Think green: simple things you can do to help save energy in the SSL

Pull the plug on climate change imageLighting the library and running equipment such as PCs, photocopiers and laptops are two of the SSL’s most significant environmental impacts due to carbon dioxide emissions resulting from electricity generation.

We are currently reducing the environmental impact of our lighting by replacing all the ceiling lights with energy efficient LED lights.  This is part of a University of Oxford Estates Services project to improve lighting efficiency throughout the Manor Road Building.  Around 1,100 lights have been replaced in the building so far out of about 4,000.  The new LED lights use less than half the electricity of the old fluorescent lights and we estimate that this is currently saving 40,700 watts.  This equates to switching off 626 of the old lights.  Further energy savings are being achieved by new motion sensors in library study areas which automatically turn off the lights when no readers are present.

We have also taken many steps to reduce the impact of electrical equipment in the library, such as programming the photocopiers to sleep after a few minutes of inactivity and turning some equipment off during periods of low demand, but we need your help to do more!

Here are seven simple things you can do to help save energy in the SSL:

  1. Switch off laptops and mobile devices when not in use – easy and effective!
  2. Enable power saving settings on your laptop – do this once and then forget about it!
  3. Turn off your device’s Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth when not in use – this will also make your battery last longer between charges.
  4. Reduce the screen brightness on your mobile phone & laptop – another great battery saving tip.
  5. Unplug any USB devices from your laptop, eg external hard drives, when they are not needed – these can still draw power when not in use.
  6. Switch off the Reader PC monitors after use – library staff are now in the habit of turning off their monitors when they leave their desks – if we can do it, so can you!
  7. Turn off the lights in the Discussion Rooms, Information Skills Training Room and Q-Step Centre Teaching Lab when you leave – yes, you are allowed to turn off these lights and we would love you to do so!

These may seem like small actions, but collectively they can add up to make a big difference.  Thank you for your help in greening the SSL and please do tell us your top energy-saving tips.

New LED lights

New energy efficient LED lights in the Social Science Library

For further tips, a fun way to test your climate change knowledge, and a chance to win 50 tubs of ice cream for your college, try the NUS/University of Oxford Student Switch Off Climate Change Quiz which we are proud to support.

See the Greening the SSL web pages to find out more about what we have been doing to improve the library’s environmental sustainability.

To learn more about the University’s work on energy saving and carbon management see the annual Environmental Sustainability Reports.

New LED lights in the SSL

LED lights in SSL study area

Light fittings in the process of being replaced. New LED lights are visible above the bookshelves.

Work has recently started on replacing the fluorescent ceiling lights in the SSL with energy efficient LED lights.  The LED light fittings use less than half the amount of electricity when operating at 100% brightness.  Once all the lights are installed the brightness will be reduced to the optimal level and the lights will be connected to daylight sensors, so further energy savings are expected. The work is taking place outside of library opening hours to avoid any disruption to readers and it forms part of the Manor Road Building Facilities Team’s plan to improve lighting efficiency throughout the building.

Think green: how you can help save energy at the SSL

Pull the plug on climate change imageElectricity used to light the library and run PCs, photocopiers and readers’ devices is one of the Social Science Library’s main environmental impacts due to the carbon dioxide emissions resulting from power generation.

Library staff have been taking simple energy saving actions to reduce energy wastage. You can help by:

  • Switching off laptops and mobile devices when not in use
  • Unplugging chargers when devices are disconnected or fully charged
  • Enabling power saving settings on your laptop (this will help your battery last longer too)
  • Switching off the Reader PC monitors after use
  • Turning off the lights in the Discussion Rooms and Graduate Study Rooms when you leave

See the Greening the SSL web pages to find out more about what we have been doing to improve the library’s environmental sustainability.

For further tips, and to test your climate change knowledge, try the NUS/University of Oxford Student Switch Off Climate Change Quiz which we are proud to support.  You could win 50 tubs of ice cream for your college!

To learn more about the University’s work on reducing energy usage see the Environmental Sustainability Reports.

Sustainable library books at the SSL

In summer 2017, the Social Science Library conducted a survey of its new purchases to investigate the sustainability practices and commitments of the publishers who supply our broad intake of new books.

We had previously acknowledged “Resource use (paper, energy, ink) in printing and delivering books and journals acquired for the library” as one of the Library’s most significant environmental impacts.

