Suffolk Libraries – Ipswich County Library: Greening a community hub
Library looks to expand environmental efforts
Ipswich County Library qualified for free support from Carbon Smart through the Suffolk Carbon Leaders programme. Staff at the Library were already engaged with environmental issues and had taken a number of steps to reduce their footprint, including recycling paper and upgrading to energy efficient lighting in some areas.
However, the Library were now looking to drive this progress further and wanted support in calculating a baseline and developing a clear and practical action plan, which would not only result in real savings but also support the environmental values of the organisation more broadly.
Working together for practical change
The Suffolk Carbon Leaders team worked with the staff at Ipswich County Library to calculate their carbon footprint and produce a report detailing their current impacts. They then developed an action plan outlining the areas where the Library could make the greatest carbon and energy savings and the estimated investment that this would require, as well as ways that they could engage visitors with the environmental performance of their Library.
As a result of the Suffolk Carbon Leaders report Ipswich County Library established a green team onsite to kick start their action plan – and it’s worked. So far they have already begun upgrading their spotlights to LEDs and are in the process of insulating the piping in their boiler plant room. In addition they also are exploring the option of installing solar photovoltaic panels on the roof of the building.
A brighter future for the community
Carbon Smart identified estimated annual savings of 17 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent); this is not just a coup for the environment but also for the Library’s finances, as implementing the action plan will save £3,700 per year. Of course with thousands of members of the public crossing the library threshold every week, there is an extra benefit in the form of a fantastic opportunity to engage with the community around sustainability and efficiency issues.