Sustainability in the Libraries


Both libraries are open 24/7/365 so we do have a major impact in terms of energy and resource use. Our aim is to manage these impacts in line with the SHU sustainability policies and we are audited regularly to ensure we keep on track!
Wherever possible we aim to…
  • electronic reading lists – promote the use of ebooks and online articles instead of hard copy resources
  • paperless University – our meeting rooms for students and staff are fitted with IT and AV equipment which support paperless working – minutes, supporting documents and agendas can be projected on screen
  • green printing – our MFDs have green printing options to reduce the cost and the amount of printing
  • automatic shutdown of PCs – after a period of inactivity, PCs automatically close down to save energy. Plasma screens in the workrooms also close down
  • zoned lighting – the lighting in the libraries goes off if no one is working in the area. So if it is quiet at 2am, we aren’t wasting energy
Rather than throw things away, we are committed to reusing as much as we can – during a recent refurbishment…
  • office furniture – Over2Hills, a company based in Cleakheaton collected all unwanted furniture. They re-use as much as they can by giving furniture away free to local charities and community groups. If they can’t re-use it, they re-work it – repair or upcycle it. Finally, if it is beyond all hope, they recycle it. 98% of all waste is recycled into useful products
  • office equipment – we offered as much as we could to ‘Free to a Good Home’ via the SHU green champions network. Items included coat stands, desk lamps, book trolleys ( some went to local schools), labelling machines, photography equipment and a manikin!
  • stationery – we set up trolleys at both libraries and filled these with unwanted stationery items – free for students to take
  • kitchen equipment – we stripped out two staff kitchens as part of the refurbishment and discovered about 20 years’ worth of forgotten mugs, glasses and general kitchen ‘bits’. There was also a trolley of unwanted books, a few pictures and a box or two of Christmas decorations. These were donated to Emmaus Sheffield who provide safe and welcoming places to live for homeless people
  • sinks – we also stripped out two kitchen sinks. These were used, along with a few waste pallets, by our building contractors Overbury to make a mud kitchen for Norton Free Primary school
We also regularly send unwanted paper to the Nursery for the children to draw on and gave them a box of water bottles which we couldn’t give out to students.
If we do have to throw it away, we aim to make sure it is thrown away in a safe and responsible manner
Better World Books – when we update and weed collections, we send as many books as possible to Better World Books. This company sells the books online and a percentage of the profit is donated to literacy programmes around the world. If they can’t sell the books they are reused or recycled. To date we have sent 42,301 books, had 20,109 sold or reused and 22,192 recycled. This has generated £3395.22 for the National Literacy Trust
Batteries – battery testing and recycling tubs are available at both libraries. This makes it easy for students and staff to dispose of dead batteries in a responsible way
Waste recycling – we have recycling bins throughout the library
We even re – energise our staff!
Staff walking group – this group was set up recently for staff to go on regular short lunchtime walks. Research from SHU ( Prof Rob Copeland and featured on the BBC programme The Truth About Getting Fit ) shows that there is real benefit for stress relief and fitness in walking short regular walks. So far 60 staff have signed up!
Walks so far have been to
  • the cholera monument
  • the River Don and the canal basin
  • Porter Brook pocket park
  • the General Cemetery
Future planned walks are to Kelham Island and to the Botanical Gardens
And you thought we were just about books!