University of Reading’s energy manager recognised as top in the public sector

The University of Reading’s Energy & Sustainability Manager, Dan Fernbank, has been awarded Public Sector Energy Manager of the Year at the 2019 Energy Management Awards.

Run by the Energy Managers Association (EMA), the awards recognise and celebrate outstanding work in the energy management and sustainability industry.

Dan has led the University of Reading’s Sustainability Services team since 2011. Some of the team’s main achievements during this time include:

  • Ensuring the university met its 35% carbon reduction target in 2016 (compared to its baseline 2008/09 emissions)
  • Achieving a 40% carbon reduction earlier this year, keeping the university on track to deliver on its current 45% reduction target by 2021
  • Introducing a campus-wide refillable bottle scheme in partnership with Coca-Cola in 2017, helping to reduce the number of single-use plastic bottles on campus by more than 150,000
  • Recycling more than 100,000 coffee cups since March 2018
  • A major expansion of the university’s solar panel programme, with more than 1,000 individual panels now installed across campus

The EMA judges said: “The winning candidate has overseen an impressive reduction in the organisation’s carbon footprint, which has put the organisation as a leader in its sector. The candidate has developed a number of tools, which are used to monitor planned operational changes and identify the potential of energy and carbon savings in buildings. His drive is encouraging others to learn from the experiences and promoting the industry to future energy and sustainability professionals.” Commenting on the award win, Dan said: “As a university with extensive expertise on climate change, it is only natural that sustainability is at the heart of everything we do.

“Support and investment from the senior leadership of the university has enabled us to put many of these initiatives and practices into place, but it is the participation of our staff and students that has helped us to achieve the fantastic results we have. It is very encouraging to receive this recognition from the Energy Managers Association. The university will continue in its efforts to make Reading a greener, more sustainable place to study.”

The award was presented at the EMA’s annual Energy Management Exhibition at Excel, London on 27 November, and the win coincides with the university’s ongoing #VotePlanet campaign, putting environmental science front and centre.

The #VotePlanet campaign aims to inform voters on the science behind these issues, how staff and students are taking action on sustainability, and how the university works with others to share a vision of a greener future.

More information on the university’s sustainability programme can be found at

Photo caption: Dan Fernbank (right) receiving his award.