Publishing Perspectives Staff Report
‘A Greener Supply Chain’Working to measure and reduce its own environmental impact, HP in May 2013 became the first company in the information technology industry to publish a full carbon footprint. It also was one of the first to issue a complete water footprint. Both footprints cover the value chain from HP’s suppliers to its own operations and out to its millions of international customers.
Now, HP Publishing Solutions has released a new white paper for publishers, Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: Why and How Publishers Should Aim for a Greener Supply Chain.
The company’s stated intent is to allow publishers to have more time to focus on what they publish rather than how “as we bring to market solutions that reduce production complexity and automate scalable distributed print.” And the key is the company’s capability to deliver a global print-on-demand solution for book publishers and digital content owners who want to expand their global supply chains to reach new markets and broaden their catalogues.
As Publishing Perspectives readers know, one advantage of print-on-demand services is the ability to produce copies directly in line in with the level of market demand that exists. However this alone may not necessarily overcome the reliance of the supply chain on a single production site with book copies that still need to undertake lengthy shipping distances to be distributed to the location of demand. The environmental impact of shipping includes a series of pollution factors including air, water, acoustic and oil.
This is why operational and supply-chain leads in mid- and large-size publishing houses need to further consider how they can drastically cut the shipping impact of the supply chain. A globally distributed print network like HP’s can offer almost immediate reductions in a publisher’s carbon footprint.
And the introduction to the new white paper makes the urgency of the need clear, saying, “As the term ‘climate change’ has been replaced by the more accurate term ‘climate crisis,’ book publishers must take direct and clear actions in order to mitigate the harmful impact of legacy business practices by implementing new environmentally responsible systems.”
The white paper covers analysis of the dilemma and the opportunities to address it with the globally distributed print model, including:
- The threat of the climate crisis and the role played by book publishing
- Challenges for book publishers looking to reduce their carbon footprint
- Intelligent process design: print-on-demand replacing print-to-stock
- The 21st-century supply chain: think global, print local
- A case study looking at Pearson’s development of an end-to-end supply chain Pearson created an end-to-end supply chain solution
- The myriad benefits of on-demand printing
- Materials matter: What to ask for
- How to localize content for global consumers
- Trending in corporate responsibility: A green publishing movement
Economic, Environmental, Ethical Logic
The new white paper points to a “green publishing movement” as a trend in corporate social responsibility in the industry, with a rising number of companies publishing sustainability reports. And it also brings out a point about localizing content, one that may not be as often mentioned as others.
“Another benefit that’s appealing to many content publishers” about international print-on-demand, the white paper points out, “is the ability to customize print products for specific audiences with variable data printing (VDP). The culture or curriculum of a specific country or region may offer opportunities for savvy rights holders to make changes to their content to serve consumers around the world.” What’s more, content personalization is possible for publishing partnerships and versioning, in the print-on-demand model as a more cost-effective prospect than in traditional centralized printing.
And an extensive look at the waste of offset printing in an industry that can see up to 30 percent of manufactured books unsold. While the financial costs are obvious, there are serious environmental impact elements involved, as well.
The new white paper, focused on the economic, environmental, and ethical logic of printing geographically closer to an end user, includes an overview of some of the best-known industry players adopting sustainable approaches, and points out, “Not only does developing a streamlined printing process through global networks of trusted print service providers align with the environmental impact goals set by book publishers around the globe, it’s also a fiscally responsible way to reduce costs and save time.”
Again, that new white paper is available now for free download: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: Why and How Publishers Should Aim for a Greener Supply Chain.