Tackling Climate Change

As students, staff and alumni have all become increasingly aware of the need to tackle climate change, Reading has taken another big step in becoming a leading institution for the environment. 

Reading has started the process of appointing the next firm to manage its £100m investments, aiming to place higher importance on criteria surrounding environmental, social and corporate governance. The new fund manager, to be appointed in early 2020, will demonstrate dedication to ethical and environmental responsibilities, aligning with Reading’s commitment to become a world-leading university for climate action.

Making progress

As an institution, we have already made great progress in tackling climate change. Professor Robert Van De Noort, Vice-Chancellor of the University, states:

“The University of Reading is a world leader in environmental research and has already made great strides to reduce its footprint in both carbon emissions and sustainability more generally.

“This is a major step towards making good on our longstanding commitment to align our investments with our values.”

The University is already a leading centre for climate science, with the most number of authors in Group One of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We host the Walker Institute and Reading Centre for Climate and Justice, exploring how the developing world is adversely affected by climate change, how science can support farmers and how governments can encourage green growth. Not only this, many of our Reading alumni currently work in institutions that are making a real impact on environmental issues including the UK Met Office, FUGRO GEOS and the Institute of Green Growth Solutions to name a few.

In July 2019, the University also reached another crucial milestone in reducing environmental impact by hitting a 40% reduction target in its carbon footprint since 2008/9, putting us on great tracks to deliver our current 45% reduction target by 2021.

Our environmental future

With this already strong progress and more steps in place for future improvement, Reading is continually demonstrating its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, increasing environmental awareness and tackling the global issue of climate change. As Dan Fernbank, Reading’s Energy and Sustainability Manager remarks: “Environmental concerns have increasingly become headline news in recent months, with a lot of institutions seeking to show their green credentials.

“Our students, staff and local community expect us to demonstrate environmental leadership, and sustainability has been at the heart of what we do for well over a decade.

“With a large and evolving estate, there is always more work to be done and we will continue to run a strong sustainability programme to deliver lasting change. We are committed to embracing new and innovative ways to help the University minimise its carbon footprint.”

Take a look at Reading’s climate change research impact to find out more about what we do to tackle this big issue.