Going Green: Saving Trees, Saving Money
Every second, a tree is logged to accommodate the paper needed for the worldwide magazine industry, and only about 5 percent of the paper produced is recycled, according to the panel of industry professionals who spoke during a session Monday called “Going Green: The Profitable Choice.”
“In magazine publishing, we’re getting more requests to use environmentally friendly paper,” Frank Locantore, director of the Paper Project for Co-op America. The Paper Project helps educate publishers about the benefits of using recycled papers. Locantore said there are now more than 100 magazines printed on “green” paper, and more and more magazines are developing environmentally-friendly policies.
“There’s a momentum building for magazines to continue this demand on the market and to their paper suppliers,” Locantore said.
Kristine Kern, general manager of Mansueto Ventures, said the process of converting its magazines—including Inc. and Fast Company—to using recycled paper “wasn’t all wine and roses,” but was worthwhile, and helped save the company a significant amount of money. “When we first started looking into using recycled paper, we weren’t exactly impressed,” Kern admitted. “You could see the garbage. Literally, you could see the garbage in the paper.”
Mansueto began working with German magazine paper services company Leipa, and was pleased with the product and the price. “We were impressed with the brightness, and the cost,” Kern said. “Although prices aren’t the same with all suppliers, we’re paying less than we would purchasing regular paper. The paper is 100 percent recycled and 85 percent post consumer waste.”
When Northstar Travel Media started looking into using recycled paper for its magazine, the publisher was looking to differentiate itself form its competition and to help the environment, said production director Rob Brai. He suggested that magazines speak directly to their printers and suppliers and let them know they want to explore options in using recycled paper. “We have to create demand in order for mills, especially in North America, to create an adequate supply,” he said.
Creating demand is essential to making the process of converting to environmentally safe publishing easier. “We need to create a new production paradigm that will be more responsible,” Locantore said. “This process will not happen overnight. We need to create demand and use economic drivers to help create positive change.”