Veritas Huloar
Red Spacer

Report of Nancy M. Cline, Roy E. Larsen Librarian

Sustainability Initiatives

Sustainability Initiatives


For over a decade HCL has had a commitment to sustainability. Operations staff initiated a range of conservation initiatives in the buildings HCL manages (Widener, Houghton, Lamont, Pusey, and Tozzer): replacing building exit signs with low-maintenance LED display signs that draw just 15 watts of power; updating HVAC systems regularly and monitoring and controlling them centrally to maximize efficiency; reducing natural gas consumption by half in Widener Library by alternating the run time for the two dehumidification systems (with no effect on the preservation conditions required for the collections); changing the custodial cleaning schedule from evenings to days to save electricity; switching to green cleaning products; and purchasing durable, higher-quality furnishings that can withstand high traffic and frequent cleaning and be reupholstered at a fraction of the cost of replacing them.

Keeping pace with University efforts this year, HCL has moved to collecting for single-stream recycling and now recycles nearly three-quarters of all its trash. New low-flow urinals and dual flush toilets, which save approximately 7,000 gallons of water per year and several thousand dollars in utility bills, were installed in the libraries along with water-conserving metered faucets, and hands-free paper towel dispensers that reduced paper consumption by 20 percent. Houghton Library began using Request Tracker, a paperless system that allows staff to respond to off-site research requests, maintain statistics, and archive correspondence, a useful tool given that Houghton responds to well over 2,000 written reference requests each year.

HCL Information Technology Services implemented a "wake on LAN" feature allowing computer workstations to be shut down at the end of the work day and "reawakened" automatically during the night for software updates, eliminating the need for all computers to be left on 24 hours to receive upgrades. Duplexers, printers that allow double-sided printing, were installed on all networked printers to conserve paper, and green power strips that draw less wattage were deployed for use with HCL computing systems. Server applications were reviewed and some were consolidated to single servers to conserve on cooling and power requirements.