Why Green Penguin?

Only 2% of the world's paper is turned into books, and while we're proud of all our books here at Penguin, we are mindful that trees have to become paper, some of which will eventually become books.

So we'd like to tell you what we at Penguin are doing to reduce our effects on the environment. As a well-known frog once said, it's not easy being green. But at Penguin we are doing our very best.

The Big Issue: Climate Change

Is the planet really warming up?

Yes. The average surface air temperature on planet Earth has risen by almost one Centigrade in the last century and the evidence suggests that human activities are the dominant cause. Each year, the world's power stations, vehicles, homes and workplaces add around 26 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This greenhouse gas, along with other such as methane, absorbs heat that would otherwise pass into space, hence warming the planet.

So, it will get a little hotter. So what?

Unfortunately, just a minor increase in global temperatures is likely to lead to catastrophic effects - not necessarily for all of us immediately - but everyone around the world will be in some way affected in the end.

Rising sea level, floods, droughts, heatwaves, powerful hurricanes... the symptoms of climate change threaten to displace millions of people from their homes, commit thousands of species to extinction and damage agriculture in the poorest countries. According to the World Health Organisation, around 150,000 people already die each year from causes linked to climate change.

I've heard that trees reduce climate change. Do they?

The link between trees and climate change is actually quite complicated, but one fact is unavoidable: cutting down existing forests without replanting them massively aggravates the problem. Around a quarter of global carbon emissions are accounted for by deforestation.

The information and figures come from The Rough Guide to Climate Change.

Responsible Paper Sourcing

At Penguin Random House UK 84% of our paper is currently sourced from responsibly managed forests which are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.

FSC helps take care of forests and the people and wildlife who call them home. A hallmark of excellence in sustainable paper sourcing, FSC gives us confidence that our paper comes from responsibly managed sources. 

We are an active member of the WWF Forest Trade Network, and we have pledged to source 100% of our paper from FSC certified forests by 2020. We’re working hard with both WWF and partners across our supply chain to achieve this goal.

All our paper is traced and graded by the Publishers’ Database for Responsible Environmental Paper Sourcing (PREPS) which risk assesses the original forest sources to ensure they are responsibly managed. All our paper is PREPS Grade 3 and above, the highest standard available.

We source our paper together with DK, another Penguin Random House company operating in the UK. Combined, 72% of Penguin Random House UK and DK's paper is sourced from forests which are FSC certified.

A Penguin Wood

Penguin planted the first of more than 40,000 trees at the launch of the Penguin Wood at Botany Bay, near Linton in south Derbyshire on Friday 19 January 2007.

This 96-acre site is being developed in partnership with the Woodland Trust, the UK's biggest charity dedicated solely to saving woods. The new woodland is the result of a new approach to woodland creation with a mixture of seeds and saplings planted at the site resulting in over 40,000 trees over the next five years. There will also be pockets of wildflower meadow and grassland left to regenerate at nature's pace, making the wood rich in wildlife.

The site will be used to host further planting days for local school children and the community.

The future: How green can we get?

There is much more to do - for all of us.

Penguin, as the publishers of recent books like James Lovelock's The Revenge of Gaia, George Monbiot's Heat and Tim Flannery's The Weather Makers, appreciates more than most that we are only just starting to make a difference in terms of providing a sustainable future for ourselves and our business.

We will continue to seek new ways to reduce our carbon footprint while operating a sustainable and ethical business

Further information and green FAQ

Learn more about what publishers are doing to promote awareness and help the environment at the Publishers Association / Booksellers Environmental Action website.

Read more about the Penguin Wood here.

The following websites will also tell you more about climate change and what you can do to help.

Friends of the Earth
Climate Care