Current UK policy is that all schools should be sustainable by 2020. The teaching of science and the scientific approach is fundamental in changing society, its outlook and practices with regard to sustainability. The Earth Charter, a statement of intent for humanity, can be a useful vehicle for developing the sustainability agenda in science departments and schools, while allowing for the incorporation and development of higher order thinking skills such as analysis, evaluation, creativity and empathy, all with a global appreciation. These vitally important transferable skills are key to producing sustainability-aware scientists and citizens of the future. The article uses the English curriculum and two Charter principles for illustration, but has wider implications.