Green Impact

Our Journey

Queen’s University Belfast is on a journey to reduce its carbon emissions to become a low carbon organisation.  The Universities’ environmental policy statement - - sets out how a culture of sustainability can be achieved.  

Information Services is committed to promoting good environmental practices to both students and staff.  The McClay Library has lots of facilities to help students and staff minimise their environmental impact



  • Paper Recycling: Each library branch has paper recycling bins situated throughout the building as well as in each printer/copier areas.
  • Printing: The Multi-Functional Devices in every library branch has been set up to default to double sided printing to cut down on paper wastage
  • Plastic Bottles: The McClay and Biomedical Libraries have plastic bottle recycling facilities available for customers
  • Batteries: The McClay and Biomedical Libraries have battery recycling facilities available for customers
  • Cans: The Biomedical Library has recycling facilities for cans and tins
  • Water Fountains: Each library branch has water fountains available for customers
  • Book Swap: Each Library branch has an area set aside for exchanging both fiction and academic book. The McClay Library has also piloted a Pop-Up Book Swap in cafe locations across campus. A case study has been written about their experience. 
  • Stamps: The Biomedical Library has a stamp collection point at the Issue Desk and in the McClay Library they are collected at the IT Helpdesk.


  • Paper Recycling: every office space has white paper recycling bags available and new ones can be sourced from Library Attendants 
  • Printing: The Multifunctional Devices in every library branch have been set up to default to double sided printing to cut down on paper wastage
  • Noticeboard: A noticeboard highlighting environmental issues is located in staffrooms in each library branch. In McClay this is in the big staffroom on Floor 2
  • Plastic bottles: Each kitchen area has recycling facilities for plastic bottles
  • Cans: Each kitchen area in the McClay Library has recycling facilities for cans and tins
  • Batteries: Can be recycled in the atrium in McClay and in Biomedical they can be recycled in the MBC foyer 
  • Cardboard: In McClay there are cardboard recycling facilities available by the lifts on each floor and at the Issue Desk in the Biomedical Library
  • Glass: In McClay there are glass recycling facilities available by the lifts on each floor and in the Medical Library they can be found in the staffroom
  • Drinking water: Each staff kitchen has drinking water readily available for refilling bottles and glasses.
  • Water geysers: In McClay each staff room has a hot water geyser which should be used instead of energy wasteful kettles.


In The Office

  • Switch off lights if you are last to leave a room
  • Turn off appliances at the socket at the end of the working day and turn off any printers, chargers, etc during the day if they are not in use.
  • Use a small desk top bin where possible, to encourage use of the recycling facilities.
  • Use a ‘No bins here – I recycle’ notice on office doors to prevent cleaners entering your room each day and wasting energy by turning the light on unnecessarily.
  • Use the water geysers and do not have private kettles in your office
  • Recycle paper waste whenever possible; paper is easily recovered and recycled, so make sure to place it in the correct recycling bin and not in a general waste bin.
  • Reduce your paper consumption and email when possible. When it is necessary to print or photocopy, make sure you do so on double sided pages to greatly reduce the amount of paper used.
  • Use MFD’s to copy and print rather than desktop printers
  • Scan documents rather than making a print copy where possible
  • Avoid having personal heaters or fridges in offices
  • Collect incoming envelopes and reuse them in preference to new envelopes


  • Consider using Information Services video conferencing facilities as an alternative to travelling to meetings. Click here for more information
  • Where possible use tablets to view meeting notes rather than printing them all out.
  • When organising group meeting or meetings within a department, request those attending try to reduce the amount of items that they print for this.
  • Always use Fairtrade coffee and tea products when hosting a meeting.
  • Where possible bring in a mug for tea/coffee rather than use disposable cups.
  • When ordering catering for meetings please request crockery to be delivered rather than disposable cups.
  • If you are ordering catering from internal or external suppliers, please ask them to ensure that, as far as possible, they are using locally produced, seasonal food. This limits the air miles associated with food brought in unnecessarily from other countries.


  • Tips for travelling to, from and around the Queen’s campus are available from the Estates Directorate site
  • The Cycle+ scheme allows staff to purchase a bicycle and safety equipment, and receive National Insurance and Income Tax discounts through a salary sacrifice scheme. Further information is available at
  • Details on the nearest cycle storage are available at Cycle Parking. The nearest shower and changing facilities are available, free of charge to staff, at level 1, Administration Building and Lower Ground Floor, McClay Library
  • The cycle mileage allowance for travelling by bicycle on University business is 10p per mile
  • Unversity second hand bike sales occur throughout the year and offer a chance to support a local charity and bag a bargain
  • Information on the University's car-sharing scheme can be viewed at or perhaps you could arrange to travel with a colleague if you’re both going to the same area for meetings, placement visits, fieldwork interviews, etc.
  • The University has an interest-free loan scheme for staff to buy bus or rail passes.  Get details from the Travel Plus website