We encourage all booksellers—online and brick and mortar—to learn more about the Green Press Initiative certification program for environmentally responsible publishers. Since retailers are more likely than other book industry stakeholder to interact with consumers it is our hope that employees at bookstores will learn more about the program so that they can accurately explain the meaning of the certification to consumers and answer questions that may arise.
Below is some basic information about the Green Press Initiative certification for Environmentally Responsible Publishers:
Certified publishers must meet certain benchmarks for recycled and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified fiber.
For every tier of certification (bronze, silver and gold) there are four options a publisher may choose to become certified. For each option there is a minimum requirement for the amount of both the average recycled content and percentage of FSC certified the publisher used during the previous calendar year. Publishers must also demonstrate addition environmental achievements by obtaining 1-5 elective benchmark points, which are awarded for things ranging from reducing the over production of books to improving energy efficiency to using recycled and FSC certified paper at levels substantially higher than the minimum benchmark. More elective benchmark points are required for publishers using lower levels of recycled and FSC certified paper. The minimum requirements for obtaining certification at the bronze, silver and gold tiers are as follows:
- Bronze: 20% recycled (minimum 15% postconsumer recycled); 10% FSC
- Silver: 30% recycled (minimum 25% postconsumer recycled); 15% FSC
- Gold: 40% recycled (minimum 35% postconsumer recycled); 20% FSC
It should be noted that these are the minimum requirements for each tier and that at the above levels of recycled and FSC certified paper the publisher would need to obtain 5 elective benchmark points indication substantial environmental achievement in other areas of the company’s operations. To see all the possible options for each tier of certification click here.
For any tier of certification publishers must phase out virtually all controversial fiber.
To qualify for any tier of certification a publisher must ensure that 95% of the fiber used in their books is either recycled fiber, agricultural or alternative fiber, fiber in an FSC certified paper, or fiber that meets the FSC controlled wood standard. A publisher may be provisionally certified for the first year with 85% of their fiber meeting the above criteria, however 95% of their fiber must meet these requirements within one year for the certification to be renewed.
The certification is for the publisher not any specific book or title.
A certified publisher may place the “Certified Environmentally Responsible Publisher” seal on any book that is printed during the time that their certification is valid. While the requirements they become certified ensures that virtually all of the paper the publisher uses is free of controversial fiber, the certification is based on the overall environmental performance of the publisher and does not make any specific claims about any one book.
Promote Books from Certified Publishers.
Booksellers may choose to help their consumers shop green by setting up either an in-store display or section of your website for books from certified publishers. You may also choose to display the appropriate “Certified Environmentally Responsible Publisher” seal on your website next to titles from certified publishers. If you are interested in either setting up an in-store display, a separate section of your website, or displaying the seal next to books from certified publishers please let us know. We can also work with you to create custom flyers and signs that will help educate you customers about the certification.
For additional information you may refer consumers to www.greenpressinitiative.org/certification and encourage them to read the overview of the certification program or contact us with additional questions.