University of Reading: University Takes Steps Towards Carbon Goals With Award Nomination And £50,000 Grant

The University of Reading, in partnership with Salix Finance, has been shortlisted for a major sustainability award thanks to its work to cut carbon emissions on its campuses.

The University has been nominated for the Carbon Reduction Project of the Year at the annual Big Sustainability Awards, a ceremony celebrating the best green initiatives in the public and private sectors.

The overall project will enable the University to reduce its carbon emissions by an estimated 816 tonnes per year, as well as saving money which can be diverted into other sustainable projects around the campus.

Dan Fernbank, Energy and Sustainability Director at the University said:

“Like other organisations in the public sector, we are working extremely hard to meet Government targets and continue to innovate in the most cost-effective way possible. We have the ambition to become one of the greenest universities in the world and the carbon savings these projects will achieve will help move us closer to that end goal.

The nomination coincides with the University receiving a £50,000 grant to carry out a heat decarbonisation study for the Earley Gate side of its Whiteknights campus.

The grant, which was awarded by Salix Finance as part of their Low Carbon Skills Fund (LCSF2), and supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), will help the University’s plan to completely overhaul its heating systems.

This is the fourth major grant the University has received from Salix Finance in the last 12 months, with total funds awarded of just under £3.5 million, helping the University towards its goal of becoming Net Zero Carbon by 2030.

Fernbank continues:

“The University’s Net Zero Carbon Plan commits to full decarbonisation of our heating systems by 2030 and with all of the buildings on Earley Gate currently heated with gas boilers, this is no small task.

“The study will explore the potential to reduce heat losses from buildings, as well as to retrofit alternative, heat pump technologies in place of gas boilers. This may be at an individual building level, or potentially through the creation of a small district heating network.”

The winners of the Big Sustainability Awards will be announced at an awards ceremony in Southampton on 28 October.

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