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LCCOS staff news


News for colleagues within the LCCOS department.


Green Impact 2023: great results for LCCOS

By Michelle Wake, on 27 July 2023

This month’s UCL Sustainability Awards Ceremony saw the LCCOS Green Champions excel themselves. Our teams made submissions as part of UCL’s Green Impact, a UCL wide accreditation scheme devised by the education charity Students Organising for Sustainability UK. It’s a scheme that has won awards from UNESCO and the charity have now worked with nearly 2,000 institutions.

The excellence of our LCCOS teams was recognised with 10 Golds, 4 Silvers and 4 Bronzes:


  • Cruciform Hub
  • Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health Library
  • Institute of Archaeology Library
  • Joint Library of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital & UCL Institute of Ophthalmology
  • Language and Speech Science Library
  • Main Library
  • Royal Free Medical Library
  • School of Pharmacy Library
  • Science Library
  • Central LCCOS Services (overarching departmental submission)


  • Bartlett Library
  • Bloomsbury Theatre
  • Senate House Hub
  • Student Centre Library Team


  • Institute of Education Library
  • Institute of Orthopaedics Library
  • School of Slavonic and East European Studies Libraries
  • Wickford

Our close colleagues at the Queen Square Library, UCL Institute of Neurology, also succeeded in achieving a Gold Award.

This year’s Green Impact saw an increased recognition of the links with wellbeing and our teams highlighted this with the greening of office and customer spaces using plants and promoting and organising walks, amongst other initiatives.

Many congratulations to all our teams and to all of you, who have supported their efforts.

Find out more

For more information on the LCCOS Sustainability Committee and the Green Impact Champions please visit our committee webpage on the LCCOS Intranet and do contact the Committee Chair Michelle Wake (m.wake@ucl.ac.uk) or our Departmental Environment Officer Collette Lawrence (c.lawrence@ucl.ac.uk) if you are interested in forming a team, have suggestions or comments around sustainability.

Representing LCCOS at the recent M25 Conference

By simon.bralee.15, on 13 July 2023

Abi Heath , Library Manager, UCL School of Pharmacy, reflects on the recent conference organised by the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries.

This year’s M25 conference theme was Sustainability and Kindness and two of School of Phrmacy (SoP) Library staff presented on how we have embedded sustainability and wellbeing at SoP Library. Our talk looked at the initiatives we introduced as part of our Green Impact Award with a particular focus on our induction plant giveaway as well as looking at our wellbeing activities. Alongside the success of these initiatives, we talked about some of the challenges of these activities as well as what we would like to do in the future. Whilst people liked the idea of houseplants an archivist did raise the question of these attracting pests!

Other presentations looked at CILIP’s Green Libraries Partnership, estate initiatives from beehives to building fabric at London Met and Royal Veterinary College, the journey of sustainability at University of West London and staff CPD and green initiatives schemes at Royal Holloway.

It was interesting to see what our universities are doing to tackle the climate emergency and we left the conference with a range of ideas. It was also great to see that a lot of the initiatives are ones that SoP and other UCL libraries have already implemented.

Highlights and food for thought included:

  • Learning about CILIP’s Green Libraries Manifesto
  • Seeing how particular collections can highlight the impact of climate change – the National Library of Scotland used its historic maps to show the impact of costal erosion.
  • London Met initiative around recycling Halloween costumes and encouraging students to make their own costume instead.
  • Bean to Bean – using old coffee cups to grow plants in.
  • Including litter picking as part of campus walks.

The recordings of all presentations are available on the members area of the M25 website.

LCCOS all-staff Sustainability event

By Benjamin Meunier, on 23 March 2023

Earlier in Term 2, a number of colleagues from across Library, Culture, Collections and Open Science gathered to explore sustainability in the department. I wanted to share the video from the event, which has been niftily organised into chapters by Meghan Flight in the LCCOS Comms (I hasten to add that the video has been available for some time, but I have been tardy in putting together this short write-up!).

