Sustainability

Sustainability partnerships

Woodland Trust

In 2022/2023, we continued our support for organisations working to preserve our natural environment by sponsoring two one-acre groves at a Woodland Trust site in Leicestershire, the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood. Each grove contains approximately 750 British native trees which, over their lifetime, have the potential to sequester over 300 tonnes of carbon.

Surfers Against Sewage

We also provided financial support to grass roots charity, Surfers Against Sewage (“SAS”). SAS is a grassroots charity that campaigns to protect the ocean. In carrying out its activities, SAS seeks to make environmental conservation an exciting activity for young people, families and communities to become involved with.

Our donation supports the #MillionMileClean #MMC initiative, an annual campaign, which brings volunteers together to tackle plastic pollution across the UK.

Our donation also supports the charity’s education programmes, which reach over 1.2 million pupils in 3,195 schools across the UK

Encouraging a sustainability culture

Travel

As part of our efforts to measure and reduce our emissions, during 2022/2023 we updated our travel policy for colleagues and authors with the objective of being able to better manage and track the emissions associated with business travel. This will be launched in 2023/2024, and will include the use of a travel booking portal, which will provide colleagues with information about the carbon emissions of their prospective trips when they search for travel options, enabling them to make responsible choices when booking work-related trips and supporting Bloomsbury’s climate-related ambitions.

Climate literacy

In 2022/2023, we launched a quarterly sustainability webinar series, Live Greener, which is aimed at empowering colleagues to make environmentally friendly decisions both in and outside of the workplace. During 2022/2023, we also delivered impact training to our design, editorial and production teams to raise awareness of the climate-related impact of decisions relating to book design and production, and equip colleagues with the relevant information to enable them to make more sustainable choices about the use of specific materials and finishes where practicable.

Flexible office working

Bloomsbury’s hybrid work policy means Bloomsbury can reduce its transportation-related emissions from staff commuting as well as energy consumption in our office buildings.

Sustainable production

Book manufacture

We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our print products. To that end, we work 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. Sustainability policies and planning, and a willingness to work together to achieve targets, are key factors in our decision to engage a supplier.

During the year, we ran several pilots to explore the impact of making specific changes in book design and production, and we will continue to innovate and implement changes.

Print-on-demand

Changes in print technology are making it increasingly economical to manufacture books at the time of, and in the quantity needed for, sale – in some cases in the territory of sale. This reduces the CO2 generated by pulping, recycling and transporting unsold books.

Digital publishing and e-formats

Our editorial strategy and XML-based production workflow embrace digital publishing and the potential benefits this may bring to the environment. Our focus on digital formats and products allows millions of students to access essential resources without using paper and enables consumers to purchase Bloomsbury titles in digital formats should they wish to avoid the consumption of paper products.

Sustainability initiatives

In 2022/2023, we introduced a pilot to move titles published under our popular science imprint, Bloomsbury Sigma, onto a more sustainable footing. The pilot focused on Sigma’s non-fiction mono portfolio in both hardback and paperback editions, and looked at four areas: the elimination of drop foil (plastic); the elimination of spot UV (petrochemical-derived); the elimination of lamination (plastic) and the removal of dust jackets where possible. In addition, the Sigma imprint has ensured a consistent reduction of book mass, including reducing paper weight and book wastage. All books on the Sigma list are produced on a completely circular model, with all books being 100% recyclable.

Next steps

During 2023/2024, we will be taking the following steps to continue to advance our sustainability objectives:

  • Continue to work with our key suppliers to gather accurate data and achieve our emissions reduction targets.
  • Develop our transition plan. See pages 98 to 99 for further information about our approach to developing a transition plan.
  • Launch Bloomsbury’s new Travel Policy and travel booking portal that will enable us to track. emissions related to business travel
  • Continue to engage and educate colleagues through our Live Greener Webinars.
  • Continue to work with our partners and peers within the industry to drive change throughout the publishing supply chain.

2022/2023 Environmental performance

We report on our greenhouse gas emissions as required by the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013. We also report on our greenhouse gas emissions, waste production and water consumption in alignment with the 2006 Government Guidelines, Environmental Key Performance Indicators and Reporting Guidelines for UK Businesses. In respect of greenhouse gases, we report in respect of stationary fuel use (onsite consumption of natural gas), vehicle fuel use, refrigerant use and electricity use in kWh, converted to tonnes of 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. The analysis of the Group’s emissions, together with waste production and water consumption, is performed by an independent external advisor, Corporate Citizenship, based on data we have provided, including utility bills, vehicle fuel data, and expenditure on business travel.

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