University ‘highly commended’ for its environmental progress

The 11th Green Gown Awards were held on the 26th November and saw over 320 sustainability leaders join together in Bristol in the celebration of sustainability excellence within tertiary education. The evening was hosted by Dr Andrew Garrad, Chairman of Bristol 2015 European Green Capital. Andrew is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and is an Honorary Fellow of New College, Oxford. "I am delighted that, towards the end of our year as European Green Capital, Bristol hosted the Green Gown Awards. These Awards recognise the important role that academic institutions play in ensuring that young people have a proper understanding of both the challenges and the opportunities presented by sustainability." Each year the Awards bring together the most inspirational projects from across the sector and this year was no exception. The University was proud to receive a highly commended award in the Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change category. This recognised the success we have had in reducing our carbon emissions...
Read More

26% carbon reduction delivers £10m savings for University

With a year to go for the delivery of our initial 35% carbon reduction target, we're pleased to report that by July 2015, the University had achieved a 26% reduction against its 2008/09, saving £9.9 million for the University, together with a further £2.2 million for and by our partner organisations. In carbon terms, this has saved the equivalent of 9,767 household's annual carbon emissions and as the 2015/16 term commences, we are confident of our potential to deliver that 35% cut in emissions by July 2016. In 2014/15, we completed another £850,000 of energy efficiency investments, including vastly improved energy metering for all our main campus buildings. The first phase of our district heating project was also completed, with the second phase shortly due to come online, which will provide heat to 16 campus buildings as well as generating electricity through a combined heat & power (CHP) engine.  We're also investing £1 million in fume cupboard efficiency upgrades and our Carbon Countdown...
Read More

Why meeting our carbon target matters and how we can achieve it

  Opinion: Dan Fernbank, Energy Manager  Back in 2011, the University committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 35% by July 2016; one of the most ambitious targets set amongst our peers over the timescale.  For very many reasons, meeting that target matters. We have invested over £3 million in energy efficiency initiatives since 2011; already returning almost £10 million in cumulative financial savings.  In a period when the funding model for universities has fundamentally shifted, savings of this size make an important contribution to the university remaining financially as well as environmentally sustainable.  Both the investment and savings to date also fall very much in line with the original expectations of our carbon management programme; and demonstrate we developed and maintained a well-founded programme of work. We developed our carbon management programme in the context of some ambitious targets set by HEFCE (the Higher Education Funding Council for England) for the entire sector; to deliver 43% sector-wide carbon reductions by 2020.  As recent...
Read More

RUSU lighten their footprint

Two energy efficiency projects in RUSU are making big impacts in reducing their carbon footprint. In April, we re-designed the cellar bar in Mojo's.  By sectioning off 1 corner of the cellar for the storage of chilled drinks, we have been able to remove one of the 2 chillers completely, and have reduced the chilled space by 78%.  At the same time, new energy efficient lighting and occupancy sensors have been installed, which not only savings lighting energy, but also reduce the excess heat given off by the lights.  In combination, these initiatives are expected to save over £8,000 and almost 30 tCO2 annually. More recently, we have replaced the ageing lighting in the central corridors with smart new LED lights ceiling panels.  This has been a joint investment with the Maintenance department, who have funded a replacement ceiling; to really improve the look and feel of the space and compliment the smart-looking new Café Mondial extension.  Further lighting replacements of halogen spotlighting in both...
Read More

University nominated for 3 Green Gown Awards!

It was announced today that the University of Reading has been nominated for 3 Green Gown Awards demonstrating its ongoing commitment to sustainability and environmental improvement. 85 motivational and inspiring sustainability projects representing 51 educational institutions across the UK were submitted. As a result there was great competition from Universities across the UK - all vying for the most prestigious recognition of best practice within the tertiary education sector. The nominations are for the following: Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change - Ready, Steady, Green The entry highlighted the progress the University has made over the last 5 years in developing and implementing its sustainability policies. Facilities and Services - Greenlands CleanConscience This entry focused on how the University's Greenlands campus is pioneering soap recycling to both reduce waste as well as diseases in developing countries. Food and Drink - Making Beer Green Our Making Beer Green Initiative is specifically focussed on improving the sustainability of our seven bar operations spread across seven sites. It was discovered early on that we needed to make...
Read More

University placed in top 3 for carbon reduction!

