Sustainability Policy

Harris County Public Library (HCPL) enriches lives to strengthen communities. Library administration and staff recognize that we play an important and unique role in promoting community awareness about resilience, climate change and a sustainable future.  To show our commitment to strengthening the communities we serve, we are working towards aligning our practices with the triple bottom line definition of sustainability: environmentally sound, economically feasible and socially equitable.  

Environmentally Sound 

Our goal is to minimize our environmental footprint and promote environmental stewardship at all levels of our organization so that we maximize future generations’ ability to live, work, and play in our shared natural environment with equal access to clean air, clean water, and natural resources.  

We strive to minimize our pollution and waste, to conserve electricity and water, protect our natural environment, seek environmentally friendly products, encourage reducing, reusing and repairing when feasible and encourage both environmentally friendly transportation and the use of virtual meeting options.  

Economically Feasible 

HCPL is committed to responsible stewardship of the public and private funds entrusted to us for carrying out the mission of the library. We aim to leverage those funds to the benefit of the communities we serve while also honoring our commitment to both environmental sustainability and social equity.  

Socially Equitable 

HCPL branches serve communities located in one of the most diverse counties in the nation. For this reason, we are committed to the principle of social equity.  We strive to be an organization that promotes inclusion and mutual respect for the diversity of backgrounds, beliefs, interests and lifestyles of those we serve and of our staff. 

HCPL strives to work with vendor partners who reflect our commitment to our sustainability values.    

Employee understanding and involvement is essential for our success.  Library staff are encouraged to be proactive in applying sustainable thinking to all aspects of their work and to share discoveries with other staff. All employees will receive a copy of this policy and will be educated on HCPL’s efforts to work towards becoming a sustainable library system.  

Related: Purchasing Policy

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