Monday, August 31, 2009

Scholastic make an impressive progress to meet their sustainable paper procurement goals

Good new from Scholastic - the global children's publishing, education and media company announced that significant progress has been made toward the company-wide sustainable goals!

Scholastic announced in January 2008 the following goals for 2012: to increase its purchase of FSC-certified paper for its publications to 30% and its use of recycled paper to 25%, of which 75% would be post-consumer waste.

Their progress toward these goals is impressive as you can learn from the data detailed on their press release (and thanks to Environmental Leader for the link):

FSC-certified paper
(goal: 30% of all paper purchasing)

In 2008, Scholastic purchased 89,378 tons of paper of which 17,608 tons, or 19.7%, was FSC-certified, up from 4% in 2007.

Recycled paper (goal: 25%, of which 75% would be post-consumer waste)

In 2008 13,496 tons, or 15.1%, of the paper purchased was produced from recovered fiber, up from 13% in 2007, and of that amount, 11,258 tons, or 83%, was produced from PCW fiber, up from 77% in 2007.

In other words they're already made two thirds of the way toward their goal and have 3 years to do the remaining third. In other words, they can reach it earlier if they'll continue to move forward so rapidly.

Corey Brinkema, President of FSC-US is quoted in the press release saying "Last year Scholastic made an industry-leading commitment to forest stewardship with its goals for sourcing FSC-certified and recycled paper". Is Scholastic's goals can be considered "an industry-leading commitment"? well, the answer is actually Yes.

Scholastic's mean that more of half of the paper they will use in 2012 will come from sustainable resources (FSC-certified or recycled paper). This is more ambitious than the commitments of other big publishers such as Random House or Simon & Schuster (see more details on their commitments on our book publishing page).

Scholastic's commitment is also similar to the one defined by the Green Press Initiative on their Industry Treatise, which was signed so far by 180 publishers, merchants and mills and include among others the following goals:

  • Shifting the book industry's collective average use of recycled fiber from an estimated 5% recycled average at present to a 30% recycled industry average by 2012 (a majority to be postconsumer).
  • Shifting to book industry’s collective average use of paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or equivalent certification system to 20% by 2012.
The only piece of data missing is how much carbon emissions have Scholastic manage to reduce so far. They don't have a goal in terms of carbon reductions but I'm wondering if following the announcement of the Book Industry Environmental Council last April on goals for cutting the U.S. book industry's greenhouse gas emissions in 20% by 2020 (from a 2006 baseline) with the intent of achieving an 80% reduction by 2050, Scholastic will add it to their set of goals. In all, it looks like they're in a good position to meet and even exceed this goal.

So kudos to Scholastic for their ongoing efforts and achiements and we hope to see many more of the big publishers following suit.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting sustainable reading!