Sustainability at the Society of Authors

Abstract icon representing the ecological call to be sustainable
Image © malp / Adobe Stock
Teddy McDonald

Teddy McDonald

Teddy works on SoA communications and outreach and alongside the Policy department on the SoA's campaigns work. He is also co-coordinator of the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group (CWIG).
A look back at our Sustainability Week activities in November, and a look ahead at what we'll be doing on sustainability over the next 12 months

In November, we ran a series of sustainability-focused events, during our AGM week. They aimed to give a broad view of the of the climate issues facing authors and publishing industry – and what we can do about them.

Watch the recordings below.

Poetry in This Time of Eco Crisis

In this session of eco-poetry and conversation our four panellists read their work and discussed the impact it has on their writing. How can poetry respond to the crisis and deepen our understanding of the natural world? What role does the fast-changing environment play in the writing of poetry?

With Caleb Parkin and Phoebe Power, Jacqueline Saphra and Kay Syrad.

How to Create a Sustainable Book

Piers Torday chaired this special #SoAatHome discussion with sustainable publisher and farmer Daphne Astor (Hazel Press) and sustainable paper maker Mark Cropper (James Cropper Paper). They talked about the ethics and economics of producing a truly sustainable book and explored whether recent industry developments are making this a reality.

Sustainability Initiatives in Publishing – what is our industry doing to save the planet?

How is the publishing industry responding to the threat of climate change?

Where can we make the most effective changes to reduce waste and ensure sustainability?

SoA Chief Executive Nicola Solomon led this #SoAatHome industry insider event — joined by Louis Coiffait-Gunn (Publishers Association), Amanda Ridout (Chair, IPG Sustainability Action Group), Simon Crump (BiC) and Debbie James (Kibworth Books) — to discuss the work of the work of the Sustainability Industry Forum and their current projects, research and initiatives.

Coming up in 2023

The SoA staff team will continue to work with members to press for sustainable change in publishing, by bringing together our industry partnerships and the collective voice of SoA members.

We will continue to work closely with partner members of the Sustainability Industry Forum (SIF) as publishers and booksellers develop systems to make their processes more sustainable, and we will continue to support the Publishers Association’s Publishing Declares initiative.

2023 will see the launch of a new Sustainability Network for SoA members, and we will be announce our own author sustainability campaign, Tree to Me, to bring authors and publishers together to achieve net zero in publishing.

And we will introduce an online edition of The Author. We have worked to make the print magazine more sustainable over the past few years — delivering it in compostable wrapping since 2019 and printing it on recycled paper since 2020 — but we’ll take that a step further with the option of a digital only edition.

More to come in early 2023.

Ethical Consumer’s Climate Gap Report

In October 2022, Ethical Consumer published their second annual Climate Gap Report, analysing the gap between where we are and where we need to be in efforts to reduce international emissions. The report finds that change currently isn’t happening fast enough to curb climate warming emissions in the UK, and advises key areas where individuals and industry can work to reverse this trend.

Publishing industry bodies announce big steps towards sustainability in Publishing

28 September 2022

SoA increases fees for event speakers

1 April 2022

SoA @ Home Festival – 36 free online events for authors

17 April 2020

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