The Forest Stewardship Council is the only certification system that requires a consensus solution when conflicts arise between logging companies and indigenous communities.

Paper accounts for nearly 40% of the waste stream.

More than 140 publishers, including many of the world's largest, have strong environmental policies.

On average, it is estimated that the U.S. book industry uses less than 10% recycled fiber for its paper.

On average, it is estimated that the U.S. newsprint sector has a 35% recycled fiber use-rate.

Globally, over 40% of the industrial wood harvest is used to make paper.

Deforestation accounts for 25% of human caused C02 emissions.

When the goals set forth in the Book Industry Treatise on Responsible paper use are realized over 5 million trees will be preserved each year.

In 2006, an Opinion Research Corporation poll revealed that 80% of readers are willing to pay more for books printed on recycled and environmentally responsible paper.

Over the course of its lifecycle, postconsumer recycled fiber requires 30-40% less energy than virgin fiber.


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February 2008 Newsletter


In the News

Scholastic Commits to Strong FSC and Recycled Targets
On Jan. 9th, children’s publisher Scholastic announced an environmental policy that includes commitments to using at least 30% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper and at least 25% recycled fiber (75% of which will be postconsumer waste) by the year 2012. "Our five-year goals for FSC-certified and recycled paper purchases are ambitious but achievable and important," said Maureen O'Connell, Scholastic’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer. Scholastic worked closely with both the Green Press Initiative and Rainforest Alliance in creating the policy, which follows fellow large publishers Random House and Simon and Schuster in releasing a strong environmental policy. Scholastic’s complete policy is available online at:


Thomas Nelson Announces Environmental Policy
Thomas Nelson, the world’s largest Christian publisher has announced an environmental policy that will significantly reduce the company’s paper consumption, and increase the amount of recycled and FSC certified paper that is used. The policy includes commitments to reduce paper consumption by 30%, use at least 30% recycled fiber, and use 20% FSC certified fiber for domestic production by the year 2012. The company plans to reduce paper consumption by shortening print runs, increasing their use of Print on Demand, and delivering more content electronically. Michael Hyatt, president and CEO of Thomas Nelson stated, “Our vision is to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint over the next five years and lead the publishing industry in creating revolutionary ways to be both environmentally sustainable and profitable." Thomas Nelson’s full policy is available online at:


Book Business Magazine Highlights Environmental Progress in the Book Industry
Book Business Magazine’s cover story, titled “The Green Team” highlights the major gains that have occurred in recent years to minimize the environmental impacts of the book industry. The article reports on the leadership of large publishing houses, greater awareness of the impacts of paper on climate change, the increased availability of environmentally responsible paper, and broad support for the Book Industry Treatise on Responsible Paper Use. The full article is available here.


After 5 years, People of Grassy Narrows Still Fighting for Their Land
December marked five years since the people of the Grassy Narrows First Nation started a blockade on a logging road to prevent clearcutting on their traditional lands. Nearly half of this area—which is relied upon for trapping and gathering food and medicine—has been cleared to make paper, including large quantities of book paper. Over the years, the efforts of the community and those who support them have attracted a great deal of attention including reports by Greenpeace and Amnesty International. Most recently several NGOs organized a Day of Action, sending protestors to OfficeMax and Grand & Toy stores, which sell paper sourced from the region. These protests highlight the risk associated with using paper that may be linked to social injustice, and the importance of using Forest Stewardship Council (or equivalent) certified fiber, which fully integrates the rights of the communities where logging takes place.


