Environmental Fund – Success Story!

In March 2017, the Old Whiteknights House Green team were the successful recipients of money from an environmental fund, set up to support staff and students to undertake green projects important to them. Their project looked to encourage staff and students to get involved with a small kitchen garden they proposed to plant in the grounds of their building. The benefits of this were two-fold, to engage people with a very tangible environmental project near to their place of study/work but also to increase well-being with gardening a proven way to improve people's level of happiness. Over the last month, during the fantastic weather we've been having, Helen and Nicky have been out purchasing plants and getting them planted outside the building. All the plants that have been chosen are ones that can be used in the kitchen, another way to engage and interest people. Since planting, they've both been engaging mint tea from their very own kitchen garden! If you are interested...
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University successfully certified to ISO14001:2015 – with no non-conformities!

Following a thorough audit by the external auditor NQA, our London Road and Whiteknights campuses have been certified to the internationally recognised environmental standard ISO14001:2015. The University has excelled this year in certifying for this revised standard and was awarded no non-conformities for its updated environmental management system (EMS). The revised standard places an increased emphasis on leadership, commitment, continual improvement of environmental performance and ensuring the University is embedding sustainability into its core business. The Vice Chancellor was interviewed by the auditors and demonstrated that there is commitment and leadership at the highest level. The University was able to show that the EMS was effective by; • Embedding environmental and sustainability into key business processes, e.g. via the Estate Strategy. • Ensuring that sustainability is considered during the procurement process. • Making staff aware of their collective and individual environmental impacts. • Communicating areas of good practice and promoting the positive impacts that the University can and does have. • Demonstrating continual improvement of environmental performance (35% carbon...
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How did we achieve our 35% carbon reduction target?

We are delighted to announce that the University has cut its carbon emissions by 35%!!! This has produced a saving of £17 million over a five year period and means we have cut our annual carbon emissions from 44,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2008/09 to just over 28,500 tonnes per year now. The total carbon saved over the five year period is 63,000 tonnes, which equates to just over two years’ worth of the University’s current carbon emissions. This achievement puts the University among the top institutions in the country for reducing its carbon emissions. It demonstrates the University’s commitment to delivering against its environmental commitments and makes Reading a leader in the sector for action on climate change. The big question is, how have we done it? Since 2010, the University has been working hard to deliver on this commitment. Over £4 million has been invested into projects across the University to improve the efficiency of our buildings and operations. The infographic below...
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Skype for Business – Top Tip

IT have recently introduced Skype for Business at the University, something that many people have been asking about for a number of years. Having instant messaging and video conferencing facilities at our desks makes it easier for us to meet with people across the country and the world without the need to travel. One thing that we've found useful in Sustainability Services is having Skype for Business open when your start your computer up. This has meant we can see when colleagues are available through the day so we can communicate whilst people are working remotely. So to make sure Skype for Business opens on start up follow the process below: Log into Skype -> Go to tools -> Options -> Personal tab -> Then check the box that says "Automatically start the app when I log into Windows" That's it, really easy! Let us know what you think of Skype for Business and how you are using it to reduce the amount of...
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Green Festival 2016 – A look back…

Last week the University celebrated all things sustainable with its first Green Festival. Running from Wednesday 16 – Saturday 19 November there were a number of events including tours of the University’s state of the art energy centre, a careers event for students to explore environmental jobs and the ever popular Blackout event. We are delighted to say that many of the events were over-subscribed, demonstrating the passion and enthusiasm staff and students have at the University for green issues. During the week over 50 staff and students visited joined one of the Energy Centre or Carrington building tours and 60 students listened to professionals from companies such as AECOM, Thames Water and Barratt Homes explain what it’s like to work in the sector. The week finished with the Blackout where over 90 staff and students came together to audit buildings across Whiteknights and London Rd to see what has been left on, switching off anything it was safe to do so....
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University wins national Green Gown Award

