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Reducing the book's carbon footprint

Jul 1, 2011 12:00 AM


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The Green Press Initiative's Book Industry Environmental Council — encompassing publishers, printers, paper suppliers and non-governmental organizations — aims to achieve a 20% reduction in the book industry's carbon footprint by 2020. In 2007, their study concluded annual emissions are 12.4 metric tons, as an industry, and about 8.5 metric lbs. per printed book.

Cascades' Julie Loyer explains the group's method: “Each participant needs to choose only three of the six actions listed to achieve the goal of reduced environmental impact.” These are:

  • Reduce paper basis weight by 3.5%.
  • Reduce return rate from 25% to 22%.
  • Increase energy efficiency by 4.5%.
  • Reduce the portion of books that are landfilled by 25%.
  • Increase recycled content an additional 3.5% to 33.5%.
  • Use an average of 5.5% next-generation renewable energy.

See www.greenpressinitiative.com and www.bookcouncil.org.