A new LEAF in laboratory sustainability at the university

A new LEAF in laboratory sustainability at the university The University of Reading provides invaluable teaching and research through our on-campus laboratories. The nature of laboratory work is very carbon-intensive and, as a result, the universities’ science-based buildings represent 25% of total energy consumption and produce 20% of total day-to-day waste (by weight) . In order to support all relevant departments with creating a more sustainable laboratory culture, we are now participating in the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF). LEAF is an online assessment tool to aid improvements in the sustainability and efficiency of both research and teaching laboratories and is already…
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Reducing food waste at the University of Reading

The University of Reading puts sustainability at the heart of everything we do, it is a cornerstone of our strategic vision. A key part of sustainability is to reduce the amount of waste generated across all streams and our commitment to reducing food waste is led by our Hospitality and Catering Teams. The University has adopted the Sustainable Food Policy And Framework, which outlines all the actions that have been completed in this area and those in progress. This policy includes many areas which are relevant to reducing food waste and those which are most relevant are highlighted below: •…
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Let’s reuse more!

The University of Reading has now published its new Waste and Resource Use Strategy to cover the period 2021-2030. A central tenet of this strategy is the waste hierarchy which firmly places the emphasis on the need to prevent and reduce the amount of waste generated. This is closely followed by reuse and repair, then recycling with the last resort being landfill. This hierarchy aligns with the concept of the Circular Economy which aims to move towards more efficient use of resources by gaining maximum value from all resources through increased reuse and repair. To help encourage and manage reuse…
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Embedding sustainability within your department

Here at Sustainability Services, we’re always keen to work with Schools and Functions to embed sustainability across the University. We were delighted to receive an email from a colleague in Computer Science who updated us on the great work their department has been undertaking. During the past three years, Computer Science has refurbished the majority of the academic rooms, labs and student common rooms with reclaimed furniture advertised on our Warp-it platform. Warp-it is an online portal for members of staff to offer items they no longer need for other Schools and Functions to claim and reuse. You can sign…
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Sustainable university living

I’ve escaped from my desk to come and sit in Park Eat café/bar to write this article. Immediately I arrive, I’m confronted with an environmental dilemma. I’ve brought my Sustain It mug (of course!) for a cup of tea, but realise I can’t get any milk out of the machine because my cup isn’t chipped. The catering staff offer to put some milk in a paper cup. I insist I don’t want a paper cup and they insist it’s no bother. How should I respond? Back down politely and take the cup, or stick to my green guns and insist…
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Going green in 2019

As 2019 begins, we take a look at our plans for delivering environmental sustainability at the University this coming year. Where we are 2018 was our most successful year yet sustainability-wise, with major reductions in waste production and water consumption and increases in sustainable travel levels. For an interactive look back, view our Annual Sustainability Report. Where we’re going Continuous improvement is a key part of strong environmental management, and 2019 promises to be no exception. Energy hack We are developing plans for our first ever ‘Energy Hack’, building on the success of previous Blackout events to reduce energy consumption in…
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Reporting issues and flytipping

General issues Spotted lots of litter?  Issues with overflowing wheelie bins or internal bins?  Let us know at waste@reading.ac.uk. Reporting flytipping If you catch someone flytipping rubbish on University premises, phone Security Services immediately on 0118 378 7799.  Let them know what you have seen and follow their advice. Before you take any other action, make sure it is safe to do so.  Be extremely careful as some wastes can be hazardous.  Do not open black bags or drums, and be aware that waste could be contaminated or hiding dangerous materials (e.g. asbestos or needles).  Take photos - but if…
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Warp-it

If you have used Warp-it before and want to log in, click on the logo above to access the site.  If you would like more information please read the sections below. Please note that the Warp-it Autumn 2022 Furniture Clearance Event (for staff to claim items for personal use) is live during October and November 2022. During this time, Warp-it users can claim items for personal use that are listed as ‘Available for staff personal use’ in the Warp-it portal (they also have a green thumbs-up symbol next to them). If you claim any items for personal use, please be aware…
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Summer Re-use challenge 2018

In August, the popular re-use challenge returned! In August 2017 we avoided disposing of 219kg of stuff by re-using it, which saved staff over £1,500 because they sourced items for free rather than having to buy it all new.  But this August we wanted to achieve 250kg of items re-used in just two weeks! Why did we do this? Because re-use is the right thing to do - it has lots of environmental and financial benefits. The University recognises this and has a target to improve re-use by 10% by 2021. Not only was there yummy chocolate or "sugar free"…
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The Egg-cellent April Re-Use Challenge!

You did it! The April Re-use challenge target has been achieved. We set staff a target to re-use 700kg of items by the end of April. It was a big challenge, and yummy Cadbury's Creme eggs (or sugar-free desk tidies) were offered to people who helped out. A big thank-you to everyone who took part - you did it! The target has been achieved and you re-used a whopping 740kg of items through the University's Warp-it portal. That's nearly three quarters of a tonne, and it has saved staff an estimated £4,488 by avoiding buying new. Why did we do…
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