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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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May, 2009 Newsletter


Upcoming Events

Book Expo America Panel, “Green: As a Recipe for Success in Tough Times”
Hear from leaders how publishing environmentally sustainable projects, from production to marketing, can help you succeed—even in a tight economy. Other subjects covered will be cost-savings, avoiding the risks of green washing, and the benefits of socially responsible publishing. The Panel will begin at 9:30 am on Sat, May 30th, at the Javits Center in New York City in room 1E02.

Moderator: Todd Pollak, Program Manager, Green Press Initiative
Panelists: Steve Geck, Exec Editor, Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins
Charles Melcher, founder, Melcher Media
Pete Datos, Vice President, Strategic Planning & Publishing Operations, Hachette Book Group

In the News

Book Industry Environmental Council Sets Climate Goal, Develops Framework for Ecolabel
The Book Industry Environmental Council (BIEC) has established a goal of reducing the book industry’s greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from 2006 levels by 2020, with a longer term target of an 80% reduction by 2050. The 20% reduction will prevent the emissions of 2.5 million metric tons of carbon annually, equivalent to removing 450,000 cars from the roads. The council has also approved the framework for an environmental publisher certification which uses a scorecard to evaluate 22 metrics of environmental performance ranging from the use of environmentally responsible paper to efforts to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and toxic components. The BIEC consists of more than 40 companies and organizations in the book industry, including representation from about 60% of the publisher market share, as well as a diverse group of printers, paper manufacturers and other supply chain companies. The full press release from the BIEC is available here.

Industry Treatise Updated
The Book Industry Treatise on Responsible Paper Use has been modified by the Treatise Leadership Council which overseas revisions and modifications. The name of the treatise itself has been changed to represent environmental goals that extend beyond paper use. The industry developed agreement, which has been signed by over 220 publishers, printers, and manufactures/suppliers will henceforth be known as The Book Industry Treatise on Environmentally Responsible Publishing. The treatise has also been modified to include a climate goal consistent with the targets established by the BIEC (See above article for details). You can review the updated treatise, and sign it electronically here. 

HarperStudio, Borders Reach Point of No-Returns
HarperStudio, an imprint of HarperCollins has made a deal with Borders to sell books on a no-returns basis. In exchange, HarperStudio will sell the books to Borders at a larger than normal discount. Robert Miller, president and publisher of HarperStudio, indicates that the state of the economy may be an opportunity for the book industry to change its inefficient returns policy stating, “Returns have never made sense in our business, and with the recent economic downturn, publishers and booksellers are more open than before to experimenting with models that might decrease waste and increase Profit”. More details are available here 

RePaper Project Aims to Improve Paper Recovery and Increase Recycled Paper
With the urgency of climate change, a rapidly growing number of consumers and large institutional paper purchasers have committed to transition to higher content recycled paper products as part of the solution. Therefore it is critical to improve and increase paper collection and reinvigorate and expand North American recycled paper manufacturing. Member organizations of the Environmental Paper Network have come together in a collaborative effort to address this challenge and build bridges with other stakeholders.  The RePaper Project will work to foster dialogue, create partnerships, and advance policy reforms that improve and increase paper fiber recovery and the manufacturing of recycled paper. The Project recently released a report titled Reimagining Paper In the 21st Century. An executive summary and the full report are available here.

GPI News

GPI Membership
Joining Green Press Initiative is a simple way to demonstrate your environmental commitment, gain access to valuable tools and resources, and support the efforts of a pioneering organization. The Green Press Initiative (GPI) provides its members with the expertise and resources to design, implement and evaluate successful, socially responsible business policies and practices

Special Note
In the last few months several people who have played leadership roles in helping the book industry reduce environmental impacts have stepped down from their respective positions. Andrew Van Der Lann has stepped down from his post as Senior Project Manager at Random House, While Myron Marsh, CEO of Thomson Shore, and Tony Crouch Director of Design and Production for University of California Press both recently retired. All three individuals played key roles in advancing environmental stewardship at their respective companies, and in the book industry as a whole. We at GPI would like to thank Andrew, Myron and Tony for their leadership and commitments to environmental stewardship.

Got News? Let us know.  
Please contact us if you company is:

  • Undertaking efforts to reduce climate impacts
  • Devising new strategies to reduce returns
  • Producing new environmentally responsible products for the book industry
  • Establishing new environmental goals, or
  • Taking other novel steps to reduce environmental impacts

We can help you get the word out through our newsletter, and other communications with industry professionals.

Paper News That Affects You

GPI to Provide Pulp Pricing
Beginning with the current newsletter, GPI will provide trends for pulp spot pricing for several types of pulp including deinked recycled pulp. It is our hope that this information will be helpful to paper consumers when making choices about recycled paper or engaging with suppliers.

Pulp Type Price Current Quarter Price 1 Yr Ago
Deinked Reycled Pulp - US East $570 $755
Northern Bleached Hardwood Kraft - mixed species - Canada/US sources delivered to US East $525 $815
Southern Bleached Hardwood Kraft - mixed species - US sources delivered to US East $520 $805
Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft - Canadian sources delivered to US East $635 $880
Southern Bleached Softwood Kraft - US sources delivered to US East $605 $840
Groundwood/Mechanical Pulp (aspen) - Canadian to Northern Europe $455 $800

Data for graph and table represent midpoints of high and low values provided by RISI

Loophole in Tax Code Gives Billions to Paper Manufacturers to use More Fossil Fuels and make Less Recycled Fiber
Some paper manufacturers are receiving millions and even billions of dollars by exploiting a loophole in a 2005 transportation bill that was intended to reduce the use of fossil fuels. In the bill, a tax credit was awarded for mixing alternative fuels with “taxable fuels” which includes gasoline and diesel fuel. In 2007 this credit was expanded to include uses of such mixtures not associated with transportation. Many paper manufactures have burned “black liquor” (a carbon rich byproduct that results from processing wood fiber) to power mills for decades since it is a free alternative to fossil fuels. However, some manufacturers are now adding diesel fuel to the black liquor for the sole purpose of receiving the tax credit. In addition to using more fossil fuels, the exploitation of this loophole creates a disincentive to manufacture papers containing recycled fiber, as processing recycled paper does not produce black liquor. It has been estimated that this will cost U.S. taxpayers $6.6 billion dollars (some say it could be up to $10 billion) before the credit expires at the end of this year. Unlike recent bailouts to the financial and auto industries, there is no requirement for this money to be paid back. For more information read this article from Bloomberg News.

New Research and Reports

Consumer Demand for Green Products Still Rising
A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group found that consumer demand for environmentally responsible products is higher than ever before. Among the study’s findings are that consumers are more likely to consider the environment with paper and packaged products than other types of products with 27% of respondents who “systematically buy green” and 42% who “sometimes buy green” in that category. 43% of U.S. respondents said they believed green products were of higher quality, while only 5% said green products were lower quality. Additionally 82% of U.S. respondents said they would pay at least a 5% premium for “green products”. The full study is available here.

Northeast Forests Have Potential to Store More Carbon Than Previously Thought
A recent study has found that temperate forests in the Northeast U.S. have the potential to store much more carbon than was previously thought. Though many of these forests have been growing since they were initially cleared around 125 years ago, the study finds that it is necessary to rethink the idea that they are “maxed out” in their ability to store carbon. Previous studies may have overlooked the additional potential to store carbon because they did not include carbon stored below ground in soil and roots. More about this study is available here

Corporate Boards Play Larger Role in Sustainability
Boards of directors are increasingly paying attention to the risks and opportunities associated with corporate responsibility, sustainability and climate change, according to a recent survey of 220 directors at U.S. companies with $1 billion or more in revenue. The survey found that Seventy-six percent have a strong or moderate understanding of the business opportunities associated with corporate responsibility, sustainability and climate change, and One-half of directors think their companies’ response to corporate responsibility and sustainability is integrated into business strategy and risk management. Click here for more information.

Industry News from Mills, Merchants, and Printers

Domtar Receives Additional FSC Certification
In April Domtar announced that it has achieved Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain-of-Custody certification at four more of its paper mills. Its coated groundwood mill in Columbus, MS, and uncoated freesheet mills in Hawesville, KY, Kingsport, TN, and Marlboro (Bennettsville), SC are now FSC-certified. Domtar has also announced that it Saturn coated groundwood grade (available with 10% pcw) is now FSC certified.

Tools & Resources

Updated Paper and Supplier Listings
Updated lists of environmentally responsible papers and printers that stock environmental grade papers are available at http://www.greenpressinitiative.org/action/suppliers.htm

Toolkit for publishers
is available at

Toolkit for Printers is available at:

This newsletter and the Green Press Initiative is made possible through the support of the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, Giles and Elise Mead Foundation, Katz Family Foundation, Merck Family Fund, Overbrook Foundation, Town Creek Foundation, Weeden Foundation



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