The session opened with a presentation from Max Vidotto (Sustainable UCL Business Partner for LCCOS), followed by talks from Sarah Lawson (Queen Square Library) on sustainable action from a site library point of view, and Collette Lawrence (LCCOS Facilities & Projects) on the LCCOS Sustainability Reference Guide. I thoroughly enjoyed the interesting presentations and the engaged interactive parts of the meeting, which I compered as chair of the Sustainability Committee with support from Meghan and Rowena on the Q&A session. What came across in the event was that there is a significant interest in sustainability and a lot of creative ideas from colleagues on how we can make LCCOS even more environmentally responsible. I hope that this will be the first of a series of events, which might become an annual occurrence.

As I have written about previously (in 2022, 2021, 2020, – you get the idea!), I am very proud of our achievements in the sustainability arena over the years. We are one of the best performing departments in UCL and I would argue one of the most active academic library services in the UK when it comes to sustainability. It has been an absolute privilege coordinating some of the work, and mostly keeping abreast of the committed efforts of Green Champions across the department. Within LCCOS, colleagues in the museums and the Theatre are initiating Green Impact in new areas, and I am sure there will be more good practice developing over the coming months and years.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Michelle Wake for agreeing to take the Chair of the LCCOS Sustainability Committee, with effect from my departure from UCL (tomorrow).

All the best in your endeavours to make LCCOS a beacon for sustainable libraries!

LCCOS Sustainability event – Tuesday 31/01

By Benjamin Meunier, on 20 January 2023

All LCCOS staff are invited to a 1-hour sustainability event at the end of January on MS Teams. You can download the meeting invitation (ical) at LCCOS all-staff Sustainability event.

Olympic Park, Stratford

The event will be to raise awareness amongst staff of Green Impact and the good work that has been done over the years. The event will take place on 31/01 from 14.00-14.55. Max Vidotto from Sustainable UCL will give a 10-min overview of Green Impact, and outline UCL’s recent successes in sustainability performance. Sarah Lawson, as a member of the LCCOS Sustainability Commmittee, will present on the Queen Square Library experience of Green Impact. Collette Lawrence, as Departmental Environment Officer, will present the departmental Sustainability Guide, available on LibNet. Participants will have opportunities to feed into LCCOS’s sustainability goals for our next strategy.

Geraint Rees, Vice-Provost (RIGE), said:

“UCL has set itself ambitious environmental commitments and there is work afoot across the university to reduce UCL’s environmental impacts. We have improved our position over the past 10 years, so that we are among the most sustainable HE institutions in the country, as illustrated by our place in the top 10 UK’s People & Planet University League 2023. One of the strengths of UCL’s approach is the participation of all staff in our endeavour to be more sustainable. The annual Green Impact scheme is one of the key ways that colleagues across the university can engage, and the track record of LCCOS members is impressive, with 18 awards obtained by the libraries in 2022. I encourage you to find out more about Green Impact at this event, and to consider how you might each play an individual part towards UCL leading the way in operating as a sustainable organisation and inspiring sustainability action on an international scale.”


Agenda for 31 January
Time Details
14.00-14.05 Welcome and Introduction
14.05-14.15 UCL’s Change Possible Strategy and Green Impact (Max Vidotto, Sustainable UCL Team)
14.15-14.20 A view from the Library: Queen Square Library (Sarah Lawson)
14.25-14.30 Presentation of the LCCOS Sustainability Guide, including “green hacks” (Collette Lawrence)
14.30-14.45 Discussion – what could LCCOS do to lead the way as a sustainable service provider in the university?
14.45-14.50 Q&A session
14.50-14.55 Concluding remarks

This event will be recorded and the video will be uploaded to LibNet for LCCOS staff.

UCL’s Sustainability Awards 2021

By Benjamin Meunier, on 15 July 2021

Library Services performed tremendously well for another year in the latest round of Green Impact, when results were presented at UCL’s Sustainability Awards Ceremony 2021. With 17 awards in total to UCL Library Services, the UCL Sustainability hosts observed that “we must have one of the greenest libraries in the UK”!

This year’s ceremony coincided with the Library Services Staff Conference, however organisers of both events kindly arranged for the programmes to allow a 15-minute slot for our Library Green Champions to receive awards as close as “in person” gets for virtual events. Unfortunately this meant a number of us missed the Provost’s introductory remarks at the Staff conference, but we look forwards to catching up with the recordings of this part of the conference!

During the presentation of the awards, Library colleagues could hear which awards they had received and turn on their cameras at the Sustainability Awards, to receive well-deserved praise and recognition. A number of UCL colleagues celebrated the Library’s achievements at the awards, and it was a joyful celebration, where I enjoyed seeing the faces of many colleagues, although not all Green Champions were able to attend.

The full list of awards for Library Services is below; well done to everyone who was involved in the Green Impact Awards, especially our Green Champions who coordinated submissions for each site. In addition to our Sites and central award for the department as a whole, Bernadette d’Almeida was also recognised individually through a “highly commended” UCL Sustainability staff award.

Change Possible: The Strategy for a Sustainable UCL 2019 – 2024 sets us all the challenge of “inspiring sustainability action on an international scale”. The Library’s strong engagement with Green Impact, over many years, will inspire other services to follow suit and I know that our achievements in this area have already been noticed at a national level. Our Library Sustainability Committee is looking to ways we can achieve even greater impact in future years by working more closely together across sites. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch: you can find more information on LibNet.


  • Bartlett Library
  • Institute of Orthopaedics Library
  • SSEES Library


  • IOE Library
  • Main Library
  • Ophthalmology Library
  • Queen Square Library
  • Royal Free Medical Library
  • Science Team Library
  • Senate House Hub


  • Central Library Services
  • Cruciform Hub
  • Institute of Child Health Library
  • Institute of Archaeology Library
  • School of Pharmacy Library
  • Language and Speech Science Library
  • Wickford Zero Waste

You can find out more about the Awards, and view a recording of the ceremony and a booklet with an overview of the highly commended and award-winners (including Bernadette) on the Sustainable UCL pages.

Green Impact 2021 and updated Library Sustainability Guide

By Benjamin Meunier, on 14 May 2021

Green Impact is a UCL-wide environmental competition and accreditation scheme that allows departments and divisions across the university to improve their environmental impact support UCL’s Sustainability Strategy and engage peers and colleagues with these essential issues.

The scheme gives students and staff the structure to make positive changes to their department or office. There are a range of sustainability actions which directly contribute to UCL’s aim to lead by example when it comes to operating in a sustainable and socially responsible way, as set out in our Sustainability Strategy.

Library Services has performed incredibly well in the Green Impact scheme every year since the awards were created. You can see our 2020 results in my update as Chair of the Library Sustainability Committee last year:


“there is no stopping our Library Green Champions. […] Rather than 2020 being a fallow year, we have achieved the best results ever for Library Services. As detailed below, we have returned submissions and improved in most areas, with 1 Bronze, 6 Silver and a staggering 11 Gold Awards for 2020.”

The Library Sustainability Reference Guide has been updated. We are asking everyone in Library Services to take the time to read this important information. Please contact Departmental Environment Officer Collette Lawrence (c.lawrence@ucl.ac.uk) with any queries, ideas or if you want to become a Green Champion!

Green Impact 2020: a golden year for Library Services

By Benjamin Meunier, on 17 July 2020

I felt really proud of working for Library Services at this year’s UCL Sustainability Awards ceremony.

With Covid-19 and the lockdown, we had to adapt our services quickly to support our users remotely. The lightning talks from the Library Staff Conference helped to bring to life the variety of ways in which colleagues have worked tirelessly to deliver a continuous high-quality service with a personal touch. Leaving our buildings (and plants) behind, carving out workspaces from home, and working in new ways – all of these things might have served as obstacles preventing our Green Champions from submitting to the Green Impact scheme in 2020.

But there is no stopping our Library Green Champions. On the contrary, rather than 2020 being a fallow year, we have achieved the best results ever for Library Services. As detailed below, we have returned submissions and improved in most areas, with 1 Bronze, 6 Silver and a staggering 11 Gold Awards for 2020. At the virtual ceremony on MS Teams (which you can read about and even watch online), many colleagues took to the floor to “receive” their award and the Dean of the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences Sasha Roseneil remarked on the strong showing of Library staff.


The full list of awards to Library teams is provided below. I want to congratulate all our Green Champions, and thank colleagues who have supported the effort to achieve such a fantastic result for this year. As we sketch our plans for return to campus, UCL is taking the opportunity to operate the campus in a more sustainable and eco-friendly manner. Earlier this month, UCL has received Fairtrade University status. One tangible example is the introduction of 600 new bike parking and storage facilities on campus. For more tips on preparing for a sustainable return to campus, please visit the Sustainable UCL website.


The School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library


IOE Library

Main Library

Ophthalmology Library

Science Team Library

Senate House Hub

Wickford Zero Waste


Action on Hearing Loss and Ear Institute Library

Bartlett Library

Central Library Services

Cruciform Hub

Institute of Child Health Library

Institute of Archaeology Library

Queen Square Library

Royal Free Medical Library

School of Pharmacy Library

Institute of Orthopaedics Library

Language and Speech Science Library


Library Services receive 19 prizes at Sustainability Awards 2019

By Benjamin Meunier, on 19 July 2019

Library Services collected a record array of awards at the Sustainability Awards ceremony 2019, which was held on Thursday 18th July. 19 Library teams participated in the Green Impact scheme this year, and both Richard Jackson (Sustainability Director) and Fiona Ryland (Chief Operating Officer) commended the department for such a strong demonstration of commitment to tackling sustainability issues.

During the ceremony, Professor Geraint Rees (Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences and SMT Sustainability Champion) and Fiona Ryland presented the awards to colleagues from all parts of UCL for sustainability achievements.

The full list of awards to Library Services sites, below, is testament to the outstanding work of Green Champions and colleagues throughout the department who are taking the initiative to reduce waste and energy consumption and to promote a sustainable environment at work. I am grateful to the Library Sustainability Committee, who have overseen this work, and particularly to Sarah Lawson and Noel Caliste who helped to coordinate the substantial collective submission from Library Services to the Green Impact assessors. Many of our sites were audited by the Green Impact team, and as Chair of the Sustainability Committee I have had the privilege of visiting sites myself to witness the huge amount of work which underpins these awards. I visited LASS Library last month, where in the past year the team organised events to raise awareness of sustainability, manage a flourishing collection of plants and even installed a bug hotel in the outdoor (naturally!) courtyard at Chandler House. I know that there are many other great initiatives in different sites and teams, and look forward to visiting the Bartlett Library in the near future.

Eastman Library Bronze
Main Library Bronze
Science Library Bronze
Central Library Services (department) Bronze
Student Centre Bronze
Queen Square Library Bronze
IoE Library Silver
Bartlett Library Silver
ICH Library (GOSICH) Silver
IoO Library Silver
Royal Free Library Silver
Senate House Library Silver
IoOrthop Library Silver
Ear Library Gold
Cruciform Library Gold
Institute of Archaeology (IOA) Library Gold
SoP Library Gold
LASS Library Gold
Wickford Stores Gold

Many of Library Services’ Green Champions attended the Sustainability Awards ceremony on 18th July



Congratulations to all the staff who were involved in Green Impact 2019. Each of these awards requires significant work and dedication to obtain the necessary credits. I would like to congratulate all the Green Champions and especially commend our 6 teams who achieved “Gold” this year: Wickford, LASS, SoP, IoA, Cruciform and Ear.

This is important work, which demonstrates some of our values (“empowering our staff and students” and being “eco-friendly”). Sustainability, and specifically our performance in Green Impact, is a key part of delivering the Sustainable Estate KPA in the Library Strategy.

To find out more about the work we are doing, including a Sustainability Reference Guide for the whole department, we have a Sustainability page on LibNet. Do get in touch if you would like to get involved!

Design the future of sustainability at UCL

By Benjamin Meunier, on 11 January 2019

(submitted on behalf of Eve Nelson, Sustainability Projects Officer, UCL Environmental Sustainability)

The UCL Sustainability Team are working to redesign the sustainability vision for UCL and we want your input!


Where are we now?

Our first sustainability strategy was created in partnership with the UCL community back in 2013.  Since then we have climbed 63 places in the People and Planet University League to become a first class university, testimony to staff and students across campus working hard to teach, research and operate in a more sustainable way.

  • We have reduced our carbon emissions by 14% over the last 10 years
  • All our new buildings are meeting BREEAM Excellent or higher
  • We send zero waste to landfill, and 65% of waste is recycled
  • We have over 60 departments taking part in Green Impact and 100 Green Champions


A new vision for sustainability at UCL

But is this enough?  UCL’s world leading research community is showing that we need to find solutions to live within our planetary limits and deliver social equality.  What better place to find and test those solutions than here at UCL?

We want to develop a shared sustainability vision for UCL, celebrating and integrating the breadth of activity around environmental and social responsibility issues currently taking place, and also collaborating beyond our community. Sustainability is a challenge and an opportunity for everyone.

Initial consultation with staff and students has led to three themes:

  • Sustainable literacy – enabling globally responsible citizens
  • Getting the basics right – providing the infrastructure to help our community make sustainable choices
  • Global research, local solutions – using UCL’s research to tackle operational challenges

Three signature campaigns are proposed to provide a focus for the activities: Wild Bloomsbury, Climate Change: Action! and Sustainable Stuff. Find out more here.


What do you want to change?

We want to hear your ideas and opinions. What should a sustainable UCL look like? What needs to change? Have you seen a great example of sustainability you think we should implement? What projects would you like to see under these signature programmes? And how can we make the strategy a success?

We greatly appreciate your input in our three minute survey. It takes less time than making a cup of tea!

Take our survey

UCL Sustainability Awards 2018: Library staff making a difference

By Benjamin Meunier, on 5 September 2018

The UCL Sustainability Awards ceremony was held on Tuesday 03/09 in the Jeremy Bentham Room (Wilkins building). The event was hosted by Richard Jackson (Director, Sustainability in UCL Estates) and Professor Geraint Rees (Chair of the UCL Sustainability Committee and Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences). Professor Rees presented awards to the teams which participated in the Green Impact scheme in 2018.

The awards are split between ‘office’ and ‘labs’, and special awards can be granted for projects. Awards rank from Bronze to Platinum, with an additional ‘Excellence’ category. The Awards were achieved as follows:
Gold – Completing the individual workbook as set out
Platinum – additional 20 points
Excellence- additional 40 points

Library Sites
Central Library Services (departmental award) Gold
Main Library Gold
Ophthalmology Library Platinum
Queen Square Library Platinum
Language and Speech Science Library Gold
Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health Library Gold
Royal Free Hospital Medical Library Gold
Cruciform Hub Platinum
Eastman Dental Institute Library Excellence
Ear Institute and Action on Hearing Loss Libraries Excellence
School of Pharmacy Library Platinum
Science Library Gold
Institute of Archaeology Library Platinum
Wickford Stores Platinum

In addition, the School of Pharmacy Medicinal Garden was granted a project award.

Each team received a Blue Planet 2 inspired Sustainability Awards trophy. Artist Joanna Atherton created these sculptures out of plastics found during beach cleans. Congratulations to all the staff who were involved in improving our sustainability this year, and particularly to colleagues across sites who contributed to the department’s 14 successful entries to the Green Impact scheme this year.

Library Services as a department achieved Gold for the first time.  Well done for a fantastic result!  The Library Sustainability Committee hopes to extend the awards to all library sites for Green Impact 2019, and we welcome any project ideas. If you want to get involved or find out more, please visit the Sustainability pages on LibNet: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/libnet/about/committees/sustainability

The Green Impact scheme is continuing to grow at UCL as more and more teams participate from across the university. As noted above, Library Services has performed very well, and for the first time the department as a whole was awarded a Gold award. Green Impact is also competitive, in a good-spirited way – UCL’s PALS Green Impact Team have consistently been the best-performing department at UCL. They shared the first prize in Green Impact in 2018, as joint winners with the Office of the Vice-Provost (Advancement). Can Library Services do better next year? The answer depends on each of you. During the event yesterday, there was a lot of emphasis on how small steps, individual actions, might seem trivial in isolation. But when those small actions are multiplied by 350 Library Services staff, or 50,000 in UCL’s community of students and staff, collectively those actions make a big difference.

And finally, to try and reduce the 1 million single-use cups which are thrown away every year at UCL, since Monday 03/09, UCL outlets are pricing single-use cups separately. So save money by using a reusable cup! More information is available at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/greenucl/what-we-do/sustainable-food/ditch-disposable