Environmentally Conscious Publishing

Most of us are concerned about the environment. We want the Earth to be here for future generations, and more importantly, we want it to sustain life for years to come.

To that end, sometimes the publishing industry has come under fire for not being environmentally friendly since it takes trees to make paper, and books are printed on paper (interestingly, you don’t hear much about how many trees it takes to make nice plush toilet paper).

In recent years, many publishers have become more “green” conscious, using recycled paper and using print-on-demand so that large amounts of unsold books don’t end up in landfills.

The Green Press Initiative (GPI) has now come out with an Environmentally Responsible Publisher Certification (ERPC). Publishers who adhere to certain standards can use the ERPC logo to show consumers that they are conscientious stewards of the environment.

I have not run the numbers, but one small publisher I know reports that when they calculated the emissions for producing recycled paper and the extra shipping of that paper to the print facility, they found that the environmental benefit was negligible.

This publisher decided to be environmentally conscious in a slightly different way. They partner with an organization called Plant with Purpose to plant a tree for every tree that goes into the printing of their books.

I do believe that being environmentally conscious is important, however, I also believe that those consumers who are the most concerned about the environment will purchase the digital version of your books instead of the print ones.

So, whether you seek to implement the Environmentally Responsible Publisher Certification or you partner with an organization called Plant with Purpose, or you do neither, you can always let your customers know that if they are concerned about the environment and saving trees, they can purchase the digital version of your books.


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