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 tB17165 Green Festival Facebook banner JM v1o audit buildings across Whiteknights and London Rd to see what has been left on, switching off anything it was safe to do so. They found over 400 monitors or computers and nearly 200 lights that had been left on and with many of them switched off, the live energy data showed that energy consumption on the night was below a normal Friday evening. The enthusiasm in the room was fantastic and one student emailed after the event to say it was the first time they saw how much energy could be saved if people switched off and they loved being a part of it. Some of the social media highlights from the night can be seen here.

Thank you to all the staff and students that participated in the week, especially those staff that lead teams on Friday evening. To keep the good work going, we were pleased to announce the launch of an Environmental Fund which staff and students can bid into to deliver projects they care about. More details will follow over the next couple of weeks but if you are interested or have an idea for a project you would like to deliver please email sustainability@reading.ac.uk

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

Group - award official EAUCThe 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 cupboards is saving over £300,000 and over 1,000 tonnes CO2 per year.

The programme has involved:
• Upgrading the ventilation control systems
• Replacing extract fans with higher efficiency equivalents
• Providing more efficient ventilation to a number of chemical storage cupboards
• Removal of some redundant fume cupboards
• Re-calibrating the run speeds of fume cupboard ventilation across campus

More details on the University’s Sustainability Services are available at:

Web: www.reading.ac.uk/sustainabilityservices

Twitter: @UniRdg_Sust

Facebook: unirdgsust

Email: sustainability@reading.ac.uk