World Association of News Publishers

The Sustainability of Newspapers

The Sustainability of Newspapers


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In an increasingly digital world, interest-led, publicly expressed views determine the upper hand, often reversing realities. For example, many consumers believe that buying newspapers and magazines leads to deforestation.

To counter these and other misconceptions in connection with the printed newspaper, the board of the World Printers Forum of WAN-IFRA decided in October 2017 to produce a report on the sustainability of the printed newspaper.

Two Sides, an international organisation that promotes the sustainability of the graphic communications supply chain and dispels common environmental misconceptions, was won as a competent partner for this project.

This report looks at the sustainability attributes related to the key raw material for printed newspapers – paper – and discusses what those in the sector are doing to address their environmental impacts. It also compares printed news with online delivery, identifies sustainability strengths and weaknesses of the industry and makes some recommendations for future improvements.

Publishing companies can use this report to keep abreast of the latest efforts to promote sustainability, as well as to inform readers and customers.

From the table of contents:

Executive summary


Paper – a sustainable raw material

  • Sustainable forestry
  • Paper recovery & recycling
  • Renewable energy and carbon footprints
  • Water footprint

Sustainability aspects of newspapers

  • Use of certified paper
  • Use of recycled fibre
  • Use of newsprint
  • Coldset offset
  • Industry commitment
  • Business certification
  • Tackling impacts
  • Future plans

Newspapers versus online news

  • Environmental impacts
  • Carbon footprint
  • Consumer attitudes


  • Recommendations for the industry
  • Improve measurement
  • Set targets for improvement
  • Consider certification

Further resources


Tim Barker
Cooperating Institutes:
World Printers Forum and Two Sides


Anton Jolkovski's picture

Anton Jolkovski


2018-08-07 13:59

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