Sustainability

As a publisher we create the following environmental impacts:

 

  • Paper

  • Manufacturing

  • Distribution

  • Office 

  • Travel

 

 

Paper

Most of our carbon footprint comes from the use of paper.  To reduce our footprint as much as possible, we make sure that we only work with printer partners that do not use paper sourced from endangered old growth forests, forests of exceptional conservation value, or the Amazon basin.  Our printer sources all paper from SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative), FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified mills and ensures that all printer sites use paper from certified sources.  We install practices that reduce the amount of paper that we use for book production – print-on-demand, lighter weight paper, paperbacks, and eBooks – and when we need to more, books are printed in ultra-short runs or only when an order has been received.

 

Manufacturing

One of the greatest achievements of the book industry has been the introduction of print-on-demand manufacturing.  By its very nature, print-on-demand reduces environmental impact. With this model, we no longer fill warehouses in anticipation of sales, we print minimal amounts of stock or to order.  Customers tend to order only want they need which has reduced the amount of returned stock that has to be destroyed.  Paper, ink, and energy is no longer wasted, and pulping and landfills reduced.

 

Distribution

Print-on-demand significantly reduces our distribution carbon footprint as well.  We no longer print from one location; our books are now available globally from a host of local printing facilities.  For example, a book for a US based customer will now be printed from the nearest US based print facility.  Steps have been made to make sure that how we package books isn’t using yet more paper. Our distributors use packaging that is recycled, and recyclable and they never use more than any single dispatch needs.  Our distributor will never need to use non-recyclable materials such as plastic wrap to send our books.  Our distributor also makes sure that the onward transit from your nearest print facility is responsible. Their biggest partner, UPS, is committed to reducing their carbon imprint.  They’ve set up a ‘Sustainability Lab’ to test the best ways to get our books to customers cleanly and efficiently.  They’ve already moved forward to using electric vehicles.

Office

To allow us to work with partners across the globe, it has always been our mission to work remotely to avoid the costs and impact of commuting to a central office.  This was especially important during the last few years and meant that the impact of the pandemic on our business practices was minimal.  Individually we are all committed to reusing as much office paper as possible, recycling and, wherever possible, working on screen and producing materials, reports and retailer feeds electronically to avoid printing and posting.   More and more, with the use of new technologies our offices can be virtually paper free. 

 

Travel

We very much like face-to-face meetings. However, what we have learnt over the last few years is that technology can help us to still have face-to-face meetings without increasing our carbon footprint.  Where possible we conduct meetings and attend events virtually.  

 

 

As a smaller independent publisher, we can ensure that every action that we take reduces our environmental impact.  Being a smaller player has its advantages, including a supply chain that is simpler to monitor.  

 

If you would like to discuss our sustainability initiatives with us direct, please email us at: info@howgatepublishing.com