As Publishers, We Have Certain Responsibilities to Society

Macmillan’s commitment to sustainability focuses on our most pressing issue of this time, global climate change. To this end, the main goal of our sustainability program is to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). We value healthy forests and biodiversity, clean water and air, and conservation and stewardship of natural resources and human rights.

Corporate sustainability at Macmillan is not just around the edges, but woven into the very fabric of our company. As part of this effort, we decided to prioritize carbon dioxide emissions as our most pressing issue and set a goal of a 65 percent reduction in the intensity of our scope 1, 2, and major scope 3 carbon emissions (over our 2010 baseline) by the end of 2020 for Macmillan US.

Note: Books (gross) represents the total number of books we printed and sold to our suppliers. Books (net) represents the total number of books we printed and sold to our suppliers minus the books we received via returns, a common practice in the publishing industry.

Our Journey

In 2009, corporate sustainability became part of the very mission of Macmillan when Macmillan CEO, John Sargent, read  Confessions of a Radical Industrialist, by Ray C. Anderson. Anderson was the founder and CEO of Interface, a commercial carpet company, which under his leadership, transformed from a traditional carpet manufacturer to one that became a leader in the sustainability movement while also increasing sales and profit margins. 

In 2010, Macmillan spent a year conducting a comprehensive investigation of our practices and the practices of those in our supply chain to determine our carbon footprint. Since then we have been calculating our carbon emissions from our operations and supply chain each year to track our efforts in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

The largest area of environmental impact for a book publisher is from the manufacturing of paper. Today, the production of paper combined with transportation, printing and distribution of books accounts for over 80 percent of Macmillan US’ carbon footprint. Because of this, our initial effort has been dedicated to identifying every practical way we can reduce the carbon emissions resulting from our paper usage across our supply chain. 

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As a result, we have made great strides in becoming more efficient in our paper consumption and rigorously well informed regarding our paper supply. This dedication was rewarded with a reduction in the carbon intensity per metric ton of directly purchased paper required to print our books by 62% between 2010 and 2016.   

Macmillan’s sustainability efforts now cover every aspect of our working day, processes, and all the steps required to acquire, publish, print, and sell books.

Our Products

We know that the materials chosen for our books and supplemental products can either help or hinder our sustainability efforts. Thus, we look at each component across our products-even the small tail bands and headbands on the book bindings- because we understand that even the smallest changes make a big environmental impact. Through our analyses and inquiries, we have learned how to reduce our carbon impact across our product lineup and are continuing to reduce our impact further to reach our carbon emissions goals.

Our Progress

Macmillan CEO, John Sargent, sums it up best when he said:

Sustainability is a core mission for Macmillan Publishers. By committing to the use of certified fiber sourced from well-managed North American and Asian forests, we are ensuring responsible, sustainable forestry, while also supporting the most efficient global use of recycled fiber. Third-party certification instills confidence that we are making informed choices that keep domestic forests healthy, rural communities strong, and preserves fragile forests in other areas of our world.

We go to great lengths to ensure that we are using paper from the most responsible sources as feasible. In 2016, 95% of our paper (by weight) has earned at least one sustainability certification.

Today, 95% of the virgin fiber used in our directly purchased paper, which accounts for two-thirds of all the paper we use, is sourced from responsibly managed North American forests. The other one-third of our sourced paper is supplied by our printers in Asia and has earned FSC certification.

Thanks to a focused initiative and scores of suggestions from staff across our affiliated publishing imprints, we identified a series of modifications to existing facilities to improve energy efficiency such as motion-activated lighting in our office facilities and switching to a zoned and moton-activated overhead lighting systems in our distribution center, for example. With this one small change, we realized a 31% annual reduction in our electricity consumption at our distribution center by retrofitting the lighting system.

Additionally, in 2012, Macmillan joined the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) Forest Partners® Program as one of its charter members, thus showing our commitment to sustainable forestry. SFI’s Forest Partners® Program facilitates the widespread adoption of the SFI certification scheme on behalf of small landowners and manufacturers. Partners work collectively with the SFI community to make certification more efficient and accessible by providing resources for activities such as shared consulting expertise, group certification, and audit coordination. This program is on track to certify 10 million acres (4 million hectares) by the end of 2018.

 

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