A Call to All Publishers
Yet today's consumer is making that challenge easier to accomplish. Research suggests that those companies that proactively take up the cause will also benefit financially:
• 83 percent of U.S. consumers said they would refuse to invest in a company with negative corporate citizenship practices, and 76 percent would boycott that company's products (Cone Corporate Citizenship Study, 2002).
• 70 percent of consumers say they would not buy from a company if they didn't think that they were socially responsible (Walker Research, 1998).
Representatives from New World Library and Chelsea Green Publishing were also on hand at Book Expo to address the challenge. Each addressed the fact that producing books in an environmentally responsible way is a part of company values. Some publishers are able to achieve complete cost parity when switching to environmental papers. Others end up paying slightly more.
For New World's eight new fall 2004 titles, the added cost is $24,790—or approximately 10 percent more due to paper-stock costs. This adds an average of approximately 10¢ per book.
New World Library's president and co-founder, Marc Allen, said, "I feel strongly that every profitable company should support both community and worldwide causes." His company is indeed abiding by this philosophy. It also donates a portion of company profits to charitable causes and uses solar panels to provide power for company operations.
READERS WILL SUPPORT THE MOVE
For those publishers who end up paying more for ecologically responsible paper, there is evidence that this cost can be subsidized by readers. Polls commissioned by the Green Press Initiative and Markets Initiative (in Canada) show that consumers are willing to pay more for books with strong environmental characteristics. A poll of 1,800 randomly surveyed North American consumers revealed:
- 78 percent are willing to pay more for books printed with environmental integrity.