Friday 10 May 2024

Sustainability – The Challenges for the year ahead, and where to look for help

By Jonathan HuddartHead of Sales, CPI (UK) – Silver Sponsor of the University Press Redux Conference 2024.

Over the past two years Sustainability and the Environmental impact of the printed book or journal has been a topic of discussion that every publisher wants to engage with; but also, where businesses seem the least well informed and are searching for good and trusted sources of information. 

The subject area is vast, whether it is preparing your business for your Scope 1, 2 and 3 reporting, researching the upcoming legislation on Deforestation (EUDR) or responsibilities within the supply chain to reduce waste, carbon footprint and make active supplier decisions.

At CPI we have chosen to engage with the following accreditation bodies, The Bookchain Project, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Ecovardis, all of these organisations audit the supply chain on behalf of our customers and help to provide a standardised platform for our reporting. 

In addition, CPI has signed up to ClimateCalc, a measuring tool which will enable the whole group to provide accurate scope 1, 2 & 3 reporting for both our business needs and those of our customers. 

Reporting of this data remains the biggest challenge as we see it. CPI has over 500 active customers, each of which currently may have a different reporting requirement and request different information from us, depending on where they are on their Environment & Sustainability journey. During the last two years we have created dedicated roles in the business to support this requirement, which adds cost to the supply chain and new demands on the business. As we continue this critical journey, we will all need to work closely with each other to help mitigate and address these growing costs.

Moving into 2025, there are several legislative changes which impact print and production. Most noticeably the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). EUDR is legislation that has been designed to minimise consumption of products coming from supply chains associated with deforestation or forest degradation. EUDR entered into force on 29 June 2023. From 30 December 2024 EUDR is to be applied for all commodities entering into or leaving the EU market. It covers a number of product, Cocoa, Coffee, Palm Oil and Wood (where the paper comes in) to name a few. CPI has produced a guide for this to help educate our sector.

The EPR legislation is UK law, reporting has started for the annual year 2023. From June 2025, the costs for management of packaging waste will increase significantly as household collection costs are to be covered by this new legislation. EPR is a replacement for the existing Waste packaging scheme although they run alongside each other for 18 months.  Fines will apply to non-confirming companies, there have been criminal convictions for non-compliance in the last year of the Waste Packaging scheme as companies and regulatory bodies start to focus on compliance. 

For the last few years, I think that businesses have been encouraged to engage in the Sustainability discussion, as we move into 2025 everyone is going to need to ensure that their vendors are complying with their obligations and are truly focused on their legal and ethical responsibilities. This is no doubt a challenge for printer, publishers and distributors across the supply chain, but something that we need to work together to ensure we represent our sector in the best possible way and giving all our customers the information and comfort that they need that we are all working responsibly to the same goals. 

About CPI

CPI stands at the forefront of the UK's book printing industry, offering unparalleled expertise and a global print network to publishers and self-publishers alike. With over a decade of commitment to excellence, CPI provides tailored service models to meet diverse business needs, from Zero Inventory solutions to Global Print Solutions. Leveraging cutting-edge inkjet digital printing technology and integrated supply chain solutions, CPI UK produces a staggering 160 million books annually across seven specialised sites. 

About the author

Jonathan Huddart, Head of Sales, CPI, UK.

Jonathan has previously held several sales and customer roles across the business. As Head of Sales for CPI, he works closely with customers to ensure that they are making the best use of all the supply chain solutions that are available. 

More information:

X: @CPIGroup_
Linkedin: @CPI Books UK
TikTok: @cpibooksuk

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