Into the New
It is estimated that 42% of the global wood harvested for industrial uses goes to paper production. Is it possible that the book publishing industry, a sector that depends heavily on paper production, can implement policies that help preserve endangered forests and biodiversity?
Over 120 North American publishers believe it is possible, and they're working with the non-profit Green Press Initiative (U.S.) and Markets Initiative (Canada) to implement innovative production practices that have tangible environmental benefits.
Innova, the root of the word innovation, means 'into the new'. The 'new' in this case is a growing movement among businesses to include social and environmental considerations into their profit equation. These 120 book publishing innovators realize that evaluating profit goes beyond quarterly earnings and shareholder returns.
They have committed to maximizing their use of recycled paper, and to phasing out paper that contains fibers from endangered forests. These publishers understand that we all profit when natural treasures are preserved.
Efforts are under way to catalyze policy innovations within the book, magazine, and catalog sectors. With book publishing representing such a small portion of the printing and writing market, some ask why the focus on books? The answer is, why not?
Over the past three years, book publishing in the U.S. alone required the equivalent of 900,000 to 1.1 million tons of paper per year. This equates to between 20 and 25 million trees cut per year. Innovation within this industry is bringing about market shifts, and has potential to pave the way for transformations in other sectors.
The momentum is building for continued change. Some recent highlights:
1. Green Press Initiative (GPI) members currently represent 3 million pounds of recycled paper use per year, at a level of 30% post-consumer recycled content or higher for uncoated text stock, the minimum standard for GPI publishers.