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

 

Kingpins of Carbon

Publication | September 10, 2014 at 15:19

Global warming is a potentially devastating problem requiring urgent action by governments. However, to date the U.S. government has remained largely paralyzed. Now new Greenpeace research has shed light on the sources of paralysis, a...

Energy Revolution 2014

Publication | May 12, 2014 at 0:00

The Energy [R]evolution demonstrates that transitioning to a renewable energy economy can free resources for economic development. It means more and better jobs, greater energy independence, and it is more democratic as citizens attain more...

The Myth of China's Endless Coal Demand: A missing market for US Exports

Publication | February 27, 2013 at 0:07

The US coal industry - reeling from sagging domestic demand, plummeting profits, and tanking stock prices - is desperate for a new market for its wares, and it thinks it has found one in China. But in reality, the Chinese market for US coal...

Donors Trust: Laundering Climate Denial Funding

Publication | February 15, 2013 at 11:10

Over the past year, Greenpeace and other researchers have discovered that Donors Trust, a shadowy funding operation for anti-government extremists, is laundering millions of dollars in climate denial funding for donors who do not want to be...

Point of No Return

Publication | February 11, 2013 at 17:03

The world is quickly reaching a Point of No Return for preventing the worst impacts of climate change. With total disregard for this unfolding global disaster, the fossil fuel industry is planning 14 massive coal, oil and gas projects that would...

Renewable energy

Publication | February 23, 2012 at 14:58

Replacing nuclear with renewable energy

Polluting Democracy

Publication | July 18, 2011 at 9:18

This report provides a sampling of the actions of a bipartisan cadre of 15 politicians, who are among those in the House of Representatives working for America’s dirty and decrepit coal-fired power industry. These 15 members have tried to stop...

Spotlight on Massachusetts

Publication | February 14, 2011 at 17:21

Did you know that in the Boston/Cambridge/Quincy Metro area, pollution from coal-fired power plants is responsible for 144 deaths, 128 hospital admissions and 283 heart attacks every year?

Arctic Sunrise Coming to Boston

Publication | February 8, 2011 at 16:22 3 comments

We are very excited to announce that Greenpeace's ship, the Arctic Sunrise, is coasting into Boston from February 16th to February 21st, 2011, as part of our East Coast Coal Free Future Tour!

Arctic Sunrise Coming to New York

Publication | January 29, 2011 at 16:37

We are very excited to announce that Greenpeace's ship, the Arctic Sunrise, is coasting into New York City from February 4th to February 11th, 2011, as part of our East Coast Coal Free Future Tour!

1 - 10 of 87 results.