18 Tips for Environmentally Conscious Publishing
1. Make “green” publishing company policy. That may sound daunting, but it can be done. Tyson Miller, director of the nonprofit Green Press Initiative (GPI), which helps publishers make informed environmental choices, suggests publishers make a commitment that demonstrates to printers, suppliers and mills that the market is shifting, and they will need to invest in developing new papers to meet the growing need. “Publisher commitments have been instrumental in the development of 24 new environmental sheets in North America within the last four years. The policy or commitment also serves to reinforce environmental responsibility as a priority in addition to creating cohesion within the many layers of a publishing company,” Miller says.
According to Miller, after making environmental responsibility a company priority, many “early adapters” have followed a process that includes the following steps:
Step 1: Develop a committee or working group that will design a policy and establish a plan with goals and benchmarks.
Step 2: Inform printers and suppliers of company goals, commitment/policy and expectations.
Step 3: Negotiate with printers and suppliers, or work with new partners if existing vendors do not meet company needs. For a list of suppliers from GPI, visit GreenPressInitiative.org/Suppliers.htm.
Step 4: Gradually increase the number of titles printed on environmental papers, or leverage a full season’s volume to decrease prices by making quick and comprehensive shifts.
Step 5: Market corporate responsibility by providing information about commitment and resource savings on the title page or back cover of the book. “Many use the Green Press logo, provided their company has a strong paper policy and the paper meets or exceeds GPI’s minimum criteria,” says Miller.
Step 6: Continue to improve, track and report regularly.
2. Specify recycled paper. When Scholastic Inc. published 12 million copies of the U.S. edition of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the book was printed on paper that contained a minimum of 30-percent post-consumer-waste (PCW) fiber. Moreover, 65 percent of the 16,700 tons of paper used in the U.S. first printing was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a global standard-setter for responsible forest management. When the book was officially released on July 21, its publication marked the largest purchase of FSC-certified paper to be used in the printing of a single book title.