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


This iceberg has split off of one of the

Image | July 11, 2005 at 11:33

This iceberg has split off of one of the several glaciers up the fjord, and is drifting its way out to sea.

Ice and sandstone mountains in the spectacular

Image | July 11, 2005 at 11:31

Ice and sandstone mountains in the spectacular Red Fjord.

Although they can be massive

Image | July 11, 2005 at 11:28

Although they can be massive, icebergs are not stable. They melt unevenly, and roll over without warning. You can see here from old waterlines that this one has rolled slightly. In fact, what you're looking at could once have been the...

The blue ice color is due to a combination

Image | July 11, 2005 at 11:25

The blue ice color is due to a combination of a hexagonal ice crystal structure, and many tiny air bubbles trapped as the glacial snow compacts into ice over years. All parts of the spectrum are absorbed, only blue is reflected.

Reflection of a slightly weathered iceberg

Image | July 11, 2005 at 11:22

Reflection of a slightly weathered iceberg.


Image | July 11, 2005 at 11:20

Nine-tenths of an iceberg is below the surface.

Bush vs. the World at Global Warming Talks

Feature story | July 5, 2005 at 18:00

Eight men had a chance to change the world. Unfortunately, one of those men was George W. Bush. The heads of government of the major industrial democracies met to discuss the most serious issues facing the world as part of the annual "G8"...

Victory! States Turn Their Energy On Corporate Polluters

Feature story | June 28, 2005 at 18:00

Last year, Greenpeace activists turned world attention on a dirty little secret: coal-burning power plants were getting away with murder. Six activists risked their lives to expose the truth when they climbed a 700-foot smokestack in Pennsylvania...

After years of Greenpeace campaigning

Image | June 24, 2005 at 11:53

After years of Greenpeace campaigning, the Senate has officially acknowledged the threat of global warming.

The Senate Agrees: Global Warming Threat is Real

Feature story | June 23, 2005 at 18:00

Global warming has gotten more attention this month than during the entire Bush Presidency. While Bush and his friends at ExxonMobil continue to pretend that global warming doesn’t exist, the Senate has made a historic decision to limit emissions...

1341 - 1350 of 1440 results.