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Down tools in support of climate action

Green campus

After a request from the UCU Reading branch, the University is supporting a half hour strike by colleagues in support of climate action on Friday 20 September.

The 30-minute walkout is in solidarity with school strikers around the world, whose Friday strikes have pushed climate action to the forefront of global attention.

University staff are encouraged to leave their normal work at 10.00am for 30 minutes – or if this is not possible, at another time of the day – to spend half an hour engaging in climate action, organising or taking part in climate-focused activities, enjoying some time outside in the fresh air, or some of the activities organised for Wellbeing Week.

The University’s Sustainability team is organising a range of activities, including:

  • inviting staff and students to sign a virtual ‘pledge wall’, allowing people to commit to new environmentally-focused actions for the academic year ahead: from eating less meat, to driving less, or talking to others about climate change. See the Sustainability website to see how to pledge. The 'pledge wall' will be outside the Carrington building on Whiteknights campus.
  • signing staff up to JUMP – the University’s online green action portal – and rewarding those already signed up with extra points
  • organising a ‘mini switch off’ – providing colleagues with a checklist to see which items can be turned off where they work, and reporting issues if they are unsure or they see wasteful use of energy elsewhere.

Anyone wanting to organise their own activities in their own School, function or building is welcome to do so. This could be a talk about climate change; a group walk around campus; or any other activity that has a climate or environmental focus. Email with your plans, and pictures of your activities, and we will list them all on the Sustainability website. Please be mindful of usual workplace safety and welfare issues when organising activities. 

Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Van de Noort said: "I know the University community is passionate about environmental issues, and I am keen that we do even more to boost our focus on climate change in all that we do.

"I am very happy to support this call to action by the unions in solidarity with climate strikers, and urge everyone to spend 30 minutes wisely, doing something out of the ordinary for a Friday, and pledging to make long-term changes in support a more sustainable future.

“I know some people are attending Graduation at Greenlands or will have work that has to be done at that time. But if you can’t come out at 10am, feel free to take 30 minutes away from work at another point during the day."

Visit the Sustainability website for more information, or sign up to JUMP.

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