We try to make our business more sustainable by considering the sustainability aspects of our most important business decisions. We use sustainable paper and we are managing our carbon emissions by ensuring we consolidate shipments across the Group, and ship as infrequently as possible.

Our impact

The impact of our business on the environment predominantly comes from the activities we subcontract to our suppliers including the printing, production, distribution, recycling and disposal of printed books. We also have office-based product development, editorial, sales and administrative activities which operate through an employee workforce based across 11 offices in the UK, US, and Hong Kong.

Using sustainable paper

We recently instituted a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) paper policy across all our imprints:

  • All of our gift & stationery products were already printed on FSC material in compliance with the European Union Timber Regulations. That remains unchanged.
  • At the start of 2016, we moved to FSC paper for all our children’s books published under Quarto imprints.
  • As of 1 January 2017, this will be extended to all our adults’ books published under Quarto imprints.

As a consequence, we estimate that about 90% of our published books printed from 2017 onwards will use FSC paper.

Sustainable paper

The remaining 10% will be moved to FSC as soon as possible and we are in the process of sourcing FSC-compliant materials from products that require other specifications than the standard paper and board we usually use. We expect that, by the middle of 2017, almost 100% of our newly printed books will use FSC paper. In 2017, we will also move to FSC paper for all the co-edition books we print for our foreign language customers.

Where we print domestically in the US, and FSC material is not available, we will use Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) paper.

Developing more sustainable operations

We are working towards developing sustainable operations such as managing our carbon emissions by ensuring we consolidate shipments across the group and ship as infrequently as possible. This limits the shipping of empty space across the oceans, and reduces energy waste and our impact on the environment.


We ship most of our books to two warehouses – one in the UK and one in the US. The majority of our books are printed in Hong Kong and shipments are consolidated at the Hong Kong port. As a rule, we consolidate palletised shipments from the printer and limit movements to only full 40 foot containers. When a container isn’t full, we will hold shipment until the following week, barring exceptional circumstances. We have been applying these guidelines as standard practice for US-bound shipments for the last two years, and we started for UK-bound shipments in mid-2016. Since we started for the UK, our average pallet loading for each container has been 49 pallets out of a maximum capacity of 52 – so we are performing efficiently in this area.