Tag Archives: UC Sustainability Office

World Green Campus Day – 24 September

Join the UC Sustainability Office and dozens of Universities across New Zealand and Australia as we celebrate World Green Campus Day.

Join a 50 minute tour to find where you can find and forage fruit, nuts and more – for free!

We’ll show you how you can nibble your way round campus, and where to find feijoas, lemons, limes, walnuts, plums, pears, figs and more.

What: Edible Campus Walking Tour

When: Monday 24th September, 12pm – 12.50pm

Where: Meet the Sustainability Office team at the starting point: outside Cafe 1894 at 12pm. The tour will finish in our very own Okeover Community Garden at approx 12.50pm.

See our Edible Campus map for the details of what you can find, and where!

No need to RSVP, just show up and meet us at the starting point. However, to give us an idea of numbers, if you intend to come along we would appreciate you clicking ‘attending’ on our Facebook event here.

Broad beans from UC’s edible garden

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected, and be in touch with us! Follow us on Facebook or Instagram, or check out our website for more information about what we do, and upcoming events.

Got a question or want to know more? Email us at sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

Fair Trade Fortnight – let your wallet make the choice

This Fair Trade Fortnight, we’re encouraging our UC community to vote with their wallets for the kind of world they want to live in. Read on to find out how, and discover the mysteries of your Fair Trade coffee on campus…

As part of a four part blog series exploring the recently adopted Sustainability Framework, the UC Sustainability Office is this month turning its attention to partnerships for sustainability, and there is no better time than Fair Trade Fortnight to explore UC’s partnership with the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand.

In July 2017, UC became recognised by the FTA as a Fair Trade University, one of only two in Aotearoa New Zealand (and the first entirely Fair Trade campus!).

Basically, this means you’re allowed to eat as much chocolate and drink as much coffee on campus as you like, guilt free… because it’s 100% guaranteed Fair Trade certified!

But seriously, what does this mean for UC?

One of the FTA’s key ‘Minimum Requirements’ of becoming a Fair Trade University, is to provide Fair Trade and World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) certified products in as many on-campus cafes and retail outlets as possible.

But UC’s commitment to Fair Trade doesn’t end at just coffee and chocolate – Fair Trade drinking chocolate, tea, flavoured barista syrups, sugar, cotton clothing and soft drinks are either available in campus cafes, or in your department kitchens.

Where do I fit into this?

Start by eating, drinking and wearing your favourite products, and make sure they are fair trade, and ethically sourced. Every Fair Trade or WFTO purchase you make has a massive positive impact on farmers, producers, their families and their communities in developing countries all over the world. Look for the two most widely recognised ethical labels in the world: Fair Trade and WFTO.

These labels ensure the ingredients in the product have been sourced in accordance with Fair Trade and WFTO social, economic and environmental standards. This means as a consumer, you can be confident that by purchasing this product, you’re making a real positive difference.

Back to the coffee…

Luckily for us, the UCSA has been supplying us with 100% Fair Trade, organic coffee long before our accreditation, from Common Good Coffee Roasters (formally Jailbreaker), and we’d like to share the story of their coffee beans with you.

What’s so special about this Fairtrade coffee on campus, you ask?

  • We’re able to trace the path of our coffee, from bean to cup!
  • For example, the Ethiopian Sidamo coffee bean in your morning coffee comes from Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union (OCFCU), established in 1999 to support a sustainable coffee supply from cooperatives in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.
  • OCFCU supports 360 co-operatives with more than 332,393 farmer-members, accounting for 65% of Ethiopia’s total coffee production.
  • Premiums from coffee exports are returned directly to farmers, and also fund organic farming practices and food security programs.
  • See, guilt free!

UC is proud to stand with Fair Trade producers and encourage ethical sourcing, through our partnership and recognition with FTA, and our relationship with our Fair Trade suppliers operating through Fair Trade ANZ and WFTO.


Want to know more about Fair Trade at UC, and how you, your friends or your department can be involved? Read more here.

Don’t forget: It’s Fair Trade Fortnight right now!

From 3– 16 August, UC is celebrating all things Fair Trade. The Sustainability Office is holding a series of events, talks and activities during the fortnight, and we’d love to see you there! More event information here.

UC Sustainability Office

Fairtrade Fortnight is here!

UC has been a Fair Trade Accredited University for over a year now, and we get to celebrate by being part of Fairtrade Fortnight: 3 -16 August.

Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand are holding their annual Fairtrade Fortnight in August to raise awareness of all the benefits that fair trade brings. 

UC Sustainability is joining the celebration by holding several events, presentations and activities on campus throughout the fortnight. Check out some highlights below and follow UC Sustainability on Facebook for all the event details!

Intro to Fair Trade
Friday 3 August | Presentation from Trade Aid NZ: What is Fair Trade? | 12 – 2pm | Puaka James-Hight 210

We’re kicking off Fairtrade Fortnight with an interactive Q&A from Trade Aid, one of New Zealand’s biggest importers of Fair Trade products. It’s the perfect introduction to what fair trade is. Drop in any time during the session, and learn what Trade Aid is doing for fair trade producers around the world.

