Harvard College Library News: News from around the libraries

HCL Operations Receives “Green Leaf” Certification

green leaf  

From left, Derek Ramsey, Director Paul Bellenoit, Barbara Jump, Andy Laplume and Tim Gray display the plaque recognizing HCL Operations for receiving Green Leaf 3 certification from the Harvard Office for Sustainability.


February 25, 2010 – HCL Operations is just the fourth group university-wide to receive “Green Leaf 3” certification of its workspace through the Harvard Office for Sustainability’s Green Leaf program. Created by OFS, the program recognizes university offices for meeting sustainability goals through recycling, waste reduction and energy conservation. Having reached the second-highest certification, Operations is now working toward the highest certification level – Green Leaf 4 – said Director of Operations and Security Paul Bellenoit, and with the help of the HCL Green Team will begin promoting similar efforts throughout the libraries once it has reached the goal.

“We can’t expect staff members to work on saving energy if we aren’t doing it as well,” Bellenoit said. “We have to lead by example. Once we get all the certifications, we can assist other units as they work on certifying their workspaces.”

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The program’s four levels include increasingly rigorous criteria. At Green Leaf 1, for example, the guidelines call for offices to turn off computers at night, use double-sided printing whenever possible and provide recycling bins at all workstations. At Green Leaf 4, the guidelines include asking external printers to use vegetable-based inks, recycling printer cartridges and using “green” transport options, like ZipCar, when traveling for business.

For the HCL Operations office to become certified, Bellenoit said, staff members took a number of steps, including installing compact fluorescent bulbs in all desk lamps and occupancy sensors in all Operations offices, encouraging double-sided printing, buying paper with higher recycled content and increasing recycling efforts.

“Each level is a bit tougher,” Bellenoit said. “For example, to receive Green Leaf 3 certification, offices have to buy paper with at least 30 percent recycled content, but for Green Leaf 4, it has to be at least 50 percent. We feel it is important for the libraries to continue to contribute to helping the university meet its sustainability goals, so we encourage reaching the Green Leaf 4 level.”

Achieving Green Leaf certification is the latest in a series of sustainability efforts undertaken by Harvard College Library. Initiated by HCL Operations Director Paul Bellenoit and Associate Librarian Rebecca Graham, the unit has completed dozens of projects aimed at everything from conserving water and electricity to reprogramming the heating systems of several libraries. Other projects included occupancy sensors and compact fluorescent bulbs, replacing bottled water coolers with filtered water dispensers and installing water-conserving bathroom faucets and fixtures in the libraries managed by HCL Operations – Widener, Houghton, Lamont, Pusey and Tozzer.

Outlined last fall by President Drew Faust, Harvard’s sustainability goals include three major commitments: reducing the university’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent reduction from 2006 levels by 2016, developing and applying sustainability principles, and implementing green building practices.

Other offices which have been certified as meeting Green Leaf 3 criteria include: Harvard Real Estate Services (Green Leaf 3); the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School (Green Leaf 4); and the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School (Green Leaf 4).