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
Book Business Extra: How will you achieve these goals? What steps can publishers take to help?
Datos: Paper is clearly the biggest component of our carbon footprint as an industry, so anything that helps use paper more efficiently (more recycling, reducing returns, fewer books to landfills, etc.) yields the most significant results. In addition, we can all strive for “greener solutions” in our companies' decisions around product transportation, electricity usage, office recycling efforts and so on.
Book Business Extra: What are your thoughts on the EPA's comments on April 17?
Pollack: ... I think it's becoming clearer and clearer [that], at some point, there's going to be legislation that caps carbon emissions—if not this year, then probably not too far off into the future. And that kind of legislation will actually be an advantage to companies in industries that have taken a look at their carbon footprint and figured out about how to reduce it. And it could harm those that are caught off guard and have not taken the idea of reducing emissions seriously. So, in the context of preparing for what's likely coming down the pipeline, I think this goal puts companies that are taking actions to reduce their emissions and the book industry, as a whole, in a better position.
Book Business Extra: How will this initiative impact production costs in an industry already struggling with those costs, in addition to increased competition and a recession?
Datos: ... Many companies have actually found that they saved money when they made decisions to be more efficient and choose “greener” options. There's a huge spectrum of efficiency initiatives we can work on, from reducing returns to switching off lights when not in use. The important thing is to get started.
Pollack: ... One of the reasons that we decided, when we were setting this goal, that we didn't want to be too prescriptive in defining how the industry would reach the target is because some steps are probably going to be more cost-effective for one company than they would be for another company. And so different companies might look at their own emissions and see that there's one way that makes more sense for them. ...