The ‘Green’ TEAM
Scholastic sees its efforts as intimately tied to its mission to educate and promote values in children. “This has always been important to [Scholastic],” says Lisa Serra, director, paper procurement. “We, from the beginning, thought it was the right thing to do for the environment and to show kids we care, separate and apart from it being popular now.”
Concurrently with the release of its policy, Scholastic launched an interactive Web site, Act Green! (www.Scholastic.com/actgreen), to “educate kids about climate change and sustainability, and involve them in efforts to preserve the planet,” according to a company-issued statement.
Simon & Schuster, which announced an ambitious new policy in November 2007, has, like Random House, noticed an uptick in inquiries regarding its “green” initiatives.
“We have found that our initiative has had a strong impact, especially within the trade,” says Joe D’Onofrio, senior vice president of supply chain operations. “Over the last year, many of our accounts have made inquiries about our environmental policies, and we are increasingly being queried about them by our authors. We have publicized our initiative in both consumer and trade press, and also have posted it permanently on our Web site.”
Recognition of consumer and author interest has led to proposals for a “green” trademark that can be affixed to book labels. “We [GPI] are going to be creating a book industry Environment Council, which will oversee the development of a logo readily identifiable for customers to see,” Miller reports.
Challenges and Complexities
Of course, if going “green” were a win-win on every front, publishers across the board would be striving to match the goals of a company like Scholastic. Difficulties range from cost considerations to the realities of current supply chain capabilities and on-the-ground climate impacts.
“Paper is a commodity, and, like any commodity, will always be subject to market forces,” notes D’Onofrio. “At present, book-quality papers made with recycled fiber are still not routinely available. The number of mills that can produce such papers from recycled fiber needs to increase, and we are also seeing much recycled fiber exported overseas.”
- Baker Publishing
- Bowater Incorporated
- Canadian Standards Association
- Cascades Fine Papers Group
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Forest Stewardship Council
- Green Press Initiative
- Harvard University Press
- Lantern Books
- Lightning Source Inc.
- People Magazine
- Random House Inc.
- Scholastic Inc.
- Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc.
- The Book Industry Study Group
- The Wall Street Journal