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Green Libraries Scotland 2024 – CILIPS Action Plan

Category: Blog, CILIPSGoGreen

The CILIPSGoGreen logo, showing CILIPS Scotland's library and information professionals in white with a green, purple, yellow and pink wildflower meadow background.

Growing from our original CILIPS Carbon Neutrality Plan and subsequent updates, 2024 is already proving to be a key year for Green Libraries Scotland! Not only are we seeing outputs blossoming as the result of seeds planted by the Green Libraries Scotland Grant Fund, but as signatories to both the Green Libraries Manifesto and Creative Carbon Scotland’s Green Arts Charter, we have a fantastic framework tailored to the libraries sector that is informing our future environmental action.

CILIPS Membership Officer Kirsten also recently worked with Change Agents UK to become officially Carbon Literate – helping to meet our Green Arts Charter Goal 2, more below – and our 2024 Carbon Neutrality Plan combines her group pledge with those of the Manifesto and Charter to centre our eco-activities around ten key actions.

Check them out below, referenced with our three pledge sources:

Top 10 Actions for 2024

  1. Increase the number of Green Libraries Manifesto signatories in Scotland from 15 to 30
  2. Reopen the Green Libraries Scotland Grant Fund in spring 2024
  3. Grow this year’s Green Libraries Gathering (or series of mini-gatherings) to include climate adaptation for local communities with libraries as centres for climate literacy
  4. Assess the carbon impact of this year’s CILIPS Conference, combining new and existing sustainability steps to reduce it
  5. Meet with key political decision makers/stakeholders to strengthen their understanding of, and ability to advocate for, library-led environmental action
  6. Add climate justice to the remit of the CILIPS Trustee Board EDI Working Group and make recommendations for a climate justice-focused review of the CILIPS EDI Commitment
  7. Meet with Robertson House staff (where the CILIPS office is based) to ensure our building is on track for zero carbon
  8. Feature regular newsletter/blog green theme updates and consider an eco-evening social media share space for CILIPS members
  9. Join a Creative Carbon Scotland learning set
  10. Expand our current SLIC Innovation and Development Fund – University of Strathclyde project, Education for Sustainable Development.

For further information on any aspect of this year’s Green Libraries Scotland action plan, please contact CILIPS Membership Officer Kirsten at


The Green Libraries Manifesto – working together for people and planet

In this video, Kirsten introduces the seven pledges of the Green Libraries Manifesto. If you haven’t already, sign it here!

Creative Carbon Scotland’s Green Arts Charter

The Green Arts Charter aims to inspire, support and provide a framework for cultural organisations in the Green Arts Initiative (GAI) like CILIP Scotland to deliver the climate action needed to achieve transformational change. To achieve systemic change, we need collaborative action from the cultural sector and beyond, and the Green Arts Charter therefore aims to enable collective working and establish shared goals and pledges.

CILIP Scotland’s chosen Green Arts Charter pledges are to:

Goal 1: Organisation reduces emissions in line with Creative Scotland’s 2030 Net Zero goal – Action 4: Use a carbon budgeting tool to guide your planning and programming and reduce your carbon in line with 2030 net zero goals

Goal 2: Staff within organisation feel knowledgeable and equipped to commit to mitigation – Action 1: Assign a Green Champion and set time within their workplan to deliver sustainability goals

Goal 3: Organisation plays a part in achieving local net zero goals and participates in mitigation initiatives – Action 4: Join local working groups and networks to join mitigation goals. For example: SPRINGBOARD local assemblies, Climate Action Hubs

Goal 4: Organisation works to adapt to the impacts and manage the risks of a changing environment – Action 2: Assign time to green team or green champion to our Cultural Adaptations Toolkit to identify risks for the organisation

Goal 5: Organisation does ongoing work to be part of local climate adaptation initiatives and has influence in society adaptation – Action 3: Set up meetings with adaptation stakeholders, and join local networks to understand how you can be part of local adaptation

Goal 6: Organisation feels connected to the Green Arts community in Scotland and understands the collective goal to net zero – Action 3: Set up meetings with those on the network facing similar challenges to talk through actions and ways through

Goal 7: Organisation shares resources, tools and learnings around climate with others in network – Action 4: Join a Creative Carbon Scotland learning set to encourage peer-to-peer learning amongst the network

Goal 8: Organisation is a part of creative climate action within their local communities – Action 4: Set up a collaborative project across culture, community, and climate to deliver transformational change

Goal 9: Organisation regularly uses their platform to influence and advocate for climate action – Action 1: Share relevant cultural resources for climate action across social media, website, and newsletters

Goal 10: Organisation has green values embedded across the organisation – Action 3: Define a policy around Circular Economy and waste to reduce the need for new materials and purchases

Goal 11: All climate action is considered through a climate justice lens – Action 2: Share sustainability polices and action plans across the organisation and identify any potential climate justice concerns

Goal 12: Organisation connects with local climate justice issues and collaborates with community – Action 2: Establish how your organisation can support climate justice issues local to you

Kirsten’s Climate Literacy Group Pledge

The unique role of libraries as trusted, free for all, non-clinical and non-commercial spaces in our communities means that my sector has a unique part to play in inspiring collective action to reduce local carbon footprints: offering warm spaces in winter, heat protection during summer, plus evidence-based information on both mitigation and adaptation that individuals and their families can use to cope with the impacts of climate change.

Therefore, my pledge is for our Green Libraries Network and the CILIPS community to play a central role in growing community climate literacy by:

  1. Firstly, sharing knowledge and case studies of the steps that libraries themselves should take to align operations with the goal of zero carbon. Examples here include the GWL Net Zero Handbook cited earlier, as well as the National Library of Scotland whose Climate Action Plan details their aim to achieve net zero by 2045 at the latest. To maximise its reach, this knowledge will be shared online with our professional community via a recorded webinar series and complementary blog posts.
  2. Building on the learning of point 1, the next step will be to encourage libraries to showcase their progress publicly in ways that educate library patrons on how they can likewise reduce their personal carbon footprints. With many library communities disproportionately impacted by poverty and intersectional inequalities, this will include both mitigation and adaptation. An example of the latter is the Community Climate Adaptation Routemap, which I hope to see eventually available in digital form on library service websites and as a physical resource in-branch that communities can consult.
  3. My final step for this pledge will be an advocacy campaign highlighting how a) communities can use their local libraries to learn more about the climate crisis and what steps they can take to help and b) why libraries are consequently an important yet often underrated part of society’s net zero progress. As with my previous steps, this will be as collaborative as possible: creating adaptable templates, email signatures and social media graphics that both library professionals and patrons can share.



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