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Reading gains 'First Class' in green university ranking – University of Reading

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Reading gains 'First Class' in green university ranking

Release Date 11 June 2013

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The University of Reading has been awarded a First Class Award and ranked 17 out of 143 universities in the People & Planet Green League 2013, the UK's only comprehensive and independent green ranking of universities.

Reading's position means it is the most improved among the UK's greenest universities, rising 42 places.

The University was awarded the highest award for its all-round environmental performance, and in particular its success towards achieving an ambitious target of 35% reduction in the University's carbon footprint by 2015/16. The University is currently halfway towards that target, which has resulted in cumulative savings of £4 million and 11,137 tonnes of CO2e.

The Green League table also recognises the University's achievements in waste management - over 53% of all waste is currently recycled, and reductions in energy usage -there has been a 13% reduction in electricity and 26% reduction in gas since the 2008 baseline year. The University is investing to go green and has successfully bid for £1.4 million to make its campuses more energy efficient through measures such as better insulation and lighting, as well as new sustainable energy sources, such as solar panels, all of which are delivering savings.

Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: "As a world-leading University in the field of climate science, it is important that we lead by example. Our Green League ranking is testament to the University's commitment to cut our carbon emissions and embed sustainability across our campuses.

"We have made excellent progress towards ‘greening' our University in the last few years with projects ranging from a commitment to use ethically sourced work uniforms to online environmental awareness courses for staff. However, as befits an ambitious University, we have aspirations to achieve even more in the future."

The People & Planet Green League, an annual ranking by the national student campaign group, assesses the environmental and ethical performance of all universities, awarding First Class 'degrees' to the greenest and Fail to those doing the least to address their environmental impacts.

Louise Hazan, who compiled the People & Planet Green League, said:
"The University of Reading thoroughly deserves its First Class ranking this year and is helping to drive up environmental and ethical standards for the higher education sector as a whole. Their success in reducing carbon emissions is exemplary. We congratulate Reading on listening to its students who are quite rightly demanding that the university tackles issues like climate change head-on."

The University holds the Carbon Trust Standard and has recently been awarded the ultimate accolade for its commitment to improving its green credentials, the Platinum EcoCampus award, a national Environmental Management System for the higher education sector. The University's Whiteknights campus has been judged as one of the best open spaces in the country in the prestigious Green Flag Awards, the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK.

More information at


Further information from Alex Brannen, Head of Media, University of Reading on 0118 378 8005 or Louise Hazan, People & Planet Green League Manager, People & Planet, 01865 264180,

Notes to editors:

Green achievement highlights

  • The University is currently halfway towards a 35% carbon emissions target, which has resulted in cumulative savings of £4 million and 11,137 tonnes of CO2e.
  • Installation of solar panels on the Carrington and Estates & Facilities buildings, capable of producing in excess of 40,000 kWh and saving 23tCO2 annually
  • 53% recycling rate of all University waste
  • 13% reduction in electricity and 26% reduction in gas since the 2008 baseline year
  • A member of the Workers Rights Consortium, committed to purchasing ethically sourced work uniforms and Fair Trade status
  • Continually evolving behaviour change initiatives, including the development and delivery of environmental training workshops and development of an e-learning package
  • Introduction of improvements to the bus service linking the University with Reading town centre, in conjunction with Reading Buses
  • A full travel audit of staff and student travel patterns to support a new Travel Plan
  • Introduction of environmental procurement practises to ensure our suppliers work with us to reduce the carbon footprint related to the goods and services they supply to the University.
  • Achieved our first two B rated Display Energy Certificates for energy efficient buildings - Henley Business School and Carrington Building

 People and Planet Green League Table-


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