X Close

LibNet staff news

Home

Menu

UCL’s Sustainability Awards 2021

Benjamin Meunier15 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.

Bronze:

  • Bartlett Library
  • Institute of Orthopaedics Library
  • SSEES Library

Silver:

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

Gold:

  • 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

Benjamin Meunier12 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

Benjamin Meunier14 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!

World Earth Day 2020 and sustainable initiatives at the Institute of Orthopaedics Library.

simon.bralee.1522 April 2020

Wednesday 22nd April 2020 is World Earth Day. Across the world, individuals and organisations mark the day through participating in various ‘green, sustainable and environmentally friendly’ practices.

The mission of World Earth Day is: “To build the world’s largest environmental movement to drive transformative change for people and planet”.

Every year there is a theme to mark the day, and this year the theme is Climate Action. Furthermore, this year World Earth Day is going digital, and there is a digital interactive world map, which people can visit to see what virtual events are taking place across the world to mark World Earth Day.

Sustainable Stanmore

In line with World Earth Day 2020, the Institute of Orthopaedics Library Team would like to share the green and sustainable initiatives we have participated in.

Prior to the remote working, we were involved in Fairtrade Fortnight 2020. The Fairtrade Foundation supports local farmers and communities through a range of initiatives. They also focus on protecting the environment, ensuring farmers have good soil and water quality which is important for communities and the environment.

In addition, on the 17th March 2020 our plants – the Oxilis and the Joseph Coat plants (scientific name of the plant is Amaranthus gangeticus) were ‘adopted’ by team colleagues – Jas, Danny and Beth. They are now very happy and flourishing in their new homes during the remote working period.

Below are comments from the team about Fairtrade Fortnight and our library plants.

Veronica Parisi (Acting Librarian)

Throughout Monday 24th February to Sunday 8th March, the Institute of Orthopaedics Library was involved in the Fairtrade Fortnight and several activities were organised to engage library users as well as library staff to raise awareness about Fairtrade.

The library provided an information stand at the entrance where users could read more about Fairtrade while sipping a complimentary Fairtrade tea, coffee and tasting delicious Fairtrade chocolate.

Library users also took part in fun and informative activities such as ‘storybombing’. This was a story hunt where users had to find in the library 5 different thought-provoking stories about the lives and conditions of women cocoa farmers. Once the stories had been found, users were celebrated with a sticker and Fairtrade Chocolate at the library desk.

Two library staff Fairtrade food and bake events were also organised where staff brought in homemade chocolate cookies, courtesy of our baker Maryam, and treats made only with Fairtrade products. Our baker Maryam also shared some delicious Fairtrade recipes from Fairtrade Foundation and the Co-Op. For pancakes lovers, there are some great ideas for Fairtrade topping .

This was an enjoyable and informative two-week period and it was rewarding to engage with library users in different ways whilst contributing to raise awareness about Fairtrade.

Maryam Ali (Library Assistant)

It was great to organise the Fairtrade Fortnight event at the Institute of Orthopaedics library. The main purpose was to raise awareness about Fairtrade and the work the Fairtrade Foundation does in an engaging, fun and informative way.

It was wonderful to see our users stop by at the Fairtrade Fortnight Information stand, speak to library staff about Fairtrade, the Fairtrade products, how they can get involved in the ‘Storybombing’ activity and tell us how good the Fairtrade Coffee tasted! We used biodegradable cups to try to make the event as sustainable as possible, and encouraged staff and students to bring their own cups too.

I also learnt more about the work the Fairtrade Foundation does, and the range of Fairtrade products available.

Library staff tweeted throughout Fairtrade Fortnight to raise awareness. Thank you to everyone who supported and participated during Fairtrade Fortnight.

Fairtrade stand Fairtrade Stand

Roberta Wiseman (Senior Library Assistant)

I enjoyed the Fairtrade Fortnight event organised by Maryam (who made some very delicious biscuits!), and feel that my awareness of the work of the Fairtrade Foundation has increased.

