Making Print Sustainable

With changes to the climate and environment occurring, print and the environment are finding more and more ways to coexist, with sustainable options continuously evolving. At Yellow, we’re pretty diligent about the materials that go into our books and the efforts we make when it comes to the environment and sustainability. Curious as to what we’re up to and how we’re working to incorporate sustainability into our books? Take a look below!

But first, a quick overview.

Many printers and print mediums are moving to more environmentally friendly and sustainable paper options, especially as they become more readily available. This is thanks to the PEFC Programme for the Endorsement of Forestry Certification) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification programmes which work to protect biodiversity and forests. PEFC and FSC-certified paper come from sustainably-managed forests, ensuring materials harvested don’t outweigh the materials planted. These forests follow a model of planting, cropping, and replanting trees, preventing private forests from being sold and used for non-forest purposes like agriculture or infrastructure development.

 “Paper is made from renewable resources, recyclable and produced by an environmentally conscious industry whose future depends on planting more trees than it consumes and which is progressively improving standards in the whole supply chain.”

Real Media Collective 2020/2021 Insights Report 

Thanks to these practices, print has entered a circular economy, with paper production encouraging the growth of more forests. And the paper from these forests goes on to live many different lives in the shape of more paper or egg cartons!

What is Yellow doing?

We’re always on the lookout for new ways to improve our books! Currently, we work on three levels, using sustainable materials, working with like-minded organisations, and finding ways to support our communities - the people affected by environmental changes. By doing this, we can continue to provide equitable access to information through our books and contribute to our communities.

While on the sustainability front, we’re pretty proud to say that our book is 100% recyclable, with the paper used coming from sustainable forestry sources that promote the replanting of trees. Thanks to recent format changes, we've been able to further reduce our use of paper too, with our Auckland Book seeing a 14% reduction in paper use. 

Where does the Yellow Book come from?

Yellow is all about Kiwi businesses, so it only makes sense for our books to be made by a Kiwi business. Support local! We work with Webstar, Aotearoa’s largest printer, who are just as conscious of their impact on the environment and just as committed to reducing their footprint as we are.

Alongside their own internal environmental policies and initiatives to reduce waste and protect the environment, Webstar has achieved the Toitu Enviromark Diamond certification for their production sites. For some context, Toitu is recognised globally and helps Kiwi businesses become more sustainable, providing science-based tools, actions and evidence needed to be more efficient and reduce their carbon footprint. As a result of these programmes and certifications, Webstar’s internal initiatives ensure that paper is sustainably sourced and that its production line is as efficient as can be.

By working with Webstar, we know our values and efforts are upheld across the board and don’t just stop at the door. 

What goes into our books?

With Webstar heading up production, we know all paper going into our books is sourced sustainably. The paper we select for our books is produced from sustainably sourced forestry products, which ensures trees continue to be planted instead of the land being entirely repurposed for more environmentally damaging purposes. Webstars own internal paper policy goes above and beyond, ensuring that every tree harvested is replaced by at least three more.

What does this mean? A 100% recyclable book.

So when the year is up, your book can go back into the print cycle and take on a new life as an egg carton, another book, or newsprint! And, on the off chance, it does make it into a landfill, it’ll only take six weeks to break down too!

Beyond the environment

While we’re making moves in the environmental space, we also want to support our communities. We do this by sourcing the Yellow Book delivery to local community groups, like sports teams and schools, with over 290 groups participating in deliveries across the country. These groups get a guaranteed lump sum that directly benefits them, going towards upkeep and maintenance of buildings, fixing pool filters and sports team uniforms.

While we’re proud of the efforts we’ve made, we know there’s always more to be done. As the print landscape continues to evolve, we’re keeping an eye out for new ways and opportunities to optimise book operations, production and distribution.