Director of The Centre for Sustainable Design, Professor of Innovation & Sustainability

  • Academic
  • Research
Professor Martin Charter

Professor Martin Charter is the Director of The Centre for Sustainable Design at UCA, which he co-founded in 1995 and has directed since 1996. He is Professor of Innovation and Sustainability and the Chair of Environmental & Social Sustainability Working Group (ESSWG) at UCA.


Martin previously held the roles of Visiting Professor of Sustainable Product Design at UCA and a Visiting Fellow at University of Southampton. 

Prior to joining UCA, Martin worked at director level in a range of business sustainability projects in consultancy, leisure, publishing, training, events and research, with management positions held in strategy, research and marketing at organisations including Save & Prosper Group, Reed International, Creative Marketing Group and Kiveton Park (Holdings) Ltd. Martin was the launch Director of Greenleaf Publishing, Marketing Director at the Earth Centre and launched a range of SME networks focused on sustainable business, green electronics and eco-innovation.

He has been a member of advisory boards covering green electronics, environmental technology, sustainability reporting, sustainable innovation, including, for example, P&G, InterfaceFlor. EC Eco-Innovation Observatory, ResponseAbility Alliance and World Resources Forum.

Martin was the founder of the ‘Sustainable Innovation’ international conference series that is in its 21st year. He is a regular international conference speaker and is the (co)author and (co)editor of various books and publications - one of which (Eco-innovate! 2013) has had 50,000+ downloads.

Martin has an MBA from Aston Business School (UK) and postgraduate diploma in marketing. Martin was a delegate at The Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. In 2015, Martin co-founded the Farnham Repair Café.

Research statement

Martin’s research interests relate to business and management aspects of product sustainability and sustainable/eco-innovation (which include business models, design and development and marketing). This includes particular interest in the links to: circular economy; SMEs; grassroots innovation; and standardisation.

Martin has contributed to a numerous international conferences, publications and expert groups. Current research is focusing on eco-innovation and SMEs (particularly in relation to potential utilisation of waste fishing nets/ropes into products in fishing communities), global repair café movement, and standardisation activities related to circular economy and eco-design.

Research supervision

Martin’s supervisory interests particularly relate to business and management aspects of: sustainable/eco-innovation and design; circular economy innovation/design; new (sustainable) business models; sustainability, grassroots innovation and community workshops (repair cafes, makerspaces and hackspaces). Additional supervisory interests within the above topics relate to particularly SMEs and standardisation.

Current Supervision:

  • Rhiannon Hunt

Professional Membership, Affiliation and Consultancy

  • Martin is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Martin is presently a member of the Editorial Boards/Editorial Advisory Committee of:

  • International Journal of Sustainable Engineering (Taylor & Francis – ISSN (Print): 1939-7038)
  • International Journal of Sustainable Design (Inderscience Publishers - ISSN (Print): 1477-9056)
  • International Journal of Remanufacturing (Springer  - ISSN (Print): 1758-7964)
  • The Recycling Electrical and Electronic Equipment Review, ERA Technology, Leatherhead:UK [ISSN 0965-7843]


Martin was previously the founding editor of the Journal of Sustainable Product Design and former member of:

  • Editorial Board, Greener Management International (Greenleaf Publishing - ISSN 0966-9671)
  • Advisory Editorial Board, ‘Eco-efficiency in industry and science’, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht: Netherlands
  • European Editor and Associate Editor, The Journal of Corporate Environmental Strategy (Elsevier)
  • Editorial board member: 'European Environment’ (Wiley)


Consultancy and Training (Europe, Asia and North America):

Consultancy clients have included AEA Technology (UK), AIST (Japan), BCSD (Taiwan), Blue Coat (US), Dell (UK), Design Council (UK), DG Employment (Belgium), DG Environment (Belgium), DTI (UK), EPSRC (UK), ITRI (Taiwan), NPL (UK), PERA (UK), SNTT (Japan) and TNO (Netherlands).

