Armchairs vs chainsaws

Feature story - 4 November, 2004
Cue applause for UK publisher MQ Publications (MQP). They decided to phase out paper produced from the world's last remaining ancient forests from its books, and their latest title is 'The Armchair Environmentalist' which has been printed, of course, on 100 percent recycled paper.

The Armchair Environmentalist is one of the first books in the UK to be printed on 100% recycled paper.

MQP has been working with us to switch their pulp supply to 'ancient forest friendly' paper such as recycled paper and/or Forest Stewardship Council™(FSC®) certified paper. MQP is the first UK publisher that has publicly announced its collaboration with the Greenpeace Book Campaign.

Throwing down the guantlet

"It is great news that MQ Publications have made this long term commitment towards environmentally and socially responsible paper sourcing. By taking this step they have thrown down the gauntlet to less progressive publishers, like Harper Collins, who have, so far, been reluctant to take the issues raised by the campaign seriously," said our UK Forest Campaigner Belinda Fletcher.

MQP CEO Zaro Weil said "We were unaware that the paper we had always assumed was ancient forest friendly just wasn't. So we teamed up with Greenpeace to ensure that we cleaned up our act. In doing so we issue a challenge to other UK publishers to follow suit".

3 minutes a day action plan to save the world

MQP's latest book, 'The Armchair Environmentalist', by Karen Christensen, gives readers a 'three minute a day action plan to save the world'. It focuses on what individuals can do to reduce their use of energy and water and create a healthier environment at home and at work.

MQP managed to source the paper and print 'The Armchair Environmentalist', including the cover, on 100 percent recycled paper, for no appreciable extra cost. The recycled paper was also a similar quality to the virgin paper they would normally have used.

This book is one of four that MQP is producing on recycled paper this year. The other titles are 'The Fearless Traveller' (a book of travel tips) by Charlotte Beech and two books of recipes 'Homemade Muffins' by Carol Tennant and 'Homemade Cookies' by Jacqueline Bellefontaine.

MQP's commitment signals a growing trend amongst some UK book publishers to respond to the paper sourcing issues raised by the Greenpeace Book Campaign as well as others across Europe, including Pearson, who own Penguin, BBC Books, Bloomsbury, Einaudi and Bompiani (Italy), Random House Mondadori (Spain) and fourteen Dutch publishers.

Read more

The Book Campaign

MQP's website