Green Libraries Week – Energy Use and Waste Reduction

The logo for Green Libraries Week

Acting sustainably as a university library is about reducing consumption of resources where possible, and reducing wasted resources through reuse. We’ve already explored the importance of acting sustainably with regard to water yesterday in another blogpost. Energy is another resource we need to use carefully, especially while universities are still transitioning to fully renewable energy sources.

From heating, lighting, to IT equipment, some energy use by libraries is inevitable. However, there are energy-saving measures that are both achievable and which add up to have an effect. These include powering off unused devices, motion sensors on lights and printers, and reusing materials like paper where possible. For example, a 2020 article in the journal Sustainability estimated that a university building using motion detectors could save 32.4% of the energy used to light its lecture theatres.

At LSHTM as a whole, motion sensors have been installed in the majority of common areas and offices, including much of the Library. Printers are also fitted with motion sensors so that they can save power. Within the Library, unused devices are powered down and resources like paper and office supplies are reused by staff as much as possible. Of course, there’s always more that can be done and is planned to be done – many of the aims in LSHTM’s plans to reach net zero by 2030 will also contribute to saving energy.

Library resources on energy and sustainability

The Library also holds lots of resources on sustainable management of resources. Have a look at some of these, for starters: