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LCCOS staff news


News for colleagues within the LCCOS department.


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!

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.

Powered by Plants – Library Services trial for one-year

By Benjamin Meunier, on 12 July 2021

UCL’s Sustainability Director Richard Jackson attended the Library SMT meeting in June and participated in a discussion with SMT members on adopting vegetarian catering for Library Services events. The policy was introduced at UCL within the Psychology of Language Division (PALS) and has been adopted by a number of departments and divisions. UCL Library Services have now signed up to one year trial of Powered By Plants – catering will be 100% vegetarian or vegan by default.

This commitment is part of UCL Library Services’ activity to reduce our environmental impact, driven by our team of committed Green Champions, and to support wellbeing. It also supports UCL’s ambition to lead by example.

UCL provides detailed guidance on managing sustainable events. You can also find out more about sustainability initiatives from UCL’s catering provider.

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!

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

Green Impact Excellence for Library sites

By Benjamin Meunier, on 22 September 2017

Last week, the Sustainability Team hosted UCL’s fifth Sustainability Awards ceremony. The event celebrated the achievements of 60 teams and over 100 Green Champions who took part in Green Impact, UCL’s Sustainability Engagement Programme.

UCL Library Services has performed strongly every year since Green Impact was launched at UCL, and this year was no exception. The commitment, creativity and hard work of many teams across Library Services sites was recognised through the award of six Excellence Awards, one Platinum, one Gold and two Silver. Three project awards were also granted to UCL libraries, which is a tribute to the ongoing success of teams engaging with the important agenda of changing behaviour and raising awareness of environmental issues.

This work is incredibly important, and it contributes towards our achievement of strategic objectives under the Sustainable Estate Key Performance Area of the Library Services Strategy. The Library SMT discussed Green Impact at its meeting in May 2017, shortly after the submissions had been entered. It was agreed that new approaches will be explored in the forthcoming round of Green Impact this year (2017-18), particularly to look into the feasibility of a single submission being put forwards for Library Services, bringing together the excellent work from across sites. This will be an agenda topic for the next Library Sustainability Committee, chaired by Phil Watson. On behalf of SMT, I would like to reiterate our thanks and appreciation to colleagues for the large amount of work which goes into achieving such success in UCL’s sustainability drive.

Below is a list of all the sites which have received an award in the Green Impact 2017:


Eastman Dental Library

Bartlett Library

Queen Square Library

School of Pharmacy Library

Language & Speech Science (LASS) Library

Ear Institute and Action on Hearing Loss Library


Cruciform Hub


Orthopaedics Library


Green Comrades (SSEES Library)

Royal Free Medical Library


Project Award Winners

Teams which have previously scored either a Gold or Platinum award are invited to run an Excellence Project.  Teams are expected to complete some basic actions to maintain their environmental performance, and can complete more if they wish, but they then undertake a larger project of their choice to retain their previous year’s award. Three Library Services teams were awarded Project Awards:


SSEES Library – The team focused on educating students and staff on the problems associated with plastic after discovering that a vast amount of plastic is washed up on Eastern European shores. The team have collected plastic, screened films and hosted workshops on the topic. They are planning to build a statue out of bottles in the library to raise awareness.

Royal Free Medical Library – This award recognises a project focused on engaging students and staff in sustainability. The Library organised a variety of events from Meat Free Mondays to trips to ByWaters recycling centre.



School of Pharmacy Library – for creating a medicinal garden. Plants from the garden will be used in the teaching at the School. For more information see this article on the medicinal garden.


For more information on the Sustainability Awards, please visit, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/greenucl/greenucl-news-publication/sustainability-awards

If you wish to get involved in Library Services’ Green Impact activity, please discuss this with your line manager or with the Chair of the Library Sustainability Committee, Phil Watson.