The first books featuring a “carbon label” have reached the French market on May 2nd. All four titles are published by Fayard.
All books published by the imprints of Hachette Livre in France and printed on recycled or certified paper – they account for approximately 80% of company-purchased paper – will gradually feature a label printed on the back cover or beneath the colophon. It will indicate the origin of the paper fiber being used, whether recycled or certified, the specific carbon footprint of each individual book and the address of a dedicated website bearing the publisher’s brand. In the case of the four books mentioned, that website is www.fayard-durable.fr
Each publishing house belonging to Hachette Livre has its own dedicated website, even though its content is shared by all imprints. Its objective is to become an authoritative source of information on the environmental aspects of book publishing. It will be updated and improved as new data and methodologies become available and our understanding of the environmental impact of book publishing becomes clearer as a result.
As a reminder, the French so-called “Grenelle 1” and “Grenelle 2” laws, voted in 2009 and 2010, establish a legal framework for “the honest, comprehensive and unbiased information of consumers pertaining to the environmental impact of products and their packaging” through eco-labeling. Without waiting for a time table to be set by legislation, Hachette Livre has decided to leverage its ability to measure the individual carbon footprint of each one of its individual books (from forest management all the way to the distribution facility) by initiating the labeling process without delay.
Such an initiative does not preclude adding other criteria than carbon emissions in the future if and when the so-called G8 task force working under the authority of ADEME and AFNOR define them and legislation makes them mandatory.