HarperCollins to become carbon neutral in direct emissions by end of 2021

HarperCollins to become carbon neutral in direct emissions by end of 2021

HarperCollins UK has committed to become carbon neutral in its direct emissions by the end of 2021.

The publisher has appointed sustainability strategy consultancy Brite Green to develop and implement effective sustainability strategies and targets. It will initially focus on scope one (direct) and scope two (indirect) emissions, focusing on on-site energy use and company vehicle fuel use, and has set a target to become carbon neutral in these areas within the next few months. 

All of the UK list's monochrome books are already printed using only renewable energy, and the publisher said it looks to produce its books as locally to market as much as possible. HarperCollins said it is printing more in Europe and the UK and less in China, resulting in a reduction in carbon emissions from transport. Its Glasgow distribution centre is working to remove plastic from the supply chain, and is a "zero to landfill site" which has achieved ISO 14001:2015 certification, the international standard for environmental management. The publisher has also eliminated glitter from its production processes and is forming a working group to look at product specifications and sustainability. 

HarperCollins said it aims to work with its printer partners to jointly help mitigate their environmental impact as an industry and will only work with suppliers who act in a responsible and sustainable way. It sits on the Publishers Association Sustainability Taskforce and the BIC (Book Industry Communication organisation) Environmental Committee, is part of News Corp’s Global Environment Initiative, and a member of the Book Chain Project. It requires all suppliers to sign its production standards document, which outlines requirements and expectations regarding responsible and sustainable business practices. It has recently surveyed its printers globally on areas including environmental policies and accreditations, use of renewable energy, plastic use and engagement with the Book Chain Project.

C.e.o. Charlie Redmayne said: "It is every business’ responsibility to take action on the issue of climate change. At HarperCollins we have been working to reduce our emissions, and we have set a target to become carbon neutral in scopes one and two by the end of the year. Our journey will not stop there—we will set further targets as we seek to reduce carbon emissions from our supply chain."

Darren Chadwick, managing partner at Brite Green, added: "We are delighted to be working with HarperCollins UK. The team have already made great progress in reducing their footprint and convening action on sustainability across the publishing industry. We look forward to working with them as they take the significant step of becoming carbon neutral in its direct emissions."

In April this year, PRH announced it had achieved carbon neutrality across its direct operations, partly by making its offices and warehouses more energy efficient and shifting to 100% renewable energy. Bonnier Books UK went “beyond climate neutral” at the beginning of this year, meaning the organisation takes 20% more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than it creates through its operations. Pan Mac says it is already a carbon neutral company through offsetting and is currently developing its sustainability targets for the next 10 years. Hachette's environmental and ethical policy commits to continually develop and revise its sustainable publishing model.