Hachette Reports Progress on Green Initiatives

Hachette Book Group increased its use of paper from certified sources, and upped its use of recycled fiber in 2015 over 2014, according to a progress report released by the publisher.

HBG’s carbon footprint rose by 9% in 2014 (the last year for which results are available), but HBG still hit its long-term goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 50%. It was able to hit that target thanks to substantial gains made in previous years. The company’s increased use of carbon in 2014 was due to a 20% increase in ground product transportation, which HBG attributed to an increase in the sale of print books.

Though shipping more books increased the amount of carbon HBG emitted in 2014, the company said it had declines in other areas that contribute to carbon footprint, including copy paper (20% reduction), mail transport (-19%), business travel (-12%), and employee commuting (-6%).

HBG increased its use of paper manufactured from forests tracked by the Sustainability Forestry Initiative, and remained stable on its usage of FSC (Forest Stewardship Certified) paper. Given this, in 2015, certified paper accounted for 99.7% of HBG’s overall paper usage. This was a 2% increase from 2014. HBG’s longterm goal was to have FSC paper account for 90% of paper usage.

The publisher’s use of recycled fiber rose from 9.0% to 10.5% in 2015, getting HBG just over half way to meeting its objective of having recycled fiber accounting for 20% of its overall paper use. HBG, like other publishers, has had difficulty raising its use of recycled fiber because of sourcing challenges that include scarcity, low quality, and high price.

Also during 2015, HBG reduced its energy consumption in its New York office by 70%, and cut its use of printer paper by 90,000 sheets.

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