Greening the Book: Digital or Print?

Podcast episode: 38

London Book Fair Seminar

Adrian Bullock, Edward Milford and Mark Gough

What is the carbon footprint of a printed book, and how does it compare with the carbon footprint of an e-book or an e-reader? Is digital more environmentally friendly than print? Should publishers stick with print, or lead the rush to digital?

These questions are of serious concern to those in the industry as well as to authors and readers, as e-books and e-readers start making significant inroads into the domain of the printed book; where countervailing claims are easy to make, hard to prove, and even less easy to interpret.

The seminar brings together an expert panel from the publishing industry to look at the current issues thrown up by the digital/print debate, to explore the extent to which the publishing industry has gone to reduce its carbon footprint, and to assess the options for not only reducing it further but for making it really green and sustainable as well.

The seminar is chaired by Adrian Bullock from the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University. Adrian is an Associate Lecturer for the International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University, where he has taught on the publishing course for the past twenty years, and director of Oxford Publishing Consultancy. A graduate in modern languages from Oxford, Adrian joined Oxford University Press, working over the next sixteen years in India and the UK. Particularly interested in the enormous potential of digital technology to make it possible for the publishing industry to develop different models, products, and ways of doing things, he is currently writing a book on production and project management, which will be published in 2012.                                                                      

The speakers are: 

Mark Gough is the Global Environmental Manager for the FTSE 100 professional information company Reed Elsevier (RE). He created the position and has worked for over 10 years developing initiatives and policies in this area. Mark chairs the industry’s Environmental Action Group and sit son various other sustainability boards and committees including the steering body of the United Nations CEO Water Mandate. Mark also works as a consultant and is a Teaching Fellow at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Edward Milford is currently Executive Chairman of Earthscan Ltd, publishers of professional and academic books and journals on sustainability and the environment. He set up James & James (Science Publishers) Ltd in 1989; in 2003 they acquired Earthscan and then in 2006, following the sale of their magazines, all the publishing was re-branded as Earthscan. In 2009 they acquired the US-based RFF Press. Early in 2011 Earthscan was acquired by Taylor & Francis.

He is a former Chair and committee member of the Independent Publishers Guild, and now serves as their Development Director. He is also involved with two other small publishers; The Philosophy Press and Acumen.

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Duration: 00:49:11

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Filed Under Publishing | Oxford Centre for Publishing Consultancy and Research