Our Indusry's 'Green' Leaders
A look at pioneers in improving the industry's environmental impact.
When San Francisco publisher Chronicle Books decided to improve its environmental impact, it didn't waste any time. It formed an internal eco task force and spent 2004 researching its paper options with its U.S. and Asian printers. It enlisted its merchants and mills in the process. And it pushed all of its suppliers to join in its commitment to print on better paper. As a result, it was able to obtain eco-friendly paper without paying a higher price.
By 2005, Chronicle was ready to make a formal commitment to the goals of the Green Press Initiative (GPI), a nonprofit program that supports publishers in shifting their paper practices to preserve endangered forests and natural resources.
Shona Burns, Chronicle's executive director of production, aims to have 45 percent of all of the company's titles on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (as meeting the best practices in forest management) and on post-consumer-waste (PCW) recycled paper in 2005. She is also committed to having 75 percent of the company's kids' titles achieve the same goals in 2006.
But is Chronicle Books an exception among today's book publishers? Is environmental innovation really happening? On what scale? Are more eco-papers available? Is there any real demand for them? And, the most important question for bottom-line conscious publishers, can eco-efforts translate to savings?
A Close-Up on Demand
According to Mark McCready, senior consultant with Jaakko Pöyry Consulting, and the GAPTRAC Planning Service, which tracks paper usage by end users, there is no estimate of how much of the approximately 550,000 tons to one million tons of book paper used annually (coated and uncoated in the juvenile and adult trade market) is recycled paper. In fact, many publishers don't track their use of recycled paper. But large trade houses produce many titles each year on recycled paper—both freesheet and groundwood.
- Avalon Publishing
- Bethany Press Intl.
- Chronicle Books
- Cornell University Press
- Domtar Paper
- Evangelical Christian Publishers Association
- Forest Stewardship Council
- Green Press Initiative
- Malloy Inc.
- New Leaf Paper
- Publishers Weekly
- Square One Publishers
- The Book Industry Study Group
- Transcontinental Inc.
- University of California San Diego