Did you know that publishers today have the power to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions just by adopting green publishing practices?
This is because publishing printed books casts an impact of biblical proportions on the planet. According to a WordsRated report, the yearly impact of publishing printed books in the USA alone is deforestation of 32 million trees!
Several other numbers make it necessary to consider the environmental impact of the publishing industry on the planet:
- The publishing industry alone contributes the third highest emissions of greenhouse gasses.
- The books wasted by readers every year account for the cutting and processing of about 10 million trees.
Let’s understand what green publishing is and how publishers can take up arms against climate change and truly make a difference through conscious, sustainable practices.
Table of Contents
- Use Eco-Ink
- Print On Demand
- Use Post-Consumer Waste Paper
- Make Proofing Electronic
- Rewire Internal Paper Use
- Consider Digital Publishing
- Partner With “Green” Companies or Organizations
- Modify Your Packaging
What is Green Publishing?
Green publishing is a set of practices, tools, and management strategies that help publishers reduce the impact of their publishing processes on society and the environment. It is important today to consider green publishing practices because of the climate change concerns that are occurring due to deforestation.
8 Sustainable Practices to Reduce Carbon Footprint in Publishing
If John Wiley & Sons can do it, so can you. As of 2022, this publisher is certified carbon neutral, using 100% renewable energy, lightweight papers, energy attribute certificates, and green tariffs.
If you wish to join the bandwagon, listed below are eight key ways you can commence your green publishing operations.
1. Use Eco-Ink
Eco-ink is a type of environment friendly ink that is made by using biodegradable solvents.
Materials like mineral oils, vegetable and algae derivative colors, etc., go into the making of these inks. They are not toxic to the environment, making it safe to dispose of paper made of this ink into the soil without the risk of chemical pollution.
Publishers can switch to using eco-ink to enable better disposal of unused books (which is about 16,000 truckloads) each year.
2. Print On Demand
Print-on-demand is an excellent way to reduce paper waste burden on the environment. Instead of filling up the shelves with hard copies of books that are never bought and ultimately disposed of, print-on-demand only prints the number of copies that are confirmed to be sold.
It helps optimize resource use and streamline the supply chain, providing multifold benefits to the publishers in the long run.
3. Use Post-Consumer Waste Paper
Post-consumer waste paper is paper derived from books that have been used, disposed of, and diverted from landfills to be processed for recycling.
4. Make Proofing Electronic
The proofing process in the publishing industry consists of checking the final quality of text before it can go into production.
There are various bases that the process touches, which involves printing and reprinting proofs to incorporate the changes requested at each stage. This constitutes a significant use of paper, which ultimately ends up in waste.
Converting all internal proofing processes to electronic proofing can help publishers leave a lesser carbon footprint.
5. Rewire Internal Paper Use
In addition to proofing, a lot of internal processes inside an office facility require paper. This includes maintaining project files, requesting manuscripts from writers/authors, inviting proposals, taking meeting notes, etc.
A lot of paper-intensive processes can be made paperless by enabling cloud-based, centralized collaboration platforms that eliminate paper from the picture. It also helps publishing houses take a step towards resilience and agility.
6. Consider Digital Publishing
Digital publishing, owing to the convenience and cost savings that it provides to the K12 publishers, is gaining traction in the industry. Using robust digital textbook platforms like KITABOO, publishers can move their publishing ecosystem online to the cloud and control the creation, management, distribution, and marketing of content flexibly.
It also helps reduce the paper requirements of the office, optimizing resource allocation and reinventing supply chains.
7. Partner With "Green" Companies or Organizations
Printed publications can be certified green as well if you partner with suppliers and manufacturers that have been certified green.
Several paper production companies follow sustainable practices and source their raw materials responsibly – partnering with these companies helps your publishing house reduce its carbon footprint as well.
Additionally, you can consider partnering with a digital publishing solutions provider like KITABOO to help you achieve improved marketing and distribution processes for your publications.
8. Modify Your Packaging
Book packaging consists of plastic wraps and covers that have no utility once the book is sold. They end up in landfills, drastically risking environmental health.
For green publishing, it is necessary to rethink packaging options by educating your target audience about taking the necessary steps toward environmental preservation.
Consider using wrappers made of recycled paper or other compostable packaging to reduce your publishing carbon footprint.
KITABOO: Empowering Publishers with Sustainable Publishing Tools
While it is important to think about shifting focus from physical publishing to electronic publishing, it isn’t entirely possible to make the move 100%. Only through practicing green publishing strategies and creating awareness around climate change and responsibility can publishers truly make a positive impact.
In addition to the strategies shared above, consider creating a green publishing policy at your workplace that enables your workforce to work synchronously. You can leverage the power of K12 digital publishing with KITABOO, an AI-powered platform that provides a robust digital architecture for all publishing operations.
Publishers can not only create and distribute their publications on this platform but also collaborate, invite shareholders, and even analyze their publication data in depth. To know about how KITABOO can help you reduce your carbon footprint, visit the website.
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