The climate change and sustainability efforts of publishers are no longer a ‘tick-box’ exercise, but an important strategic part of their businesses.
Here, Tom Reynolds, Production Director for TI Media, which produces brands such as Country Life, Horse & Hound, and Homes & Gardens, analyses the evolution of climate change practices in the industry.
Like other sectors, the publishing industry has incentive to help mitigate the consequences of climate change. Publishers have long understood the need to protect and replenish natural resources, especially in view of the long-term sustainability of their industry. Greater consumer awareness and demand to deal with companies that are considered sustainable are also pushing publishers to address climate change.
In the Publishing and Climate Change report, TI Media’s Tom Reynolds highlights the importance of taking a holistic approach to sustainability:
“Being sustainable is not just about what you do in-house anymore,” says Reynolds. “You need to be aware of the bigger picture, such as making sure you know your supply chain well enough that you can consider whether any changes you make will add to the carbon footprint elsewhere. To consumers, for example, moving from plastic to paper wrap might sound like an obvious thing to do.”
“But what if the paper required to do that has to be shipped in to a port or delivered from afar by road? And what is the recycling process required for that paper? Does it have to be driven the length of the country, de-inked, turned back into pulp and then processed? If so, will that really reduce its carbon footprint? You have to assess the impact on the wider supply chain.”
Like many publishers, TI Media uses the PPA’s benchmarking tool to measure its carbon footprint and reviews a selection of products each year to see where further improvements can be made. It’s a system that Reynolds recently went into further detail about on the FIPP Insider Podcast:
“In terms of TI Media, we are part of the PPA Sustainability Action Group, which is an industry led initiative bringing all of the leafing UK publishers together. We use them as a mouthpiece to help us try and navigate the government rules, but also help educate and manage upwards if you like, in terms of what we can and can’t do.”
“At TI we had our own sustainability committee, and we would drive as many environmental changes through that committee as possible. And so that plus the PPA Sustainability Action Group gives us a very good forum through which to learn about the industry. If you’re not told how to do it in an accurate and reliable manner, then it’s very difficult to be able to do it.”
The Publishing and Climate Change whitepaper, made in partnership with UPM Communication Papers, looks at industry-wide trends and specific publisher case studies that are driving sustainability and tackling climate change. You can read Reynold’s full comments as well as those of a number of other leading industry speakers on the subject by downloading the FREE report in full here.