Sustainability at Bonnier Books UK

Sustainability at Bonnier Books UK

For Bonnier Books UK, sustainability is fundamentally about how we marry the interests of our business with the needs of our people, wider society, and our planet. It's about solidifying the foundations of our business, building a fairer future, and ensuring that the next generations have the same access to great stories as we do.


As a family-owned company with a 200-year legacy, Bonnier Books UK takes a long-term view – we think in terms of generations, not quarters. We are committed to contributing to an inclusive and knowledge-based society, where every individual has the opportunity to take part and make their voice heard.


To guide us, we focus on sustainability initiatives that support our core values, as well as the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Building a sustainable workplace

We believe that equality isn't simply the right thing to do; it’s the only way we'll remain relevant in today’s competitive marketplace. By attracting, developing and retaining an inclusive pool of talent, we can drive our business forward in the decades to come and ensure our publishing better reflects the world we live in.


We’re committed to building a forward-thinking working environment where everybody feels that they can be themselves. We gain from the diverse backgrounds, skills and opinions of our people and this makes us stronger as a business – and as a publisher.


In 2020 we were awarded the Inclusivity in Publishing Award at the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards.


Image: The launch of Elizabeth Acevedo's novel With the Fire on High

Putting words into action

In early 2021, we pledged to accelerate the evolution of our business, operations and publishing lists to ensure that our workforce and the books we publish are better representative of UK society. This includes a target of having Black, Asian and multi-ethnic groups representing 20% of our new recruits by 2026.


We set out a comprehensive programme of tangible, concrete actions which will enable us to achieve this positive change in our 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. Read the full report and watch our video introduction below:



D&I Action Plan


We will continue to regularly measure and publish our progress on this website.

Our framework for positive change

As proud supporters of the BBC Creative’s Allies initiative, we are creating positive change using the RIVERS principles.



RIVERS transparent

Protecting our environment

Human impact on the earth’s climate and ecosystem is undoubtedly the greatest challenge facing humanity. We therefore feel a deep responsibility at Bonnier Books UK to minimise the impact we make both directly and through our supply chain.


After a sustained focus on reducing our environmental impact over the years, we recently crystallised our ambitions into a new set of sustainability goals.


Image: Bonnier Books UK team members at the 2019 Global Climate Strike

Beyond climate neutral

Starting on the 1st January 2021, Bonnier Books, including Bonnier Books UK, went beyond climate neutral – meaning that we are taking 20% more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than we create.


We are achieving this in three ways:


Reduce: transforming our business operations and production with a 25% decrease in emissions by 2025


Offset: funding new projects that restore and protect our natural forests to compensate for any emissions Bonnier Books UK can't (yet) avoid, from 2021


Capture: going one step further, we are removing 20% more greenhouse gases through investment in these projects than we emit as an organisation.


We were one of the first publishers to sign up to the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), pledging to implement an emission reduction plan targeted towards limiting global warming to the IPCC's 1.5°C target. Our goals, and the methodology we're following, have been validated against the SBTi's rigorous reduction criteria.


We are also a founder signatory of Publishing Declares, the industry's first major collective declaration on climate action. And, as a member of the IPG, we are a part of the Sustainability Industry Forum.

However, we’re not stopping there. Other initiatives designed to minimise our environmental impact include:


- For every book published, we plant 10 trees on behalf of our authors and illustrators

- Our Victoria House HQ is powered by 80% renewable energy

- Switching to courier services that carbon offset

- Ensuring all supplier packaging uses less plastic/plastic alternatives

- Introducing an industry-leading EVA (Evaluate, Validate, Approve) system that scores suppliers based on their sustainability commitments to reduce environmental impact across the supply chain

- Our bespoke internal Production Support Portal (PSP) allows our production team to select only the most eco-friendly paper choices and suppliers

- We updated our paper sourcing policy in 2020, to ensure that 100% of the paper we use to make our books comes responsible certified or sustainable sources:

-   100% of the paper used in the manufacture of our UK trade division books are FSC™ certified

-  100% of Igloo Books’ papers are from Book Chain Project: Grade 3* sources

- A warehouse policy that ensures zero returns go to landfill - with returns either resold and recycled


You can read more from Bonnier Books on climate responsibility here and on the Bonnier Books UK paper sourcing policy here.

Building sustainable supply chains

Bonnier Books UK is committed to building a sustainable supply chain through transparency, regular review of business practices and collaboration with our manufacturing partners.


Our initiatives include:


• Supporting the Modern Slavery Act of 2015 forms an essential part of our commitment to human rights. Our Modern Slavery Statement is available online here.
• All of our suppliers must sign the Bonnier Books Code of Conduct which clearly sets out our mandatory minimum requirements for our manufacturing partners. We will not work with any supplier who will not sign and commit to compliance with these standards.
• All of our suppliers and their factories are subject to annual third party internationally recognised social audits and ongoing monitoring to ensure that they consistently demonstrate robust social, environmental and quality management practices.
• Bonnier Books is an active participant of The Book Chain Project. The Project hosts the publishing industry Code of Conduct, which articulates standards of labour practice and environmental performance. It is based on internationally recognised standards, codes and laws, including the ILO Conventions, the UN Declaration for Human Rights and the ETI Base code, and is updated regularly.
• As part of our due diligence, Bonnier Books also employs a rigorous supplier approval procedure which can be read in full here.