Two Major Developments on the ‘Green’ Front
Like Random House’s policy, Simon & Schuster’s policy goes beyond publishing-paper guidelines. It also includes the company’s mandate to purchase shipping cartons made from 100-percent post-consumer recycled paper, the recycling of all inventory destruction as mixed-use paper, the use of recycled office materials and other energy-efficient practices in its offices and distribution facilities. (You can read about the company’s policy in more detail at www.SimonSays.com and in the next issue of Book Business.)
Simon & Schuster UK is expected to implement a similar policy in the future.
Other major publishers have adopted policies and/or projects that involve the use of Forest Stewardship Council-certified or recycled paper, energy conservation, or other “green” efforts, including Pearson (and Penguin UK), Scholastic and McGraw-Hill. But Random House and Simon and Schuster’s policies still are by far the most comprehensive initiatives, as their policies set specific and laudable goals and timelines. From what I hear, though, we can expect several other major companies to announce significant sustainability policies in the next few months.
Besides the big guys, more than 150 small and mid-size publishers have implemented environmental sustainability policies. Many publishers have been able to increase their use of recycled-content paper at cost parity, while some still incur additional costs, “but the difference today is pennies,” says Linda Secondari, creative director of manufacturing and technology at Columbia University Press, in Gene Schwartz’s column.
Even the small changes that big companies make or the big changes that some small companies make can have an enormous impact on helping to conserve our planet’s resources. In the words of Kermit the Frog (who—many people don’t know—was, in addition to being a lovable puppet, a great a philosopher): “Green can be big like an ocean or important like a mountain or tall like a tree.” So, maybe being “green” today still isn’t easy, but it seems to be something that more and more publishers want to be.