BEIS’ Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF) grant

The University has been awarded a £100,000 grant from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The grant comes from BEIS’ Green Heat Network Fund (GNHF) and will be fund matched by the University. The GNHF aims to transform UK heating by switching existing heat networks to low carbon fuel sources. This grant will enable us to commission design work to assist with the decarbonisation of the heating systems at Whiteknights campus. Specifically this will focus on plans to install a large heat pump into our energy centre. The energy centre currently provides heating to 16 buildings on the…
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Energy Manager’s Association (EMA) award for Net Zero Strategy 2021

We were honoured to win the EMA’s Net Zero Strategy 2021 award, recognising our ambitious plan to become net zero by 2030 as the best in the UK. This award puts us among the leading public and private sector organisations in the UK for sustainability. The University’s Net Zero Carbon plan is wide ranging, including shifting buildings to carbon-free heating, cutting emissions from national and international business travel, and reducing waste and improving efficiency across the estate. The judges highlighted the clear, comprehensive nature of the plan, including the clearly-defined milestones to help measure progress. This award gives us the…
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Big Sustainability Awards’ Carbon Reduction Project of the Year

Our partnership with Salix Finance has won a major sustainability ‘carbon reduction project of the year’ award. The decarbonisation and energy efficiency project has been delivered across our campuses with a total cost of £3.3m and has enabled carbon emission reductions of 816 tonnes per year. The work centred on delivering low carbon heating, with a major redesign of heating in key buildings to change how heating is zoned to reduce wastage. It has also enabled major lighting and energy efficiency upgrades and a further nine solar panel installations.
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Movin’ on up the Green League

This year’s People & Planet University Green League saw Reading achieve it’s highest ever position, being placed 15th amongst 154 UK universities for its environmental and ethical performance.  For the third year in a row, the degree-style classifications awarded Reading a 1st class performance. We maintained or improved our scores in every area but one (we’ll come back to the one!), with particularly impressive improvements in the areas of Ethical Investment, Education for Sustainable Development and Staff and Student Engagement.           An overall improvement in our score from 55% to 69.9% reflects the significant amount of…
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Grant funding award for Earley Gate decarbonisation study

The University has recently been awarded a £50,000 grant from Phase 2 of Salix Finance’s Low Carbon Skills Fund (LCSF2) to undertake a heat decarbonisation study for the Earley Gate side of the Whiteknights campus. Funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the LCSF2 is specifically focused on helping the public sector make plans for how they can decarbonise their heating systems in the years ahead.  The University’s Net Zero Carbon Plan commits it to full decarbonisation of its heating systems by 2030 and with all of the buildings on Earley Gate currently heated with gas…
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University achieves double ISO certification

After a gruelling 8 days of auditing we have once again maintained our ISO14001 and ISO50001 certifications! We’ve been working hard to integrate the energy and environmental management systems. As a result, this has created a Energy and Environmental Management System - the EEMS - that is effective whilst still focusing on continual improvement. The assessor’s feedback was extremely positive and resulted in the re-certification of the system for a further 3 years. The auditor praised the University, commenting that “This was an extremely good audit which has demonstrated that the University are operating a well-managed and effective system which…
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University Energy Manager recognised in national awards

The University’s Energy & Sustainability Manager, Dan Fernbank, has been awarded Public Sector Energy Manager of the Year at the 2019 Energy Management Awards. Run by the Energy Managers Association (EMA), the awards recognise and celebrate outstanding work in the energy management and sustainability industry. Dan has led the University of Reading’s Sustainability Services team since 2011. Some of the team’s main achievements during this time include: Ensuring the University met its 35% carbon reduction target in 2016 (compared to its baseline 2008/09 emissions) Achieving a 40% carbon reduction earlier this year – keeping the University on track to deliver…
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Progressing Towards a Sustainable Future

This year has been one of achievement for sustainability at the University. Concerns around environmental issues locally, nationally and internationally have continued to grow in prominence, and this in turn has seen a distinct increase in the appetite and expectation for sustainability action within the University. This has also been evident in the appetite for sustainability to feature within the University’s new core Strategy. The 2019/20 academic year promises to be an exciting one for sustainability, and one in which we can set new expectations for our ongoing environmental leadership. Cutting Carbon  Having now exceeded 40% carbon reductions since our…
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Exploring low carbon heating in Henley-on-Thames

Using the River Thames for heat Since 2017, the University has been investigating the potential to provide low carbon heating to its Henley Business School, Greenlands campus. The site has a prime location on the banks of the River Thames on the outskirts of Henley-on-Thames. Heating at the site is currently from oil-fired boilers in each building and investigations have identify a water source heat pump to be a viable low carbon alternative. The large heat body of the River Thames nearby makes this a potentially ideal resource for low-grade heat to be extracted from. In simple terms, a heat…
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Student Sustainability Assistants

In the spring term Sustainability Services have taken on 4 Student Sustainability Assistants to help aid some of the many exciting upcoming projects. The areas where most of the work is being focussed, is improvements to Recycling and Travel at the University. Mike is a second year Environmental Management student working with the team and this is an update on how he is finding his time with the team. I started working with Sustainability Services at the start of January to aid Ruth Harris and Anna Glue with the new bin installations at London Road and MERL. This included labelling…
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