Greening Interlibrary Loan Practices . OCLC Research Webinar 6 May 2010. Dennis Massie Program Officer, OCLC Research firstname.lastname@example.org. Bring on the Experts. California Environmental Associates Aarthi Ananthanarayanan, Laura Keller www.ceaconsulting.com 3-month study
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Greening Interlibrary Loan Practices
OCLC Research Webinar
6 May 2010
Program Officer, OCLC Research
A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact that human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide (CO2)
“Carbon equivalent” used as a standard measurement
Five gases in addition to CO2 are considered major greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions:
PRODUCTS / TRANSPORT
Many organizations are going beyond a “carbon footprint” to
capture their full “environmental footprint”
Key factors that contribute to the impacts from packaging, shipping, waste, and paper use:
Office paper use
Packaging raw materials acquisition
Packaging materials manufacture
Packaging product manufacture
Transport of product to point of use
Packaging product use
Packaging reused or disposed
Transport packaged book to user
Packaged book sorting process
Transport to local hub
Pick-up of packaged book
The table below shows the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the production, transport, and disposal of various different types of packaging. Note that the mailing bags (on the left) generate significantly fewer emissions than the cardboard boxes (on the right).1
1. Franklin Associates. “Life Cycle Inventory of Packaging Operations for Shipment of Retail Mail-Order Soft Goods.” Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program, April 2004. http://www.deq.state.or.us/lq/pubs/docs/sw/packaging/LifeCycleInventory.pdf.
Lending Paper Flow: Copy
Print request and process/verify
Mail to requester
Process/Verify request electronically
Scan article and convert as needed
Send article electronically
Lending Paper Flow: Loan
Print pick slip
Print book band
[1 per page]
Print return paperwork
Generate mailing label
[0.25 per page]
Shipping instructions sheet
Print pick slip 3 per page
Reuse pick slip for book band
Print return paperwork 2 per page
Generate mailing label
Reuse packing instructions
Include packaging instructions on book band
Check out the Illiad Workflow Toolkit for time-saving tips on automating workflow, templates, and eliminating paper processes:http://toolkit.idsproject.org
Best Practice: University of Tennessee at Knoxville ILL staff saves paper and staff time using a unique loan request template that doubles as a pick slip and return paperwork. They print it on special sheets that are half label, half copy paper, so outgoing and incoming mailing labels are also printed in one step, using only one piece of paper total. Book bands are printed 2 to a page, resulting in 1.5 pieces of paper per transaction.
Remember to reuse and recycle office paper: Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 2 barrels of oil, and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity — enough energy to power the average American home for five months. Source: EPA, 2008
Note: This analysis covers the roundtrip impact of ILL lending operations at each institution. Borrowing was excluded from this calculation to avoid double-counting of emissions. Shipping and some of the packaging impacts listed here would be considered within an organization’s Scope 3 emissions.
*Packaging impacts are calculated in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), incorporating the impacts of methane and nitrous oxide (greenhouse gases significant in the production of packaging materials); CO2e information was not available for the shipping impact calculation, therefore CO2 impacts alone were calculated.
1. “Greenhouse Gas Equivalency Calculator.” United States Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html (accessed January 6, 2010).
2. Sibley, Lisa. “Cleantech Group report: E-readers a win for carbon emissions.” CleanTech Group, August 19, 2009. http://cleantech.com/news/4867/cleantech-group-finds-positive-envi.
*This represents the emissions from moving 1 book 100 miles to normalize for loan volume and distance.
Library Greening Toolkit
GOAL: Reduce book-miles traveled and encourage fuel-efficient modes of transport.
Source books locally by utilizing local borrowing group consortia agreements [Chicago, Emory, NYU]
Set up “custom holdings” system to automate a lender string based geography [Chicago, Emory]
Ship via “ground” mode rather than “air” [Chicago, Emory]
Request hybrid electric vehicles at FedEx and UPS
Encourage use of/campus testing of fuel-efficient or hybrid vehicles for deliveries from offsite storage facilities
Avoid multiple shipments to same destination by bundling returns with outgoing loans [Chicago, Emory]
Scan and send articles and book chapters electronically to avoid physical transportation of materials[Chicago, Emory]
Use staff at offsite storage facilities to scan and send articles electronically [NYU, Princeton]