Sophie Bobet

Director of the Canopée-la fontaine Library and Alice Larmagnac, Green Library Leader

E-mail: [email protected]

Three years ago, the Canopée-la fontaine library in Paris decided to commit to an active ecological approach. In 2019, the library was chosen to pilot a circular economy project with a view to reducing its environmental impact, starting with a change to the library’s internal professional practices, in addition to building a coherent offering of services to the public.

In 2018 the library had already developed a collection of documents specializing in Ecology, alongside different services such as a seed library, the “grainothèque”, to enable the exchange of seeds amongst our patrons, and a  “bouturothèque” for the barter of cuttings, etc. As part of the library’s 2030 Agenda framework, workshops around recycling, as well as lectures, debates  and urban walks are on offer to enable  library users to understand the challenges of sustainable development.

We have started to think about setting up an Environmental management system (EMS) based upon the ISO 140001:2015 standard, to reduce and control our environmental impact. “Implementing an EMS means demonstrating compliance with current and future legal and regulatory requirements, as well as strengthening the involvement of management and employees by setting strategic environmental objectives”, explains our intern Aurore Tessa. This intention to implement an EMS determined our action plan to improve indicators such as:

  • The management of daily waste
  • The plastic covering of books
  • The management of weeded documents.

In parallel with this internal approach, we have produced a Green library guide to inform colleagues and librarians working in different sectors about this topic, and to encourage them to discuss these issues. This guide lists the different areas in which we have implemented eco-friendly procedures for office life, communication, the digital world, cultural programming, services to the public, and other ideas we have imagined for tomorrow. We have also developed English version of this Guide:  

Through our reflection, we hope to gradually change our professional practices but also those of other actors in the book chain.