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National Library of Scotland - Carbon management plan

Carbon management at the National Library of Scotland has reduced carbon emissions by 623 tonnes of CO2 and saved £75k on energy bills per year.

National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland (NLS) has implemented a carbon management Plan which has reduced emissions and produced significant savings in running costs.

In addition, delivery of the carbon management plan has provided NLS with a means of communicating with, and raising awareness among staff on sustainability issues. This has had a particular emphasis on energy use where staff can make a real impact in reducing carbon emissions.

The success of the carbon reduction actions undertaken at NLS have been recognised by the Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth and cited in high level documents from the Scottish Government and also the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

Carbon Management Plan

With the help of the Carbon Trust, NLS constructed the carbon management plan in line with the organisation's overall strategy, operation and priorities. The plan comprised 15 individual projects covering a range of actions including investment in building services equipment, to awareness raising and changes to operating procedures.

The resources required to implement each action (for instance, level of capital
investment and staff time requirements) were clearly defined along with the
anticipated savings. In this way NLS was able to construct a carbon management plan with challenging but realistic targets that was approved by senior managers.

Financial case

The energy reduction projects that NLS has implemented have produced total cost savings of £75,000 per annum. Work to raise awareness of NLS staff is estimated to have generated annual cost savings of at least £24,000 with virtually no outlay.

Savings from replacing old lighting are £3,900 per annum and the capital costs
for the project are £26,500, resulting in a payback period of 6.8 years.

The server programme has provided annual cost savings of £15,600 to date, against costs of £41,500, resulting in a payback period of 2.7 years.

Savings at a glance

  • CO2 emissions reduced by 623 tonnes per annum, or 18.4%
  • Energy cost savings of £75,000 per annum
  • Payback period on overall investment of less than 1 year


Download the full National Library of Scotland case study (PDF)

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