Sustainability at London Book Fair: The ‘Publishing 2030 Accelerator’

In News by Porter Anderson

A final workstream in the Publishing 2030 Accelerator project publishes its findings on London Book Fair’s second day, as CFOs are introduced to the concept.

Sherri Addis, left, and Rachel Martin discuss sustainability in publishing and the development of the Publishing 2030 Accelerator on London Book Fair’s Main Stage on March 12. Image: Publishing Perspectives, Porter Anderson

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

New White Papers Released at LBF
APublishing Perspectives readers will remember, in October 2022, we covered the announcement of a “Publishing 2030 Accelerator.” The program was rolled out in a joint statement from the International Publishers Association (IPA) on behalf of 17 initial signatories.

The effort would go on to be discussed in the context of international publishing’s efforts in sustainability at the Frankfurter Buchmesse of 2022 and 2023, including in the Publishing Perspectives Forum.

Today (March 14), an invitational breakfast round table event for chief financial officers has been held to introduce new findings being published by a final “workstream” for the 2030 Accelerator has been part of the morning activities at London Book Fair on its second of three days.

Elsevier‘s global director of sustainability, Rachel Martin—one of the leading stakeholders and drivers of the Publishing 2030 Accelerator—has alerted us that the program has published two new white papers have been published, with an emphasis on, as Martin put it, “whether there’s a trade-off  between business success and sustainability.”

In other words, can a publishing company working to increase its sustainability savvy and the best practices it can muster also be able to anticipate business success to be higher—or lower?

You’ll find all the white papers now published and available (by workstream) from the project here.

The goal of the accelerator effort is to drive systemic change within the publishing sector “by testing early -stage ideas that would positively contribute to the wider publishing sector’s sustainability.”

The project prioritized three initial workstreams:

  • “Calculating the carbon footprint of an individual book
  • “Distributed printing
  • “Reimagining the accounting of revenues”

And with all three workstreams now reporting, Martin spoke at London Book Fair on its Main Stage in a session on Tuesday (March 12), introducing the concepts of the project.

She was joined by Piers Torday of the Society of Authors’ sustainability committee; Sherri Addis, director of the United Nations’ Regional Information Center for Western Europe; and moderator, journalist, and host for Tuesday’s Main Stage programs, Geeta Pendse.

Among several programs mentioned, Aldis pointed out that the SDG Publishers Compact from the IPA and the United Nations has continued to make fine progress since its launch at Frankfurter Buchmesse in October 2020, now with more than 350 publishers as signatories committed to making a series of prescribed changes for climate-friendlier operation.

A Programing Note

A look at the Sustainability Hub programming for today (March 13) includes Publishers Associations Perspectives: Drivers and Barriers for Climate Action, at 12 noon (a 30-minute program) with:

  • Hugo Setzer, president, Mexican Publishers Association
  • Susan Pinkney, head of research, Publishers Association
  • Pedro Sobral, president APEL, Portuguese Publishers and Booksellers Association
  • Quentin Deschandelliers, legal advisor, Federation of European Publishers
  • Michiel Kolman, chair of the inclusive literacy and publishing committee, International Publishers Association

Image: IPA, the Publishing 2030 Accelerator, cover image of a draft explanatory report on the project


More from Publishing Perspectives on the climate crisis is here, more on sustainability is here, more on the International Publishers Association is here, more on the Federation of European Publishers is here, and more on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here.

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

More of our coverage of the 2024 London Book Fair:

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.