What Can You Do to Help the Industry Meet Its New Environmental Goals? A Q&A With Book Industry Environmental Council Members Pete Datos and Todd Pollak
Approaching the same problem from different angles, both the book publishing industry and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided one day apart that measures must be taken to reduce America's greenhouse gas emissions.
On April 16, an organization of book industry constituents announced a goal of “reducing the U.S. book industry’s greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020 ... [and] 80 percent ... by 2050.” The organization, the Book Industry Environmental Council (BIEC), was formed by and is now co-coordinated by the Green Press Initiative (GPI), a nonprofit advocacy organization that works to reduce the book publishing industry's impact on the environment, as well as the Book Industry Study Group.
The next day, the EPA formally named six greenhouse gases as pollutants that need to be regulated.
While a Supreme Court case decrying auto emissions spurred the EPA's move, self-examination seems to have prompted the BIEC's efforts. Pete Datos, chair of the BIEC’s greenhouse gas reductions committee and a vice president at Hachette Book Group, and Todd Pollak, BIEC member and program manager for GPI, spoke with Book Business Extra to provide details about the BIEC goals.
Book Business Extra: How and why did you set the goals of reducing the book publishing industry's environmental impact by 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050?
Pete Datos: Many participants in the BIEC felt that setting a goal for the whole industry was an important first step; the sub-committee worked hard to balance the clear environmental needs with what we could do as an industry. ...
Todd Pollak: The committee that worked on developing those goals based the targets both on existing precedent … and then we also looked at regional and state government goals, as well as some targets that had been set by key politicians and lawmakers. ... We also looked at some corporate goals that were made through programs like the EPA Climate Leaders Program. ... The commitments that many of the companies that were participating in that program made would put those companies on track to 20-percent reduction by 2020 if they were to continue to reduce emissions at a similar pace. ... We also looked at data from the scientific community and it seemed that there was a good deal of support for the idea that, at a global, societal level, the goals of 20-percent reduction by 2020 and 80-percent reduction by 2050 were what were needed to avoid some of the worst consequences of global climate change.