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


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Feature story | September 22, 2004 at 18:00

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Image | September 20, 2004 at 19:00

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Publication | September 20, 2004 at 18:00

Pledge not to buy ExxonMobil until it stops sabotaging action on global warming and supports mandatory reductions in global warming pollution. Download this petition and invite others to pledge as well.

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Publication | September 20, 2004 at 18:00

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Feature story | September 12, 2004 at 18:00

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Image | September 5, 2004 at 19:00

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Ford Th!nks Again

Feature story | August 26, 2004 at 18:00

Ford Europe has announced that it has reversed its decision to scrap their most fuel efficient cars and will send them to customers in Norway. Thank you to the more than 500 people who wrote to Ford to support this outcome.

The Summer X Games: Extreme and Green

Feature story | August 23, 2004 at 18:00

The X Games are the punk rock of sports, and if you can land a Twirly-bird varial to a tweaked out kickflip Indy, then you might get to play with the big boys. This year the X Games are green as well as extreme. Marnee, our cyberactivist fresh...

Local resident contemplates the roof of his

Image | August 15, 2004 at 19:00

Local resident contemplates the roof of his home perched on a nearby tree after Hurricane Charley.

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