How does a self-publishing company respond to the industry’s strain on the environment?

by Anna Kiousi

Have you ever thought about the impact the publishing industry has on the environment and our planet? We definitely have. So, here is what sustainability means for us and what we are doing to counter our industry’s environmental harm as a self-publishing company.

Publishing and sustainability

The publishing industry puts an enormous strain on our planet, especially when sustainable practices are not followed by publishing houses and companies. Globally, producing books emits more than 40 million tonnes of CO₂. Whether it is using virgin paper to print, discarding unread books and using non-recyclable materials in book printing, the publishing and printing sector are now being called more than ever to act and improve in their practises.

And this impact is not exclusive to physical, paper books. It is measured that the average lifecycle of a Kindle produces around 168 kg of CO₂.

Our values

You probably already know this by now, but we love books. In fact, we love them so much our purpose is helping writers and authors around the world write and self-publish books.

However, as much as we love them, we don’t believe the creation of books should involve the destruction of our planet. We have always felt very strongly about sustainability at The Book Shelf. It is a value we have carried since the beginning thanks to our Founder & Director, Ameesha.

This is why all our merch, including our signature tote bag and bookmark are made from 100% recycled materials.

Taking action with the Rainforest Trust UK

We are conscious that the industry we work in contributes to harming for our planet. So, we decided to take further action for what we believe in: sustainable practices.

Hence, we started supporting the Rainforest Trust UK with donations in April 2022. Since then, we are proud to have protected 625 acres of vital rainforest and natural habitat in total. That’s roughly 125,000 rainforest trees under our care.


What is the Rainforest Trust UK?

Rainforest Trust UK is a British charity working in partnership with Rainforest Trust in the U.S. to protect the world’s most threatened rainforests and other tropical ecosystems. Rainforest Trust is one of the world’s most respected and successful conservation charities, and works in partnership with trusted local NGOs and indigenous communities to save the world’s most threatened rainforests and tropical ecosystems.

They have been protecting rainforests for over 30 years and has already placed over 45 million acres of threatened habitat under permanent protection. You can find out more about Rainforest Trust’s uniquely successful approach to conservation by clicking here

What is more, Rainforest Trust UK is able to guarantee that 100% of donations are allocated to conservation action, which is one of our favourite things about supporting them.

In this way, The Book Shelf seeks to offset the strain publishing puts on the environment and stay true to our commitment to sustainability in everything we do.


Want to join us in saving the rainforest?

Whether you are one of our readers, partnering authors or we’re connected on socials, we’d love it if you would join us at supporting the Rainforest Trust UK in protecting the world’s most threatened rainforests and other tropical ecosystems.

On average, it only costs Rainforest Trust £1.60 to protect an acre of rainforest, for the benefit of endangered species, indigenous communities and the climate. Click here to learn how to support their invaluable work.

Alternatively, being conscious of your environmental footprint and picking up eco-friendly habits are great ways to care for the planet. You can take the WWF’s Footprint Calculator Questionnaire, for starters. Also, consider second-hand book buying and not using virgin paper to print your book when publishing. For more eco tips, check out our blog on ways to publish in an planet-friendly way.

Don’t forget to follow us on our socials to stay up to date with our comprehensive writing & self-publishing tips and guides. We’re here to take you from idea to bookshelf. Talk to us today to get started!