Book trade's own 'Kyoto'

<p>The book industry has set itself a target of reducing its carbon emissions by 10% by 2015, as publishers look to follow Hachette&#39;s move to firm sale on backlist titles.</p><p>The carbon reduction initiative stems from the BA/PA Liaison Group&#39;s Environmental Action Group, chaired by Penguin m.d. Helen Fraser. &quot;We decided on 10% by 2015 as our objective,&quot; Fraser said. The baseline will be backdated to January 2006 to account for progress already made.</p><p>Some of the larger groups, including HarperCollins and Random House, have already measured their carbon footprints, while Hachette is in the process of doing so. The EAG is looking into helping smaller publishers and booksellers to measure emissions, and intends to set up a website offering guidelines next spring.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s about encouraging and inspiring people to take action rather than laying down the law,&quot; said Fraser. &quot;For booksellers a big issue is thermal comfort for customers; for publishers it&#39;s issues like moving to transporting books in totes rather than cardboard boxes.&quot;</p><p>The EAG is also investigating the possibility of an industry-wide quality mark for books to indicate their green credentials.</p><p>The news comes as Hachette unveiled a green policy which will see it moving its backlist to firm sale by the end of 2008 and moving towards FSC certification for its trade publishing by 2010. It believes the firm sale move will save the printing, paper, processing and transport of more than one million books a year.</p><p>Penguin is also looking to make a move to firm sale on backlist titles and hopes to implement its plans in 2009. &quot;I applaud Tim&#39;s [Hely Hutchinson] announcement, it&#39;s very brave of him to go public in that way,&quot; said c.e.o. Peter Field. &quot;It&#39;s certainly our intention too&mdash;but we still have work to do here to get our systems adjusted so we can cope with this, and there are lots of conversations to have with retailers.&quot;</p><p>HarperCollins, Random House and the Faber Alliance are also investigating firm sale on backlist titles.</p>