Thursday, June 21, 2007

so, what’s the deal with paper?

We got few requests to give more information about the environmental impacts of the paper used by the book publishing industry. We are happy to receive such requests because we believe this info is something that every book lover should get acquainted with.

In our blog, we’ll try to give you the full picture of what’s going on out there with the production of paper. We promise to bring you each week one new fact about paper and the way its production affects the world we’re living in.

One of the best information sources for this issue is Green Press Initiative, a non-profit program, which its mission is to work with publishers, industry stakeholders and authors to create paper-use transformations that will conserve natural resources and preserve endangered forests. These people are doing a great job and are a significant force in the effort to move the book publishing industry towards sustainability.

At the Book Expo America 2007, a major event of the book publishing industry that took place in NYC at the beginning of June, Green Press Initiative participated in a panel on the environmental impacts of book publishing (isn't the panel itself a sign of change? I believe it is..). This interesting panel included also 3 publishers (Random House, Chronicle Books and Powell’s Books). All four delivered presentations that are available on Green Press Initiative’s website.

The presentation given by Green Press Initiative (the first one on this page) is a great introduction to anyone who is interested in the environmental impacts of paper. Think of it as Paper 101. But if it’s not enough for you, don’t worry, it’s just the beginning. In the next couple of weeks, I will write more thoroughly on many of the issues brought up in the presentation.

And as promised, to the fact of the week:

Fact 1: Canada’s Boreal Forest stores more carbon than any other forest. It is estimated that 2.5 million acres of forest are cut there each year, and 65% of the trees cut down are harvested specifically to make paper – much of it consumed by publishers (news, book, magazine, catalog) in the US. Source: Green Press Initiative