In many industries, there is a moment that changes everything. For the horse-drawn carriage manufacturers, it was the invention of the automobile. For the telegraph company, it was the telephone. For the music industry, it was MP3 downloads. And for book publishers, it appears to be the e-book—or is it?
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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
Environmental advocacy groups were likely breaking out the champagne as Random House Inc. (www.RandomHouse.com)—the world’s largest English-language trade book publisher and the U.S. division of Random House, the largest trade book publisher in the world—announced its plans for a tenfold increase in its use of recycled paper. The company says that within four years a minimum of 30 percent of the uncoated paper it uses to print the majority of its U.S. titles will be derived from recycled fibers (as opposed to its current 3 percent). The announcement marks the most substantial environmental initiative in the company’s history, and considering the fact that
A look at pioneers in improving the industry's environmental impact. When San Francisco publisher Chronicle Books decided to improve its environmental impact, it didn't waste any time. It formed an internal eco task force and spent 2004 researching its paper options with its U.S. and Asian printers. It enlisted its merchants and mills in the process. And it pushed all of its suppliers to join in its commitment to print on better paper. As a result, it was able to obtain eco-friendly paper without paying a higher price. By 2005, Chronicle was ready to make a formal commitment to the goals of