University of Reading’s carbon reduction scoops sustainability award

The institution won Carbon Reduction Project of the Year at the Big Sustainability Awards, following the implementation of schemes funded by £3.4m from Salix Finance

Efforts by the University of Reading to reduce its carbon emissions can now be termed “award winning”.

The institution claimed the Big Sustainability Awards’ Carbon Reduction Project of the Year at a ceremony in Southampton at the end of last month, following the introduction of a number of initiatives expected to cut carbon emissions by 816 tonnes per year.

Measure undertaken include:

  • Improved heating zoning and controls
  • A programme of laboratory and farm refrigeration/freezer upgrades
  • A major expansion of solar panels
  • Replacement of inefficient drying cabinets across all science labs
  • A major LED lighting rollout
  • Replacement of inefficient ventilation systems
  • Improved sensors and controls for heating and ventilation systems
  • Replacement and re-sizing of inefficient air conditioning units
  • Preparatory works for future heat decarbonisation, including improved metering, and an electrical capacity upgrade

The schemes were funded by £3.4m from Salix Finance, a non-departmental public body providing government funding to improve sustainability in the public sector. Money saved by increased efficiency is set to be diverted into other sustainable projects around the campus, with the university pledging to become carbon net-zero by 2030.

“Sustainability is absolutely at the heart of our ambition to become one of the greenest universities in the world and we’re pleased to be recognised for how we’ve integrated these values throughout our campuses,” said Dan Fernbank, energy and sustainability director at the university.

“It’s great to be recognised for our projects, which we will continue to innovate in the most cost-effective way possible.”

Read more: UK universities to be net zero by 2050


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