18 Tips for Environmentally Conscious Publishing
8. Reduce your carbon footprint—the impact your business activities have on the environment, measured in units of carbon dioxide. “In order to understand your carbon footprint, you have to conduct a rigorous carbon audit,” suggests Andrew Van Der Laan, director and senior project manger, Random House, Inc. “You must take a look at all the carbon emissions in your business, measure them. That will tell you how big an issue you have and highlight where you will get the biggest payoff by focusing your efforts.”
For example, measure how much electricity and natural gas your facility regularly uses; can it be reduced? How many employees drive to work alone? Can they carpool or take mass transit? How many business trips are taken that could be handled via Web conferencing?
9. Go paperless. The Simon & Schuster sales division recently launched an electronic manuscript program in which all sales reps have been given an e-book reader, replacing photocopied manuscripts. “Reps will now download manuscripts, and only those manuscripts that they choose to read. S&S estimates that this initiative has the potential to reduce the number of manuscripts reproduced for its sales division by 20,000 per year,” says Rothberg, who notes that a similar e-book reader program is currently being piloted by a Simon & Schuster editorial department.
Similarly, Harvard University Press has moved increasingly toward paperless production. “We don’t get copies of page proofs delivered by UPS to our door. Instead, we get a link from our typesetter where we download the file and forward it to our authors, proofreaders, etc. We do that even with bound galley printers. Everything is supplied as electronic copy,” says John Walsh, associate director for design and production at Harvard University Press.
10. Eliminate unneeded proofs. Harvard University Press no longer reviews printers’ proofs for all of its black-and-white books with noncritical halftones. Does Walsh feel comfortable doing that? “I can’t believe how many publishers are uncomfortable with it. You’re responsible for what’s in the file you provide the printer,” he says.