Eco-audit for Arctic Lace

Nomad Press, with which I am closely associated, participates in Green Press Initiative, which works with people in publishing "to create paper-use transformations that will conserve natural resources and preserve endangered forests."

What this means in practice is that whenever it is even remotely possible, we print our books on sustainably managed paper. Here are the criteria:

a. 30% to 100% postconsumer recycled (PCW) paper, processed chlorine free
b. non-postconsumer recycled portion consisting of (in order of value):

  1. FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified virgin pulp
  2. Agricultural residue (flax/wheat straw, etc.) or on-purpose crop (hemp/kenaf) fiber
  3. Pre-consumer recycled fiber
  4. Virgin fiber pulp that is verified (through chain of custody process) to be free of endangered forest fiber

c. pulp is bleached using Processed Chlorine Free (PCF) technologies

Our most recent title, Arctic Lace, is being printed on 30 percent PCW paper. We initially priced it on 100 percent PCW, but couldn’t afford to have that high a recycled percentage. (Currently recycled-content paper tends to be more expensive than non-recycled, and for this book the higher the recycled content, the higher the price—there are many variables in printing, so this might not be true for every book.)

Nonetheless, the copies we have printed so far, in the first three print runs, have saved:

    24 trees

    14.2 million BTUs of energy

    2,815 pounds net greenhouse gases

    9,959 gallons of water

    1,469 pounds of solid waste

Not bad for one decision made by a very small publisher.