Ahhh, books. They’re like websites on paper, from what I gather. We wrote a while back about Harry Potter going green for the last installment of the series, with two-thirds of the 16,700 tons of paper coming from timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Scholastic, the publisher, is also using 30 percent recycled fiber for the cover, and the “deluxe edition” is going to be printed on 100 percent recycled paper in a renewable-energy-powered factory.

The book comes out next week (in 10 days, to be exact — I mean, or so we hear from you know, kids and stuff who like that sort of thing), making all the Gristies kiddies all a twitter with anticipation. But, as many are wondering, will the greenness make up for the fact that Harry croaks carry over to the rest of the book publishing industry?

According to a press release we just got from the Green Press Initiative regarding the new Harry Potter book, things are looking up in the greater book publishing industry as well:

  • On average, it is estimated that the U.S. book industry uses less than 10% recycled fiber for its paper.
  • Globally, over 40% of the industrial wood harvest is used to make paper – a sobering fact given that deforestation accounts for 25% of human caused C02 emissions.
  • Over 140 U.S. publishers, ten printers, and five paper companies now have environmental commitments in place w/ goals for protecting Endangered Forests, increasing recycled fiber, etc.
  • Random House is among those committed publishers with a goal of increasing recycled fiber use tenfold (>30,000 tons/yr) by 2010.
  • Scholastic is also in the process of finalizing its own company-wide environmental policy.
  • 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 pounds of greenhouse gases each year.
  • In 2006, an Opinion Research Corporation poll revealed that 80% of readers are willing to pay more for books printed on recycled and environmentally responsible paper.

Good news, for the most part.