Chris and Judith Plant Win Island Trust Stewardship Award

by: EJ on 06/17/2013
Posted in: Awards

Great news! We are delighted to announce that Chris and Judith Plant, co-owners of New Society Publishers have won the 2013 Island Trust Community Stewardship Award.  This award recognizes individuals and groups for programs or actions that have made a significant contribution toward the object of the Islands Trust

This year there were eight individuals and six groups represented -  from Bowen, Denman, Gabriola, Galiano, Lasqueti, Mayne, North and South Pender, Salt Spring and Saturna Islands. Chris and Judith share the award with Richard Blagborne from Saturna Island, for his role in saving and restoring the Fog Alarm building at East Point Park, and Jan Slakov from Salt Spring Island, for her environmental and social justice leadership. 

Judith and Chris Plant are the visionaries and leaders behind New Society Publishers.  A global leader in books on sustainability with over 150 titles in print, we have been located on Gabriola Island since 1996, publishing best-sellers such as Our Ecological Footprint:Reducing Human Impact on the Earth, Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societyies and Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together.

Our mission is "to publish books that contribute to building an ecologically sustainable and just society, and to do so with the least possible impact on the environment, in a manner that models this vision." Under Judith and Chris’ leadership, New Society Publishers was the first carbon-neutral publishing house in North America. In 2001, we committed to publishing all our books on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, leading the book publishing community in Canada. Recently, New Society has introduced a unique component to its thriving ebook program--New Society’s Guide To Environmentally Responsible Digital Reading..

Chris and Judith have been dedicated to benefiting Gabriola Island through New Society Publishers. They have a policy of hiring locally, and have employed local people in editing, design, marketing, and information technology. When Douglas & McIntyre bought the company in 2008, Judith and Chris ensured that it remained based on Gabriola and that their team stayed intact. Chris and Judith re-acquired New Society Publishers in 2013 and continue to actively support the community through monthly donations to not-for-profits, regular donations to fundraisers and by offering a unique employee benefit which allows employees two hours paid community volunteer work per week on a rotational basis.  Our most recent effort was the sponsorship of Gabriola Tour d'Coop organized by New Society Office Manager, Jean Wyenberg.  (see her blog later this week).

In addition to demonstrating sustainability through publishing, Chris and Judith have been active participants in the bioregional movement for over 25 years. In their work for a post-carbon future, they maintain ties with various networks of transition-town dwellers, permaculturalists, publishers and many others.

In her typically understated and modest fashion, Judith Plant had this to say about winning the award, "This is wonderful but I am sure there are plenty of other people who are equally deserving".  As New Society Publishers completes the second quarter of what is developing into a very successful year, the Plants continue to prove that a mission-led business which stays true to its heart and its community is the key to doing good work in the world.

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