From Publishing Perspectives:
Speaking at the Global Sustainable Development Congress in Thuwal, Elsevier‘s global director of sustainability, Rachel Martin, has told an international audience that within five years, it’s likely that all mainstream printed books will display labels on their front and/or back covers, specifying their “environmental credentials.”
“This will not only give consumers more information,” Martin told her audience, according to the event’s organizers. “But it will help publishers, authors, and booksellers too.”
Martin, as Publishing Perspectives readers know (here is our pre-London Book Fair interview with her), has become a leading figure in the international book business’ bid to bring its operations and output into environmentally responsible ranges. Working closely with the International Publishers Association (IPA) and the programs it’s leading, some of them in cooperation with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals framework, Martin was a player in the development of London Book Fair‘s Sustainability Lounge earlier this year.
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In her comments made Thursday (June 1) at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, organizers say Martin pointed out that a single paperback book emits “on average the equivalent of between one and four kilograms (2.3 to 8.1 pounds) of carbon dioxide.” Indeed in international estimates, the average international carbon footprint for a human being each year is believed to be the equivalent of some 4.5 to 5 metric tonnes (4.9 to 5.5 tons) of carbon dioxide.
In the United Kingdom, Martin said, that range of emission may rise to as much as 9 or 10 metric tonnes—and to more than 15 metric tonnes in the United States—but might be as low as 2 or fewer tonnes in India.
Martin, the congress says, told the audience that she sees the value of product-labeling for books to be the logical consumer-demand response as world citizens become better versed in the details of the climate crisis and responses being made by many industries and businesses, including book publishing.
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“In the near future,” she said in the conference’s report to us, “consumers will think much more about the environmental cost of what they buy. How much carbon is stored in a book will be something they consider and something that influences what they choose to read.
“Books teach, entertain, inspire, and enrich our lives, but they also have an impact on the planet. By calculating the carbon footprint of our books, we can make more informed choices.”
Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives
PG says, “Read Ebooks and Save the Planet!”