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Working Towards Book Industry Sustainability

Book Industry Communication (BIC), Book Industry Study Group (BISG) and BookNet Canada (BNC) today announced the formation of an International Green Book Supply Chain Alliance. The alliance will include information sharing, joint planning, environmental events, and other initiatives.


Reflecting on the alliance, BIC executive director Karina Urquhart noted, “It is in the supply chain that the most significant changes can be made by the global book industry to eliminate waste and reduce its impact on the environment. It is vital that international supply chain organisations collaborate, and the US, UK and Canada are set to provide leadership in this critical area.”

Urquhart added, “In their respective territories, the three entities are long established, trusted, dedicated book supply chain organisations. Each is well-positioned to help the book publishing industry understand and make significant changes to reduce its overall environmental impact on the planet.”

The International Green Book Supply Chain Alliance will grow its agenda in concert with our members and national book communities. BookNet Canada CEO Noah Genner noted, “The book supply chain is the reason our respective organisations’ were formed. Addressing the environmental impact of that supply chain builds on both our interest and expertise.”

While the alliance will be jointly led by BIC, BNC, and BISG, all three organizations plan to welcome support from other international bodies that may be interested in contributing. BISG executive director Brian O’Leary observed, “We’re interested in bringing together companies and people with diverse perspectives on the issues and opportunities in front of us. Amplifying the good work of others is a core strategy for BISG and this alliance.”

Preliminary discussions have identified several opportunities to collaborate, including:

  • Collecting and sharing best practice information, with links to any applicable standards

  • Publishing environmental news of relevance to the book industry

  • Conducting environmental research, with an opportunity to align studies

  • Offering a central resource for environmental information and ideas 

  • Hosting global green book supply chain events 

  • Developing an annual Green Global Supply Chain award

  • Testing the idea of a Global Green Book Supply Chain accreditation, with work required to establish how it might complement ISO14001

  • Collaborating to develop a united green programme of work 


As the alliance gathers momentum there will be other areas to consider and include. 

In making the announcement, Urquhart stressed that the alliance would work on internationally appropriate elements of greening the global supply chain that could be shared/adopted across territories. “There will always be elements of local initiatives, and market-specific concerns that may not be appropriate for wider consideration or adoption. We’ll shine a light on them, but the differences in our markets will be embraced and acknowledged.”

Urquhart noted, “Care for the environment is ultimately a global concern, as is the book publishing industry itself. That makes it logical for us to join forces in the green space. Our three organizations will promote and lead international change in our industry via collaboration and joint initiatives in this area.”

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