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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Indigenous Application for Estimating Carbon footprint of academia library systems based on life cycle assessment

  • Author(s): Garg, Saurabh
  • David Dornfeld
  • et al.

Global Warming is one of the pressing problems of the current century and can have disastrous effects in disturbing the ecological balance and climate stability on the planet Earth, if not addressed pro-actively by all nations across the world. A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide. It is meant to be useful for individuals and organizations to conceptualize their personal (or organizational) impact in contributing to global warming. The current work highlights a cradle-to-grave approach based on a thorough Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of all the components of a library system that involve energy usage, varying from the energy required to sustain labor, transportation of that labor, electrical energy consumption involved with the library hall/building, embodied energy of both books and supplies and all the infrastructure associated with the premises. A web-based user-friendly application that can calculate the carbon footprint of a library system in California during the 2007‐2008 year to a sufficient degree of accuracy based on user inputs has been developed and its electronic version is now available online at the following URL

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