Skip to Content

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: all paper waste should be disposed of in the white confidential waste sacks which are provided in all office spaces. New bags can be sourced from Library Attendants. What you can store in confidential sacks - a full list of what can be placed in the confidential waste sacks.
    • Printing: All Multifunctional Devices have been set up to default to double-sided printing to cut down on paper wastage.
    • Noticeboard: Noticeboards highlighting environmental issues are located in the kitchens of each library branch.
    • Plastic bottles: Each kitchen area has recycling facilities for plastic bottles, milk cartons and clear plastic cups.
    • Cans: Each kitchen area in the McClay Library has recycling facilities for cans and tins.
    • Batteries: A battery recycling tube is located in the atrium of the McClay Library. In the Biomedical Library, battery recycling is available in the MBC foyer.
    • Cardboard: In the McClay Library there are cardboard recycling facilities available by the lifts on each floor and at the Issue Desk in the Biomedical Library.
    • Glass: In the McClay Library there are glass recycling facilities available by the lifts or in the kitchen on each floor. In the Medical Library they can be found in the staff room.
    • Drinking water: Each staff kitchen has drinking water readily available for refilling bottles and glasses.
    • Water geysers: In the McClay Library each staff kitchen has a hot water geyser which should be used instead of energy wasteful kettles.
    • Book swap: Share books you’ve enjoyed and take home new books for free at the book swap located on the ground floor of the McClay Library.
    • Reusable books: Unwanted books in a good condition can be donated to an organisation called Better World Books which generates funding for literacy charities through the sales of second-hand books. The list of books accepted and information on arranging a donation.
    • 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.
    • Warpit: Our corporate eBay/Freecycle network allows staff to redistribute unwanted and underused assets within Queen’s. For more information and to register.
    • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment: The collection and disposal of electrical waste (IT equipment, white goods, fridges etc.) can be arranged by the Building Liaison Officer.

  • In The Office
    • Switch off any appliances during the day if they are not in use.
    • Enable energy-saving on your computer so the screen is switched to standby mode after 5 minutes of inactivity.
    • Turn off PCs, chargers etc. at the socket at the end of the working day.
    • Switch off lights if you are last to leave a room.
    • Avoid having personal heaters or fridges in offices.
    • Use the hot water geysers and do not have private kettles in your office.
    • Reuse waste A4 paper which is printed on one side only. You could create a notebook from your scrap paper.
    • Recycle paper waste whenever possible - paper is easily recovered and recycled, so make sure to place it in a Confidential Waste bag and not in a general waste bin.
    • Use a small desk top bin to encourage use of the recycling facilities.
    • 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 MFDs to copy and print rather than desktop printers.
    • Scan documents rather than making a print copy where possible.
    • Collect incoming envelopes and reuse them in preference to new envelopes.
    • Ensure that radiators are not blocked by furniture.
    • Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the benefits of having greenery in the workspace, so why not invest in some indoor plants for your office.


  • Meetings
    • Consider using Information Services video conferencing facilities as an alternative to travelling to meetings. More information on video conferencing.
    • Where possible use laptops/tablets to view meeting notes rather than printing them all out.
    • When organising a meeting encourage those attending to reduce the amount of items that they print.
    • Make use of any screens in the meeting rooms by projecting the agenda on to it.
    • 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.


  • Transport
    • Tips for travelling to and from the Queen’s campus are available from the Estates Directorate website.
    • 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.
    • The University provides secure cycle parking for staff at the rear of the McClay Library. 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 20p per mile.
    • Reduce the number of cars travelling to the University by joining the car-sharing scheme 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 Travel to Work Loan scheme provides staff with an interest-free loan towards the purchase of an annual travel card for the purpose of commuting to work via bus or train.
    • Encourage external visitors to use sustainable transport to travel to the University.