Macmillan Sustainability

Macmillan's Goals for Carbon Reduction

Chart showing Macmillan's reduction of carbon emissions

Allocation of Net CO2 Emissions

Pie chart depicting Macmillan's carbon emissions reductions


At Macmillan, Sustainability Is More Than an Aspiration.  It’s Part of Our Mission.

At Macmillan, we take great pride in the work we do. We view our role not only as a corporate contributor, but also as a global citizen. We strongly believe that finding a sustainable future is necessary not only in our business, but also for our world. Because of this, we have committed to addressing sustainability in the most serious way.


Corporate Sustainability as Mission at Macmillan

In 2009, corporate sustainability became part of the very mission of Macmillan. Not just as a press release, not just around the edges, but woven into the very fabric of our company. As part of this effort, we decided to focus on CO2 emissions as our most pressing issue, with a goal of a 65 percent reduction in our carbon footprint (over our 2009 baseline) by the end of the current decade in 2020. If you do not share our conviction in the likelihood of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions leading to a climate crisis—because it is not an absolutely proven fact—perhaps you might agree that the consequences of its being ultimately proven true are so dire that it is more prudent to take preventative action now rather than past the point where a catastrophic situation is beyond remedial action.


As Publishers, We Know We Have Certain Responsibilities to Society

First, we took a year to conduct a comprehensive investigation of our practices and to determine our carbon footprint. Next, we established employee-led committees to look at all aspects of our business and to make ongoing recommendations on how we can reduce CO2 emissions.

The biggest area of environmental impact for a book publisher remains paper consumption. Paper combined with transportation, printing and distribution of books accounts for over 80 percent of Macmillan’s carbon footprint. Because of this, our initial effort has been dedicated to looking at every possible way we can reduce the carbon emissions resulting from our paper usage.


Making Great Strides

We have made great strides in becoming more efficient in our paper consumption and rigorously well informed regarding our purchasing decisions. This dedication has been rewarded with a significant decline in our scope emissions from our paper usage by 25% over each of the past two years.  Said another way, we have reduced the CO2 intensity per ton of purchased paper required to print our books by 44% over our 2009 baseline.


Looking Ahead

Even with this early success, we are still at the very beginning of following through on our commitment. Macmillan’s sustainability effort now covers every aspect of our working day, processes, and all the steps required to publish, print and sell books—everything our companies can control or influence in their relationship with employees, vendors, authors, stores and readers.

Sustainability has become part of our everyday discussion and a key factor in our business decisions. It is as important as our company growth, as important as our profitability. It may be even more important. All companies will need to address sustainability issues sooner rather than later if they hope to stay in business.  It’s more than ‘doing well by doing good’; it’s the basic allegiance that any global citizen should pledge.


“Let us be a company that leads instead of follows.” –John Sargent