Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hachette unveils green policy, moves to backlist firm sale

HACHETTE LIVRE UK, the UK's largest publishing group, released its ethical and environmental policy this week, in which it pledged to start selling its backlist consumer titles on a “firm sale basis”, in consultation with its customers, by the end of 2008. The policy document explained: “The printing and multiple transportation of books that may eventually be pulped is both costly and environmentally damaging and we are committed to reducing this practice. We estimate for our UK trade publishers that the cumulative initial saving will be the printing,
paper, processing and transport of over one million books a year.” HLUK already operates this policy in Australia. By the end of 2009, the group also hopes to have moved “substantially” all its trade publishing onto Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper, “and simultaneously to have made major progress in the same direction for our educational and illustrated publishing, on the assumption that many more FSC-certified papers will be commercially available in that timescale.
“Because of the size, diversity and federal structure of our group, it has not yet proved practical for us to achieve blanket certification; we are therefore now working to achieve this certification on a company by company basis. We expect the Little, Brown Book Group to achieve FSC certification by the beginning of 2008 and for the other Hachette Livre UK publishers, including Headline, Hodder & Stoughton, Hodder Education and Orion to achieve certification later the same year.” The document, which was sent out to all HLUK staff, included further policies on recycling, energy-saving and reducing carbon emissions. The Carbon Trust's help has been enlisted to advise on a long-term strategy for the latter, but immediate initiatives include introducing dual fuel “hybrid” cars into the company fleet.
Tim Hely Hutchinson, CEO of Hachette Livre UK, said he understood that environmental issues are “hugely important” to his staff and customers. “Our environmental policy demonstrates that care for the environment and good business practices go hand in hand. I am delighted that we have brought together the best practices of all our companies into one policy for the group.” Belinda Fletcher, Senior Forests Campaigner at Greenpeace UK added: “By choosing recycled fibre and paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council for their books, Hachette Livre UK is making great strides towards being a truly forest friendly company. Greenpeace welcomes Hachette Livre UK's ethical and environmental policy - once implemented, it will be great news both for the environment and for consumers.”

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