The Göttingen State and University Library (SUB Göttingen) has committed itself to implementing the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted by the United Nations in 2015 within its own area of responsibility. In September 2023, it adopted its own sustainability policy for this purpose. The SUB Sustainability Working Group (SUB AG NH) is responsible for the respective identification of in-house tasks.
The SUB AG NH cooperates with the Green Office of the University of Göttingen and participates as a guest in the meetings of the Senate Commission for Climate Protection and Sustainability (KfKN).

Currently, the SUB AG NH is working on the following topics, among others:

  • Waste separation in the internal and public areas of the SUB Göttingen
  • disposal options for cell phones
  • or beehives on campus.

In addition, the working group provides support and information on green mobility and corresponding offers.

Sustainable development thrives on communication and cooperation. Accordingly, academic libraries have organized themselves on the topic of sustainability in the 'Netzwerk Grüne Bibliothek', of which the Göttingen State and University Library is also a member.

The SUB Sustainability Working Group is happy to receive any suggestions and ideas.

Sustainability guideline of the Göttingen State and University Library

Version 1.0, compiled by the SUB Sustainability Working Group

The Göttingen State and University Library (SUB Göttingen), part of the University of Göttingen and thus bound by its Climate Protection Statement [1], is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and sustainable practices at all levels of the organisation. The Library is committed to gradually improving its sustainability goals and to developing projects, initiatives, and practices that significantly reduce its ecological footprint. These activities will be guided by the ideal of a climate-friendly society.

The goal is to minimise the Library's ecological impact, ensure a sustainable future, and promote community resilience. The Library's commitment to environmental sustainability extends to employees, users, and the wider public. The SUB Göttingen will contribute to creating awareness of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among library users, researchers, and university employees.

Within the line structure of the SUB Göttingen, those responsible will ensure compliance with this guideline and its implementation. For the coordination and realisation of the activities resulting from the goals, the SUB Göttingen has established its own Sustainability Working Group (see Catalogue of Activities for the Implementation of the Sustainability guideline of the SUB Göttingen).

Employee understanding and participation are essential for the implementation of our sustainability goals. The SUB Göttingen employees will be expected to actively participate in measures aimed at reducing pollution and waste, saving energy and water, and creating sustainable awareness. All employees will receive a digital copy of this policy. Staff at all levels of the Library will be engaged in supporting our goals. The SUB Göttingen will support the development of coaching formats that help train staff and users in their sustainability behaviour.

The SUB Göttingen will strengthen its cooperation with urban and regional actors as well as the partners of the Göttingen Campus, especially the Green Office and the Senate Commission for Climate Protection and Sustainability (KfKN) of the University, in order to make a local contribution to global climate protection goals.

The sustainability goals of the SUB Göttingen as well as this policy will be evaluated annually. As soon as a sustainability guideline of the University of Göttingen is passed, the SUB Göttingen will adapt this policy.

Catalogue of Activities for the Implementation of the Sustainability Policy of the Göttingen State and University Library

Version 1.0, compiled by the SUB Sustainability Working Group

The Sustainability Working Group of the SUB Göttingen will regularly compile and update this catalogue of measures for the implementation of the Sustainability Policy of the Göttingen State and University Library.

Energy Management

Energy management is an integral part of the Library's sustainability goals. The most energy-efficient practices and all available options will be considered carefully when selecting lighting, heating, and cooling systems and equipment. The SUB Göttingen promotes the considerate and energy-saving usage of electronic devices by its staff.

Materials Management

The Library will integrate the principles of 'reduce, reuse and recycle' into every aspect of its operations, including purchasing decisions. When purchasing items, the Library will strive to ensure that the environmentally friendly alternative is given precedence; this includes repairability. Whenever possible and financially feasible, the Library will give preference to environmentally friendly purchasing practices. Clearly labelled recycling bins and signs will be placed strategically throughout the facility. Staff will be trained in proper waste disposal and recycling.

Emails, Data traffic, and Electronic devices

Reducing the C02 footprint and C02 equivalents is an essential part of the Library's sustainability goals. Emails and attachments contribute to C02 emissions to a small extent; [2] however, the best way to reduce the overall C02 footprint of emails is to buy fewer electronic products, keep these devices for as long as possible, and use products that consume less electricity. [3] Employees will be informed about energy-saving email use, e. g. through the mandatory use of central file services (e. g. Academic Cloud). The reduction of the C02 footprint should also be integrated into documentation, information, and subsequent storage obligations. For example, push services to helpdesks, intranet use, LBS lending, and similar activities should be evaluated in terms of their carbon impact.

In the area of research software engineering and in digital services, the SUB will aim to use up-to-date resource-saving and energy-efficient practices and provide opportunities for relevant training.


The Library will invest in and use videoconferencing and other technological solutions to reduce employee travel, especially air travel. Further specifications on sustainable business travel will follow with the future implementation of the Senate recommendation of 25th January 2023. Employees will receive information about car sharing and other sustainable transport options. Preferential use and provision of cargo bikes and e-bikes for the campus will be an aspiration.

Water reduction/saving

Water-saving devices are being introduced and staff members are being trained to use water more consciously. 


[1]  Klimaschutzstatement der Uni Göttingen
[2] 'Email - C02 Emission im Anhang'. Less Emissions Blog
[3]  Can sending fewer emails or emptying your inbox really help fight climate change? (Published: December 14, 2022 10:35 pm CET)

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