Publishers Committed To Curbin Environmental Impact, Study Shows

March 13, 2008
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March 14 – March 20, 2008 Edition

Publishers Committed

To Curbing Environmental

Impact, Study Shows

NEW YORK, NY/3/10/08-A new report, from the Green Press Initiative and Book Industry Study Group, reveals that the U.S. book industry emits more than 12.4 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, or approximately 8.85 pounds of carbon for the average book (.89 lb), with most of the impact connected to forest carbon loss. The report-Environmental Trends and Climate Impacts: Findings from the US Book Industry-also reveals an industry in the midst of a positive environmental transformation.

As reflected in the report, the book industry’s use of recycled fiber has increased six-fold in the past few years, and many companies in the book business are developing environmental policies and setting goals to increase their use of recycled and certified paper, improve impacts on forests, reduce energy consumption, and lessen their overall carbon footprint.

Approximately 45% of publishers now have meaningful environmental policies in place, with concrete goals and timelines. In fact, four of the top 10 publishers-including Random House, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and Thomas Nelson-have joined 160 smaller publishers in making significant public commitments in this arena. In addition, a solid majority of respondents (more than 220) have endorsed the Book Industry Treatise on Responsible Paper.

"The report shows trends moving in the right direction and also presents the data and the motivation for continued improvement," says Tyson Miller, Director of Green Press Initiative, an environmental advocacy organization that has been working to catalyze sector innovations for seven years.

"A large and diverse group of companies sponsored this report and helped guide its scope. This shows a real willingness to grasp the complexity of the issues and improve business practices," says Michael Healy, Executive Director of Book Industry Study Group.

More Findings:

When the industry reaches the goals set forth in the Book Industry Treatise on Responsible Paper, it will conserve more than 8.2 million trees, 1 billion pounds of greenhouse gases (equivalent to removing 100,000 cars from the roads annually), 2.5 billion gallons of waste water, and 500 million pounds of solid waste. Reader support for industry innovation is strong. A 2006 Opinion Research Corporation poll found that 80% of readers are willing to pay more for books with a better environmental profile.

The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) is the US publishing industry’s leading trade association for policy, standards and research. The mission of BISG is to create a more informed, empowered, and efficient book industry supply chain. Membership consists of publishers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, librarians, and others engaged in the business of print and electronic media. For 30 years, BISG has provided a forum for all industry professionals to come together and efficiently address issues and concerns to advance the book community. Learn more about BISG at www.bisg.org.

The mission of the Green Press Initiative (GPI) is to work with publishers, industry stakeholders and authors to create paper-use transformations that will conserve natural resources and preserve endangered forests. GPI is a non-profit program of SEE Innovation, with fiscal sponsorship provided by Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs. It is funded primarily through grant foundations. Past and present funders include: FSC Global Fund, The Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, Giles and Elise Mead Foundation, Merck Family Fund, Town Creek Foundation, Wallace Global Fund, and the Weeden Foundation. In

addition publishers, printers, merchants, and mills committed to improving their sector are also making contributions to GPI to support its continued work.

Learn more at http://www.greenpressinitiative.org/.

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