Pan Macmillan Paper Statement

Pan Macmillan operates in the United Kingdom as a division of Macmillan Publishers International Limited (MPIL). MPIL also operates warehousing and distribution services under Macmillan Distribution (MDL), which operates under an Outsourcing Agreement as an extension of Pan Macmillan’s FSC Certification.

We understand and value our role as a global citizen. To us, that means conducting our business in a responsible and sustainable manner. Creating a sustainable future is necessary for the benefit of both our business and, more importantly, our world.  Because of this, we are committed to addressing sustainability in an imaginative, determined, and significant way.

As book publishers we delight in satisfying readers who quest for knowledge, take joy from discovery, and are captivated by the imagination and creativity of our authors. We promote a passion for reading — across generations and cultures — that engages, enlightens, and empowers tens of millions of people each year. We have the honor to make among the most wonderful of introductions: that of an author to a reader.

Traditionally book publishing has involved the diffusion of an author’s work through the written word. Ink placed on paper that is bound as a book which has been carefully edited, designed, and produced. We also produce and license many of our volumes in e-book, audiobook and other formats. All of our work is done with sustainability in mind.

Macmillan’s commitment to environmental sustainability focuses on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in order to reduce our impacts on global anthropogenic climate change.  We also value healthy forests and renewable forestry and biodiversity, clean water and air, conservation and stewardship of natural resources and protection of human rights and dignity. Moreover, we support a just timber supply to mitigate deforestation and eliminate illegal and unsustainable practices.

Macmillan focuses on these following attributes when purchasing paper in order to minimize our carbon footprint:

  1. Sourcing paper from manufacturers with the lowest carbon profiles and least impactful transportation practices from paper mill to book printer and binder.
    1. Each year, Macmillan asks our supplier mills for which we directly source paper to give us their Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon emissions, as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Macmillan has switched our suppliers to lower carbon profile vendors in order to support sustainable manufacturing that is consistent with our commitment.
  2. A preference for the ground wood/mechanical pulp paper that has a higher fibre yield and when produced from energy sources with a lower carbon profile, has lower carbon emissions compared to lower fibre yield of kraft (chemically pulped paper).
    1. Typically for Pan Macmillan, over 95% of our direct purchased paper (by weight) is from groundwood paper.[5]
  3. Paper that has earned at least one credible independent third-party forest certification system (e.g. FSC, PEFC). 

Responsible Paper Sourcing:

  • More than 25% of the paper we purchase direct is made from the residual wood left over from sawmill operations after timber has been manufactured.  
  • We source paper from fibre and residuals that are from sustainably managed forests, as determined by reasonable third-party certifications, such as FSC, SFI, and/or PEFC. Our papers sourced from Asia all meet an industry standard of PREPS Grade 3 or higher, meaning they are low risk, deriving from known, legal and responsibly managed sources.
  • We also do not knowingly source virgin fibres from Indonesia due to the high risks of this area environmentally, politically, and socially.
  • We do not use paper derived from deforestation in connection with the conversion of natural forests to non-forested land uses except in circumstances where it has earned FSC and/or PEFC certification.   
    • We do not support the use of paper from companies with demonstrated violations of human rights,[1] including the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent.[2]
  • We do not support the use of paper from companies with demonstrated violation of labor regulations, international treaties or agreements relating to forest and paper manufacturing workers.
  • We prohibit the use of paper produced with virgin fibre processed with elemental chlorine.
  • We prohibit the use of paper derived from the genetically modified organisms (GMOs)[3] pending further investigation by competent parties and FSC and/or PEFC certification schemes.
  • We support the use of legally forested, logged, and traded forest products, which are in compliance with applicable state, provincial, national, and/or federal laws. We, of course, as mandated by law, abide by the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR),[4] which prohibits the import and export of products containing and/or use of certain endangered flora or illegally logged trees.  

We will further reduce our paper consumption and minimize our carbon footprint through maximizing the efficiency in paper use for book publications and office use by:

  • Designing products and packaging to reduce paper use and facilitate end-of-life recycling.
  • Reducing basis weight of paper, when appropriate, to extend fibre yield.
  • Continued emphasis on setting efficient print quantities to minimize and reduce over-printing along with increasing the amount of digital and Print-on-Demand options.
  • Design books so as to maximize paper efficiency while respecting reasonable aesthetic standards and author and customer expectations.
  • Partnering with our suppliers to realize greater efficiencies both up and down the supply chain via logistics and transportation choices.
  • Planning our paper needs with as much lead time as possible in order to maximize the environmental profile of cargo ships or rail freight rather than less efficient truck transportation.
  • Maximize paper recovery and recycling of returned books and packaging.
Paper in our Books:Amount of Paper in Books in 2018GoalStatus of Goal
FSC100% of directly purchased and printer supplied paper in the UK (FSC Mix 70%)Add FSC label to applicable UK manufactured products by 2020.To implement fully by 2020.

20% directly purchased and printer supplied paper in Europe.100% directly purchased and printer supplied paper (by weight) in Europe by end 2020.In progress

Over 1 million books used directly purchased and printer supplier FSC paper from Asia.We will endeavour to source 75% of our directly purchased paper from Asia as FSC by the end of 2022, where that paper is available without being subject to inequitable pricing or serious impact on logistical requirements.In progress
PEFC100% of directly purchased paper is certified PEFC by the manufacturer.

We will continue

to use PEFC alongside FSC as a third-party accreditation of sustainable sourcing.

In progress


(Book Chain Project)[6]

100% of paper has earned a “3” or “5” rating, indicating fibre sourced from low-risk countriesWe endeavor to source 100% of our purchased paper from Asian printers by 2022 with a “5” rating where that paper is available without being subject to inequitable pricing or serious impact on logistical requirements.In progress
FSC Office Paper<10% of our office paper is FSC certified.100% of our office paper will be FSC by end 2019.In progress

Looking Ahead

Macmillan’s sustainability efforts now cover every aspect of our working day, processes, and many of the steps required to publish, print, and sell books. We engage our employees, vendors, authors, retailers, and readers. We are committed to evolving our targets and the implementation plans related to them and to monitoring and reporting on our progress as well as on the lessons we learn.

[1] United Nations, Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. 2011.; FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure:

[2] United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. March 2008.

[3] Pending further investigations by credible parties and stakeholders such as the FSC, SFI, and the United States Department of Agriculture.  

[4] EUTR

[5] Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). “Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Auditing in the Pulp and Paper Industry.”

[6] Book Chain Project’s PREPS