Behind the Industry’s Push for ‘Responsible Paper Use’
In its June issue, Book Business covered the newly created Book Industry Treatise on Responsible Paper Use, a formal effort to change the book industry’s environmental impact. The treatise reflects the input of 25 industry stakeholders—publishers, printers, paper companies and merchants—and sets industry-wide goals for change. The primary goal: to increase the average use of recycled fiber from the industry’s current 5 percent to 30 percent within five years.
So far, the treatise has been signed by 118 publishers, two paper mills and four printers, and supporters are making a significant push to enlist many others. Book Business asked those involved in the creation of the treatise—members of the Treatise Leadership Council—what the treatise means to them and to the industry, and why other publishers, printers and paper companies should contemplate adding their own John Hancock.
“When most publishers, myself included, juggle meetings, deadlines, reports and numbers, we don’t think about environmental issues related to paper and production. It’s too removed, and for years it wasn’t on my mind. But after seeing a printer pour volatile inks down a drain, I thought about where the drain ends up and have been connecting the dots ever since. When we are aware of the issues, we act different and will make a decision that isn’t based solely on the balance sheet. But if we keep our eyes closed, we don’t see that we might be part of a problem or perhaps a solution. When it came down to it, I realized five things that I care about and hope that others might consider: 1) Kids and grandkids; 2) Global warming; 3) Supporting the protection of rare and threatened forests; 4) Caring for the diversity of life and cultures; 5) Knowing that I tried to do the right things in life.