The Top 30 Book Manufacturers
Nason: … We are seeking certification for FSC, SFI and PEFC [Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification] programs, as well as becoming registered in ISO 14001. We do not feel that this is going to add a significant amount of work to handle the necessary documentation and program-related matters. We are doing most, if not all, of these types of things already; it is only a matter of getting the system in place to audit and monitor what we are already doing. … As far as the impact on costs and prices, I believe that this is still a “wild card” issue. There are additional costs associated with materials that carry a certification; that is simply a matter of fact. This will have the impact of increasing the costs and prices for the customer, and it remains to be seen whether they will accept those increases.
Upton: The green initiative in the book industry has focused mainly on paper. As [I mentioned earlier], I see the interest in forestry certification as a very positive development. We clearly want to leave to our children forests that are in better shape than we found them, and we have the ability to do that by applying the FSC and SFI standards.
Publishers also have a heightened interest in using recycled papers and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, the best way to combine these objectives in the production of books is not always clear. …
The bottom line is that this issue is complex. … Recently, we’ve seen even more significant increases in the cost of recycled paper than in the cost of virgin paper. This is driven by the high demand for recycled fiber. China is buying much of this. Stepping up municipal recycling efforts in this country would help boost supply, thereby bringing down the cost of recycled fiber. It would also directly address the GHG emission problem mentioned above. Paper recycling rates in the U.S. are quite a bit lower than those of many other developed countries. Are there ways the book industry can help stimulate greater municipal recycling?