At Alma we take our responsibility towards the environment very seriously – whilst, for many years of operation, we have been using FSC-certified papers, we have never broadcast this information.
Since 2018 has brought with it a heightened awareness of the devastating long-term impact of plastics and deforestation on the planet, and in the interest of transparency, you can find more information on our sustainability practices and policies below.
Since we strongly believe in the aesthetic of books – and consider of equal importance production values and editorial standards – no two books in our list are the same, and we use many different papers in order to cater to the needs of each book.
However, the papers we use – across our entire list – are sourced via our printers from FSC-certified suppliers.
In traditional publishing, books are printed in huge volumes. This has the benefit of brining down unit costs, but if – as can sometimes happen – books don’t sell out, they are then destroyed (“pulped”).
Whilst pulping does allow the wasted books to be recycled, the energy and carbon involved in doing so is not negligible.
Since Alma is a small, independent company, free from looming targets and bottom lines, we are able to adapt our printing strategy to fit each project, minimising the need for pulping – in fact, we’ve honed our stock management so much over the last year that 2018 has been completely waste-free!
This just in: plastic is bad for the environment.
Whilst we’ve been quietly working in a sustainable way in terms of papers and stock management for many years, the industry has only recently started paying attention to the “hidden” environmental costs – such as packaging.
This year, we’ve revised our postage and packaging policies, and are replacing the standard Jiffy bags we use to send out books with cardboard “book wraps”, produced using materials from sustainable sources, entirely biodegradable and recyclable.
Another “hidden” environmental impact in the industry is, of course, moving stock around.
The most obvious way in which we can control this is sending out books to customers. This year we have linked up with UPS for international shipments, which not only reduces the time customers have to wait for orders significantly, but also offers carbon offsetting – keep your eyes peeled for more information soon!
Of course, this also applies to printing books, which is one of the main reaasons why almost every Alma book is printed in the UK, keeping our carbon footprint to a minimum.