Momentum Building for Green Books
3 This initiative is part of a broader movement to catalyze socially and ecologically responsible paper production and consumption. There are now multiple organizations with programs in place that focus on inspiring innovation within the catalogue, magazine, copy paper, and newsprint sectors.
President Kennedy challenged U.S. citizens and industry with these words on May 25, 1961: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth."
Skeptics thought it was a Quixotic quest. Eight years later, on July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin planted an American flag on the surface of the moon.
It cost $9 billion in U.S. dollars, adjusted for inflation. But the social, economic, technological, and political impacts of that journey are still reverberating. (NASA is planning another moon shot for 2009, and there is serious talk about establishing the first moon colony.)
Ultimately, 12 U.S. astronauts made the trip to the moon. The people who built the U.S. space program didn't achieve their historic successes by looking skyward and saying "we can't do it; it's too far away."
They succeeded because they believed the benefits were worth striving for and investing in. They believed the mission requirements, while daunting, could be achieved through invention, innovation, and teamwork. They were right.
This is the perspective we're asking book publishers to adopt. As a next step, the Green Press Initiative is coordinating an industry working group to develop a blueprint for transformation, and to explore strategies for overcoming barriers.
With proper planning, patience, and stakeholder participation (read: teamwork), this industry transformation will succeed. This success will serve as a model for other publishing sectors, bolstering the broader goals of transformation within the overall paper production and consumption system.