Harry Potter Sets Green Example For Publishing Industry

by | Jul 19, 2007

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The last book in the Harry Potter series is considered within the industry to be the most environmentally friendly in publishing history with 16 countries printing the book on eco-friendly paper up from one publisher in 2003, said Markets Initiative, the Vancouver-based environmental group that worked with J.K. Rowling.

The English-language editions of the latest book result in a savings of 197,685 trees (an area equivalent to 2.5 times the size of New York’s Central Park) and 7.9 million kilograms of greenhouse gases (equivalent to taking 1,577 cars off the road).

“The world of publishing may never see the likes of Harry Potter again, but that doesn’t discount its importance to readers, to booksellers and to the way publishing has melded its needs with that of the environment,” said Sarah Nelson, Editor in Chief of Publisher’s Weekly. “To think that Potter is the largest print run in history and may have actually helped the planet.”

According to Markets Initiative, the series helped shift 300 publishers around the world to print a growing number of their book titles, including Margaret Atwood’s Blind Assassin on eco-friendly papers. Six new eco-papers were developed specifically for the Potter titles. Thirty-two new Ancient Forest Friendly and eco-friendly papers have also been         produced for book publishers in North America, as a result of this shift.

The company said that 84 printers across North America now stock Ancient Forest Friendly or eco-friendly papers for the first time because of Harry Potter’s lead.

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