Harry Potter Goes Green for World’s Ancient Forests

July 6, 2010

This week, the English language edition of the new J.K. Rowling book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, hits the bookstores. Greenpeace is commending the Canadian and German publishers for printing the book on ancient-forest-friendly paper. Greenpeace is now calling on other Harry Potter publishers, including Scholastic, which publishes the Harry Potter books in the United States, to move in a similar direction.

"It is great to see some publishers following the lead set by Raincoast books in Canada.  It is now up to publishers like Scholastic in the U.S. to respond to the challenge that has been laid down," said Pamela Wellner, Greenpeace senior campaigner. "Scholastic is one of the largest Harry Potter publishers globally. If it had printed the book on 100 percent recycled paper, its 10.8 million print run could have saved 217,475 trees."

In 2003, Raincoast Books, working with the Markets Initiative, a coalition project between Greenpeace Canada, Friends of Clayoquot Sound and the Sierra Club, set a positive trend for Harry Potter publishers by printing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper. Since then, Greenpeace has been encouraging other Harry Potter publishers to print their books on forest-friendly paper.

More than 12,500 Greenpeace members wrote to Scholastic at the beginning of the year, urging it not to use ancient forest fiber, such as that from the North American boreal forests, for Harry Potter #6, but the company did not respond to their wishes.  Greenpeace is now encouraging U.S. readers to let Scholastic know that they will be purchasing tree-friendly copies of the book from the Canadian publisher.

"It is sadly ironic that Scholastic, a children's book publisher, refused to use environmentally sound paper for this wildly popular book.  They could have helped protect our children's natural heritage instead of fostering its destruction," said Wellner.

Other international Harry Potter publishers are taking the following actions:

  • The German edition published by Carlsen will be printed on 40 percent post-consumer recycled paper, with the virgin fiber coming from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified sources. The FSC is the only credible company that ensures that virgin fiber is coming from environmentally and socially responsible sources.
  • The U.K. edition, published by Bloomsbury, is expected to be printed on 30 percent FSC-certified paper. Greenpeace hopes that the publisher will use 100 percent ancient-forest-friendly paper for future Harry Potter print runs.
  •  The Israeli and Italian editions, published by Books in the Attic and Yediot Ahronot Books and Salani, respectively, have made commitments to print the book on ancient-forest-friendly paper when they are published this autumn.

Greenpeace is also asking other Harry Potter publishers like Editorial Salamandra (Spain) and Buhrmann (Holland), to follow Raincoast Books and Carlsen's lead for their print run.

Other contacts: Nancy Hwa, (202) 319-2432 Pamela Wellner, (415) 255-9221, x311

Exp. contact date: 2005-08-12 00:00:00

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