Edge Hill University is shining a light on the importance of sustainability with a major new festival. 

Sustainability improves society and makes the world a better place for us and future generations while protecting natural habitats and resources – an outlook which underpins the University’s principles and approach to providing quality higher education. 

To celebrate that dedication and encourage students, staff and the wider community to look at the world in new ways, the Sustainability Festival is taking place from Monday 1 November to Friday 5 November – coinciding with the first week of the COP26 Climate Summit being hosted by the UK in Glasgow. 

A man wearing a suit smiles at the camera.
Professor Chris Dent

Event organiser and sustainability champion Professor Christopher Dent said: “We want to put a spotlight on sustainability, to illustrate just how many ways there are to live and work in a more environmentally-friendly way, whether that’s by reducing waste on campus, re-wilding grass verges and planting more trees, or by finding more environmentally-friendly ways to travel. 

“Sustainability ultimately means improving the capacity for human civilisation and planet Earth’s biosphere to co-exist into the foreseeable future, and as a university we have a moral responsibility and a genuine passion for doing what we can to promote that message and inspire change. 

“During the Sustainability Festival, we plan to do that by bringing together students, staff, local organisations and the wider community in engaging and interactive ways – we want to encourage everyone to look at the world with fresh eyes.” 

The campus will be alive with a huge range of events and activities to put a spotlight on sustainability in all its forms – from talks and campus tours to dance and drama performances, film screenings to litter picks. 

The week-long Festival will explore a different aspect of sustainability each day – Move It Monday, Together Tuesday, World Wednesday, Thrifty Thursday and Footprint Friday – organised across six activity themes: community; tours; performances; talks; food, drink and shopping; and competitions. 

The Festival is just one aspect of Edge Hill’s commitment to sustainability – SustainNET, the main driving force behind the festival, is a network community set up to advance sustainability both on campus and throughout the region on four interconnected fronts – research, education, student engagement and local community partnership. 

And policies such as the Carbon Management Plan formalise the University’s continued commitment to limiting our resource use of fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions. 

A man wearing a suit smiles at the camera against a backdrop of greenery.
Vice-Chancellor John Cater

Vice-Chancellor John Cater said: “We have a responsibility to protect and enhance our environment and sustainability has always been at the heart of what we do. 

“Not just as a major employer and consumer of resources but through the role we play in creating sustainable communities – by training vital qualified public service staff such as teachers and nurses. 

“I am excited to see how the Sustainability Festival will inspire our community to think about how we can all take small steps which collectively can have a big impact on the future of our community and the whole planet.” 

Festival highlights include a talk by conservation activist and Edge Hill alumnus Joshua Styles, a marketplace to provide a platform to a whole host of organisations from Friends of the Earth to Martin Mere Wetland Centre, bike tours and litter picks, and film screenings including Before the Flood narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio. 

For more information about Sustainability Festival and the full programme of events visit Sustainability Festival – SustainNET (edgehill.ac.uk).