It is important that everyone is paid appropriately for their labour, and that people all over the world have access to healthcare, education, and the opportunity for a happy life.

I also enjoyed the excitement of having a scavenger hunt in the library throughout the fortnight, with chocolate prizes.  I think our users appreciated it too!

Danny Williams (Evening & Weekend Library Assistant)

I participated in the ‘storybombing’ activity mentioned above. I hid the second one of the StoryBomb leaflets on one of the library shelves, informing work colleagues of where I hid it. I then posted a tweet on the Orthopaedics Library’s Twitter account, informing library users of the leaflet. I also brought in a bar of Sainsbury’s milk chocolate, which had a Fairtrade logo on it, for use by library staff.

I am currently looking after one of the Orthopaedics Library’s potted plants whilst working from home, and until the library re-opens. It’s an Oxilis, with crimson-colour leaves, and I water it once a week. It also gets plenty of sunlight.

Photo of Oxilis

Oxilis

Elizabeth Metz (Evening Senior Library Assistant)

I was delighted to offer a temporary home to one of the Joseph’s Coat plants, which is thriving in its new home!

Photo of Joseph’s Coat plant

Joseph’s Coat plants

Further information

World Earth Day 2020

Fairtrade Foundation

Written by the Institute of Orthopaedics Library Team: Veronica, Jas, Ma’ali, Elizabeth, Roberta, Danny and Maryam.

orth-libary@ucl.ac.uk

Green Christmas: The Big Switch Off

Benjamin Meunier16 December 2019

UCL is powered by 100% renewable energy, and by 2024 our buildings will be net zero carbon, but this doesn’t mean we should waste energy over the Christmas break! On an average week UCL uses around 4.5m kWh of energy to heat and power our buildings. That’s equivalent to 630 flights to New York! Be a part of the solution and not the pollution, by participating in the BIG CHRISTMAS SWITCH OFF!

This year, the only Library spaces which will be open at Christmas are the Student Centre and the Graduate Hub (South Junction). This will make us far more environmentally efficient than previous years where we have opened the Main or Science Library.

Find out more about the Christmas Switch off at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/sustainable/news/2019/dec/dreaming-green-christmas

To make your pledge, click here

 

Global Climate Strike: Library Services staff taking action as part of global movement, 20 September

Benjamin Meunier27 September 2019

At lunchtime on 20 September a group of Library staff showed their support for the global climate strike by joining colleagues and students in the Front Quad. The below is a write-up of the events on the day by Catherine Sharp, one of the Main Library Green Champions, who attended the event.

“We heard an inspiring talk from members of the Islington Extinction Rebellion group, who described the risks of still-rising carbon emissions, including droughts, floods, extreme heat, wildfires, crop failure, disease, population displacement and species extinction – with human extinction becoming ever more likely. Climate tipping points could lead to irreversible change even if global temperature can be limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, but on current estimates the remaining 1°C carbon budget will be used up very soon (see the CO₂ mitigation graph below).

The Extinction Rebellion representatives described the evolution of the movement, which was formed less than a year ago. They encourage people to participate in its non-violent civil disobedience to the extent that they’re able, and understand that the climate crisis can seem overwhelming. The next big action will begin in London on 7 October. UCU supports the work of Extinction Rebellion, and a UCL Extinction Rebellion group has been formed.”

Library Services staff are at the forefront of making UCL more sustainable, as demonstrated in our strong performance in the Green Impact scheme year after year. I had the pleasure of visiting The Bartlett Library in Central House last week, and witnessed how the team there is supporting recycling and sharing information through a prominent display of resources on sustainability at the entrance of the Library.

The new Sustainable UCL Strategy will be launched on 17 October in the Student Centre. After the launch, there will be lots more information on how you can get involved in playing your part in helping UCL to become one of the most environmentally-friendly universities in the UK and act as a model for other organisations to show that change is possible.