“What does it mean to “be green”?

Nice, concise summary from Tufts University’s Office of Sustainability:

Being green is a commitment to:

1. discover best practices
2. innovate when solutions don’t exist
3. reduce waste and inefficiencies
4. adopt and embrace new habits
5. measure and celebrate progress.

You do these things every day; now try doing them with a green lens.

Greening Presentation for Onondaga County Public Library 5.7.10

Libraries with Green Teams!

Public Libraries

Academic Libraries

I hope to be adding a lot more public libraries to this list in the future!

Commitment From the Top: “do good and do well at the same time”

Libraries have a lot of policies to contend with – patron code of conduct, personnel, and oh-so-many more – so it is understandable that not many libraries have adopted green or sustainability policies.

In the grand tradition of learning from others take a look at how other industries are stating their commitment to “be green” – is this part of their marketing ploys? Why yes, of course. But there is a smidge of hope in all of this, someone, somewhere in these companies does actually care about this stuff and is assigned to work on it I’m sure:

  • FujiFilm: “At Fujifilm we are working to shrink our carbon footprint and water footprint, use natural resources and packaging materials more efficiently, and minimize waste generation and environmental risk.”
  • Loews Hotels & Resorts: “committed to being environmentally responsible and will make steady, measured progress in our efforts. We will seek every reasonable opportunity to incorporate “green” standards and practices into all aspects of our business. We will identify and mandate specific brand-wide practices that embrace our responsibility and we will make prudent investments in technologies and programs that will allow us to do good and do well at the same time.”
  • Google’s Green Employee Program – can I just say: “Wow.”

Green Policy

Here are two examples of a green policy. The first, from a public library, is a great example of trying to create a comprehensive approach to greening the institution. The second, from an academic library, is more like a mission statement to allow the organization to address the issue. Both give license to the leaders of the organization to pursue greening the library and allow them to promote a commitment to greening to their internal and external audiences.

  1. The Wells Branch Community Library
  2. Birkbeck Library @Birkbeck University of London