The University of Reading has been placed 3rd in a league table of how successfully English universities are reducing their carbon emissions. The figures, which have been collated by independent consultants and based on HESA and Hefce data, show that between 2005 and 2013 we reduced our total emissions by 45%. The University aspires to be a leader in sustainability through its teaching, research and operational activities and this result helps confirm we are meeting this challenge. As part of this commitment, the University has created a dedicated Sustainability Team which manages energy, waste and sustainable travel across its three campuses. The team also leads on the implementation of the Carbon Management Plan which was signed off in 2011 by the Vice-Chancellor and sets out an ambitious strategy for carbon reduction.  Sustainability is now embedded into the majority of strategic decisions across the University and has become a part of everyday life for staff and students alike. We are constantly identifying ways to...
Read More

University achieves international Energy Management standard!

The University has become one of just a handful of universities in the UK to achieve certification to the international ISO50001 Energy Management standard. The standard sets strict guidelines for how energy consumption is managed throughout the University's operations; providing a framework to ensure energy is effectively managed for the long term. The certification covers Whiteknights, London Road and Greenlands campuses. A key part of achieving this certification has been an estate-wide review of energy consumption and energy saving opportunities, to develop a prioritised programme of work to reduce the University's energy use and carbon emissions. This is helping ensure the University's ambitious plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 35% by July 2016 remains achievable, and that the University continues to build on the 23% reduction in its carbon footprint achieved to date. A major focus for energy efficiency investment this year is in the University's science buildings. Recently completed investment grade surveys have highlighted some good opportunities for investing on short...
Read More

Carbon reduction updates – science buildings, RUSU, solar panels

We have a whole range of carbon reduction initiatives currently underway across the University.  Here’s a flavour of what’s we’re working on: Science building energy efficiency surveys Last year’s estate-wide Energy Review highlighted just how energy-hungry our science buildings are, and over the last couple of months, consultants have been carrying out investment-grade audits of the Chemistry, Food Biosciences and Hopkins building.  A number of low-cost, high energy saving opportunities for improvement have been identified, which we implement by July, including: Improved control to heating in all 3 buildings, to make better use of the existing capabilities of the building management system (BMS) Efficiency improvements to the compressed air systems used in some laboratories Replacing worn chiller insulation Potential opportunities to upgrade the lighting throughout the Chemistry and Food Biosciences buildings are also being considered. Collectively, this work is anticipated to save 143 tCO2 and £39,000 annually. Fume cupboard efficiency improvements Staying with science buildings, contractors have been appointed to rollout energy efficiency improvements to fume cupboards...
Read More

Green Week 2015!

Green Week 2015 is nearly upon us! It's that time of the year when we ask staff and students at the University to go that extra mile, making small changes to their life that reduces their environmental impact. This year we have a great programme of events planned and we hope to get everyone involved in at least one event! More information on the week can be found at http://www.reading.ac.uk/cleanandgreen/greenweek...
Read More

University scoops Sustainability Leaders Award!

The University has scooped the energy efficiency award at the Sustainability Leaders Awards 2014!  The awards, run by edie.net and hosted by comedian Alistair McGowan, recognise outstanding sustainability achievements in businesses throughout the UK. The University’s entry focussed on the successful fume cupboard ventilation improvements in Chemistry’s teaching labs, which are saving £90,000 annually, alongside the detailed plans now in place to improve fume cupboard efficiency right across the estate.  Once fully rolled out, a further £250,000 savings are anticipated!  The judges said "The results and deliverables in the University of Reading's work were extremely impressive and highly replicable at other universities.  They clearly want to be a beacon for the higher education sector and want the whole sector to follow them - and that's fantastic."...
Read More