Sustainability Resources including the PPA Carbon Calculator
Ellie Austin scored a job at Immediate Media as a Features Writer for Radio Times after graduating from the Magazine Journalism MA course at City University. Here she talks about working in the fast-paced world of a major weekly magazine and the power of a good coffee.
PPA Statement on Sustainability
PPA members are deeply committed to promoting sustainable practices and reducing their ecological footprint. As an industry, magazine publishers realise the urgency in taking responsibility to help protect the environment, collaborating and innovating to achieve results.
Our members and associate members work together to cover all aspects of the magazine lifecycle. Significant progress has been achieved by promoting sustainable materials across the supply chain, manufacturing, printing, packaging and distribution process. At the same time, considerable effort has gone into ensuring magazines are recycled and disposed of properly at end of life, or if unsold.
Industry Agreement on Sustainability
PPA endorses corporate environmental responsibility as an essential part of business excellence, reflected in the initiatives we undertake on behalf of our members. The PPA has signed a voluntary Responsibility Deal with the Government that commits the industry to undertake a raft of initiatives over a five-year period, with the aim of mitigating the environmental impact of UK magazine media.
The PPA Sustainable Action Group actively facilitates the interactions of industry actors, to help achieve targets outlined in the Responsibility Deal. It offers an excellent platform for discussing key environmental concerns and share information on how to address these.
Our position on single use plastics
Through the Sustainability Action Group (SAG), the PPA and its membership have been monitoring the use of plastic wrapping within our magazine supply chains for several years. The group has dedicated resources to reducing usage through material light-weighting, investigating alternative materials and promoting recycling of plastic wrap wherever possible. Subsequent best practice has been communicated and shared across the industry through the availability of best practice guidelines for magazine plastic wrapping.
As the current plastics crisis continues to grip audiences both locally and globally, PPA members are unrelenting in their attempts to reduce dependency on plastic wrapping. Our exploration of alternative materials is ongoing, and publishers continue to experiment with bio-based and compostable wrapping, paper alternatives and sending titles unwrapped.
Nevertheless, for the time being plastic remains an essential material for magazine publishers. As existing technology stands, it is currently the most viable method of ensuring subscribers and consumers receive their magazine in pristine condition, inserts and gifts included within. Many publishers have adopted recyclable plastic wrapping which can be recycled by consumers along with carrier bags at larger supermarkets, if local authorities do not provide kerbside collection.
To support responsible disposal of plastic wrapping, an increasing number of our publisher members are part of the OPRL (On Pack Recycling) scheme, adopting this labelling system to signify whether the polywrap is recyclable or not and advise consumers on the most suitable disposal method for their plastic wrap.
For more details, please see our plastic packaging guidelines.
Supply Chain Sustainability
Magazines are manufactured from a renewable, recyclable material. The paper used by UK publishers is manufactured from fibres sourced from sustainably managed forests (with a high degree of preference for FSC and/or PEFC certified material). In these circumstances, for each tree used to make paper, multiple trees are then planted and grown to replace them.
The PPA commissioned a whitepaper to explore the strategic risks and opportunities that climate change presents to the publishing supply chain. Overall, in reflection of its proactive approach towards sustainability, the industry is well placed to deal with these challenges.
PPA's Carbon Footprint Calculator
Working together as publishers, and across various interested parties, is at the core of the PPA approach to making the magazine industry more sustainable. To promote industry-wide carbon emissions reductions, the PPA hosts a carbon calculator, enabling members of all sizes to understand and track their carbon footprint.
Additional Sustainability Resources for Publishers
The PPA Sustainability group provides resources to help companies deal with environmental issues and policy.