Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dorling Kindersley's new green initiative

Bonnie Alter reports today in TreeHugger about Dorling Kindersley (DK), an illustrated publisher from the UK ("famous for its travel books, Eyewitness series and children's books"), that goes green with a new range of illustrated books, 'Made with Care'.

Four titles will be printed in this series and DK plans to take the following measures in their production:

1. The books will have no jackets, but instead they'll have featuring unbleached covers made of 100% recycled board

2. The books will be printed on FSC-certified paper.

3. Usage of vegetable inks and environmentally friendly glues.

4. reports that printing will be by Mohn Media in Germany, which DK describes as "one of the country's pioneers of environmental awareness". The German location will minimise distribution distances.

The marketing of the books will also go green - it will be mainly electronic and any paper used will be either FSC-certified or recycled.

These efforts are great and kudos to DK for their efforts to make these books in a greener manner. It started, as I understand from the, from DK's willingness to avoid accusations of "greenwashing", as all of the four new books are on green subjects ('Grow Organic' - a gardening book, 'Green Babycare', 'Earth Matters' - an encyclopedia of the environment, and Make It!, which shows children how to turn old rubbish into something creative).

I hope that DK will broaden their green efforts to other books they publish as well. reports that "The Made with Care initiative is the pilot scheme of a broad push towards green and ethical standards at DK. By the end of this year, the publisher will be using purely PREPS Grade 3 paper (a traceable grade), and will require that all its printers meet the ISO 14001 waste management standards and are FSC chain of custody approved."

I also hope that DK will also include in their future green plans the usage of recycled paper for the books themselves and not only for the cover. This is a significant part of any environmental initiative and paper policy in the book publishing industry, as we can see from other green initiatives in the book industry, from The Green Press Initiative's Book Industry Treatise to initiatives taken by big publishers such as Random House, Simon & Schuster and Scholastic. Another example to look at is Kedzie Press, that initiated with us the Million Tree-A-Thon initiative, which prints all its titles of our titles are printed on 100% recycled, 100% post-consumer waste paper (FSC certified), and processed chlorine free.

In any case, DK wants to stimulate a debate and open new routes for the whole book industry to find green suppliers, which I find very encouraging. All in all, it looks that Dorling Kindersley is committed to going green and we'll follow its journey towards sustainable reading and we'll report on updates from the road. We'll of course bring you also coverage of all the books on the series when they will be published.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!