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Book Industry Undergoing Green Transformation

The U.S. book industry emits over 12.4 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, or approximately 8.85 pounds of carbon for the average book (.89 lb), with most of the impact connected to forest carbon loss, according to a new report, from the Green Press Initiative and Book Industry Study Group.

The report-Environmental Trends and Climate Impacts: Findings from the U.S. Book Industry-also reveals an industry in the midst of a positive environmental transformation.

The book industry’s use of recycled fiber has increased six-fold in the past few years, and many companies in the book business are developing environmental policies and setting goals to increase their use of recycled and certified paper, improve impacts on forests, reduce energy consumption, and lessen their overall carbon footprint.

Approximately 45 percent of publishers now have meaningful environmental policies in place, with concrete goals and timelines. In fact, four of the top 10 publishers-including Random House, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and Thomas Nelson-have joined 160 smaller publishers in making significant public commitments in this arena. In addition, a solid majority of respondents (more than 220) have endorsed the Book Industry Treatise on Responsible Paper.

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