Sustainability in publishing—IPG members’ ideas

We’ve been asking members to share what they do to reduce environmental impacts in publishing. Here are some of the tips so far; we’d love to hear your own.


Only use paper from sustainable sources.


Try to avoid plastic packaging and reuse wherever possible.


Work from home more, limit travel through the use of Skype, and set up dual-purpose visits.


Reduce or end marketing and publicity materials like tote bags and T-shirts.


Change office lights to LED panels.


Install a boiling water tap to reduce the time spent boiling kettles.


Switch to eco packaging for box filling.


Encourage lecturers to take e-inspection copies.


Switch to different cardboard envelopes for small order delivery.


Recycle excess books through local paper processing companies.


Improve pallet recycling to put all pallets back into distribution (mended as needed).


Move towards digital filing and scan old contracts etc to reduce paper printing and filing.


Recycle toners.


Lower print runs to reduce waste.


Discount end-of-life titles to sell rather than pulp.


Work with local landowners or others to create tree-planting schemes for all books published.


Replace office toilets with eco flush units.


Ask all suppliers, especially printers, for their policies and approach to sustainability.


Remove plastic cups from water coolers.


Produce online-only catalogues.


Appoint 'environmental champions' so that a specific person can investigate options and suggest initiatives.


Ask printers to use no plastic when packaging up and posting advances, plotters, dummies etc—just paper.


Print marketing materials, catalogues and flyers on recycled paper.


Follow ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ as a mantra.


Monitor how much marketing material you take to conferences and other events, and reuse it rather than leave it behind.


Consider giving to environmental charities like the Woodland Trust, or start an industry-wide initiative to fund tree-planting campaigns that counteract our printing.


Research printers that offer carbon offsetting.