21 July 2005 | Anusha Bradley
The Random House Group is urging its paper suppliers to find sources that meet stricter environmental standards.
The publishing company wants the 17,000 tonnes of paper it buys direct for black-and-white printing to be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified, which would bar supplies from ancient forests.
Stephen Esson, production director at Random House Group, said certification by the FSC was more "robust" than the alternative Pan European Forestry Certification Council (PEFC) standard.
A Greenpeace spokeswoman said that paper made from ancient forests in Finland was allowed under the PEFC scheme, but not under FSC rules.
Esson said that Random House would work with its suppliers to increase the availability of FSC-certified paper.
He also urged the development of recycled paper that was more suitable for the commercial book market.
"It's not easy to find paper suppliers with sustainable sources," he explained.
Simon Rickett, managing director of FSC producer Arctic Paper, said while "green" books were popular with consumers, there was not enough certified paper to meet demand.
"The bandwagon is growing but there is not enough FSC pulp to do this yet."