Two years of petitions, meetings, letters and lobbying from our Campaigns Forum have finally paid off: the University of Reading is now using 100 percent green electricity. We - a core group of about 15 students - identified the people in the university who had the power to make the switch, and over a long period we lobbied them in various ways.

We began with a petition, collecting more than 1,000 signatures in stalls, in halls and by staging events around the campus.   Over the next six months, we met the department's staff regularly to convince them of our case.

After extensive consultation, Reading adopted a new energy policy. This ensured that green electricity, as long as it was financially viable, would be given first preference whenever the university's energy contract came up for renewal.

Then, the university staff did their research and moved their energy contracts to 100 percent renewable sources with Scottish and Southern Energy, without any increase in cost. And thanks to our energy policy, when they renew the contract in two years' time, they will most likely stay green.

Our victory is a clear example of how students working together can make significant changes for the better. However, not content with this, we are now pressing the university on recycling and energy efficiency. We also want it to employ full-time environmental management personnel to make the whole university more environmentally friendly.

In the future, we hope the rest of the higher education sector will follow our lead. All universities should obtain quotations for the supply of green electricity and make a public commitment to switch to a green supply as soon as possible.

There is no reason to wait for a top-down solution from the Government. The time to act is now, and with green electricity becoming more and more widely available, institutions, businesses and individuals alike can easily make the switch today.

Photo:  Edward (far right), and fellow students, Ali and Tom, meet with the Vice Chancellor and the Director of Facilities Management to discuss the Campaigns Forum Green Electricity campaign.

The latest updates


21st Century Activism: Why big business doesn’t always have to be the bad guy

Blog by Philip Radford | December 15, 2011

Today is a great day for the future of the IT sector.   Over the past few years, we’ve campaigned hard against Facebook to get them to commit to clean energy – specifically, we wanted them to change their siting policy—the decisions...

Greenfreeze F-Gas Victory! Greener Refrigerators Finally Legal in the U.S.

Blog by Kert Davies | December 14, 2011

After some twenty years, American consumers will finally be able to buy the energy efficient climate-friendly refrigerators that Europeans and people all over the world have had in their kitchens for decades.  The Environmental...

Amundsen, Antarctica and the power of impossible ambitions

Blog by Frida Bengtsson | December 14, 2011

As I write this I'm looking out my window at the Fefor hotel in Norway at a wintery landscape of mountains, forest and an ice-covered lake; the same place where Amundsen, Nansen and Scott planned their historic expeditions to the poles...

Please don't squander this moment

Blog by Kumi Naidoo | December 9, 2011

An open letter to the governments of the world meeting in Durban Dear friends, Welcome to our city. We remember a time in Durban – indeed, a period in the history of this nation of South Africa – when we feared that the...

US Climate Treaty Obstructionism Must Stop

Blog by Jay Ferrari | December 8, 2011 1 comment

Kumi Naidoo, executive director for Greenpeace International, pulls no punches explaining how the US team at the UN Climate talks in Durban is doing more harm than good. The delegation charged with ensuring our nation's best...

Photo of the Month - November 2011

Blog by bmeyers | December 7, 2011

This image by Shayne Robinson, taken at dawn on the beach in Durban, South Africa, as representatives gathered for the UN climate talks, is the November 2011 Photo of the Month. I like the crisp silhouettes of people raising a...

The Dirty Dozen

Blog by Caroline Chisholm | December 5, 2011

After demanding that governments listen to the people and not the polluters at the entrance to Durban Protea Hotel, our Kumi and co-head of the Climate campaign, Tzeporah Berman entered the WBCSD conference to meet and greet with...

Sweat, EU vs. US on Science, and a Movie - Durban

Blog by Kumi Naidoo | December 2, 2011

Of the many things I'd forgotten about my home town of Durban, the one I'm reminded of most often is the humidity. When we were kids here we'd go to discos and be dripping with sweat after a few minutes of dancing. It's the same...

Telling the oil companies the truth

Blog by Jon Burgwald | December 1, 2011

Today, the Greenland Bureau of Mineral and Petroleum invited the world’s biggest oil companies to a meeting that can have extreme importance for the future of the Arctic. Greenland wants to open up an untouched area of the...

Weak Carbon Target Jives with Science, Says Obama Team

Blog by Kyle Ash | November 30, 2011

Many people have given up hope that President Obama will take the lead on climate. This is a massive disappointment, given the hope we all had after the departure of Bush and his denial of climate change, and Obama's 2008 campaign...

91 - 100 of 1358 results.