Learn about the history of sustainability at the Library and some of our proudest “green” accomplishments.
West Vancouver Memorial Library is committed to environmentally sustainable practices. Sustainability has been a core component of our strategic plan since 2011. With Integrity as one of our values in the current 2023 Strategic Framework, we are committed to maintaining a high standard of both integrity and quality in our practices and services as it relates to environmental sustainability.
We continuously explore opportunities to foster our sustainable site, reduce water and energy consumption, and add to the well-being of our building’s staff and visitors. We also pursue new ways to better reuse, repurpose, and recycle our materials and resources.
Our concern for the environment extends beyond the management of our facility. As a public library whose mission is to connect people with ideas, the world of imagination and each other, we share credible and trustworthy information about the ongoing climate crisis.
In 2019, the District of West Vancouver declared a state of climate emergency. The Library’s response is Climate Future—an initiative that invites the community to come together to deepen knowledge and take action around the climate crisis.
The Library’s commitment to sustainable practices began as a staff-led grassroots effort in 2006. Staff established a Green Team that conceived of ways to save energy, reduce waste, conserve water, and restrict hazardous chemical use. These choices proved effective in decreasing utility costs and uniting staff with a common purpose.
In 2009, WVML adopted a Green Buildings Operation Policy to guide decisions regarding purchasing, housekeeping, solid waste management, integrated pest management, erosion control, landscape management, and plumbing.
In 2011, the West Vancouver Memorial Library became the first library in Canada to be awarded LEED Silver certification for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is a Canadian Building Council program that encourages sustainable building practices through internationally accepted tools and performance criteria. The Library continues to meet and surpass LEED standards. Learn more about the Library’s journey to LEED recognition in our LEED EB: O&M Certification Report.
Since 2009, continued Library renovations have made the facility more environmentally sustainable:
- In 2010-2013, the Library undertook a capital retrofit project to increase environmental efficiency, which included roof replacement and installation of CO2 ventilation
- In the 2016-2017 renovation, the Library replaced light fixtures with high-efficiency LEDs and installed energy-efficient windows and skylights to replace leaking, single-paned glass
- In 2019, the Library installed automatic low-flow faucets
- In 2019-2020, the Library installed a new diesel emergency generator
- In 2021, the Library installed washable air filters throughout the building to replace disposable filters
- In 2021-2022, the Library supported those cycling to the Library by providing bicycle repair kits and tire pumps for onsite use
- In 2021-2022, the Library replaced its cooling tower/chiller with two heat pumps, which will save approximately 29 tonnes CO2 annually
- In 2022, the Library started using locally made, refillable hand soap throughout washrooms
Planned upcoming work includes:
- Replacing our natural gas boilers with electric ones, which will further reduce our GHG emissions
- Purchasing an electric vehicle to replace the car used to make material deliveries
- Installing another filter rack for our main air intake for pre-filters to further improve air quality within the building
- Upgrading all windows and skylights
- Adding electric vehicle charging stations