The University is proud to have been announced as the winner in the 'Facilities and Services' category of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) 2016 Green Gown Awards last week. The annual EAUC Green Gown Awards are a celebration of sustainability achievements across the higher education sector, and the University's energy efficiency improvements to its science labs was picked as the overall winner in the Facilities and Services category - http://www.greengownawards.org/2016-winners1 The judges saw Reading's entry as "...an exemplar model of engagement and collaboration with senior academic leaders which has led to a significant impact on energy savings and carbon reduction measures.  Strong leadership for this project aligns closely with the theme of 'Securing and Sustaining Societies' in the University's overarching strategy to 2026." This follows hot on the heals of another national award - winning in the 'Stars of the Future' category of the Love Energy Savings' awards - https://www.loveenergysavings.com/the-love-energy-awards/ The University's £1.025 million investment in upgrading the ventilation to its science lab fume...
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Interning with Sustainability Services

Over the summer, we hired two interns to help develop a platform to display our new and improved energy data. It is important for us to engage with staff & students, to inform them about their consumption as they are both primary users. As a result of 10 weeks of designing, editing and planning, we are proud to be launching our new sustainabilityoncampus.co.uk very soon. About the interns (name, course, career aspirations) Abi: 1st year student reading Geography (Human & Physical); hoping to work in the environmental sector or continue in further studies. Adam: recent graduate; Applied Statistics, wanting to become an Analyst. What your role involved? Abi: As a Junior Energy Officer, I worked with the Junior Energy Analyst to research and produce a data-driven website to display our energy data. My role involved co-designing, branding and communication. Also, producing the supporting content for the data to provide information surrounding the data. Other works include video-editing Green Gown’s submission task, website auditing and part analysis...
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Extracting carbon savings from our science labs

The University's programme of energy efficiency improvements to its fume cupboards has been recognised by 3 national sustainability awards: S-Lab Awards 2017 - winner in the Laboratory Environmental Improvement Category - http://www.effectivelab.org.uk/2017-s-lab-awards.html EAUC Green Gown Awards 2016 - winner in the Facilities & Services category - http://www.sustainabilityexchange.ac.uk/green_gown_awards_2016_facilities_and_services_7 Love Energy Savings Awards 2016 - winner in the Stars of the Future category - https://www.loveenergysavings.com/the-love-energy-awards/ Following a successful £250,000 pilot scheme in 2014, the University carried out a complete review of all its 252 fume cupboard facilities.  A further £768,000 has been invested during 2015/16, partly funded by a 0% loan from the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE)'s Revolving Green Fund. The programme has involved: Upgrading constant air volume (CAV) fume cupboard ventilation to variable air volume (VAV) ventilation; resulting in significant energy savings whenever the fume cupboard sashes are closed Replacing 98 extract fans with higher efficiency equivalents, which on average use 32% less energy Providing new ventilation to 49 chemical storage cupboards, meaning their associated...
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Sustainability Matters – Year in Review

The latest edition of Sustainability Matters is now available to read by clicking here. In it are a few of the projects that have been completed this year including the success of staff across the University in the Green Impact programme, work to improve and optimise the heating in buildings as well as big carbon savings being extracted from fume cupboard improvements. If you have a story you would like featured in Sustainability Matters or would like some hard copies for distribution around your department please do drop us an email at sustainability@reading.ac.uk...
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On campus this month: creating better places to study and work

We had an amazing Green Week and we hope you did too. Work to reduce the University’s carbon emissions doesn’t stop there. Over the next few weeks, we will be making improvements to how some of our buildings are heated. Many of you have spoken to our team about this issue; we have listened to what you said and we are taking action as a direct result. Getting our timing right We are adjusting the times that the heating comes on and off in our buildings, so that we’re heating space when buildings are occupied. This work will happen behind the scenes, so you won’t see it – you might feel the improvement though, as buildings stay warm when you need them. We’re investing in making changes in fifteen buildings on Whiteknights Campus over the next few weeks to improve comfort and to cut our carbon emissions. Getting in the zone As well as looking at the timer settings for our buildings, we’ll be looking...
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