Environmental Policy

Bloomsbury is a leading independent publishing house.  We are known worldwide as a home for award-winning authors and illustrators as well as our quality, diverse and creative publishing.  We aim to bring that innovation to our sustainability efforts.  We care about the planet and we know that the process of creating books is reliant on our natural resources. We are putting changes in place to become better at publishing sustainably. 

We have set ourselves goals to reduce the environmental impact of our operations, to source our paper responsibly and to reduce our carbon emissions and have committed to setting Science Based Targets through the SBTi. We have mapped our footprint, across Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, to serve as a baseline for all future improvements.  Our intention is to be carbon neutral.  We are working on an appropriate timetable which we will announce in due course. 

We believe in being open and honest in the way we do business throughout our supply chain and operating in a fair and sustainable way.  The choices we make as a business impact the planet and we are dedicated to reducing the footprint we leave in bringing books to today’s readers.  We want to future-proof the Earth so tomorrow’s readers can enjoy it too.


We believe in protecting the world’s forests and we are committed to ensuring the paper we use is responsibly sourced. A keystone of our global print purchasing strategy is the requirement for Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) accreditation to act as a print supplier to Bloomsbury, and we direct the printers buying paper on our behalf to use FSC-accredited materials in the manufacture of our products. Where FSC-accredited materials are not available we specify alternatives from known and reputable sources. As a result, over 90% of our output is made from FSC-certified materials.


We work with independent advisors, Trucost, to monitor our impact on the environment. We map our carbon footprint across our operations and value chain (scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions). We aim to increase the accuracy with which we measure and report on our carbon emissions year on year by working closely with our suppliers and asking them to commit to greener ways of working. We have set reduction targets for our operational footprint (Scope 1 and 2) in line with Paris Agreement. We have committed to working with our suppliers and have set further targets to make emissions reductions across our supply chain. These targets, across Scope 1, 2 and 3, have been submitted to the SBTi for validation. We know we need to work together across all areas of the business to achieve our goals. We have set up a cross-functional Sustainability Steering Committee chaired by the Head of Sustainability with representatives from all relevant departments, including Production, Operations and Finance. This group works closely with the Executive Committee of Bloomsbury. The group’s aim is to drive our sustainable efforts across three areas of the business:


  • We have modified our print purchasing strategy to reduce our net impact on the environment as follows, and we continue to investigate new ways of managing our supply chain responsibly.
    • Increased use of print on demand models to cut down on the wastage of materials and CO2 generated in the manufacture, transportation, storage, and pulping of unwanted units.
    • Shift towards local printing (at the point of demand) to reduce the carbon emissions resulting from transportation, in particular air freigh.;
    • o Extended schedules for global publications to allow for the use of sea over air freight. We feel this is particularly relevant in light of the IMO 2020 Global Sulphur Limit.*
  • 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 to manufacture over 90% of our products.  
  • We work only with print suppliers who can demonstrate a commitment to the preserving the environment.
  • We embrace digital publishing and all the potential benefits this may bring to the environment. 
  • We have agreed to reduce business travel significantly based on lessons learned through revised patterns of working during the Covid-19 lockdown.

In our offices:

  • In our UK offices we have started to switch to renewable energy suppliers.  13 Bedford Square has used renewable energy since we moved in during Sept 2019 and the group’s two largest consuming electricity accounts at 50/51 Bedford Square have been using 100% renewable electricity since February 2020.  We will switch to renewable energy supply for all our UK sites as contracts allow.
  • We have signed up to the Lloyds Bank Green Building Tool.  This is digital insight tool that enables us to assess the opportunity for making energy-efficient improvements across our buildings.  We are currently using this across all UK sites. 
  • Lights are generally fitted with motion detectors and our office policy is to turn off lights and non-essential electrical equipment out of hours when not in use. We only use energy-efficient light bulbs and we are rolling out a programme to upgrade these to LED lamps where possible.
  • For most employees we have implemented separate recycling bins for different waste materials so that a significant proportion of our office waste is recycled. Paper and cardboard collection points are provided in every room and next to every photocopier. All general waste is disposed of in clear sacks for sorting at the relevant recycling centre where their target is to recycle 98% of all general waste that is sent to them.
  • We use 95% recyclable cardboard packaging for our shipments from our offices and are working hard to make this 100% in the coming year. 
  • We use cardboard packaging for 95% shipments going out from our Bedford Square office.  All cardboard packaging is 100% recyclable. 
  • Following on from the successful shift to home-working during the pandemic, and in response to employee feedback, we have developed a Flexible Working Policy which will be implemented when our offices re-open. This is likely to lead to a reduction from emissions arising from staff commuting.


  • We are active members of the Book Chain Project, who aim to drive a more sustainable supply chain across the industry.
  • We are constantly working with our suppliers and distributors to find innovative ways to reduce packaging and streamline distribution to lower emissions.


  • In the UK we provide secure bike lock areas and participate in the ride to work scheme to encourage cycling.
  • Meeting rooms are equipped with facilities to show documents on a large screen to reduce paper consumption.
  • Signs encourage lights to be turned off as staff leave a meeting room.
  • We supply point of use drinking water and do not supply plastic or paper cups.
  • We have an ‘opt in’ policy on all food provided by the company for events, i.e. you have to opt in if you want fish or meat.

Tree planting and biodiversity

Alongside wider goals to measure and reduce our carbon emissions, Bloomsbury has partnered with the Woodland Trust and during the year made a donation to sponsor a 1 acre grove at Langley Vale Wood in Epsom, Surrey, which contains around 750 newly planted trees.  The donation encompasses ongoing care and management of the trees to ensure they grow into maturity enabling them to provide shelter and food for wildlife. 

Bloomsbury has also sponsored the preservation of over 8900 trees in 2021 through a donation to Reforest’Action.  All 725 members of staff across Bloomsbury’s global offices have been given a code to plant 10 trees via the Reforest’Action projects Bloomsbury is sponsoring in Guinea, Peru and Indonesia.


Bloomsbury is committed to achieving a carbon neutral world through the leveraged power it has to influence to the debate through the books it publishes. Our editorial policies ensure that we publish actively in this area. Titles published include: Tim Smedley’s Clearing The Air Mary Robinson’s Climate Justice, Jen Gale’s The Sustainable (ish) Living Guide, Al Gore’s ground breaking An Inconvenient Truth.

* http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/Pages/Sulphur-2020.aspx



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Annual General Meeting

02 Jun 2021

Preliminary announcement for the year ended 28 February 2021

29 Jan 2021

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27 Oct 2020

Interim Results