The Centre for Sustainable Design® was established in 1995 at UCA Farnham and is led by Martin Charter, Professor of Innovation and Sustainability.

The Centre has undertaken a wide range of international, national and regional research and knowledge transfer activities related to sustainability, innovation and design Current research interests include grassroots innovation and the emergence of community-centred workshops, Circular Economy, eco-innovation and SMEs and the development of localised innovation solutions utilising materials from waste plastic fishing nets and ropes based in North Atlantic fishing communities

CfSD’s international conference series on Sustainable Innovation is now in its 24th year

Case Study: Eco-innovation and SMEs


Between January 2009 and June 2012, CfSD led the SUSCIN project that sought to build the capacity of SMEs in the South-East of England to develop eco-innovative products, technologies and services. Outcomes included:

  • 570 SMEs with a total of 961 delegates attended training events including sustainable procurement training for buyers and ‘Green Think’
  • 243 SMEs received Business Assistance resulting in improved performance in 18 SMEs
  • Feedback and evaluation identified that SUSCIN led directly to the creation of 3.07FTE new jobs, and identified the potential to establish 135 others across SMEs
  • 16 businesses increased the percentage of their turnover attributable to new and improved products by at least 5%
  • 46 SMEs were enabled to tender for public sector supply chain contracts
  • Networking was a key element of SUSCIN and created new 53 R&D links between SMEs.


In 2012/13, CfSD were commissioned by the European Commission funded EU Eco-Innovation Observatory to co-write guide ‘Eco-Innovate! A Guide to Eco-Innovation for SMEs and Business Coaches’. Between publication in March 2013 and July 2016, the 1st edition of the booklet has been downloaded over 52,000 times A 2nd edition was published in July 2016 which is being translated into Chinese.

Useful documents

Please click on links below to view and/or download: