Centre for Sustainable Futures

The centre aims to align specialisms from a range of expertise of staff and from multiple disciplines at the University of Northampton to support research and enterprise that is problem solving, fact finding, evidence based, which fosters visions of a sustainable future. From product design, use of technology through to planning resilient, biodiverse, and healthy landscapes where we all live and work. We wish to foster partnerships and increased collaboration with business, local communities, regulators, and non-government organisations. Our impact will support business development, development of training materials, supporting sustainability education in the wider community, and fostering undergraduate and postgraduate programmes through successful funding, high quality research and consultancy.

About the Centre for Sustainable Futures

What is the future direction of the centre?

  • The vision for Centre for Sustainable Futures, will work towards positive environmental, social, and economic impacts for communities at local and national and international levels. Our focus will be activities that advance best practice in industry and working toward achieving sustainability development goals.
  • More importantly, the Centre will adopt regenerative practices, innovative and multidisciplinary approaches in decision-making to address the challenges resulting from the environmental crisis and climate change. It also aims to promote resilience of landscapes, communities, infrastructure systems and promote a circular economy in manufacturing and waste management.

The Centre for Sustainable Futures is a multidisciplinary research centre with a research community covering sustainability issues for producers and users and encompassing the application of green and natural materials, such as bioplastics, alternative technologies to reduce energy use and new processes to minimize waste. It is envisaged that the Centre will comprise research groups broadly aligned with the research interests of the members drawn from technology, humanities, education, environmental and social sciences, and business studies.


Environment, Landscapes and Natural Resources

This theme includes researching land use, planning, benefits of green infrastructure, achieving biodiversity gain, and supporting communities to increase resilience through the Climate and Biodiversity crises

Processes, Materials and Technologies

Investigation of issues for producers and users and encompassing the application of renewable energy, circular economy principles, green and natural materials, such as bioplastics, alternative technologies to reduce energy use and new processes to minimize waste.

Education for Sustainability

Promote innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to teaching sustainability and introducing positive values and attitudes and decision-making to address sustainable development goals

  • Leadership

    • Abdeldjalil Bennecer
    • Emmeline Child
    • Friedemann Schaber

    Special Interest Groups Leaders

    • Building a Sustainable Future – Theophilus A Shittu
    • Land use and Biodiversity – Janet Jackson
    • Sustainable Fashion and Textiles – Emmeline Child
    • Engineering and Manufacturing Initiatives – Abdeldjalil Bennecer
    • Materials and Sustainable Design – Abdeldjalil Bennecer
    • Biofabrication and Circular Economy – Friedemann Schaber
  • The Centre grew, in part, from inquiries to work with outside organisations but also on the success of longer-term collaborations with external bodies; through knowledge transfer partnership, collaborative bids and graduates introducing their employers.  We have included links to websites, to give you an idea of the range of different organisations involved. We are drawing on a wealth of research expertise across the University and in turn on a network of those working on sustainability issues in the UK and abroad.

  • Freshppact and Centre for Sustainable Business Practice

    We are collaborating with these projects based in the Faculty of Business and Law to study the application and impact of the use of more sustainable materials and processes in the production of fresh produce.

    Greening the Toy Industry

    We are working with Wastebuster, Products of Change and Pentatonic and toy manufacturers to share research and experience as the toy and licensing industries move to a more circular economy model and net zero.

    Waterside – a Case Study

    We are working with organisations and businesses striving to learn from and develop circular economy practices in the construction industries and to investigate and develop more sustainable materials for use in commercial and domestic interior design.

    Packaging and Waste Reduction

    Working with design students, local industry, and external partners – such as OPRL, Berry Global and Pentatonic – around initiatives to reduce the waste generated by poorly designed, products, packaging, and distribution systems.