Richard Charkin’s Frankfurt, Day Three: ‘Climate Action’

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The IPA ‘Sustainability Summit’ becomes a strong draw, this year pulling a full house to its session at the Congress Center.

At Wiley’s Frankfurter Buchmesse reception for its new Wiley Partner Solutions venture. Image: Publishing Perspectives, Richard Charkin

By Richard Charkin | @RCharkin

See also: Frankfurt Week: Wiley Opens Its ‘Partner Solutions’ Division

The Climate-Action Message: ‘Do It Now’
I attended Frankfurter Buchmesse‘s second International Publishers Association (IPA) Sustainability Summit.

Richard Charkin

Last year, there were some one-dozen participants. This year there ,were at least 50, a reflection on the growing concern for climate action throughout the publishing industry.

Michiel Kolman led the meeting. Ideas for reducing our carbon footprints abounded, but the takeaway message was ‘Do it now.’

I’m running my own campaign to persuade media organizations to stop demanding finished review copies of narrative books. Why not review the final version of a book as a PDF? It would save the cost of the book and the cost of postage. And it would be quicker. Of course, the reviewer wouldn’t then have a copy to sell on eBay.

Then it was off to the oompah-band birthday party for the opening of Wiley’s Partner Solutions initiative. CEO Brian Napack gave an inspiring speech about the importance of all parts of our industry working together. I think we all believe this but Wiley seems to be actually doing it now.

And finally, there was a dinner at which we had a debate about the problems of the world, including a number of sensitive issues such as attitudes to sexuality, race, inequality, political correctness, greenwashing, publishing challenges and much else.

The joy was that we all said what we really thought. We disagreed with each other about many things.
The joy was, and is, that we are free to do this and we can remain friends. Enabling this sort of dinner is what Frankfurt is all about.

Michiel Kolman, who was Richard Charkin’s successor in the IPA presidency, leads a portion of the International Publishers Association’s ‘Sustainability Summit’ at Frankfurter Buchmesse. Image: Publishing Perspectives, Richard Charkin


As Publishing Perspectives readers know, Richard Charkin, our columnist and an international advisory board member of Frankfurter Buchmesse, is giving us updates on his impressions this week during Frankfurt 2022.

Our Frankfurter Buchmesse Show Magazine now is out—in print on the Messe Frankfurt for trade visitors and exhibitors, and here in a free digital download for our world readership online.

The magazine has extensive coverage of issues and trends that are leading discussions and debates at the trade show this year, along with interviews, profiles, and commentary in this strongly attended Frankfurt year. Click here for your download (PDF).

More on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here, more on this year’s Guest of Honor Spain is here, more on guest of honor programs and markets is here, and more on international book fairs is here, more on industry statistics is here.

Publishing Perspectives is the global media partner of the International Publishers Association.

Join us monthly for Richard Charkin’s latest column. More coverage of his work from Publishing Perspectives is here.

About the Author

Richard Charkin

Richard Charkin is a former president of the IPA and the UK PA and for 11 years was executive director of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. He has held many senior posts at major publishing houses, including Macmillan, Oxford University Press, Current Science Group, and Reed Elsevier. He is former president of The Book Society and non-executive director of Institute of Physics Publishing. He is currently a board member of Bloomsbury China’s Beijing joint venture with China Youth Press, a member of the International Advisory Board of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Bonnier Books UK’s Advisory Board and is a senior adviser to nkoda.com. He is a non-executive director of Liverpool University Press, and Cricket Properties Ltd as well as founding his own business, Mensch Publishing. He lectures on the publishing courses at London College of Communications, City University, and University College London. Richard has an MA in Natural Sciences from Trinity College, Cambridge; was a Supernumerary Fellow of Green College, Oxford; attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School; and is a visiting professor at the University of the Arts London.

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