New Society Publishers Holds Carbon Emissions at 2005 Level

by: EJ on 10/29/2014

In 2005, New Society was the first North American book publishing company to become carbon neutral. Let me say that once more, New Society Publishers was the FIRST publisher in NORTH AMERICA to go carbon neutral. (Hint: try Googling “carbon neutral book publishers, North America”...) Needless to say, there was no model to follow, so in true New Society Publishers fashion, we created one.

Our first step was to reduce our direct emissions by curtailing shipping and travel as much as possible. Then, working with Guy Dauncey of EarthFuture, we produced a paper, Going Carbon Neutral: A Guide for Publishers, designed for use by any publisher in the world as a template to help them do the same. This is available free of charge as a download from our website, and will be revised and updated next year as part of our 10 year carbon-neutral anniversary.

Going Carbon Neutral: A Guide for Publishers (US edition)

Going Carbon Neutral: A Guide for Publishers (Metric edition)

It is worth noting that using 100% post-consumer recycled, ancient forest friendly paper in all our books and office paper, already yields a reduction of 36% in our annual carbon emissions over “business as usual.” However, each year we neutralize all of the emissions which we cannot avoid by investing in initiatives that will prevent the release of a similar quantity of emissions elsewhere, or which will achieve long-term carbon-storage.

In 2005 we offset 213 tonnes of carbon. In 2014, nearly 10 years later, we are offsetting 200 tonnes. This is despite a steadily growing publishing business. And better yet, we are offsetting locally with the Vancouver Island-based Community Carbon Marketplace (CCM). This is a community-based carbon exchange initiative to enable local governments, businesses and individuals to meet carbon-neutral objectives by purchasing carbon offsets from community-based projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and build community resilience.

How did we manage to hold our carbon emissions at our 2005 level? Most importantly, it is our paper choice as mentioned above, but what really drives this is our mission statement. The environmental impact of the company’s use of paper, fuel, electricity and other resources is an integral part of every decision we make, from which conferences to attend to what type of coffee pot to purchase for the office. New Society Publishers is committed to building an ecologically sustainable and just society, not just through education, but through action. 

New Society Publishers has published over 150 books on topics ranging from climate change to progressive parenting. Our best-selling books surpass 50,000 copies, including the groundbreaking title Our Ecological Footprint:Reducing Human Impact on the Earth. “When writers have something meaningful to say about sustainability, it is important for them to have a publisher who supports their philosophy,” explains Judith. With our commitment to reducing carbon impacts and offsetting, we strive to do just that.   


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