Sustainability in Publishing Industry

NZSA has a representative on the new Book Industry Sustainability working group – led by the Publishers Association of NZ.

New Zealand is at the bottom of a long supply chain, with many New Zealand publishers and self-publishers relying heavily on printing operations in China and other parts of Asia. Apart from printing locally, there are still things you can do to influence activities there.

The Green Book Alliance ( has produced an excellent Publisher Printer Sustainability Checklist that can be downloaded here:

This can form the basis of questions you can ask your printers and paper suppliers. Note that many large overseas publishers are already asking these questions of their printing partners, so many printers should be able to offer this information already.

While it’s not always possible to incorporate lower-impact approaches when designing books, you can sometimes make decisions about using one-colour printing or standardised formats. Using local printers reduces the carbon footprint significantly: do research NZ printers such as Ligare, Your Books, Blue Star and The Copy Press.

The UK’s Book Chain Project has a great guide for designing low-impact books.

Look for ways to reduce your carbon footprint in your own small business. There are several guides but this one recommended locally by the Sustainable Business Network is the Climate Action Toolbox: