Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to Introduce Comprehensive Paper Procurement

By CIOReview | Monday, June 9, 2014
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FREMONT, CA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) introduced a new policy on paper sourcing and usage, outlining a commitment to significantly reduce environmental impact by 2018 and beyond. In the document, HMH details an action plan to reduce printed materials by increasing digital content, partner with FSC-certified paper suppliers to ensure responsible sourcing, and increase the use of recycled fibers in all of its printed content. 

With the launch of its paper policy, HMH has formalized its goals to reduce usage overall, dispose of paper products responsibly through book donation programs and certified recycling, select progressive, ethical sourcing partners and monitor its progress around sustainability initiatives. The Company will continue to leverage digital resources to share its content, from virtual product sampling to digital curriculum to eBooks, and will convene a Green Paper Task Force to track and publicly report progress against stated goals.

“As an education content provider to students worldwide, HMH is deeply invested in ensuring the planet is a healthy home for learners of all ages to grow and thrive.  As a business, we recognize that minimizing our environmental impact increases our efficiency, effectiveness and agility,” says Mary Cullinane, Chief Content Officer and EVP, Corporate Affairs, HMH.  “We are supporting this commitment through a variety of projects, including our relationship with the US Green Building Council to ensure our schools are healthy, safe, productive places to learn.  We look forward to fulfilling the goals put forward today in our policy.”

The launch of HMH’s policy follows the release of a new report on sustainability practices in the publishing industry from the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), an advocacy group dedicated to environmental protection and public awareness. The report, entitled A New Chapter for the Publishing Industry: Putting Promises into Practice, spotlights HMH’s policy and future goals as industry-leading, and examines the sector’s broader shift away from the use of paper sourced from controversial fiber.

“When fully implemented, this new policy from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt should have a strong, positive impact for Indonesia's forests,” said Rainforest Action Network forest campaigner Christy Tennery-Spalding. “Its comprehensive approach to eliminating controversial suppliers is what we at Rainforest Action Network consider to be a best practice for publishers.”