First Green Bible Printed by Thomas Nelson

On October 9th, Bible and religion publisher Thomas Nelson Inc. will release the first Bible printed on recycled and FSC certified paper. The Bible is the most widely distributed book in history and Thomas Nelson’s achievement was no small task. Thomas Nelson worked to better understand the issues and options and worked with its paper manufacturer, Domtar, to develop a new environmentally responsible paper grade specially suited for the lightweight paper requirements of Bible paper.

Thomas Nelson’s CEO, Mike Hyatt states that, “Thomas Nelson is excited to be taking some important steps toward protecting our natural resources. In addition to offering eco-friendly products, we are striving to implement “green” practices in our daily activities.”

Several other religion publishers also have environmental commitments in place including Ave Maria Press, Baker Publishing Group, Intervarsity Press. “Given the Bible’s message of stewardship and the growth of the creation care movement,” stated Green Press Initiative director Tyson Miller, “we hope to see other Bible and religion publishers following Thomas Nelson’s lead through steps to use paper with less impacts on forests, people, and the climate.”

The first green Bible is symbolic of broader industry-wide transformations underway in the U.S. book sector at large. Publishers of all shapes and sizes [including Random House, Scholastic, McGraw-Hill and 140+ others] have committed to environmental goals and are beginning to do things differently. These shifts have positive implications related to climate concerns and impacts on Endangered Forests and indigenous communities in key regions such as the Canadian Boreal Forest, the U.S. Southeast, and Indonesia.

Why it Matters – The Facts: Climate Change, Industry Transformation, and More

• Globally, over 40% of the industrial wood harvest is used to make paper – a sobering fact given that forests store half of all carbon in the biosphere & deforestation accounts for 25% of human caused C02 emissions

• The paper industry has one of the largest ecological impacts on the planet and is in the midst of a transformation across all publishing sectors

• Green Press Initiative (GPI) has been a catalyst and helped to spur the current transformation underway in the U.S. book sector – investing 5 years and 15,000 hours advancing sector innovations.

• Each ton of recycled paper saves 24 trees and uses 44% less energy & 38% less greenhouse gases to produce

• FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper ensures the highest protections for Endangered Forests and communities and is internationally accepted as the best practice in forest management

• Over 140 U.S. book publishers, ten printers, and five paper companies now have environmental commitments in place w/ goals for protecting Endangered Forests, increasing recycled fiber, maximizing FSC, etc.

• Random House is among those committed publishers with a goal of increasing recycled fiber use tenfold (>30,000 tons/yr) by 2010

• The U.S. book industry has developed its own agreement for reducing its social and environmental impacts (Book Industry Treatise on Responsible Paper) and when realized will conserve the equivalent of over 5 million trees and 500 million lbs. of greenhouse gases each year (enough to pull 45,000 cars off the road)

• To date the Treatise has been signed by over 220 stakeholders. More at: www.greenpressinitiative.org/industrytreatise.htm

Click here to see a new report on the State of the Paper Industry by the Environmental Paper Network

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