Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Green Books Campaign: Canopy is supporting the campaign and presenting their work with the book industry

We're happy to begin the Green Books Campaign's day with a guest post from our friends at Canopy. Based in Canada, Canopy is one of the most important forces pushing the book industry towards greater sustainability in the last decade and we're proud to have it as one of the supporters of the campaign (just like the Green Press Initiative, which we presented here couple of days ago).

Best known for our work to green the Harry Potter series internationally with the support of author J.K. Rowling, Canopy works to protect the world’s forests, species and climate by leveraging market forces to help publishers, printers and paper producers adopt environmental policies and practices that ensure conservation on the ground. Eco-Libris’ Green Books campaign bolsters this movement to include wider consumer engagement. Given that 60-80% of a publisher’s environmental footprint is attributable to the papers it prints its books on, we are excited to work with the Eco-Libris Green Books Campaign to help book lovers save the world’s forests by choosing books that are printed on environmental papers.

Canopy works with more than 700 publishers and printers, including Random House, Scholastic and Lonely Planet, and literary giants such as Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood, to reduce dramatically the impact book production has on our fragile planet. By harnessing the purchasing influence of major publishers and printers, Canopy has been able to broker large-scale conservation agreements such as the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement and the world’s largest conservation initiative, the new Boreal Forest Agreement. It is through such major agreements that real conservation progress is made.

Such progress is thanks in no small part to the remarkable changes we’ve seen in the past decade since starting our work with book publishers. The marketplace has progressed from no environmental book-grade papers being commercially available in North America in 2000, to millions of books now being printed on environmental papers. As a book lover, that’s good news!

Recognizing the critical role that book lovers and retailers play in the industry, Canopy also works with market leaders such Indigo Books & Music to help them not only green their own business practices, but also foster environmental leadership within the publishing industry. Our joint work with Indigo also enables readers to make informed purchasing decisions by transparently providing information about a book’s environmental qualities online and at store kiosks.

So how can you tell if a book is printed on environmental paper? Consumers should look for one of the following:

  • An eco-audit at the back of a book, listing exactly what kind of paper each part of the book (pages, cover) contains
  • The Ancient Forest Friendly label
  • Statements that the book is printed on 100% Post Consumer Recycled paper, or on Forest Stewardship Council certified paper
This information may be included in a number of places in the book, including the back jacket, inside jacket, or the copyright page, directly after the title page.

As the final stop in the supply chain – the demand – readers are of course essential to the success of both individual titles and the overall industry. Know that you can be the tail that wags the dog in a greener direction. Vote with your wallet: purchase books that are printed on environmental papers. Your support of publishers and retailers who are taking environmental leadership and campaigns such as this helps increase demand for responsibly sourced books. And that helps position organizations like Canopy as stronger advocates for the world’s forests, species, and climate.

We want to thank again Canopy for their support of the campaign and assistance in getting the word out! You can find more information about Canopy's work, as well as resources on the impacts of the book industry and available eco-friendly paper options at

The Campaign's page is .You can also follow the campaign on Facebook and twitter.

Raz @ Eco-Libris
Eco-Libris: Promoting green reading!

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