Carbon emissions halved in goal to reach Net Zero
10 November 2022
Latest data shows that the University of Reading has halved its carbon emissions over the last 13 years, taking the institution one step closer to its ambition of being one of the greenest universities in the world.
The achievement represents a significant milestone in the University’s target to reach Net Zero Carbon by 2030. The University has reduced its carbon emissions by 51% per cent since 2008/2009, equating to more than 167,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide, as outlined in the recently published Environmental Sustainability Report 2021/22.
Other key successes highlighted in the report included:
● Reducing water usage by 43% since 2011/2012 – exceeding our original target of 35%
● Reaching the University’s target of having 87% of all commutes to campus by staff and students to be via sustainable means
● Achieving the goal of recycling or reusing 60% of all waste generated on site
Dan Fernbank, Energy and Sustainability Director at the University of Reading, said: “Addressing climate change and ensuring environmental sustainability is at the heart of the University’s mission and hitting these targets is a sign of our success on this path. This means our vision to become one of the greenest universities in the world is becoming a reality.
“Setting ambitious sustainability targets - such as our commitment to become a Net Zero Carbon university by 2030 - is all very well and good, but it is delivering against these targets that really matters. There is much to celebrate, but much more yet to be done before we achieve all our goals.”
The University’s sustainability projects saw it nominated as a finalist for Sustainable Institution of the Year at the Green Gown Awards in Loughborough on Tuesday 8 November. The awards recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken across the higher education sector. Feedback from the judges on the Sustainable Institution of the Year category included: "This was the leading application this year in terms of outstanding, demonstrable operational environmental performance."
The University was nominated, and highly commended, in a further two categories: Campus Health, Food & Drink and Next Generation Learning & Skills, for making its food and drink offering more sustainable and for its climate education projects, such as the Climate Ambassadors Scheme.
The University of Reading is committed to building on its strong international partnerships with environmental and research organisations, as it continues to work on major issues such as climate change, and helping the world respond to natural hazards such as floods, storms and heatwaves.
These collaborations have been highlighted on social media, under the theme of #PlanetPartners.