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.


Southeast US
Canadian Boreal
Southeast US
Canadian Boreal

Book Industry Treatise on Environmentally Responsible Publishing


As a stakeholder concerned with improving the environmental and social impacts of book production, we support and formally endorse the goals below and as defined in the attached guidelines for implementation. In working to advance these goals, we are seeking to balance material and economic needs with the values of social responsibility and accountability.

Industry Goals

The common goals below address issues which we, as concerned stakeholders, will work to advance within our sphere of influence through advancement of the following:

Addressing Global Warming Through the Use of Recycled Fiber and Renewable Energy

  • Shifting the book industry's collective average use of recycled fiber from an estimated 5% recycled average at present to a 30% recycled industry average by 2012 (a majority to be postconsumer).

Supporting the use of additional non-wood recovered fibers.

  • Supporting the growth of renewable energy (i.e. wind) through the use of paper manufactured with wind and other forms of renewable energy and efforts to offset carbon impacts associated with book production.

Protecting Endangered and Highest Value Forests

  • Understanding fiber origin and eliminating the use of fiber originating from forest areas which are specifically identified as High Conservation Value or Endangered Forests within regions that include but are not limited to: the Canadian Boreal Forest, the Cumberland Plateau in the Southeastern United States, designated roadless areas within U.S. National Forests, and global temperate and tropical rainforests in North America, Indonesia, Latin America, and Russia.

Supporting Best Practices in Forest Management

  • Shifting to book industry’s collective average use of paper certified by the Forest Stewardship
    Council (FSC) or equivalent certification system to 20% by 2012.
  • Continuing forest management certification that protects Endangered Forests, has integrity, prevents illegal logging, maintains vital ecosystem functioning, biodiversity, and social values.
  • Incorporating the concerns of indigenous and local communities adequately into forestry standards, plans, and assessments.
  • Eliminating the use of fiber derived from the conversion of natural forests to plantations-only using plantation wood if it was in existence prior to 2006 or if it is part of a regional forest conservation plan.
  • Supporting multi-stakeholder conservation plans such as the Boreal Conservation Framework.

Reducing Production Impacts

  • Continuing the advancement of best practices in pollution prevention, and energy and water conservation.
  • Increasing the use of low VOC (<2%) soy-based inks and least toxic materials and processes available (such as caustic soda produced without mercury and bleaching without the use of chlorine or its derivatives.)

Recycling and Reducing Consumption

  • Implementing strategies which will foster improved efficiency and continued reductions in paper consumption-including reduced basis weights, the minimization of returns and improved recycling.

Human Rights

  • Supporting human rights for indigenous and local communities through the use of virgin papers that are FSC certified and/or require consensus based solutions to disputes in the areas from which raw materials originate.
  • Supporting fair wages and working conditions for laborers involved in overseas book production.


  • Tracking progress towards meeting the above goals and providing this information to designated agencies or organizations that are involved with tracking industry shifts.

Revised June 2009


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