First Person: University strives to be clean and green
The University of Reading’s annual Green Week is getting under way today.
Energy officer Tom Yearley explains how the eco-friendly campus is boosting its green credentials and gives details of the activities taking place to celebrate its environmental successes.
Visitors to our wonderful parkland Whiteknights Campus often comment on its beauty.
Our Grounds Team work exceptionally hard to make it a place to be enjoyed by all, but people may not be aware of the other ‘green’ successes at The University of Reading.
In March 2011, The University of Reading committed to reduce its carbon emissions by 35 per cent by 2015/16.
In just two years I’m delighted to report that we are almost halfway to that target.
What better way to announce our annual Green Week?
In 2011/12, the university recycled more than 50 per cent of all waste produced and since 2008/09 we’ve reduced our carbon footprint by 16.5 per cent, saving almost £4 million.
Green Week aims to celebrate environmental successes over the last year and, crucially, highlights ways further successes can be achieved.
As one of the world’s top one per cent universities Reading has a duty to be as environmentally friendly as possible, especially given we are world leaders in areas of environmental research such as meteorology, climate change and soil science.
We also take immense pride in our eco-friendly campuses.
So what can we all look forward to during Green Week?
Monday’s Battle of Bins will see Sir David Bell, the university’s vice-chancellor, going head to head with Student Union president James Fletcher in a race at 1pm to see who can make haste with the waste.
Who can separate and recycle the most rubbish the fastest? Expect cheering and jeering!
Later that day an evening of interactive debate and discussion on the topic of environment and sustainability in our region gets under way with a thought-provoking presentation by Dr Marina Della Giusta, an expert in behavioural and social economics.
In Wednesday’s public lecture Professor Janet Barlow will explore the meteorological processes controlling our city temperatures and ask if it’s possible to design our cities to beat the heat in the future.
Throughout the week university Fine Art students will show videos of their interpretation of green ... in a skip!
I hope to see many of you next week and that you enjoy our fourth Green Week.
Visit www.reading.ac.uk/cleanandgreen for more.