The Forest Stewardship Council is the only certification system that requires a consensus solution when conflicts arise between logging companies and indigenous communities.

Paper accounts for nearly 40% of the waste stream.

More than 140 publishers, including many of the world's largest, have strong environmental policies.

On average, it is estimated that the U.S. book industry uses less than 10% recycled fiber for its paper.

On average, it is estimated that the U.S. newsprint sector has a 35% recycled fiber use-rate.

Globally, over 40% of the industrial wood harvest is used to make paper.

Deforestation accounts for 25% of human caused C02 emissions.

When the goals set forth in the Book Industry Treatise on Responsible paper use are realized over 5 million trees will be preserved each year.

In 2006, an Opinion Research Corporation poll revealed that 80% of readers are willing to pay more for books printed on recycled and environmentally responsible paper.

Over the course of its lifecycle, postconsumer recycled fiber requires 30-40% less energy than virgin fiber.


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Frequently Asked Questions


What is Green Press Initiative?
Green Press Initiative (GPI) is a non-profit program which takes a collaborative approach towards working with publishers, printers, paper manufacturers and others in the book and newspaper industries to minimize social and environmental impacts, including impacts on endangered forests, impacts on climate change, and impacts on communities where paper fiber is sourced.

When was GPI founded?
GPI was founded in 2001. Initially the focus was entirely on the book industry, however, the program was expanded to include the newspaper industry in 2007.

What are the impacts of the paper industry and books/newspapers?
The entire paper industry, when accounting for forest carbon loss, emits nearly 750 million tons of C02 equivalent annually – nearly 10% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of over 136 million cars.
The U.S. book and newspaper industries combined require the harvest of 125 million trees each year and emit over 40 million metric tons of CO2 annually; equivalent to the annual CO2 emmissions of 7.3 million cars.

Impacts on Endangered Forests:
Each year the U.S book industry uses approximately 30 million trees, and the U.S. newspaper industry consumes 95 million trees. Many of these trees are from old growth and endangered forests, and the demand for paper is encouraging the practice of converting natural forests into single species tree plantations that support only a fraction of the biodiversity.

Impacts on Climate Change
The paper industry is the fourth largest industrial source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and books and newspapers release greenhouse gases thought their lifecycles. Globally, scientist estimate that deforestation is responsible for 25%  of human caused greenhouse gases. When trees are cut to make paper, not only do they cease to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, but greenhouse gases are released to the atmosphere when plant material not used makes paper decays or is burned as a source of power at the mill. As a result of these emissions and those associated with soil disturbances at the site of harvest, even  trees are replanted, it can take up to 25 years for a newly planted forest to stop being a net emitter of greenhouse gases, and hundreds of years before they store the same amount of carbon as an undisturbed forest.

GPI worked to complete the first ever Environmental Trends and Climate Impacts report for the U.S. book industry. It was the first comprehensive carbon footprint analysis of a publishing sector and is being used as a model in other paper sectors.  This assessment found that the entire book industry, through all steps of production, retail, and publishing activities, emits a net 8.85 pounds per book.

Impacts on Communities
In Canada, Indonesia, Brazil and many other countries throughout the world, people who rely on forests for their livelihood have been severely impacted by the paper industry.  From the destruction of forests needed to survive to some being forced from their land, the paper industry has disrupted the way of life for these communities.

What is the Book Industry Treatise on Environmentally Responsible Publishing?
The Book Industry Treatise on Environmentally Responsible Publishing
is an industry-developed declaration of meaningful environmental goals and timelines for industry transformation. It spurred the adoption of environmental paper policies with nearly 200 publishers and printers, following the guidelines in the Treatise

What are the benefits of recycled paper?
Each ton of recycled fiber that replaces a ton of virgin fiber saves 17-24 mature trees and up to 7.5 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions. 

Also, recycling keeps paper out of landfills, which at current levels makes up 26% of landfills. The degradation produces methane a greenhouse gas with 23 times the heat trapping capacity of carbon dioxide and landfills are the source of 34% of methane releases—the single largest source in the U.S.

What are the benefits of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified papers?
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper ensures that the fiber to make paper does not originate from Endangered Forests or areas of social conflict. They work to keep natural and biodiverse forests from being converted to single-species tree farms after harvest and integrate the concerns of indigenous and local communities into forest plans and assessments.

What progress has been achieved in recent years?
GPI’s consistent education and advocacy work have also spurred the development of environmental paper policies from over 180 book publishers – approximately 42% of market-share in the U.S. book sector. This has resulted in a six fold increase in recycled fiber use-- representative of a reduction of over approximately 1.4 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions (equivalent to over 250,000 cars/yr) and nearly 3 million trees per year

We’ve helped to advance the development of nearly 30 new eco-paper grades, including recycled, postconsumer recycled and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) fiber content and supported a cut in price premiums by 50%, and there are now
31 U.S. and Canadian printers serving U.S. publishers are now stocking environmental grades in-house.


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