Sustainable Library Certification Program

What is SLCP?

Achieving the triple bottom line* at your library can be daunting, our 12 category benchmarking system will guide you through environmental stewardship; economic feasibility; and social equity. As you progress through the Sustainable Library Certification Program (SLCP) you will:

  1. Create an organizational culture that asks the right questions about operational and outreach decisions
  2. Engage administration, staff, and board members in a new line of thinking and collaborating
  3. Inspiring your colleagues and community to join your efforts
  4. Reduce your greenhouse gases, energy intake, and waste output

* What is the Triple Bottom Line?
The idea that to be truly sustainable, an organization must embody practices that are environmentally sound AND economically feasible AND socially equitable.

Why should my library participate?

Keeping your library sustainable can be difficult. By joining the SLCP community, you will gain tools, resources, and support that will ensure a sustainable future for your library. The experience and knowledge you gain through the SLCP benchmarking program will position your library as a community leader and resource on sustainability.

What does the SLCP process look like?


  1. Policy development
  2. Data collection to gauge resource usage
  3. Developing community outreach plans
  4. Employee surveys
  5. Calculate environmental impacts on energy, travel, waste, water, and refrigerants

Your Green Team
No one person in your organization can do the work. The program is designed to help your Green Team build consensus within your library. Green Team tasks include leading lunch n' learns, reviewing purchasing policies, improving landscaping and building maintenance. You will need a sustainability champion as your team leader. Someone excited to keep the process on track and document the journey.

Ongoing Support
NYLA has an established community of member libraries in the SLCP. In addition to the SLCP community, technical advisors are available from Green Business Partnership and NYLA-SI. You will also benefit from:

  1. Resources, examples, and templates for you to learn from
  2. Online meet-ups and learning opportunities will be provided on a regular basis
  3. In-person meet-ups will be planned to coincide with the NYLA Conference and NYLA Advocacy Day
  4. Online community through the SLCP listserv and NYLA-SI newsletter

How do we get started?




Questions? Contact or watch this recorded webinar that may answer questions you have that are not answered here.

Are you a school or academic library? Stay tuned for your specific SLCP benchmarking system!