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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September, 2008 Newsletter


GpI News

GPI Membership Program
GPI’s official membership program has launched. Member benefits include consulting, employee training, environmental calculations and analysis, a free copy the Environmental Trends and Climate Impacts Report, networking opportunities, discounts on industry events, discounts on products and services to help reduce environmental impacts, and use of the GPI logo. For more information about membership, and to signup securely online go to

In the news

Book Industry Environmental Council Makes Significant Progress
Since its inaugural meeting in June, the Book Industry Environmental Council has made significant progress in all three of its top priority areas. Subcommittees focusing on each of the priorities (tracking industry progress, developing an industry wide eco-label, and calculating and setting goals for the industry’s carbon footprint) have all developed proposals which were discussed in depth at a meeting on September 17th. These proposals will be further refined and will likely be voted on by the council in January, 2009. The Council consists of more than 35 companies and organizations in the book industry working together to track and reduce the industry’s environmental impacts.

FSC Certified Printers Can Get Blanket Logo Approval  
It is now possible for FSC certified printers to get a blanket approval for use of the on product label for FSC certified print jobs. Printers who receive this blanket approval do not have to submit every print job for review and approval before printing the FSC label.  To receive blanket logo approval, printers must demonstrate to their certification body that they understand the rules and regulations of using the FSC label and understand how to apply it to a variety of paper grades for a variety of projects.  Printers can consult the FSC on-product labeling standard (page 5, section 1.5, and “note”).  The note is vague, which allows for certification bodies to issue blanket approvals under their discretion. 

FSC printers may also use the following FSC-approved language, which explains the benefits of FSC certification, to accompany the FSC logo:

"This logo identifies paper that meets the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council. FSC is widely regarded as the best practice in forest management, ensuring the highest protections for forests and indigenous peoples."

These two steps should help printers and their customers make better promotional use of FSC on product labeling. It is important for publishers to keep in mind that FSC chain of custody certification does not mean that all the products supplied by a printer are FSC certified.

Lacey Act Expanded to Address Illegally Sourced Forest Products
The Lacey Act, a long standing law preventing the possession, sale and transport of illegally obtained wildlife products, has recently been expanded to apply to plant and forest products, including paper. Importers must now declare the country of origin and the name of the species that make up wood and paper products. GPI has always encouraged publishers and paper suppliers to better understand the source of their fiber, so the changes to this law are undoubtedly a positive step. It is, however, important for everyone in the book industry to keep in mind that this law only addresses illegally harvested wood. Just because paper is sourced legally does not mean it was harvested in an environmentally responsible manner. The best way to ensure that paper has been sourced from well managed forests it use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified papers. To see answers frequently asked questions about the Lacey act, click here.

The Secret Life of Paper
INFORM Inc, an organization that focuses on identifying sustainable practices has released a video titled “The Secret Life of Paper”. This short video discussed the impacts of paper on climate change and endangered forests. The video also discusses solutions including reducing paper consumption, using recycled fiber, and ensuring that virgin fiber is FSC certified. The video (approximately 5 minutes in length) can be viewed here

New Research & Reports

Environmental Trends Report Free to GPI Members, 30% Discount for Members of Publishing Industry Associations/Organizations
The report titled Climate Impacts and Environmental Trends: Findings from the U.S. Book Industry, which was developed by Green Press Initiative, and the Book Industry Study Group, discusses environmental trends in the book industry, and calculates the carbon footprint of the industry. The report is free to GPI members, and a discount of 30% is available to non-members who belong to a book industry association or organization. The report can be ordered at:

New Report Finds Old Growth Forests are a Net Sink of Carbon
A new report which appeared in Nature finds that old growth forest store more carbon than they release. Worldwide, forests between 15 and 800 years old remove a net 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. This study, which analyzed more than 500 forests worldwide, challenges the conventional wisdom that old growth forests give off as much carbon as they take in and are thus carbon neutral. The authors of this report argue that, based on this research, the Kyoto Protocol and other “Cap and Trade” systems for greenhouse gases should allow credits for protecting old growth forests. For more information see:

WRI Report, Indonesia and Brazil Key Hotspots of Deforestation
A new report by the world Resources Institute finds that deforestation is not occurring in an even distribution throughout the world, but instead is intensely centered on a handful of “hotspots”. The study, which relied on satellite imagery, rather than government supplied data, found that over 60% of the world’s clear cuts occur in just two countries—Brazil and Indonesia. For more information about the report see:

Industry News from Mills, Merchants & Printers

Number of Printers with FSC Certification Continues to Expand
Over the course of the past year, the number of book printers that have obtained FSC chain of custody (CoC) certification has increased dramatically. Currently there are over 15 North American printers in the book industry that have FSC CoC certification including:

Bang Printing, Courier, Delta Printing Solutions, FibreMark, Friesens, King Printing, Marquis, Monroe Litho, McNaughton and Gunn, Odyssey Press, Inc., Pinnacle Press, RR Donnelley, Quebecor, Sawyer Printers, Sheridan Books, Thomson Shore, Transcontinental Printing, and Webcom Limited.

Several more book printers are in the process of obtaining FSC CoC certification.

AbitibiBowater Takes Positive Steps, Called to do More
Earlier this month, AbitibiBowater announced that it intends to have 3 forest units in Canada, totaling 8 million acres, or 18% of the companies total landholdings, certified to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. In June, the company announced that it would stop logging from the traditional lands of the Grassy Narrows First Nation, an indigenous community in northern Ontario, which has had a blockade in place for more than 5 years to prevent logging on the land which they have been granted rights to by the Canadian government. While these are clearly positive steps, AbitibiBowater needs to do more to ensure sufficient protections for  intact and critical forests in Ontario and Quebec. They are continuing to receive pressure from Greenpeace to take more action along these lines. On September 24th, Greenpeace held a protest at the company’s headquarters in Montreal, with some activists occupying the company’s offices.

For more information about AbitibiBowater’s announcement to obtain FSC certification, see:

For More information about the company’s decision to stop logging on the traditional land of the Grassy Narrows First Nation see:

For more information about Greenpeace’s protest of AbitibiBowater see:

Maple-Vail adds THINKTech to Environmental Practices
Maple-Vail, which has long supplied environmentally responsible papers and has initiatives in place to minimize their environmental impacts, recently announced the THINKTech printing process. The system uses an ink and fountain solution which dries rapidly, reduces Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions to 1-2.5% ,and uses significantly less energy. Maple-Vail is also in the process of obtaining FSC Chain of Custody certification. For more information about Maple-Vail’s environmental initiatives please see:

Cascades Measures Carbon Footprint
Cascades fine papers has just published their carbon footprint and compared their average greenhouse gas emissions to the industry average. Because Cascades uses a high portion of recycled fiber, and uses a combination of hydro-electric power, and biogas recovered from a nearby landfill to power their mill, the company’s carbon footprint is significantly smaller than the industry average. For more information see:


Updated Paper and Supplier Listings
Updated lists of environmentally responsible papers and printers that stock environmental grade papers are available at

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 Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, Merck Family Fund,  The Overbrook Foundation, Town Creek Foundation,  Wallace Global Foundation, and the Weeden Foundation.



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