As it is our key responsibility as a Library to provide reading materials in support of world-class teaching and research, our purchasing decisions are driven entirely by academic criteria. However, we were interested to explore the sustainability credentials of the publishers of the books we buy, and celebrate the examples of good practice we found.

During the survey we examined the new print books delivered to the library, looking for statements of responsible sourcing of materials and other sustainability policies within the books themselves. We also looked for this information on the websites of the publishers of the books we had received.

We received 65 new printed books during the period of the survey, from 29 different publishers. The library also purchased 6 multi-user e-books during the same period.

12 of the new printed books contained notes in the publication information given within the book to indicate some degree of sustainability practice in the publishing process, for example:

“This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fully managed and sustained forest sources. Logging, pulping and manufacturing processes are expected to conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin.”

  • Note in book published by Palgrave Macmillan

8 of the new books were marked with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) [http://welcome.fsc.org/understanding-the-fsc-labels.27.htm] logo, certifying that the materials used to make the book are sourced responsibly, comprising material originating from FSC certified forests, as well as recycled or reclaimed materials.

A further 14 of the books contained a statement that they had been printed on acid-free or alkaline paper, or that the production process met national or international standards of Permanence of Paper [http://www.niso.org/apps/group_public/project/details.php?project_id=81] which indicates that under normal circumstances the paper should survive for several hundred years.

We found other statements and commitments to sustainable practice on our book suppliers’ websites. Here are some examples:

SSL Water Week 2017

Water splash

Water is a precious resource.  It is vital for human well‐being, economic development, and a healthy environment but we often take it for granted.  Although it seems like it rains a lot in the United Kingdom, London actually has a lower annual average rainfall than Istanbul or Rome.

Here are five suggestions from the SSL Green Team on how we can appreciate water more:

Save Water  A running tap wastes over six litres of water a minute.  Approximately ten litres of water is needed to produce one sheet of paper!

  • Top Tip: Turn off taps, and report any leaking taps or toilets.
  • Top Tip: Reduce your printing and re-use scrap paper.

Drink Water  It takes up to five litres of water to produce one litre of bottled water.

  • Top Tip: fill a reusable bottle from the water fountain in the Locker room behind the building Reception Desk.

Read Water  Choose from the Library’s booklist:

Enjoy Water  The River Cherwell flows alongside the Library – join the path in University Parks and stroll through ancient water meadows.

Campaign Water  Get involved and find out more about water conservation.

  • WaterAid is a charity whose mission is “to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.
  • Waterwise promotes water efficiency and provides water-saving tips and fun facts.
  • The Oxford Water Network is a multi-disciplinary research community connecting 15 different departments at the University of Oxford.  Sign up to their monthly e-newsletter or check their list of events.

Green Impact logo, Green Impact Gold Award, Green Impact Special Award

 

Top tips to save energy in the SSL, and a chance to win 100 tubs of ice cream

Simple energy saving actions by Social Science Library staff and readers contributed to a 7% reduction in the Manor Road Building’s electricity usage for 2015/16 compared to the previous year.  Electricity use is one of the library’s main environmental impacts due to the carbon dioxide emissions resulting from power generation.  As well as the 766 ceiling lights in the library, there are 87 reader and staff computers, 5 photocopiers, plus our readers’ own laptops and mobile devices all contributing to the SSL’s ‘plugged load’.

Help the SSL save more energy and further reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by:

  • Switching off laptops and mobile devices when not in use
  • Unplugging chargers when devices are disconnected or fully charged
  • Enabling power saving settings on your laptop (this will help your battery last longer too)
  • Switching off the Reader PC monitors after use
  • Turning off the lights in the Discussion Rooms and Graduate Study Rooms when you leave

For more tips and to test your climate change knowledge try the Student Switch Off Climate Change Quiz.  You could win 100 tubs of ice cream for your college!

See the Greening the SSL web pages to find out more about what we have been doing to improve the library’s environmental sustainability.

To learn more about the University’s work on reducing energy usage see the Environmental Sustainability Report 2016.

The leaning tower of paper: easy ways to print less and help green the SSL

SSL staff with paper towerThis tower of paper, 2.19 metres tall, shows the amount of printing done on the Social Science Library’s five printer/copiers in October 2016.  That’s 21,752 sheets, in just one month.  If the tower hadn’t started to lean and we’d been able to add the paper used for photocopying, it would have reached 2.7 metres and consisted of 26,481 sheets.

