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
 

As a producer of children’s books, we aim to do business with suppliers who recognize a social accountability standard, and we are engaged in a number of projects to make that goal a reality. Walker Books will not knowingly use paper sourced from high-risk regions or other controversial sources. We are deeply committed to halting the production of all paper from controversial sources, which are defined as:

 

Producers and fibre associated with the loss of old growth, intact or primary forests, tropical peatlands or peatland forests, or other high carbon landscapes; producers and fibre associated with the loss of habitats of threatened or endangered fish and wildlife species; producers and fibre associated with the loss of high conservation values; producers and fibre associated with the conversion of natural forests to plantations lacking natural forest diversity or to non-forest land uses (and thus likely reducing forest carbon stocks and maintaining forest landscapes, biodiversity and resource sustainability); producers and fibre associated with violations of indigenous or local community rights: producers and fibre associated with laws applicable to forest allocation, management, production, and trade: and producers and fibre associated with the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs); producers and fibres associated with the use of elemental chlorine and harmful water and air pollution; producers and fibre associated with companies that have failed to address the legacy of negative social and environmental impacts of their operations via restoration/compensation efforts and resolution of land and social conflict with affected communities whose rights have been violated by a process mutually agreed by the parties.

(Source: Rainforest Action Network)
 

As a global publishing group we have stopped using paper from controversial Indonesian sources and do not do business with the Indonesian mills of Asia Pulp and Paper and Asia Pacific Resources International Limited. Our minimum paper requirement is a three-star rating on the PREPS database, and Walker Books actively encourages print partners to improve recycled grades and FSC availability. We are currently 100% three stars and above with an ambition to have all grades FSC by 2020. Currently we source 100% of our fiction paper from FSC certified sources.

 

In addition, we support and encourage our suppliers to operate in accordance with our high standards.

 
 
1.PREPS

In September 2006, Walker Books 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.

Further information about PREPS can be found at https://bookchainproject.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 https://bookchainproject.com
 
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 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
 

1. RECYCLING

We use FIRST MILE, a London recycling company, to handle our recyclable office waste. We’ve updated our recycling scheme by removing all individual bins in the office, and each department now separates its waste into paper and plastics/glass with separate recycling for organic waste at the coffee stations.

 

2. PRODUCTS

We don’t use bottled water but filter our water from the mains, and use glasses instead of plastic cups.

We buy Fairtrade tea and coffee and organic milk which we order in litre rather than ½ litre bottles.

 

We use refillable containers for hand soap and washing up liquid.

 

3. ENERGY

We have turned our central heating down by one degree and encourage staff to switch off lights and turn off computers when not needed during the day and when leaving work.

 

4. PHOTOCOPYING

Our paper comes from sustainable sources and is recycled after use.

We encourage all departments to print only when necessary and all copiers are programmed to print on both sides of the paper.

 

5. VIDEO CONFERENCING

We use in-house video-conferencing facilities wherever possible to reduce “meeting miles”.

 
 

 6. CYCLING

We are signed up to a scheme which allows staff to buy bikes at a reduced rate and pay for them over a year. We have also installed showers to encourage staff to cycle to work.

 

 

COMMUNITY
 
1. FOODBANK

We collect food in the office and take it to our local Foodbank.

 
2. READING IN SCHOOLS

Walker staff regularly volunteer to go into Vauxhall Primary School to read with the children as part of a scheme which teachers say has greatly benefited the children.