Training clients have included ASL Control Ltd (UK), Bentley Motors (UK), BCSD (Taiwan), China Productivity Center (Taiwan), Cobham (UK), Commonwealth Science Council (UK/India), Connaught Electronics (Eire), Fundacion Entorno (Spain), Hampshire County Council (UK), Hewlett Packard (UK/Israel), Hong Kong Productivity Centre (Hong Kong), Johnson & Johnson (UK/US/ Netherlands), Kvarken Global Business (Sweden), La Salle (Spain), O2 (UK), Sanima (US), Spirax Sarco (UK), ASL (UK) and Tellabs (US).

Martin has also been an expert, advisor and judge of numerous international funding awards, competitions and conferences.

Martin has been a core expert to two EC JRC Foresight Studies on Standardisation and Eco-innovation. He was the convenor of ISO 14006 (eco-design), UK expert to ISO/IEC 62959 (eco-design), member of core writing group/steering board member of BS8001 (circular economy) and was previously UK expert to ISO TR 14062 (eco-design).


  • External examiner, PhD, Development and market deployment of a novel eco-lighting product, Nottingham Trent University, February 2016
  • External examiner, Engineering Doctorate (EngD), Energy use of games, University of Surrey, July 2015
  • External examiner, Engineering Doctorate (EngD), Energy use of games, University of Surrey, July 2015
  • External examiner, PhD, Electronics component re-use, Brunel University, December 2001
  • External examiner, PhD, Active disassembly using smart materials, Brunel University, November 2001
  • External examiner, DBA, Environmental management, Nottingham Trent University, October 2001
  • External examiner, PhD, Design for longevity, Sheffield Hallam University, September 2001


Professor Charter has led or partnered in a range of EC funded projects:

  • Circular Ocean  – £277k - 2015-2018 – Interreg Artic and Periphery Region (CfSD = project partner)
  • FUSION - £329k - 2012-2014 – Interreg IVA North Seas (CfSD = project partner)
  • SUSCIN - £407k – 2009-2012 – ERDF/SEEDA/CLG (CfSD = project leader)
  • ZEROWIN - £94k- 2009-2014 – FP7 (CfSD = project partner)
  • DIBS - £42k – 2009-2010 – ERDF/SEEDA/CLG (CfSD = project partner)
  • ECOMIND - £332k  – 2008-2011 - Interreg IVA North Seas (CfSD = project partner)
  • DelibProc - £110k, 2008-2010 – FP7 (CfSD = project partner)
  • SCORE - £64k – 2005-2008 – FP6 (CfSD = project partner)
  • AEDE - £467k - 2005-2007 – Asia Pro Eco (CfSD = project leader)
  • ECOLIFE 2 - £50k – 2002-2006 – FP5 (CfSD = project partner)
  • SUSPRONET - £100k – 2002-2004 (CfSD = project partner)
  • ECOLIFE 1 – 1998-2001 – FP4 (CfSD = project partner)
  • ETMUEL  - £108k – 1998-2000 – ESF (CfSD = project leader)
  • ETSOS – 1998-2000 – ESF (CfSD = project leader).


Personal Awards:

  • World Green Design Forum – international contribution to green design (Brussels – 18th October 2013)
  • Korean Society of Sustainability Science - Sustainability Grand Award (South Korea - June 2016)



UK Funded Projects:

  • Innovation in Waste Prevention - £25k – 2015-16 - WRAP/Hampshire County Council – (CfSD = contractor)
  • EDECON – Building Products & Eco-design - £20k – 2013 – European Enterprise Network (CfSD = contractor)
  • PIPT (Providing Real Time Information for Personal Travel) - £12k – 2009-2012 – TSB (CfSD = project partner)
  • ‘Centre for Excellence’ in Sustainable Innovation & Design - £120k – 2006-2007 – SEEDA (CfSD = project leader)
  • Eco (packaging) design - £35k – 2005-2006 - WRAP (CfSD = project leader)
  • SIGMA – R&D Stream: Sustainable Supply Chain Management - £15k – 2000-2001 – DTI (CfSD = project partner)
  • Core Funding to Establish The Centre for Sustainable Design - £250k – 1995-1998 – Council for Vocational Education (CfSD = project leader)


Professor Martin Charter