Macmillan has also become committed to using well-vetted carbon offsets—not to avoid being better environmental practitioners ourselves, but to jumpstart our sustainability project and add to its overall effectiveness. To do this, we only partner with organizations that maintain the highest standards of third party verification and auditing. For example:
As a part of this effort, we took some major steps toward achieving greater sustainability outside our main offices:
- We sponsor a program in Nigeria that provides families with highly efficient cook stoves. The stoves
use only 15% of the wood as traditional stoves, saving time and trees as well as improving air quality.
- Partnering with CarbonFund.org, we are sponsoring eight major projects, including methane
recapture programs (which create biogas from the breakdown of organic matter in landfills) and
regional and international reforestation biodiversity efforts.
- We have started a financial incentive program to support employees in their own carbon-reductionplans.
In 2011, Macmillan offset over 30,000 metric tons of its CO2 emissions: essentially 25% of our total emissions and the equivalent of the effects of printing and binding all of the books we published that year. In the months and years to come, the company will continue to investigate and pursue additional bona fide carbon offsets to expand our positive environmental impact, and provide financial incentives for creative deployment of renewable energy.
At that meeting announcing Macmillan's Sustainability initiative, John Sargent quoted Albert Einstein, saying, "'Problems can't be solved with the same thinking we used to create them.' Going forward, Macmillan will continue to look for new and better ways of using natural resources and reducing environmental damage. We are still at the very beginning of following through on this commitment. "All companies were going to have to address these issues sooner than later if they hoped to stay in business," Sargent concluded. "Let us be one of the companies that leads instead of follows."