The University wins platinum for going greener!
Tuesday, 23 April 2013
'We are delighted that our efforts have been recognised by EcoCampus'
The University has gained the ultimate accolade for its commitment to improving its green credentials by recently gaining the Platinum EcoCampus award.
EcoCampus is a national Environmental Management System for the higher education sector. The scheme enables Universities to systematically identify, manage and improve their sustainability and Environmental practices. The platinum award is the equivalent to the international standard ISO14001.
EcoCampus is designed to help put in place the necessary systems and procedures to ensure that Universities are monitoring and minimising their impact on the environment. This covers areas as diverse as the use of natural resources, handling and treatment of waste, sustainable procurement and energy consumption. The system is based on the ‘continual improvement' principle and work will continue to imbed this system into all aspects of University activity.
Reading's commitment to reducing its environmental impacts include initiatives ranging from waste minimisation, carbon reduction, conservation and environmental awareness training , these have all been instrumental in the University attaining the award.
Other key factors in the University's recent ‘green' success include its behavioural change policy for staff and students and commitment to making our campuses as eco-friendly as possible.
We have over 250 environmental champions who help drive improved performance at a local level encouraging staff to take small steps towards reducing their individual environmental impact.
Denise Shearman, Head of Campus Services, said: "We are delighted that our efforts have been recognised by EcoCampus. We are constantly looking for ways to reduce our consumption of materials, carbon emissions and minimise waste."
Impressive eco-friendly statistics include:
- To avoid food waste going to landfill, we send it to a local anaerobic digestion plant where it is used to generate electricity
- We now divert over 50% of waste generated at the University away from landfill by various methods, including recycling, energy from waste and anaerobic digestion.
- The University has installed over 200 solar panels on building roofs which will cut our annual carbon footprint by 22,000 kilograms of CO2 per year
- We have achieved a Green Flag award for one of the best open spaces in the country
We have successfully bid for £750,000 of funding to help run projects that are reducing our carbon footprint
"Behavioural change is a large part of our ethos to continue to become more eco-friendly," said Ian Cruickshank, Environment and Sustainability Manager.
"Initiatives such as our annual Green Week which aims to make staff and students even more environmentally friendly, regular campus litter-picks and active involvement in schemes such as Earth Hour, are instrumental in the University becoming ever greener. We now have an Environmental Sustainability eLearning course that allows staff to learn much more about how they have an impact on the Environment. Nearly three hundred staff have already registered and it is open for every member of staff."