New Research & Reports

Guide for Reducing Climate Impacts Now Available
A guide for publishers wishing to minimize their impacts on climate change is now available. The document provides an overview of how the production of Books and Newspapers is linked to global warming, and provides suggestions about reducing climate impacts by using environmentally responsible paper, minimizing energy use in the office, purchasing renewable energy, and offsetting emissions that are unavoidable. The guide is available at


New Factsheet on Reducing Paper Use
The Environmental Paper Network has released a new factsheet that details how businesses of all types can reduce their use of paper, and use paper more efficiently. The report, which provides simple steps to save both paper and money, is available at:


Industry News from Mills, Merchants & Printers

Gold East’s FSC Certification Revoked
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has revoked its certification of paper maker Gold East due to the environmentally destructive practices of its parent company, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). APP previously had agreements with conservation groups to protect High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs). However, Smartwood, the company hired by APP to audit its performance in protecting HCVFs, stated that the company failed to meet its commitment. Representatives from FSC have stated that this decision was made because many stakeholders had concerns that APP was “greenwashing” its image by obtaining FSC certification for Gold East’s papers, while other parts of the company were operating in a manner contrary to the goals of FSC.  Despite the reduced supply of FSC certified papers available in Asia, publishers are still encouraged to implement commitments to maximize the use of FSC certified papers.  Such policies have been fundamental in increasing the supply of FSC certified products, and are necessary to demonstrate further demand for FSC (or equivalent) standards. For More Information about this and a policy change proposed by FSC to address this and similar issues please see:

Oji, Other Japanese Mills Admit to Inflating Numbers on Recycled Content
Oji Paper and Nippon Paper, the two largest paper companies in Japan, have admitted to falsifying information regarding the recycled content in their papers, and the Japan Paper Association reports that many other Japanese paper companies may have done the same. While this is clearly bad news, it does not automatically mean that the papers have no environmental value.  Sakura 100, made by Oji, is the only recycled Japanese book paper marketed directly to U.S. consumers and is labeled as 100% postconsumer waste. It has been confirmed that the paper is made with 100% dinked fiber, and that a majority of the fiber meets the U.S. definition for postconsumer waste.


Tools & Tips

FSC Requires CoC for publishers who buy paper directly
If you are a publisher that buys paper directly from a mill, you are required to obtain FSC chain of custody (CoC) certification if you wish to place the FSC logo on a product printed on FSC certified paper. Please note that this only applies to publishers who buy the paper directly. If you purchase paper through a printer, your company does not need CoC certification to use the FSC logo.

Updated Environmental Paper and Printer Listings are available at:

Toolkit for publishers is available at:

Toolkit for Printers is available at:  


Upcoming Events

GPI/BISG to present findings of Climate Impacts and Environmental Trends Report
On March 10th the Green Press Initiative and the Book Industry Study Group will announce the findings of the Book Industry Climate Impacts and Environmental Trends Report. The highlights of this groundbreaking report will be discussed at 2:30pm at the Publishing Business Conference and Expo in New York City.  The formation of the Book Industry Environmental Council will also be announced. For more information about this and other events at Publishing Expo and Conference, visit


2nd Annual Sustain Print Awards
On the evening of March 10th, two book publishers will be recognized for environmental achievements. The awards include a “Longtime Leadership” award for a publisher with a history of environmental leadership, and a “Newcomer of the Year” award for a publisher that has recently developed a strong environmental policy. The awards will be announced at a cocktail party at 6pm at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.


How to Improve Your Environmental Impact without Breaking the Bank
On March 11th, representatives from Green Press Initiative, the AAP, Scholastic and Lantern books will participate on a panel titled “How to Improve Your Environmental Impact without Breaking the Bank.” Publishers who have successfully implemented environmental policies will share tips and advise.


GPI to Present Publishing Impacts and Solutions to Center for Independent Publishing
On March 12th the New York Center for Independent Publishing (formerly the Small Press Center) will host a presentation on the social and environmental impacts of the book industry, and the steps publishers can take to minimize those impacts. The presentation, which will begin at 6 pm, will also discuss recent trends relating to environmental stewardship in the book industry.  

This newsletter and the Green Press Initiative is made possible through the support of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, Merck Family Fund, Town Creek Foundation, FSC Global Fund, Wallace Global Foundation, and the Weeden Foundation.



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