amazing to see people turn up excited to embrace diversity and open to learning more about the issues our chosen films covered! It’s events like these where you get a feel for the sense of community that can be achieved at UC.” Courtney, UC Film Club

We are keen to show more films in future. If you have a particular movie to suggest or want to be involved in organising the next event please email Ellen

What’s happening this month?

– Check out the 2016 Diversity Calendar to see what our diverse communities are celebrating, and let us know of any significant dates you’d like included.

– Do you have a Diversity issue and not sure who to talk to? Get in touch with one of our Diversity Champions.