Big News on the “Green” Front
David F. Drake, the company’s former director, publishing operations projects, comments, “From bulk to hue, there are significant design considerations associated with paper selection, and these design decisions remain the sole purview of the editorial and publishing groups.”
Drake—who recently left Random House to pursue his doctorate, but continues to assist in an advisory capacity in the implementation of the paper policy he helped set—adds, “As the availability of recycled content can vary between papers, these design decisions will influence the allocation of recycled content across our titles. In implementing our environmental policy, we will ensure that we attain our targets in aggregate while preserving the publishing groups’ creative freedom for their individual book and publishing programs.”
As for where Random House will shop for paper to suit its new goals, according to Rechtzigel, “As we fully implement the policy, we intend to work with many of our current suppliers to enable us to achieve our goals. Should the need arise, we will engage in discussions with suppliers new to us as well,” he says.
The company also seems to be intending to make its new paper content known to consumers. “We internally are currently discussing prospective wording we might use in our books to identify the use of recycled fibers,” says Rechtzigel.
The industry’s New
Random House announced its new policy on May 16, coincidentally just days before the Green Press Initiative’s (GPI) announcement during Book Expo America of a new Book Industry Treatise on Responsible Paper Use, which defines goals (similar to those set by Random House in its new policy) for improving the book industry’s environmental impact.
GPI (www.GreenPressInitiative.org), an industry organization that helps publishers improve their environmental impact, developed the treatise with input from 25 publishers, book printers, paper companies and merchants, and established the goals for increasing the average use of recycled fiber from the industry’s current 5 percent to 30 percent by 2011. Like Random House’s effort, this effort also will have significant environmental impact if fully realized. According to GPI, it would conserve 524 million pounds of greenhouse gases—in other words, the equivalent to keeping 45,818 cars off the road each year. It also would save the equivalent of 4.9 million trees, 2.1 billion gallons of water, and 264 million pounds of solid waste each year.