The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

BA Launches Green Manifesto

22/07/2019
Green Bookselling Manifesto

The Booksellers Association has today launched “Green Bookselling: A Manifesto for the BA, Booksellers and the Book Industry”, as part of its ongoing commitment to waste across its membership and throughout the supply chain. 

In addition to providing booksellers with recommendations on how to become more environmentally sustainable, the BA commits to a range of sustainability promises in the Manifesto, including holding a Green Audit, holding training seminars and reviewing existing processes to reduce environmental impact. 

The manifesto calls on publishers and distributors to take up several environmental commitments, including phasing out single-use cardboard in favour of recyclable materials, reviewing both the delivery and returns processes, and ceasing sending out unsolicited book proofs and marketing materials to booksellers. 

Meryl Halls, Managing Director of the BA said: “It is vital that everybody in the book industry, from individual booksellers to publishers, and from distributors to printers, makes a concerted effort to reduce their environmental impact.  Booksellers can take the lead in their communities, and in the trade – where there is already a high awareness of the challenge -  and the Green Manifesto is designed as a key step in committing to doing more to be sustainable and ethical.  The issue is urgent and inevitable, and so we are particularly pleased to be working with other Booksellers Associations on joint activity and initiatives in this area, to the benefit of all our members.” 

Nic Bottomley, BA President, said: “It feels very much like the consumer tide has turned on the environment, and we need to take seriously our customers’ expectations of how we behave as ethical businesses.  Booksellers are already taking the lead on environmental issues and – as always – are sharing good practise.  I am really proud of the work we’ve started at the BA on the Green Bookselling Task Force, and thrilled at the resonance across the trade, and the world, in what we are aiming to achieve.  There’s more work to be done, but we have started in good heart and we now look forward to engaging our supply chain partners in the next steps.”

The Green Manifesto is based on three principles: that the need for change to prevent further environmental decline is urgent and permanent; that there is much that individuals and organisations can do; that there is much that the UK book supply chain can do to help.

The BA is working with both the American and Australian Booksellers Associations on this project, reflecting the commitment across the English language territories to improve the book trade’s green credentials, behaviours and aspirations.

Oren Teicher, CEO of the American BA, said: "The American Booksellers Association is pleased to be working with our colleagues in the UK - and around the world - on a series of green initiatives - as we recognize the critical importance of these matters and the special obligation that we in the book business have to be part of the solution, as these are clearly global concerns, and we need to find new ways in which we can cooperate."

Robbie Egan, CEO of the Australian BA, said: “The Australian BA is investigating ways to help our industry respond to the need for better environmental practices, from reducing packaging waste, increased recycling and better management of freight and returns.   Our colleagues in the UK have led the way and we look to this example with the desire to emulate the initiative, and to build a cooperative approach to improving bookselling and the book industry on both a local and a global scale.”

The “Green Bookselling: A Manifesto for the BA, Booksellers and the Book Industry” can be accessed here: https://www.booksellers.org.uk/GreenBookselling