Our relationship with the environment

Bloomsbury is mindful of its relationship with the environment and takes its environmental responsibilities seriously. We aim to reduce the environmental impact of our business wherever possible.

The Executive Committee (which consists of the Executive Directors and the managing directors of the publishing divisions and Group functions) have responsibility for environmental matters of their teams. These people report to the Chief Executive who has overall Board level responsibility for environmental matters and issues.

The impact on the environment of our business predominantly arises from the activities the Group subcontracts to its suppliers including the printing, production, distribution, recycling and disposal of printed books. Bloomsbury also has office-based editorial, product development, sales and administrative activities, which operate through an employee workforce based at offices in the UK, the US (New York), India (New Delhi) and Australia (Sydney).

We employ specialist independent external advisers, Trucost, to monitor our impact on the environment. Key areas where we are active in reducing the direct and indirect environmental impact of the business include:

Print on demand: Changes in technology and the print supplier base are increasingly making it economic to print books at the time and in the quantity needed for sale rather than bulk printing and holding as warehouse stock. This reduces the CO2 generated by pulping, recycling and transporting unsold books.

Online publishing and e-formats: Our strategy embraces digital publishing and the potential benefits this may bring to the environment.

Book manufacture: We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our products and to controlling the materials used to produce them. To that end, we work only with Forestry Stewardship Council ("FSC") and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification ("PEFC") accredited suppliers, and we use FSC materials for over 90% of the Group's output. Where FSC-accredited materials are not available we specify alternatives from known and reputable sources. We make regular trips to suppliers' factories to monitor their recycling and other locally relevant environmental initiatives. These visits also provide an opportunity to view employment practices at first hand, including employee minimum age and working conditions. Other required accreditations to act as a supplier to the Group are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Where the manufacture/handling of novelty items is involved, e.g. on our Children's and Games lists, we require The International Council of Toy Industries ("ICTI") accreditation.

Building and office facilities: Most of our employees travel to work by public transport and we support part-time and homeworking. We provide bicycle storage for staff who ride to work. For most employees we have implemented separate recycling bins for different waste materials so that a significant proportion of our office waste is recycled. Lights are generally fitted with motion detectors and our office policy is to turn off lights out of hours when not in use.

We have previously taken advice from the Carbon Trust and continue to apply their recommendations to reduce our carbon footprint. For example, we use point-of-use instead of bottled water coolers, fit energy efficient lamps, ensure heating systems are regularly maintained and programmed efficiently and turn off unnecessary electrical equipment out of hours, amongst other measures.

Greenhouse gases

Our independent external adviser, Trucost, has calculated the tables overleaf based on data we have provided. We report on our waste production and greenhouse gas emissions aligning with the 2006 Government Guidelines; Environmental Key Performance Indicators: Reporting Guidelines for UK Businesses. In respect of greenhouse gases, we report consumption of natural gas, vehicle fuel and electricity in kWh, converted to CO2e following the protocols provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs ("DEFRA"). Emissions have been categorised against the Greenhouse Gas Protocol scopes of reporting. This information is unaudited and is shown in the tables on pages 36 and 37.

Environmental targets

We aim to beat the greenhouse gas and waste production normalised tonnes per £million revenue averaged for the previous two years. By setting such a target we are focused on continuously increasing our efficiency at using natural resources.

During the year the business beat its target for the overall level of emissions of CO2 and waste production from our offices worldwide, although there was an increase in total Scope 1 Greenhouse gas emissions and waste production in comparison with the preceding year. Analysis of the reasons for this increase indicates that it arose from the following factors:

  • This year, fuel oil was included in reporting for Bloomsbury's US office for the first time. In addition, colder weather during the relevant period than in the preceding year resulted in more heating being used across Bloomsbury's UK offices;
  • Data submitted in respect of Company cars for the preceding year was incomplete (covering only a six month period); the increase in emissions in the year can be attributed to an increase in the scope of coverage with data being provided for the full year;
  • An increase in the number of employees of approximately 11% on the preceding year; and
  • Better data becoming available in respect of landfill waste generated by Bloomsbury's Australian office and a move within that office from occupying two floors to one, generating increased waste in the form of furniture and furniture packaging.

The increase in water consumption in comparison with the preceding year is lower than the proportional increase in staff referred to above, thus indicating a reduction in usage intensity.

Our direct operations are predominantly office-based and have been independently assessed as having a low impact on the environment. The Group's consumption of natural resources, although relatively minor, is significantly impacted by ambient weather conditions beyond our control and by the buildings we lease.

Previously published 2018 data has been updated to allow for an improved estimation methodology.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Scope 1

Greenhouse GasesDefinitionData Source and Calculation MethodsAbsolute tonnes CO2eNormalised tonnes CO2e per £m revenue
Scope 1 Direct Impacts
Stationary fuel useEmissions from natural gas and diesel consumption in utility boilers.Annual consumption in kWh collected from fuel bills, converted according to DEFRA guidelines for the London head office. Data scaled up by number of employees to estimate emissions for Haywards Heath, Dublin and Edinburgh serviced offices. Natural gas was not used in US, India and Australia offices. This year India office has diesel consumption in utility boilers and US office has fuel oil consumption. A new office at Salem Road, London is added this year for analysis.46330.30.2
RefrigerantsEmissions from refrigerant leakage.Refrigerant R410A used in US office in 2018/2019 financial year; however, no record kept of losses.--0.00.0
Company carsEmissions from petrol and diesel consumption.Annual consumption in litres calculated from fuel bills for the UK and India. Converted according to DEFRA guidelines. There are no company cars in Australia and the US offices.35160.20.1
Total Scope 1  81490.50.3

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Scope 2

Greenhouse GasesDefinitionData Source and Calculation MethodsAbsolute tonnes CO2eNormalised tonnes CO2e per £m revenue
Scope 2 Impacts
Electricity use - location-based emissionsGreenhouse gas emissions resulting from electricity purchased.Annual consumption of directly purchased electricity in kWh collected for the London, Alton, Haywards Heath, Oxford, US, Australia and India offices. Data scaled up by the number of employees to estimate emissions for the operations in the rest of UK offices. kWh data converted to emissions according to DEFRA, EPA and IEA guidelines.3143611.92.2
Electricity use - market-based emissionsMarket-based emission for purchased electricity.Calculated by using purchased electricity data in kWh and residual mixes for UK and US. For India and Australia, average grid emission factors are used from IEA as no residual emissions are yet determined by governments in these countries.3823782.42.3
Total Scope 2  3143611.92.2

Other Environmental Indicators

WaterDefinitionData Source and Calculation MethodsAbsolute Cubic MetresNormalised Cubic Metres per £m Revenue
Water consumptionDirectly purchased water.Annual volume of water purchased provided for London, Oxford and India offices. Disclosed UK data was scaled up using number of employees to estimate water consumption in the rest of UK, US and Australia offices.7,1966,8304442
WasteDefinitionData Source and Calculation MethodsAbsolute TonnesNormalised Tonnes per £m Revenue
LandfillGeneral office waste (which includes a mixture of paper, card, wood, plastics and metals) sent to landfill sites.Annual quantity of waste generated in London offices, Oxford and India are provided. UK disclosed data scaled up to estimate quantity for operations in the rest of UK, US and Australia offices.74.9967.210.460.42
RecycledGeneral office waste sent to recycling facilitiesAnnual quantity of waste generated in London offices, Oxford and India are provided. UK disclosed data scaled up to estimate quantity for operations in the rest of UK, US and Australia offices.57.9661.360.360.38