Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

“Tool Kit” Dispels Myths, Urges Sustainability in the Magazine Industry
Businesses and Nonprofits Create Environmental Framework for Magazine Production
November 16 , 2004

New York, November 16, 2004 – One day after America Recycles Day, the premier magazine industry conference, The Folio: Show, will hold a workshop session to discuss their publications’ recycled paper content and sustainable magazine production. During a ninety minute session, a diverse group of businesses and nonprofits will unveil a “Tool Kit” during a workshop entitled “It’s Easy Being Green: How to Succeed at Sustainability Without Really Trying.” The session addresses how magazines can “do well by doing good” by developing sustainability principles for their companies. 

The “Tool Kit” was created through a collaboration of the nonprofit groups Co-op America and the National Wildlife Federation, Quad Graphics, and beauty care products company Aveda. Different, Not Difficult: How to Make Sustainability Happen dispels many of the long-held myths about environmentally sustainable magazine production and makes the business case for adopting sustainability principles. 

At issue is the fact that only approximately 100 of the 18,000 magazines published in the U.S. annually are printed on paper containing recycled content. Paper manufacturing processes that exclusively use virgin paper and hundreds of chemicals negatively impact the environment by accelerating deforestation and biodiversity loss, consuming tremendous amounts of energy and water, as well as emitting hundreds, if not thousands, of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Tom Estock, one of the session’s presenters and the Corporate Manager for Environmental and Safety for the printing company Quad Graphics, explains, “Innovative thinking, a balanced approach, and a long-term perspective are all crucial components to maintaining the balance between environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic viability.”

Laura Hickey will moderate the session at The Folio: Show and has been involved with making the publications for the National Wildlife Federation meet the high standards of reproduction quality, conform to her conservation group’s environmental mandate, and maintain fiscal responsibility. She explains, “With vision and a willingness to do well by going good, an organization can meet its financial goals while living up to its environmental ethics.”

Despite the widespread availability of high-quality, cost-competitive recycled paper, most magazines still use 100 percent virgin paper in their publications, and this means that one tree must be cut every second to produce our country’s magazine paper. Some magazines have demonstrated leadership in sustainable magazine production and have paved the way for others to follow. Publications such as Ranger Rick, Organic Style, and The Progressive are some of the publications that have received the Magazine PAPER Project’s EcoPaper Leadership Awards for their commitment to using postconsumer recycled paper. These magazines have been the early catalysts to help open up the market for a wide variety of high-quality, low-cost recycled papers.

“Magazine publishers can now use this Tool Kit to be heroes and advocates for environmental sustainability,” says Frank Locantore, director of Co-op America’s Magazine PAPER Project. “We look forward to helping the industry use its purchasing power to foster sustainable magazine production processes.”

The Folio: Show is a conference that brings consumers, online publishers, and independent and association professionals together to network and educate themselves on the latest technology and trends in design, production, circulation, ad sales, and editorial content. The environmental workshop and Tool Kit will assist those magazines that have yet to make the commitment to sustainability by showing that such a switch is simply different, not difficult.

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