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

 

Polar Bears are Starving for a Solution to Global Warming

Feature story | October 11, 2005 at 18:00

The once

Image | October 6, 2005 at 19:00

The once-great Amazon River is reduced to a narrow stream due to a severe drought.

We've been very cautious while collecting

Image | September 22, 2005 at 16:06

We've been very cautious while collecting evidence of oil contamination.

And the remaining signs have new meaning

Image | September 21, 2005 at 14:54

And the remaining signs have new meaning.

Here's us: Mark Floegel on the left and Mike

Image | September 21, 2005 at 14:51

Here's us: Mark Floegel on the left and Mike Johnson on the right. We're using GPS to navigate in a region that's virtually unrecognizable, where street signs rarely exist.

Oil spill clean

Image | September 21, 2005 at 14:31

Oil spill clean-ups that we've seen have been crude, with what amounts to towels soaking up the oil and being carried away by boat. Workers are not adequately protected.

As you can see

Image | September 21, 2005 at 14:22

As you can see, the water is literally bubbling with oil.

Oil refineries like this one continue to

Image | September 21, 2005 at 14:03

Oil refineries like this one continue to sit underwater, and the extent of their damage is only slowly coming to light.

Katrina Disaster

Image gallery | September 20, 2005

Then again

Image | September 20, 2005 at 18:00

Then again, no one we've seen has been adequately protected from the toxins they're surrounded by.

1291 - 1300 of 1435 results.