The trees planted through the programme so far have offset an estimated 600 tonnes of CO2e, provided shelter for 12,000 animals, and created 4000 hours of paid work for local communities.
We’re pleased to have extended our partnership into the upcoming 2021/22 planting season, and have chosen to focus efforts this year on South Africa, as Reforest’Action launch an emergency planting drive in the Eastern Cape to develop a new sustainable pasture management system and restore the area’s depleted ecosystems.
The urgent focus on the Eastern Cape comes in response to the land degradation and a lack of plant cover that is eroding the soil, depleting water resources, and harming biodiversity in the area. We’ll be contributing towards an ambitious target of planting half a million native spekboom trees in the region, with an eye to hastening the return of the local elephant population.
Our tree planting efforts are just one strand of Bonnier Books UK’s wider sustainability commitments, as we look to play our part in turning the page on climate change and ensuring that future generations have the same opportunities to enjoy books and storytelling as we do.
At the beginning of 2021, we became a climate neutral publisher – achieving this status through our offsetting projects. Not only are we compensating for all our GHG emissions, but 20% more than we create. Whilst offsetting is a crucial element of our strategy, our overwhelming priority is a rigorous drive to cut emissions across our operations and supply chain in the long term and short term.
In the summer, we were one of the very first publishers to sign up to the Science Based Targets initiative, pledging to implement a robust emission reduction plan targeted towards limiting global warming to the IPCC’s 1.5 °C target. We followed this up in the autumn by becoming one of the founder signatories to Publishing Declares, the industry’s first major collective declaration on climate action – a Publishers Association backed effort to unite the industry to commit to ambitious, measurable targets and tackle the trade’s wider sustainability issues.
We have continued to make strong progress towards the goals outlined in our climate commitments, and are striving to transform our business operations and production with a 25% decrease in GHG emissions across all three scopes by 2025. Over the last year, we’ve reviewed and collaborated with our manufacturing partners to reduce our environmental impact across the supply chain and our EVA supplier scoring system has allowed us to assess and manage social and environmental risk. We’ve committed to prioritising paper with a low emission footprint, and have been hard at work developing a bespoke Production Support Portal which will help inform our production team to select only the most eco-friendly options in future.
These are important steps in the right direction. But we know there’s more to be done. The climate crisis is the defining issue of our times, and it will require all of us to move further, faster. As a 200 year old family-owned business, we think in generations, rather than quarters and we recognise the responsibility we have to contribute positively to society as a whole. We will not shy away from this responsibility and are committed to continuously working to reduce our climate footprint.
By publishing more ethically and sustainably and sharing and collaborating with our industry colleagues, our goal is to spread the joy of books and storytelling for generations to come.