The University of Kent is a signatory of the Sustainable Development Goals Education Accord which means we working on embedding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into everything we do. We have mapped the SDGs against this project to see how it can and does deliver against each of the goals.
What are the SDGs?
The SDGs are 17 goals that outline the vision for a sustainable world by 2030. The 17 goals and underlying targets were created and signed by 193 countries at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 2015. The goals seek to finish the job that was started by the Millennium Goals which ran from 2000 to 2015 and brought 850,000,000 people out of extreme poverty and yet saw carbon emissions increase by 9,850,000 kilotons.
KentCOG and the goals
KentCOG is a free to access project for all students, staff and community members. Through Kent Enterprise Trust (KET), community member beneficiaries, are able to access free training and workshops to enhance their employability.
All volunteers who contribute to the garden can take home free fresh produce regularly that some cannot afford otherwise.
All volunteers at the KentCOG space get to spend time outdoors in pairs, small groups or large activities. Being outdoors is great for your mental health and the garden is a great resource for better mental health activities. Gardening itself is great exercise encouraging physical wellbeing alongside increasing access to fresh healthy food. We work on offering a space where everyone is accepted and can feel part of a community.
Students, Staff and Community members can learn a range of new skills at KentCOG from basic horticulture to forest gardening. Other training workshops through KET include CV workshops and interview techniques.Student can also gain work experience with KET through the Employability Points scheme.
KentCOG promotes gender equality and non-discrimination. Everyone on the site should feel that they are in a safe environment and mechanisms are in place to ensure that this is the case. Representation matters and the KentCOG management board will reflect the diversity of the people involved in the project.
KentCOG aims to install more rain water harvesting opportunities to reduce our reliance on mains water. KentCOG will ensure that toilet facilities are safe, clean and accessible to all.
KentCOG will investigate future opportunities to make the garden space powered by 100% clean energy.
KET’s aim is providing support and training for people so that they can get into or back into employment, education or training. The KentCOG space is a formal part of this process and thanks to KET local beneficiaries are able to find employment that they enjoy, and feel comfortable with.
Use the KentCOG site to stimulate social enterprise centred on sustainability and the local economy.
KentCOG is open to all and we are working on a fully accessible design for the space so that everyone can enjoy and participate in activities at the site.
One of the projects principle aims is to break down the barriers that separate us and increase the opportunities for students, staff and community members to interact and work on a sustainable project together.
The culture of the space is rooted in low consumption and impact. We will strive to reuse materials left over from other projects and aim for zero non biodegradable to be produced at the site. The management group will work to design out waste at the procurement stage.
KentCOG recognises that we need to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. In pursuance of this goal, we promote local organic growing methods and low meat/low carbon diets to all our beneficiaries, partners and volunteers.
We will use no inorganic chemicals or pesticides on our site. We will also be good neighbours to the great crested newts who breed on the site, ensuring that we take care with our actions, limit potential disturbances and seek opportunities to enhance their habitat.
We will use no inorganic chemicals or pesticides on our site. We will incorporate management techniques and biodiversity design features into the planning and workings of the space e.g. wildlife shelters, foraging opportunities etc.
All partners will be represented at the management group level so that all voices are valued and heard. KentCOG is a space that promotes social cohesion, the breaking down of barriers and equal opportunities for all.
KentCOG is a partnership between The University of Kent, Kent Enterprise Trust, Kent Union and the Whitstable and Herne Bay Beekeepers.