Sustainable Development Policy

  • The National Library of Scotland's Sustainable Development Policy was drawn up in 2006. You can also view a PDF version (12 KB; 2 pages).

NLS aims to ensure that all its activities and impacts take account of the need to support sustainable development where practicable. NLS adopts the following definition of sustainable development:

  • 'to enable all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life without compromising the quality of life of future generations'. (From Choosing our Future, Scottish Executive, 2006, and UK Shared Framework)

Policy development

NLS will take account of sustainable development in considering the social, economic and especially environmental impacts of our policies and practices. The option appraisals for major initiatives will take account of sustainable development implications.

Energy and other resources

NLS will optimise the efficient and effective use of energy and support the use of energy from sustainable renewable sources. NLS will seek to minimise the consumption of other resources, including water, paper and other consumables.


NLS will promote waste minimisation within its own workplaces and encourage re-use or recycling.

Transport and travel

NLS will encourage the use of sustainable transport by its employees, users and suppliers. It will seek to minimise unnecessary or environmentally damaging movement of people and goods.

Supplier performance and purchasing

NLS will require its suppliers of goods and services to operate to high environmental performance standards and to environmental best practice. NLS will specify the purchase of the least environmentally damaging materials.


In each of the areas above, NLS will gather information on the baseline position, monitor performance and report annually to the Senior Management Team and to the Board of Trustees on an overview of progress and on the measures being taken to enhance sustainability. Consideration will be given to developing action plans and setting targets where appropriate.

Sustainable development, as one of the principles of Best Value, is a shared responsibility of all staff. The Director of Corporate Services has the lead responsibility for co-ordinating the implementation of the sustainable development policy, monitoring and reporting.


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