Being Green

As a publisher of over 300 books a year – and that’s not including our sister companies Candlewick in the US and Walker Australia – we are acutely aware of our impact on the environment. To ensure that impact is a positive not a negative one, we are working on a number of projects that aim to change our dealings with the wider world and our lives in the office.

 


Our books and products

In the production of our books we want to work only with suppliers who are socially accountable and environmentally aware and we are involved in a number of initiatives to ensure this happens:

 

1. PREPS

 

In September 2006, Walker joined other leading UK publishers to set up the Publishers' Database for Responsible Environmental Paper Sourcing (PREPS), with the aim of ensuring that we all use legally harvested and sustainable forest sources. PREPS hold technical specifications and details of the pulps and forest sources for each of the papers used by its members.   Based on that information, papers are awarded a grade of between one and five stars using the Egmont Grading System, which evaluates whether material has been legally harvested – or recycled – and how the forest sources have been managed. It encompasses FSC and PEFC certification.

At Walker we only use papers graded 3 star and above.

Further information about PREPS can be found at www.preps-uk.com.

  

2. PRELIMS

 

Walker also belongs to Prelims, an umbrella organisation for companies in the international book trade who want to make sure that what they sell is produced to the highest ethical standards. We are all working together through Prelims to promote and implement a common, internationally recognised social accountability standard, which both we and our suppliers must adhere to.

For further information please visit www.prelims.org.

3. FSC

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international organisation founded in 1990 to promote and recognise good and sustainable forestry practices around the world. At Walker, we insist that all our suppliers hold the FSC Chain of Custody.

For more information, visit www.fsc.org.

 

4. CARE

                             

The standard we are adopting derives from that used by the global toy industry and managed by its industry body, the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI). Called the CARE Process, the standard covers areas such as working conditions, health and safety, remuneration, working hours, and the prohibition of the use of child or forced labour.

For more information about social accountability and for details about CARE, please visit www.toy-icti.org.

 

5. PRODUCT TESTING

 

We want to ensure our books are fun and safe and all of our products with play value are tested to relevant legislation EN71 (Europe).

 

 

Our working environment

Walker’s Green Team meets regularly to develop and review our processes and to suggest more environmentally-friendly ways of doing things. Last year the company signed up to the Guardian’s 10:10 Campaign and pledged to cut its emissions by 10%. Here are our achievements to date:

 

1. Recycling
We’ve updated our recycling scheme by removing all individual bins in the office. Each department now separates its recyclable waste into paper and plastics/glass with a separate bin for organic waste.

 

2. Products

We now filter our drinking water from the mains rather than buying bottled water and use glasses instead of plastic cups. We have Fairtrade tea and coffee and have switched to organic milk which we order in litre rather than ½ litre bottles. We use refillable containers for our handsoap and washing up liquid.

 

3. Energy Efficiency

We turned our central heating down by one degree this year and encourage everyone to be energy conscious, to switch off lights and turn off computers during the day and when leaving work.

 

4. Photocopying

Our paper is supplied from sustainable sources and returns to the recycling process as waste. But we also encourage all departments to print only when necessary and on both sides of the paper.

 

5. Video Conferencing

We have in-house video-conferencing facilities to help reduce “meeting miles”.

 

6. Cycle scheme

Walker has signed up to a scheme which allows staff to buy bikes at a reduced rate and pay for them over a year. We are also looking at installing a shower to encourage employees to cycle to work.

 

Walker is a member of PGN (Publishers’ Green Network. A member of the Green Team attends every meeting and reports back on new ideas and systems across the industry.