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Sustainability Guidelines


We, the Board of Trustees of the Grand Forks Public Library Association, are committed to:


  • environmentally sustainable practices and of promotion in the community – through example and programming – of the responsible use of materials, energy and water resources and the fiscal resources entrusted to us.
  • presenting prominently, through materials in the general collection, the most up-to-date information on peer-reviewed scientific studies of the environment and the data, information and knowledge about the ongoing ecological challenges to our country and our planet that flow from this science.
  • ongoing review, with the City of Grand Forks, of building systems, maintenance procedures and practices, upgrades, and improvements to achieve as “green” and accessible a facility and set of operating policies as possible. This commitment includes all public spaces and work areas and takes as its guidelines Sustainability and Accessibility goals of senior governments and environmental organizations and the sustainability commitments of other public libraries.
  • the use of environmentally responsible products and materials. We are committed to directing Staff and contractors to place this among our primary criteria for the purchase of goods and services.
  • purchase fair-trade, sustainable and, as much as possible, locally-produced food and beverages.
  • doing away with cleaning materials and practices that are hazardous, in use or manufacture, to the health of humans and animals and to air and water quality generally.
  • up to date practices of recycling and the purchase and/or use of recycled materials. We also commit to minimizing waste materials and diverting as much surplus and waste material as possible to best reuse, repurposing or responsible disposal.
  • minimizing our carbon footprint through best-use/least-use energy practices. These practises shall be reflected in the purchase and use of the most energy-efficient appliances and electronic devices and in the aims of our personal transportation policies.
  • creating policy and procedures to address waste from parasitic and unnecessary energy loads.
  • xeriscaping the areas around the Library to effect an attractive and lower-cost landscape environment.
  • developing a program for regular ongoing review of these commitments in practice using quantitative and qualitative measurements to be established by the Director and Staff.
  • using the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System of the Canadian Building Council for criteria on sustainable building practices.
  • to work with the City to have a regular Building Assessment surveys carried out and a Building Assessment Report created from these surveys.



Although it is not our intention to pursue LEED certification at this time the following is an outline of the areas to be addressed for certification and we should use these (with their more detailed criteria) as guidance.

LEED Certification for Existing Buildings concentrates on maximizing the sustainability of current buildings through revised policies and practices. Existing buildings seeking certification earn green credits in each of six categories:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environment
  • Quality Innovation in Design.