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Made at Reading: University hits 40% carbon reduction milestone – University of Reading

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Made at Reading: University hits 40% carbon reduction milestone

Release Date 18 June 2019

40% graphic on picture of university campus with solar panels

The University of Reading has reached another crucial milestone in reducing its environmental impacts, hitting a 40% reduction target in its carbon footprint. 

In 2016, the University met its ambition of delivering a 35% emissions cut, compared to its baseline 2008/09 emissions. This latest milestone leaves it well-placed to deliver on its current 45% reduction target by 2021. 

The University of Reading is highlighting its work to reduce its own carbon footprint as part of ‘Made at Reading’, week-long campaign highlighting Reading’s environmental research and action. The week culminates in ‘Show Your Stripes’ day on Friday 21 June, which invites the public to download and share new graphics by Reading researcher Professor Ed Hawkinswhich highlight how every corner of the globe is warming. The graphics are available at showyourstripes.info. 

Dan Fernbank, Energy and Sustainability Manager at the University of Reading, will be taking over the University’s Twitter account for the day on Tuesday to highlight some of the work being carried out to reduce its carbon footprint. 

Mr Fernbank said: “Environmental concerns have increasingly become headline news in recent times. We are matching the rise in the expectations of students, staff and our local community with our own environmental leadership. 

“With a large and evolving estate, there is always more work to be done and we will continue to run a strong sustainability programme to deliver lasting change. We are committed to embracing new and innovative ways to help the University wipe out its carbon footprint.” 

This academic year has seen some major advances in reducing carbon emissions, including: 

  • Extending the University’s district heating system – a more efficient centralised heating system that reduces pollution – to two additional science buildings. A large expansion of the University’s solar generation capacity has also taken place, with more than 1,000 individual panels now installed across campus. 

  • Introducing a furniture and equipment recycling scheme that has helped the University reduce waste, also saving nearly £100,000 in two years in the process. The Warp-It scheme allows office supplies and furniture that are no longer needed in one office to be reallocated to staff in different parts of the university, reducing the need to buy new items. Around 700 items, weighing 9.1 tonnes in total, have been relocated so far. Reading has also joined a scheme to share unused scientific equipment with other participating universities and colleges. 

  • Launching a new platform to engage and reward staff for taking environmental action was launched at the University in November 2018. Around 400 staff have already signed up to the app-based Jump programme, rewarding points for a series of environmentally-friendly actions such as recycling, cutting unnecessary travel, and reporting energy and water wastage. 

  • Being one of seven universities to sign up to the Government’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Pledge 2020 in October 2018. This was supported by both the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Robert Van de Noort, and President of Reading University Students’ Union (RUSU), Jason Dabydoyal. 

Tips on being sustainable, including finding alternatives to driving to work, are offered to all staff at the University. For more details on the University's Sustainability Services, visit www.reading.ac.uk/sustainability-services 

Follow the University’s campaign activities throughout the week on TwitterFacebook and Instagram, and join the discussion using the hashtag #madeatreading 

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