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Story | 09/17/2020 06:15:39

TI Media's Tom Reynolds on the future of sustainable publishing

The climate change and sustainability efforts of publishers are no longer a ‘tick-box’ exercise, but form an important strategic part of their businesses. Here, Tom Reynolds, Production Director for TI Media, producing brands such as Country Life, Horse & Hound, and Homes & Gardens, discusses sustainability.

To read more about how the publishing industry is acting to mitigate climate change, download our Publishing and Climate Change report.


 

Like other sectors, the publishing industry has incentive to help mitigate the consequences of climate change. Publishers have long understood the need to protect and replenish natural resources, especially in view of the long-term sustainability of their industry. Greater consumer awareness and the resulting demand that companies be more sustainable pushes publishers to address climate change now more than ever.

In the Publishing and Climate Change report, TI Media’s Tom Reynolds highlights the importance of taking a holistic approach to sustainability. “Being sustainable is not just about what you do in-house anymore,” says Reynolds, “You need to be aware of the bigger picture.”

“To consumers, for example, moving from plastic to paper wrap might sound like an obvious thing to do but what if the paper required to do that has to be shipped in to a port or delivered from afar by road? And what is the recycling process required for that paper? Does it have to be driven the length of the country, de-inked, turned back into pulp and then processed? If so, will that really reduce its carbon footprint? You have to assess the impact on the wider supply chain.”

Collaboration with UPM

When Tom Reynolds became Production Director in 2018, he wanted to use TI Media’s long-term partnership with UPM to reach key areas like chain of custody and sustainability.

“[TI Media was] always confident that UPM and its environmental credentials were right up there with the best but how best to communicate it to the business, clients and consumers was high on the agenda. Over the last 2 years UPM has used all of its expertise and specialists from the Environmental function, including visits to Caledonian paper mill to help demonstrate forestry management, paper production and how much work is put into being a reliable and sustainable magazine paper producer,“ Dino Vasiliou says who is the Sales Manager at UPM working closely with TI Media’s Tom Reynolds.

The partnership between UPM and TI Media has strengthened as UPM’s environmental specialists have since supported TI Media in shaping the sustainability message. UPM has conducted mill visits, trainings, and even helped with messaging for customer enquiries to vouch for TI Media’s environmental credentials that include the quantified reductions in energy use in the production process, improvements in the carbon footprint, and progress towards sourcing at least 98% of their paper from renewable and sustainable sources. As a paper supplier for TI Media, UPM’s 2030 responsibility targets, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, impact TI Media’s sustainability agenda. UPM also helps them vouch for the sustainable credentials of the supplied paper by detailing the percentage that is either PEFC or FSC® (FSC-C014719) certified.

UPM has identified the EU Ecolabel, which has been awarded to all of UPM papers, as one important sustainability measure for its paper. The EU Ecolabel shows that the paper has been produced to meet a wide range of sustainability criteria including raw material usage, energy and water consumption, chemicals used, and the product’s recyclability. This covers many issues across the whole life cycle of the paper.

Carbon footprint

Like many publishers, TI Media uses the PPA’s benchmarking tool to measure its carbon footprint and reviews a selection of products each year to see where further improvements can be made. “We are part of the PPA Sustainability Action Group, which is an industry-led initiative bringing all of the leading UK publishers together. We use them as a mouthpiece to help us try and navigate the government rules, but also help educate and manage upwards if you like, in terms of what we can and can’t do,” Reynolds says.

“At TI we had our own sustainability committee, and we would drive as many environmental changes through that committee as possible. And so that plus the PPA Sustainability Action Group gives us a very good forum through which to learn about the industry” he continues.

 

Read more on how the publishing industry is acting to mitigate climate change in the UPM-FIPP white paper Publishing and Climate Change.