Recommendation to Explore a New Direction for the ALA Endowment Fund

The Social Responsibilities Round Table and Sustainability Round Table recommend that the ALA’s Endowment Trustees:

  • Conduct a new Request for Proposal (RFP) for investment consultants in order to better align the ALA Endowment Fund’s investments with ALA values.
  • Consider switching from Merrill Lynch and Clearbridge to a fund manager that recognizes the financial risk that fossil fuel stocks pose to the Endowment Fund.
  • Consider increasing the percentage of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria for investments in the ALA Endowment Fund.
  • Consider the recent American Medical Association (AMA) divestment from fossil fuels as a model for ALA.

READ MORE HERE! 

Open eBook: Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change

coverThe National Academies Press has released this FREE pdf of this book Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises (2013) but you can buy the paperback to add to your library collections as well. The well-respected established authors are from the Committee on Understanding and Monitoring Abrupt Climate Change and Its Impacts; Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council. This 200+ page book notes the primary abrupt changes to be concerned about the most and those most of concern for humans, with ideas for moving forward. It also gives some quality reference links and a solid summary of those committee members writing the document. Click on the Related Resources tab to find some short summary and report as well as a visual slideshow of examples of abrupt climate change for those looking for a more visual summary. The Multimedia tab offers a video (embed below too) of findings and recommendations.

Their description:

Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the past million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in the Earth’s atmosphere for a very, very long time. Lacking action by the world’s nations, it is clear that the planet will be warmer, sea level will rise, and patterns of rainfall will change. But the future is also partly uncertain — there is considerable uncertainty about how we will arrive at that different climate. Will the changes be gradual, allowing natural systems and societal infrastructure to adjust in a timely fashion? Or will some of the changes be more abrupt, crossing some threshold or “tipping

Green Schools Save Districts Money

Education News offers a summary of recent “Local Leaders in Sustainability” report by the American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Green Building Council showing how greening schools is not only eco-friendly but saves districts money!  One example given is school system in Mississippi saving  $23,000 in energy costs in the past year by participating in the Tennessee Valley Authority Green School Initiative (a program called Green Power Switch which produces electricity from renewable sources).

The report explains the benefits of greening schools, explains roles local/state/federal can play to go green, as well as providing ideas and action plans to green schools.Green school improve student health, decrease absenteeism, improve student performances, keep teacher retention, can be used as a teaching tool,  bring community together, save money by using less water and electricity, increase property values, and do not cost more than conventional schools!

One of the best things of the report are the Model Advocate and Profile of a  Green School sections – real world examples of advocates for greening school, such as Mayor Riley of Charleston SC who believes so strongly in this endeavor he promote  a now existing  a one-cent sales tax to support green school construction!  And Profiles of Green Schools like River Crest Elementary School in Hudson, WI –  a green school constructed below the cost of a conventional school!   The end of the report offers suggestion such as connecting with your local USGBC Chapter, creating a green school task force,  hosting a green school summit, creating a green school challenge, hire a green school fellow, create a green energy school policy or green cleaning policy, tour other green schools, and info on lots of groups to check out.

UNEP Research Reports

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has published some freely available research reports worth adding to your collections. UNEP works collaboratively to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment. This recent report is called Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Developmentand Poverty Eradication – A Synthesis for Policy Makers, which can be viewed online, searched, downloaded, viewed on a mobile device and shared.   There are numerous others available here. There are numerous other reports available here.

Greening ILL Practices

Coming soon will be the results of a 3 month study commissioned by OCLC Research called  “Greening ILL Practices”  with the goal of determining affordable best practices.  Environmental consultants were hired to analyze several libraries’ ILL processes and the carbon footprint impact. Some key green suggestions: reuse packing materials when sending shipments (using new materials is the cause to half the greenhouse gas emission per package);  Use paper with at least 30% recycled content (which usually costs the same and works in copiers and printers);  and other expected results like borrowing/lending nearby and digital is better than print. Dennis Massie has posted preliminary findings at hangingtogether.org – a blog by staff of OCLC Research – make sure you check out the slides of data(PDF) and results and stay tuned for more details.  Check out the presentation from ALA Midwinter (PDF).