Sustainability initiatives are crucial for long term development of the book sector
Our environment is under threat and urgent action is needed to help prevent further decline. Supporting the sustainable agenda is high on the priority list for many countries, businesses and individuals, but knowing where to start with making your business more environmentally friendly can be quite daunting. However, even small changes can have positive knock-on effects, and ensure we are moving in the right direction long-term.
This month, we are spotlighting the sustainable agenda and various activities businesses across the book industry, and elsewhere, can help support to further promote the green agenda. We will also be sharing guidelines for helping businesses improve their environmental impact.
Re-watch our conference during the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020
On Tuesday, 13 October 2020, during the Frankfurt Book Fair, we convened a panel of experts from across the book sector to explore options on how to make the book chain more environmentally friendly. Booksellers, publishers, and wholesalers discussed opportunities and main challenges in making the book chain more environmentally friendly, with the aim to boost knowledge exchange.
Our panel highlighted sustainability initiatives and approaches that have already been launched, and explored how these can be scaled up across the sector. We aimed to present perspectives from across the book chain on one hand, and to showcase how different European countries are driving forward the sustainability agenda – hoping that by sharing those examples and learnings, we can support the implementation of these initiatives across the board.
Watch the panel on our YouTube channel here.
Get to know the speakers
Managing Director at the Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland
Meryl Halls has been the Managing Director of the Booksellers Association since April 2018. Her career at the Booksellers Association began with event and conference management. She later became Head of Membership Services, responsible for establishing programmes and campaigns, including the Independent Booksellers Forum, Independent Bookshop Week, the Books Are My Bag campaign, the Children’s and Christian Bookselling Groups, Irish and Scottish initiatives and other BA events. She is Vice Chair of the Independent Retailers Confederation, Policy Board Member of the British Retail Consortium, Executive Committee member of the European & International Booksellers Federation and a Trustee of World Book Day.
Chief Executive Officer at Bokhandelsgruppen (Sweden)
Maria Edsman has been the CEO of Bokhandelsgruppen, which consists of the largest book retailer in Sweden, Akademibokhandeln, and the online bookstore Bokus, since April 2018. Previously she was the Sales Director for Akademibokhandeln, and the CEO of two fashion retail chains, Polarn O. Pyret for childrens’ clothes and Brothers for men’s fashion. Her earlier background includes senior positions in the fields of marketing, assortment and sales in consumer goods companies, as well as management consultancy for McKinsey & Co.
Head of Operations at Penguin Random House (UK)
Neil Springall has extensive experience in delivering operational and site improvements to support environmentally friendly initiatives. He drove a plan to reduce plastic use at Penguin Random House. In the publishing sector, plastic is predominantly used for shrink wrapping and carton filling for protecting books. Since the launch of the project, PRH already reduced their single use plastic wrapping by 47%, and are aiming to increase this to 60% soon.
Commercial Director of Media Distribution at the Centraal Boekhuis (Netherlands)
Mathijs Suidman is responsible for strategy, product management and sales of Centraal Boekhuis’ (CB) media distribution business (both digital and printed media). CB is the leading service provider in book distribution in the Netherlands and Belgium. For publishers, CB is their entry into the (online) retail markets, while for retailers (both offline and online), CB is the provider of the broadest assortment of Dutch-language books, general, as well as educational or scientific books, and foreign-language books.
President of the Committee for Sustainable Development at SLF (France)
Frédérique Massot is the owner of the La Rose des vents bookshop, based in Dreux in France. In July 2010, the bookshop was awarded the LIR (Independent Reference Bookstore) label by the French Ministry of Culture. The bookshop frequently organizes events and meetings with the authors, as well as readings, activities for children and other exhibitions. Through her role as a Board Member at the Syndicat de la Librairie Française – SLF (the French Independent Booksellers Association), Frédérique is chairing the association’s committee for sustainable development and through that she is very engaged with the activities to support green bookselling.