Fortune Senior Writer Marc Gunther is asking the question, just how green is the magazine business and how green are those magazines writing about green issues. Some of the current big named magazines, such as Oprahs “O”, published by Hearst, and Vanity Fair, published by Conde Nast’s, wouldn’t reply or give information about their paper use or how green the companies are. They wouldn’t even present a plan of action to reduce or change their current paper usage, or reduction in the harmful chemicals used to whiten the paper or on energy usage.
The New Yorker won awards for its stories about climate change and Vanity Fair publishes a “green” issue, but just try to find parent company Conde Nast’s environmental policy. You can’t.
Newsweek ran a cover on “The Greening of America,” but its owner, The Washington Post Co., won’t identify the magazine’s paper suppliers or say where its paper comes from. Maybe The Post’s Bob Woodward should investigate.
As for Hearst, which publishes Oprah’s magazine and Cosmopolitan, the privately held firm is developing an environmental policy to govern its paper buying. But the company won’t provide details.
“The magazine industry’s hypocrisy runs deep,” asserts Todd Paglia, executive director of Forest Ethics, an environmental group that protects forests by holding companies accountable for their paper buying.
Are Kleenex tissues wiping out forests?
“Conde Nast,” Paglia goes on, “is seemingly unaware of the strangeness of doing a high-profile series in The New Yorker on climate change, while exacerbating the problem by using environmentally irresponsible paper.” Conde Nast did not return emails or calls seeking comment.
The reluctance of publishers to talk about their environmental impact suggests that they aren’t paying attention – or that they want to avoid it. That makes a project undertaken by a group of paper users – including the Time Inc. division of Time Warner (Charts), the German publisher Axel Springer, Random House UK, which is a unit of Bertelsmann, and packaging firm Tetra Pak – all the more unusual.
Those companies are all big customers of Stora Enso (Charts), a Finnish-Swedish paper, packaging and forest products giant based in London. With Stora Enso, they formed a partnership to track their supply chain into the heart of Russia’s forests to try to insure that it is harvested in a sustainable way.
(via cnn money.com)
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