November 2014

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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.SLA-Winner

SusLeaders 2014

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.”

Our carbon reduction programme has now saved the University a massive £7.4 million since 2011, for an investment of £2.35 million in specific energy and water efficiency initiatives.

We are well on our way to achieving our 35% target for July 2016, with a 23% cut in our carbon emissions saving 32,155 tCO2 cumulatively (compared to our 2008/09 baseline)This is equivalent to just over one year’s carbon emissions for the entire University, or to put it another way, the equivalent of 6,305 UK households for a year[1].

Progress graph 13-14

Figure 1 – annual CO2 progress against target

Almost £1 million was invested in 2013/14 alone; including £687,000 interest-free funding from a combination of HEFCE’s Revolving Green Fund and a Salix Finance loan.

This included our Green Gown Award shortlisted fume cupboard efficiency project; now being rolled out across the estate, while a further 5 buildings have had lighting upgrades. We have also invested significantly in improving our electricity, gas and water metering, so we have a much better understanding of where utilities are being used, and where savings can be made.

These are significant achievements in delivering a more sustainable University, both in environmental and in financial terms. The year ahead is set to be another big year for our programme; kicking off our new Carbon Countdown campaign, with a ‘Blackout’ launch event on Friday 28 November.

Click here for our full carbon progress report.

[1] Source: Great Britain’s housing energy fact file 2011, p.34, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data /file/48195/3224-great-britains-housing-energy-fact-file-2011.pdf