The year 2019 was the year when climate change slapped us in the face, reminding the world of its responsibility to the planet and future generations.
And the real fight for Earth’s future, has just got started.
The publishing industry, and in particular the print industry, has been investing huge amounts of money and resources improving and measuring its carbon footprint for over 15 years.
My business, Contently, is a publisher which has the environment at the heart of our operations.
Rotary magazine and the environment
All of our magazine suppliers have environmental credentials. And all of the publications are printed on Forest Stewardship Council paper, with the packaging fully recyclable.
The response from Rotarians across Great Britain & Ireland towards December’s issue of Rotary magazine has been interesting.
There has been a small backlash too from some who believe we should not be publishing a magazine at all because of the cost to the environment. Instead, they say, we should be solely focused with online publishing.
We are responsible publishers, who take this role very seriously,”
Let’s not forget, however, that digital also has a big environmental impact too, something which is often completely ignored.
According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, the internet is responsible for roughly one billion tonnes of greenhouse gases a year, or around two per cent of world emissions.
So what of Rotary magazine and the environment?
The poly wrapping used for Rotary magazine is 100% recyclable, along with the carrier sheet and the magazine.
Most local council recycling collection service will accept the poly plastic. An alternative option is for members to use the recycling bins at most large supermarkets.
Contently, Rotary magazine’s publisher, works closely with its suppliers and customers to address environmental issue.
They are committed to continually improving their environmental performance by controlling and managing their operational activities and products.
As a policy, the publisher of Rotary magazine seeks to protect the environment through using suppliers who adopt the following environmental principles:
- Prevention of pollution
- Reduction of raw material use
- Reduction in energy use
- Landfill avoidance
- Control of air emissions
- Recovery, recycling and reuse of waste materials wherever practicable
And that’s why Rotary magazine uses an ethical publisher.
Fair enough, but what of the actual printed product? Surely that is harming the environment.
In 1993, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was formed. This is an international, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests.
Their role is supported by WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and The Woodland Trust, to name but a few.
In order to be given FSC certification, a forest must be managed in an environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable manner.
Under these schemes, for every tree cut down to make paper, three new saplings will be planted.”
Their standard provides clear certification and labelling of approved products and a certified chain of custody from forest to end-user.
FSC is respected across the timber and paper industry sectors and is backed by key environmental watchdogs and charities all over the world. Their logo is well recognised by both business’s and the general public.
Rotary magazine is printed using these products. They are environmentally-friendly, ensuring sustainable forestry management. Under these schemes, for every tree cut down to make paper, three new saplings will be planted.
We are responsible publishers, who take this role very seriously when it is important that the world, as one, takes serious action to address climate change before it is too late.
Rotary magazine is our best marketing tool
From the initial feedback from the December issue, it has been heartening to hear many clubs are adopting the campaign “Read It and Leave It”.
Clubs and Rotarians are realising that they can use Rotary magazine as a marketing tool to boost membership, as well as increase awareness, by leaving copies of the publication at key public points such as libraries, hospitals, doctor’s surgeries and even coffee shops.
Many readers have been delighted with the content, absorbed by the series of great stories, which showcase the tremendous work of Rotary in the community.
A further 5,000 copies of Rotary magazine is distributed each issue to business lounges in Airports around the UK, cruise ports, aboard Virgin Trains and at railway stations around the country – once again, raising Rotary’s profile by showcasing how we are People of Action.
Many readers have been delighted with the content, absorbed by the series of great stories, which showcase the tremendous work of Rotary in the community.”
All of the magazines are picked up and read. The outlets have reported that their visitors are engaged in the publication and frequently all of the copies are gone within a week.
As a publishing and marketing strategy for Rotary, to abandon the magazine in place of digital would be a huge backward step. As editor Dave King explained in his ‘And Finally…’ editorial in December’s Rotary magazine, it is the best marketing tool Rotary has got.
To lose the printed publication would be a retrograde step at a time when we are desperately trying to grow Rotary’s membership and increase brand awareness.
It seems most Rotarians like the magazine. It’s being picked up and read at some of the external outlets, and advertisers love the product too, bringing with it revenue which would not be matched online.