The Harry Potter series has galvanized the world's book industry into going green, from spurring the development of 32 new ecological papers, six for Potter exclusively, to igniting a shift where 300 publishers have adopted environmental policies that are helping to protect Canada's Boreal forest among others, says Markets Initiative, the Vancouver-based environmental group that worked with J.K. Rowling starting in 2003 and hundreds of publishers and paper mills since to turn other books green.
The last book in the Potter series, to be released later this week, is considered within the industry to be the most environmentally friendly in publishing history with 16 countries printing the book on eco-friendly paper up from one publisher in 2003.
"When it comes to green, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is at the top of the book pile," said Nicole Rycroft, executive director of Markets Initiative. "We foresee other publishers and major paper consumers being inspired to take similar action to protect species and forests such as Canada's Boreal."
The English-language editions of the latest book result in a savings of 197,685 trees (an area equivalent to 2.5 times the size of New York's Central Park) and 7.9 million kilograms of greenhouse gases (equivalent to taking 1,577 cars off the road). The book uses the highest standard of eco-friendly paper for the majority of its print runs.
Sarah Nelson, Editor in Chief of Publisher's Weekly, considered the source for publishing and book news in the world, said, "The world of publishing may never see the likes of Harry Potter again, but that doesn't discount its importance to readers, to booksellers and to the way publishing has melded its needs with that of the environment. To think that Potter is the largest print run in history and may have actually helped the planet."
Starting with the first Harry Potter book published on Ancient Forest Friendly paper by one publisher - Canada's Raincoast Books in 2002 - the Potter series has:
- Helped shift 300 publishers around the world, including in Germany, Israel and Australia, to print a growing number of their book titles on eco-friendly papers - books include Margaret Atwood's Blind Assassin and Rohinton Mistry's Family Matters.
- Spurred demand in such a way that mainstream paper companies created six new eco-papers specifically for the Potter titles, such as Cascades' Enviro 100 and Schleipen's RC Volumen. Thirty-two new Ancient Forest Friendly and eco-friendly papers have been produced for book publishers in North America overall, as a result of this shift.
- Triggered 84 printers across North America to stock Ancient Forest Friendly or eco-friendly papers for the first time (printers include Transcontinental and Friesens).