To mark the first anniversary of the formation of its green committee—as well as Earth Day—Random House has issued a progress report on its green initiatives. The company has been focused on reducing its environmental impact by increasing its use of recycled paper and estimated that by upping use of recycled paper to 16% in 2007 it saved 309,058 trees in the year. RH’s 2007 carbon audit found that 88% of its carbon impacts came from the use of paper, and by using more recycled paper RH prevented greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those generated by 2,970 cars in a year.
RH is also working to lower its energy consumption at its New York headquarters by changing the thermostat by 1.5 degrees, using more efficient light bulbs and by sourcing some of its energy from windmills; all those effort resulted in lowering energy consumption by 264,000 kilowatt hours in the last six months of 2007.
Outside of the use of paper, RH’s Westminster warehouse had the largest carbon footprint in 2007, followed by the transportation of products, whose carbon footprint went up 52% last year. RH estimated that the jump in transportation emissions was due to the addition of more clients to its distribution business.
Priorities for the green committee in its second year are replacing printed sales materials with electronic versions (RH recently gave Sony Readers to its sales force); continuing the installation of motion detectors at its Westminster and Crawfordsville facilities; providing publishers with a calculation tool to price and purchase carbon offsets during the acquisition or production process; donating discarded galleys to charity; and taking part in a benchmarking study with Environmental Defense to examine environmental issues associated with its cafeteria.