Magazine publishers reinforce sustainability pledge in new five-year Government deal

29 May 2014 by PPA Comms @ 12:00

The UK consumer magazine and business media sector, through the PPA, has made a series of major environmental commitments within a renewed sustainability agreement with Government.

The PPA has signed a voluntary Responsibility Deal that commits the industry to undertake a raft of initiatives over a five-year period, with the aim of mitigating the environmental impact of activities from both individual publishers and the industry as a whole.

It has been signed by the PPA and Dan Rogerson MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for water, forestry, rural affairs and resource management at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra); Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for rural affairs and the environment, Scottish Government; and Alun Davies, Minister for natural resources and food, Welsh Government.

The key overarching priorities detailed within the Responsibility Deal are: waste prevention, sustainable production, and recycling. Specifically, publishers will focus on activities to: reduce carbon emissions; limit the amount of plastic wrapping and covermounted gifts that go to landfill; improve the recyclability of magazines; and encourage ethical, sustainable procurement practices.

Overall, the Responsibility Deal contains 19 action points and eight key performance indicators (KPIs). Progress made by the industry will be reported annually to government.

Barry McIlheney, CEO of the PPA, said: “We are very pleased to have negotiated this deal with Government on behalf of our members. As a sector, we are acutely aware of our environmental responsibilities, and this agreement provides a clear roadmap of priorities and actions that ensure we build on the excellent progress we have already made to date in this important area.”

In November 2013 the PPA released an updated, cloud-based version of its award-winning Carbon Calculator, which enables magazine publishers to measure, monitor and reduce the environmental impact of their activities across both print and digital platforms. The Carbon Calculator was the first such tool to be developed by a trade association worldwide when it originally launched in 2008.

Rose Benjamin, Head of Environment at the PPA, said: “Our members’ achievements in recent years have shown how, collectively, magazine publishers can make a positive difference to the environment. With the new Responsibility Deal as a guide, we will work alongside the Government and other important stakeholders to continue that work, with the aim of making UK magazine publishing a beacon of environmental best practice.”

The new Responsibility Deal supersedes the Voluntary Producer Responsibility Agreement (VPRA) previously agreed between the PPA and Defra in 2005. The VPRA set publishers a target of raising the level of post-consumer magazine recycling to 70 per cent by 2013. Magazine publishers exceeded the 2013 target in 2008 and 2009, reaching a level of 82% percent in 2013.

To download a copy of the voluntary Reponsibility Deal click here.

For further information contact PPA's Head of Environment Rose Benjamin.


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