Saturday, June 14, 2008

The green side of the British Book Awards

I was very happy to read this week that not only the American Booksellers Association is going green, but also the British one.

The Frankfurt Book Fair 2008 reported in its June newsletter on the British Book Industry Awards, the Oscars of the British book business, which took place on May 13. The Awards, reports the newsletter, were first set up 19 years ago by the independent trade newspaper "Publishing News" and are organised today in cooperation with the Booksellers Association (BA), having become a firm fixture for the industry.

And here's the green part of the newsletter that made me happy and I wanted to share with you :

Riding the green wave
The event had been preceded by a two-day conference of the Booksellers Association. Despite the sunshine and the attractions of the nearby beach, the programme was well attended, with around 400 delegates from the world of publishing and bookselling. The dominant topics were digitisation and ecology.

"Going green" was the slogan and experts like Sir David King, one-time scientific adviser to the UK government, asked what sort of contribution the book industry could make. In the discussion featuring Managing Director Gerry Johnson from Waterstones bookshop chain and Ashley Lodge from Harper Collins, it became clear that the industry is serious in its intentions. Even if the industry is not the main cause of climate change, there was still an urgent need to take action, as BA President Graham Rand reminded delegates: "We do not want to sit back, lose the agenda and allow ourselves, perhaps justifiably, to be targeted by any environmental group."

I can't agree more with BA President Graham Rand about the need to take action, and not only because of the fear to become a target of criticism, but because it's just the right thing to do.

We reported last December on some steps that were taken in this direction in the British book industry and were looking to see more bolder steps to follow. It looks like this two-day conference is definitely an important step in the right direction and I hope we'll hear more soon from the BA about further efforts to go green.

Raz @ Eco-Libris