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

 

Greenpeace and an independent NASA

Image | August 15, 2005 at 18:00

Greenpeace and an independent NASA-funded scientist complete measurements of melt lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet that show its vulnerability to warming temperatures.

Greenpeace and an independent NASA

Image | August 15, 2005 at 18:00

Greenpeace and an independent NASA-funded scientist complete measurements of melt lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet that show its vulnerability to warming temperatures.

Greenpeace and an independent NASA

Image | August 15, 2005 at 18:00

Greenpeace and an independent NASA-funded scientist complete measurements of melt lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet that show its vulnerability to warming temperatures.

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Image | August 4, 2005 at 15:23

Clean wind energy

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Image | August 3, 2005 at 18:00

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Feature story | July 31, 2005 at 18:00

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Scientists aboard Greenpeace ship make startling

Image | July 21, 2005 at 12:05

Scientists aboard Greenpeace ship make startling discovery: Greenland's glaciers are melting faster than anticipated.

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Feature story | July 20, 2005 at 18:00

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Image | July 19, 2005 at 19:00

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A glaciologist from the University of Maine

Image | July 18, 2005 at 19:00

A glaciologist from the University of Maine sets up monitoring equipment on the Kangerdlussuaq Glacier in Greenland to measure the rate at which the glacier is moving.

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