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Libraries sign up to Green Manifesto

17 November 2022

Libraries across Cambridgeshire have pledged to put the environment at the heart of everything they do following the COP-27 climate change event.

As part of ongoing work by Cambridgeshire County Council to reduce carbon emissions and enhance the environment, the county’s Libraries Service has pledged to support a national ‘Green Libraries Manifesto’.

The Manifesto is hosted by the Library and Information Association (CILIP) in partnership with Arts Council England, British Library, Libraries Connected and Julie’s Bicycle. It has been adopted by several libraries across the country and aims to establish common values and commitments to drive transformational change for our planet and communities.

Councillor Tom Sanderson, Chair of the council’s Communities, Social Mobility and Inclusion Committee, said: “The council is fully committed to doing everything we can to become Carbon neutral by 2030 and enhance the environment locally. I’m delighted that our Libraries team are helping our efforts by supporting this wholly worthwhile scheme, which I’m sure will make a positive difference.

“The manifesto will help libraries adopt a shared vision, leading by example through their own environmental actions and informing and inspiring people to take positive action across the communities we serve.”

The Manifesto sets out seven key pledges that Cambridgeshire libraries will work towards, including bringing environmental sustainability to the heart of decision-making, working alongside communities to make a difference, developing partnerships with like-minded organisations and growing and sharing and knowledge. To find out more about the Manifesto and read it in full visit here.

The council’s libraries have already undertaken several environmentally friendly initiatives in recent times, which are already making a positive difference.

Eight of the county’s libraries have had air source heat pumps installed to help the buildings become more energy efficient. The work is part of a wider project to install air source hear pumps in council buildings which is expected to cut the Council’s usage of gas by around one third and save approximately 370 tonnes CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) per year.

Nearly all of the council’s library buildings now have LED lighting installed and two venues - Huntingdon and March libraries have solar panels on site.

The service also follows the council’s sustainable procurement guidelines and encourages card-free membership. By encouraging customers to borrow, rather than buy books, the service also helps to support a sustainable environment.