Earth in the Balance
So, the latest (February 2008) cover of Book Business
magazine (c'mon, you know
you're a subscriber!) features Tyson Miller of the Green Press Initiative
with a bunch of publishers: Andrew Van der Laan of Random House, Karen Romano of Simon & Schuster and Lisa Serra of Scholastic. All of them have their hands on a globe.
This is good news in many ways. First of all, it's kudos
to GPI, which first ran into opposition from the publishing industry that, customarily, felt itself under siege from environmentalists placing pressure on them to change to recycled paper when they (we) had all sorts of other costs and pressures being applied to their bottom line. Secondly, the fact that big publishers are now signing on to GPI's agenda is a sign that (1) they see the PR opportunities in being part of the solution and not the problem and (2) they realize the market will benefit from the economies of scale that large corporations make possible. That's good news for everyone.
And, third, it's good news that Lantern's not forgotten. In her editor's note, Noelle Skodzinski writes "More small and mid-size publishers are joining the likes of Lantern Books and Baker Publishing Group in establishing significant environmental policies and increasing their use of recycled paper." Meanwhile, as the article
that accompanies the cover photo relates: "The 'early adopters,' according to the GPI, include Lantern Books (which prints nearly all titles on 100-percent post-consumer recycled paper and was the first publisher to publicly develop a policy)."
Now, publishing on recycled paper is not a panacea for global warming. It's only a part of what needs to be a comprehensive energy policy—something that Lantern itself is still working on. But it's a good first step. The GPI initiative was a no-brainer to me in 2000, when Lantern signed up, and it's a no-brainer to us now. I'm glad to see the big boys are beginning to feel the same way.