Ethical Fashion with Little Yellow Bird
Friday 10 August | Ethical Fashion with Little Yellow Bird | 10 – 11am | Puaka James-Hight 210

Our second event is close to home, with a one-hour presentation from Samantha Jones, UC alumna and CEO of fair trade clothing company Little Yellow Bird.

Sam will be discussing the importance of ethical fashion and knowing where your clothes come from.

This event is also sponsored by All Good Bananas, the only fair trade and organic banana company in NZ. During the talk there will be a spot prizes of banana bunches and organic fair trade tee shirts made by Little Yellow Bird (with bananas on them of course).

Fair Trade Fair
Friday 10 August | Fair Trade Fair | 12 – 2pm | Undercroft

Our biggest event during Fairtrade Fortnight this year is our Fair Trade Fair. It gives staff and students a chance to meet some of the suppliers that helped UC earn their Fair Trade accreditation.

The brands and businesses will be sharing how they celebrate and support all things fair trade with stalls, competitions, and giveaways.

Expect to try Trade Aid’s delicious chocolate range, sample their tea, coffee and hot chocolates, enjoy free tastings of fair trade soft drinks from Karma Cola, and free iced coffee shots from our coffee supplier Common Good Coffee Roasters.

Plus more fair trade giveaways throughout the fair, from local fair trade businesses.

Fair Trade Film Night
Tuesday 14 August | Film Screening: Black Gold | 5 – 7pm | Undercroft 101

And finally, to wrap up Fairtrade Fortnight, we are holding a fair trade film night. We’re screening Indie doco ‘Black Gold’, which explores Ethiopia’s coffee industry, and the ways fair trade can benefit the 15 million coffee workers in the county.

Fair Trade hot chocolates and baking will be provided by our wonderful eco volunteer team. See the documentary trailer here.


This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. See all the event details on Facebook or Instagram. Interested in receiving occasional emails from UC Sustainability? Sign up to our newsletter here.

What’s next for carpooling at UC?

Want to save money, time and seriously reduce your carbon footprint? We have a solution for you!

According to the 2016 Travel Survey, 41% of you said that help finding a carpool buddy would influence your decision to choose carpooling as a way of commuting to UC. So to help you find a buddy, UC Sustainability Office set up Carpool Speed Dating!

We had a lot of you attend the event looking for commuting love, but we need a bigger and better solution. In answer to this, we’ve created a UC first: a Facebook group for UC car-poolers! We present: UC Carpool.

The group is open to anyone from UC to join – staff or students. You’ll be able to join the group, and post your daily commute to campus for others to see and connect with you. Remember to say if you’re a rider or a driver!

Tell your friends, classmates and colleagues to help us build the group, and remember even if you only carpool one day a week, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint and saving money.

The Facebook group is supported by the UC Sustainability Office (that’s us!) and we’re here to answer your questions. We have more information about carpooling on our webpage, and links to other carpooling initiatives in Christchurch such as Smart Travel to help you connect with your dream carpool buddy. We’ll also post news and any upcoming events in the UC Carpool group, to create a fun and connected carpooling community at UC. Feel free to post and share in the group too!

Remember, you can always arrange to meet your potential carpool buddy somewhere before deciding to commit to a ride – if you’re unsure, why don’t you ask to meet them on campus for a coffee first? Don’t be shy!

Happy carpooling!

Brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected, follow us on Facebook or Instagram, or check out our website for more information about what we do and upcoming events.

Have you got a question or want to know more? Email us at sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

Sustainability Framework series: Teaching and Learning

In February 2018, UC adopted a Sustainability Framework, which establishes the approach UC will take to meet its environmental commitments and to incorporate sustainability concepts into decision making at all levels.

The Framework covers approaches to teaching, learning and research, operations, and partnerships for sustainability. In a four part blog series, the UC Sustainability Office is exploring stories of where and how the Framework is contributing to the University’s sustainability journey.

Part one: Teaching and Learning

What do all undergraduate students of ENGR101 have in common? The beginnings of an in-depth understanding of sustainability. The Sustainability Office recently met with Dr Alex Yip, Senior Lecturer in Chemical and Process Engineering, and Assistant Course Coordinator for ENGR101 to discuss how sustainability fits into their courses, and has become a key learning outcome of the paper, Foundations of Engineering.

We met Alex shortly after undergraduate students participated in their dedicated sustainability lecture presented by Professor Peter Gostomski, and attended a two hour follow-up workshop.

Here’s what we learnt:

  • Understanding sustainability as a concept, and being able to comment on and identify sustainability issues is a key learning outcome of ENGR 101.
  • Why? It’s explored in the sense of gaining global awareness and engaging with the community outside of the classroom environment.
  • ENGR101 touches on concepts, definitions, and case studies to develop critical thinking on sustainability issues.
  • Sustainability is far more than just a buzz word for engineers – as they are involved in everything from resource use and extraction through to technology and product design, it is essential engineering students are fully engaged with sustainability concepts through all levels of study.
  • The professional body Engineering NZ expects engineering graduates to be confident and capable of thinking critically about sustainability issues.

Alex speaks to the huge variety of fields and research areas on offer at UC, the majority of which hold sustainability at their core. From Chemical and Process Engineering to Global Humanitarian Engineering, and initiatives such as Engineers without Borders and the Shell Eco Marathon, the scope of teaching and learning around sustainability in engineering at UC seems endless.