We appreciate that printing and copying is essential for study and research but it is also one of the SSL’s main environmental impacts due to the consumption of paper, energy and ink (toner).  We have taken steps to reduce these impacts by using recycled paper, setting the printer/copiers to sleep after 10 minutes’ inactivity and recycling empty toner cartridges.  Printing from Reader PCs and PCAS RemotePrint is also double-sided by default.

Take a few seconds to think before you print – here are some easy things you can do to save paper, energy and ink, and spend less on printing and copying:

  • Do you need to print the document or could you read it on screen instead?
  • Are you printing a PDF in order to annotate it?  If so, have you considered annotating it on screen instead using the highlight and comment features in Adobe Reader?
  • Are you printing an article to keep for future reference?  You could save it to a USB memory stick or add a link to your reference manager instead.
  • Could you print two (or more) pages per sheet?  This will make the text smaller but if you can still read it this simple step will reduce your printing by 40%.  From the Reader PCs this option is accessed via the Print Properties then the Document Options tab.  See the PCAS guide on Printing from Library PCs.
  • Only print the pages, or selection, you need.  This is really quick and easy to do!
  • Fit more words on a page by narrowing the margins and using a smaller font.
  • Photocopy double-sided – use the PCAS Photocopying Instructions sheet next to each photocopier or ask staff to show you how.
  • Copy smart and avoid wasteful mistakes – refer to the PCAS guides, eg Copying different book sizes, or ask staff for advice.

Do you have any top tips for printing and copying less?  Email them to ssl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk or talk to staff and we will share them with others.

green-impact-logoGreen Impact Gold Award logogreen-impact-special-award

Green Impact: SSL wins Gold and Staff Award

SSL Green Team with Green Impact awards

L-R: Sarah Rhodes, David Shackleton, Jo Gardner, Joanna Soedring, Craig Finlay

The SSL’s Green Team was very proud to receive a Green Impact Gold Award at Oxford University’s Sustainability Showcase 2016 held at the Blavatnik School of Government on 15 June, and attended by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson.

Part of the Live illustration at the Sustainability Showcase 2016

Part of the Live illustration at the Sustainability Showcase 2016

SSL staff have been working hard throughout the year identifying and implementing ways to save energy and reduce waste by switching off equipment and lights when not in use, carrying out The Great Bin Survey, reducing handouts for training sessions by posting presentations online, and being instrumental in the introduction of KeepCups to the Bodleian Libraries.  We’ve also had some fun baking cakes for charity, counting bees and sporting Christmas jumpers.

Joanna Soedring won the Green Impact Staff Award for her motivation and dedication, enabling the team to go from Bronze to Gold in one year.

Gold and Staff GI awards 2016 smallWe are also really pleased that our colleagues in the Manor Road Building team achieved the Bronze award, and five other teams from the Bodleian Libraries picked up awards, including Silver for staff based at the Osney One Building and Bronze for the Radcliffe Science Library.

See our Greening the SSL web page to find out more about what we have been doing and how you can help.  Do tell us if you have any more ideas for how we can cut carbon emissions and reduce waste.

Green Impact is a national environmental accreditation scheme run by the NUS and managed at Oxford University by the Estates Services’ Environmental Sustainability team.

New wall thermometers in the library

Thermometer in seating areaWe have some new, easy-to-read, wall thermometers in the library, thanks to the University’s Environmental Sustainability Team and Green Impact.  See if you can spot all seven of them!  They indicate whether the temperature is ideal, warm or hot and will help us with our ongoing efforts (with the Estates Department) to reduce overheating and maintain a comfortable temperature.

Think green: save energy

5th week Switch off campaign image for blogSSL staff are currently working towards the Green Impact Silver Award for 2015/16, having achieved Bronze and Best Newcomer awards in 2014/15. Electricity use is one of the library’s main environmental impacts. We have been saving electricity by:

  • Setting the photocopiers to enter sleep mode after 15 minutes’ inactivity
  • Switching off half the photocopiers in vacation
  • Enabling the power saving options on staff PCs

You can help the SSL save energy and reduce CO2 emissions by:

  • Switching off laptops and mobile devices when not in use
  • Unplugging chargers when devices are fully charged or disconnected
  • Enabling power saving settings on laptops
  • Switching off the Reader PC monitors after use
  • Turning off the lights in the Discussion Rooms and Graduate Study Rooms when leaving
  • Telling us your energy saving tips!  Email ssl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk or talk to library staff.

For the chance to win 100 tubs of ice cream for your college, and find out more, try the Student Switch Off Climate Change Quiz!

Green Impact 2014-15 logos