Making our operations more sustainable

Operating our owned and leased facilities in a more sustainable way is a key goal of ours. Because making changes to our owned facilities represents a capital expenditure, we want to be sure that any changes we make are moving us in the right direction. Therefore, we conduct and test a number of initiatives before choosing the best sustainable option.

Energy Efficiency

  • Macmillan’s office in New York is lit entirely by LEDs. Additionally, the majority of our warehouse lighting is LED, and we continue to make upgrades when possible. Our warehouse has installed a new conveyer system that greatly reduces energy consumption.


  • Hand dryer installations and other sustainability modifications have been implemented in most of our offices. Our headquarters moved from the iconic Flatiron building to the Equitable Building in 2019 where we anticipate a savings of 2.5 million paper towels per year with the installation of hand dryers.

Car Fleet

  • Since 2010, as the fleet leases for our sales representatives’ cars have expired, we have invested in significantly more efficient vehicles including hybrids to improve MPG and the consequent reduction in emissions by using less fuel. Now about 75% of our vehicles are hybrids and, the remaining third are fuel efficient all-wheel drive SUVs.

Renewable Energy

  • Many of our offices around the world procure renewable energy directly through their utility. Macmillan continues to purchase EACs for all other facilities.

Data Centers

  • Our decision to move a significant portion of our former server capacity to the “cloud” allowed us to leverage dramatic energy efficiencies and support the renewable investments of our partners.

Employee Suggestions

  • At Macmillan Learning’s HQ, several employees wanted to improve recycling in the office so they performed a waste audit. Using the results, we installed new bins and signage to increase accessibility.

Headquarters Relocation

In the summer of 2019, our global headquarters moved from the iconic Flatiron building to the Equitable Building, another landmarked site in NYC’s Financial District. The Equitable Building has earned LEED v4 -Gold certification and high scores on the EnergyStar certified offices framework. We are proud to move into our newly remodeled space with high efficiency HVAC, LED lights, low VOC carpeting and office furniture.  Moreover, we are lessening our waste as we move to reusable flatware, mugs, and bottles throughout the site. 

Prior to the move Macmillan donated tens of thousands of books to Books for Africa and several hundred cookbooks to a local community college. Additionally, Macmillan diverted from the landfill lamps, boxes of office supplies, decor, and other things to local non-profits in New York City.

Learn more about the Equitable Building

Photo Credit: Silverstein Properties

MDL Solar Installation

In 2019, Macmillan set a goal to procure 100% renewable electricity for all facilities around the world. We recognized that simply procuring EACs to meet this goal is not enough, and we have turned to on-site solar to generate our own electricity.
Macmillan Distribution completed installation of a 266kW solar array in May 2024. This array will generate approximately 340MWh of clean electricity annually, reducing fossil fuel demand and lowering MDL’s carbon footprint.

Packaging Waste Reductions

While packaging is necessary to move our books from warehouses to our customers, we are working to minimize our impact. Our New York office utilizes a packaging machine which uses fluted cardboard to package books, eliminating the need for jiffy bags and other plastic waste. 

Additionally, we removed plastic shrink wrap from >90% of our bound books in Germany and reduced the thickness of the plastic air fillers in England.

Our Green Team at the IESI MRF in Jersey City, New Jersey

Systems Thinking

When we first began our journey, we knew that we wanted to be doggedly thorough and think through our impact on the environment. For example to trace our refuse from our office to the next steps of its disposition for separation into what can be recycled and what needs to be landfilled. Our first company “green team” outing from our headquarters was a visit to a local Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Jersey City, New Jersey (left). 

Ulitmately, through our research we learned that The Flatiron’s landfill waste was sent to the Seneca Meadows Landfill in New York. Subsequently, we have annually supported a carbon offset project that supports landfill gas to energy program, which provides a source of renewable energy to local communities and an educational nature preserve supported by the National Audobon Society.

Seneca Meadows Landfill Gas to Energy

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