When considering the scale of global environmental issues, such as climate change, it may seem as though Informa has a relatively small impact. But with over 6,000 employees working in 25 countires around the world, producing tens of thousands of printed publications and holding more than 10,000 events annually, it starts to add up.
We leave a direct environmental footprint through our operations; be it the physical print and paper supply chains that our publications use, the data centres that power our ever-growing digital content or the infrastructure of the major events that we run. We are working to minimise and mitigate our environmental impacts. There is no doubt that sound environmental management has also delivered tangible financial benefits, which will only become more attractive over time.
Reducing our waste
A key way in which we can reduce our waste is with regards to print over-runs. By improving the quality and accuracy of the customer data we use to forecast journal print runs, we have reduced the amount of printed journals that need pulping (from 19% in 2011 to 11% in 2012). Introducing print-on-demand has also meant that we only raise a print request to our digital printers we have got actual demand from a customer.
In addition, for several years our USA journals have been using biodegradable packaging. In 2012, we switched all UK journals to biodegradable packaging too. This means that the wrap used will degrade fully within 30 years, compared with 100 years for traditional oil based material.
On the events side, our major exhibitions have the potential to produce large amounts of waste due to their bespoke, short-lived nature. One of our businesses in Canada, working in partnership with their service providers, exhibitors and attendees at their events, have managed to deliver zero waste conferences for the past six years. The methodology has been shared across the Group and we are working towards mapping the key environmental impacts in the supply chain for all our large scale events.
Managing our supply chain
All books and journals in the UK, both T&F and IBI, and the majority of US publications, are printed on paper certified by either the FSC or PEFC forest certification schemes. Our daily newspaper, Lloyds List, is printed by the Guardian Media group. Virtually all of the paper they use is either FSC or PEFC certified, or made from post-consumer recycled waste. Our target is to work with printers to certify 100% of Informa publications.
We continue to ask our print suppliers to fill in our environmental scorecard. This enables us to assess their performance against a range of ‘green’ criteria covering chemical use, water efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions and waste management.
Managing our energy impacts
We are also committed to measuring and reducing our office emissions. We have redesigned our data gathering tool to ensure increased accuracy in our data. This enables us to target key areas.
As well as office emissions, Euroforum Germany, an Informa Events business and one of the leading conference producers in Germany, produced eight carbon neutral events in 2012. The Director from Euroforum’s carbon off-set partner, Klimainvest, stated that, “Companies like Euroforum, who willingly seek certification and neutralise their emissions, are trailblazers in their industries”.
More efficient logistics has also meant that we can reduce our haulage miles. We have changed the way we manage our paper supply chain; instead of taking delivery of the paper in a central warehouse and then distributing it to our printers, we deliver it directly from the mill to our printers For books and journals we have well established regional print hubs, thereby reducing the distribution air miles of our journals.
We also see that it is important to engage our employees. Our annual Green Week, which is held in September, has been extended to a fortnight. The initiatives see staff engaging with a commuter challenge and other fun and inclusive activities that stimulate attention to the environment. Our sustainable product competition will be judged by senior members of the business and some innovations may be taken to development stage.