Macmillan Sustainability

Inbound (Includes Returned Books)

When evaluating CO2 emissions from inbound transportation, we looked at books, CDs and i>clickers shipped both domestically and from abroad.  It’s not only important to look at shipping modalities, but also improvements to packaging and shipping components, materials, and finished products.


Different freight modalities have different transportation emissions. For inbound products, we work with the freight partners with whom we contract. Likewise, we vigorously avoid air shipment of our books printed overseas, preferring the vastly reduced emissions-per-ton-mile of ocean freight. Whether air, boat, train or truck, we look at our transportation under the lens of sustainability.


The i>clicker is a great example of improved shipping efficiencies.  i>clickers are shipped from overseas via cargo ships. As part of the i>clicker redesign, the packaging was changed so that it not only had better sustainability characteristics, but also better “cubing” characteristics.  Cubing represents how much volume, or three-dimensional space, a product takes up. This affects how many packages can be shipped in one freight container.  The more packages that can fit in a container, the better the efficiency.


Any time we can reduce our packaging significantly, it improves our cubing characteristics.  When the cubing characteristics improve, we can fit more products into the same size shipping container, and therefore increase the number of products shipped while reducing the freight emissions resulting from those shipments. With the new i>clicker packaging, 123,000 units fit per twenty-foot ocean container compared to the previous 21,000.  This change alone reduces the emissions related to these shipments by almost five-sixths.