Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our top green publishing and printing stories for 2009

2009 is almost over and we want to take a minute and remember the stories we had on the two issues we mainly cover here: green publishing and green printing.

We had an exciting year with many news stories, so we sat down and chose the ones we found most interesting, important, creative and funny, or to make it short - the stories we loved! We hope you love them too. So here it is, one story for every month of 2009:

January 2009 -
The invitation to the inauguration is printed on the greenest premium paper in the world

The inauguration of President Barack Obama took place on January. This was not only an historic and special event, but also a green one, at least when it came to the invitations to the inauguration, which were printed on the eco-friendly CLASSIC CREST papers of
Neenah Paper, who says it's the greenest premium paper in the world.

February 2009 - A green publisher beats the recession!

Did all publishers do badly on 2008? Well, apparently not.
Chelsea Green Publishing, a publisher that is focusing on politics and the practice of sustainable living, actually had the best year ever! Margo Baldwin, the president and publisher of Chelsea Green Publishing, explained on the connection between the topics of their books and their success in times of recession: "Our books do very well in recessionary times. If you want to eat, you learn how to grow your own food. If you want a house, you can learn how to build it yourself. If you want to reduce your energy use, you can figure out how to harvest your own power. Survival is a wake up call and we have the books to educate people on that front. "

March 2009 - When economic constraints meet Planet Earth: HarperCollins' catalogs are going digital

One more time savings are meeting the environment: The HarperCollins Fall catalog is going paperless, or in other words: no more printing and mailing physical catalogs. From now on, it's all digital.
And it actually has many advantages: HC's digital catalogues will, in addition to featuring the standard information in print catalogues, include reviews, interviews and promotional videos. Josh Marwell, president of sales at HC, said the new online catalogues mark the "next step in the evolution of how we bring our books to market.

April 2009 -
Green news for Earth Day: the book industry is announcing carbon reduction goals

The Book Industry Environmental Council announced a goal of reducing the U.S. book industry’s greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020 (from a 2006 baseline) with the intent of achieving an 80% reduction by 2050. This industry-wide commitment is a global first in publishing.

May 2009 -
The latest alternative to printed books is announced in Japan

No, we weren't talking about a new technology or a new book reading device. This time we were talking about a story printed on toilet paper. Each roll carries several copies of a new nine-chapter novella written by Koji Suzuki, the Japanese author of the horror story "Ring". "Drop," set in a public restroom, takes up about three feet (90 centimeters) of a roll and can be read in just a few minutes, according to the manufacturer.

June 2009 -
Creative recycling: THEY are making a book from waste paper in the Netherlands

How you can make products out of waste? how you can recycle creatively?
THEY, a communications agency of the Netherlands, presented an option. They designed a book for one of their customers, where the inside of the book is entirely printed on paper that’s been used for test prints. They explain that on average with every printing run 1-2 percent of the paper gets used for testing. So printing 100.000 sheets leaves 2000 sheets of waste paper. THEY collected different types of test paper and printed 500 books on the backside of the test pages, using Japanese stab binding, by which you leave the old, ‘wrong’ side on the inside and the ‘right’ side, the side you want to read, on the outside. The cover of the book is made of misprinted packaging for juice and milk.

July 2009 -
Green printing is going mainstream!

We were happy to read that green printing is now not only the quest of a small number of printers, but it's also on the agenda of the the world’s largest graphic arts trade association - Printing Industries of America.Yes, Printing Industries of America is providing now its members with a new tool for who wants to go green: The Green Guide for Graphic Communications.

August 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
- already in 2008 19.7% of Scholastic’s paper purchased was FSC-certified, and recycled paper's share of paper purchased was 15.1%.

September 2009 - New report finds Kindle greener than physical books - is that really so?

Last month Cleantech Group published a report that was supposed to put an end to an ongoing debate on the question if the Kindle and other e-readers are actually greener than physical books. The release following the report gives you a good idea on the report's conclusion -
E-readers a win for carbon emissions. This was supposed to be the life cycle analysis many people, including myself were waiting for, and I decided to read it and see if it's really over. I found a well-written analysis that integrates many pieces of information,creating a more coherent picture. At the same time the validity of the findings was unclear.

October 2009 -
Mohawk Fine Paper became the first paper company to leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Mohawk Fine Paper, one of the two largest premium paper manufactures in North America, is a leading force in the pulp and paper industry when it comes to sustainability. The company enforced its leading position when it left the U.S. Chamber of Commerce due to the Chamber’s position on climate change. George Milner, Mohawk's vice president for environmental affairs, explained this move to AP, saying that "it hurts the company's credibility as an advocate for environmental protection when it belongs to an organization that vigorously opposes action on climate change."

November 2009 - It's cool and even greener to read books on a mobile phone, but can a 3.5 inch screen beat the Kindle?

An interesting article was published
on the New York Times about the growing popularity of the usage of cellphones as e-readers. It looks like more people are willing to read books on a 3.5 inch mobile screen and some wonder if mobile phones are indeed the ultimate Kindle Killers. This can be a new round of a struggle between a device that is basically limited (almost) to just one main function to a multi-functional device. Another element to be taken into consideration is that it's much more environmental-friendly to use a multi-functional device because then you just need to manufacture one device and that's it. And the same goes to ending the life of the device - it's almost always greener to deal with one device than two or three devices. But, and this is a big but, can we really read books on cellphones?

December 2009 -
ForestEthics is releasing its annual Naughty / Nice list of companies in the direct mailing industry

An irritating byproduct of the holidays season is the growth in junk mail. So much waste of paper that in the best scenario will go directly to the recycling bin and in many cases will just end up in the landfill. Some companies are better of course than the others, but how can we know who is good and who is bad? Fortunately
ForestEthics comes to our help (like they do every year) with their annual Direct Mail Industry Scorecard that grades companies according to their paper choices and the steps they're taking to minimize their direct mail's footprint.

Looking forward to more great green publishing and printing stories on 2010!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!