Does First “Green” Bible Signify Broader Shift Toward Environmentally Conscious Publishing? A Q&A with Green Press Initiative Director Tyson Miller
The publication of the book publishing industry’s first recognized “green” Bible earlier this month by Thomas Nelson, the sixth-largest trade publisher in the United States, may suggest that a major shift in environmental thinking is underway in the publishing world. The publisher worked on the project with paper manufacturer Domtar as well as the Green Press Initiative (GPI), a nonprofit that has worked for the past five years to help the book industry conserve environmental resources.
GPI Director Tyson Miller spoke with Book Business Extra about Thomas Nelson’s publication and how it fits into the “Treatise on Responsible Paper Use,” an industry-developed agreement that defines shared goals for improving environmental impacts associated with book publishing, to which more than 140 small- to mid-size publishers, 10 printers and four paper mills have made a commitment.
“We’re still waiting for a major house to get behind it in a public way,” Miller says of the Treatise. “We think that’s in the works, and those houses that have strong policies in place or in development are fairly consistent with what the Treatise is calling for.”
Extra: What does the publication of Thomas Nelson’s green Bible signify to the industry?
Tyson Miller: The Bible is one of the most widely distributed, oldest and best-known books in history. So, for me, the fact that a version is now being produced on FSC [Forest Stewardship Council]-certified and recycled paper is a sign that confirms the major shifts that are occurring right now within the book industry at large, from small to large publishers, and from paper mills to printers.
Extra: What connection did GPI have with Thomas Nelson on the publication of the green Bible?
Miller: [GPI] worked to educate Thomas Nelson about the core issues and options [associated with the publication], and acted as a bridge between [Thomas Nelson] and paper manufacturer Domtar. But ultimately, it is the leadership of these two companies that is most laudable. [The GPI] spread the word about this success because we figured it would be a window into broader shifts in the industry, with relevance connected to key social and environmental issues.