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Reading is Fossil Free!

Do you remember Dino?

He is back with some exciting news to share from the University: University of Reading investments to be fossil fuel free within months

“The University of Reading’s endowments will be managed on a fossil fuel-free, low carbon basis” – in other words, the University of Reading will no longer be investing any money in the fossil fuel industry.

When RUSU’s 2015/16 Community and Development Officer, Chloe Bartlett, began this campaign, we knew it wouldn’t be an easy win. But five years later the commitment has been made. Take a look at the journey.

  • 2014/15
    • The campaign begins
      Chloe Bartlett (Community and Development Officer) kicked off a campaign to get the university to divest from fossil fuels.
      June
    • Given a platform
      On the 15th June 2015 RUSU gave recommendations regarding a socially responsible investments policy and divestment from the top 200 coal, oil and gas companies to the University’s Investments Committee.
  • 2015/16
      October
    • Meet Dino
      In October 2015 we met Dino, our Fossil Free mascot. He popped up all over campus!
    • Fossil Free Friday
      On the 16th October 2015 students came to Fossil Free Friday for a day of activism! It was a chance for students to make their own beauty products, learn how to pay the ukulele but most importantly, it was a place for students to sign the petition asking for the university to fully divest.
      April
    • The VC’s commitments
      Sir David Bell, the VC made commitments to look at improving the transparency of divestment, be consistent with cutting their carbon footprint, continue to review divestment in the fossil fuel industry.
  • 2019/20
      Summer
    • Molli brings it back
      After a couple of years of quiet, Molli Cleaver (President) picked the campaign back up.
      September
    • Finding out the progress
      Molli asked the VC, Robert Van der Noort, for progress on the university’s investment portfolio.
      November
    • New Investments Manager
      The process to appoint a new Investment Manager was underway with Zeid Sharif (Diversity Officer) on the panel! Robert reassured RUSU that sustainability and responsible investment would play a significant part in the process of appointing a new Investments Manager.
      January
    • We did it!
      The university put out a statement confirming they would go completely fossil free!
See the full timeline

So as you can see… it has not been a straight forward journey!

We’d like to thank the University for understanding that this was an issue students cared deeply about and recognising the need to fully divest from the fossil fuel industry.

So what is next? Molli lays out her plans:

  • We will be monitoring closely where the University invests its funds.
  • I’d like to look at careers next to see if they will stop actively promoting jobs and placements in the fossil fuel industry.
See the full statement from the university