National Wildlife Federation, McGraw-Hill and NewPage Corporation Launch Textbook Recycling Project

Program will focus on helping students and schools recycle outdated books

03-28-2011 // Max Greenberg
Full recycling bin

It may be spring break, but National Wildlife Federation is hitting the books hard with the help of some major corporate partners.

NWF recently announced (PDF) the receipt of a new grant from the McGraw-Hill Companies to launch a textbook recycling program, the first of its kind that engages educational institutions and corporate stakeholders with the aim of reducing waste and promoting sustainable development.

“This innovative textbook recycling program is a natural fit with National Wildlife Federation’s work to promote business and educational practices that are healthy for our environment,” said Kevin Coyle, NWF’s vice president of Education and Training. “It also aligns with our work on sustainably procured paper, which in part relies on an increased supply of recovered fiber.”

NWF’s Eco-Schools USA and Campus Ecology programs will use the one-year grant to engage NewPage Corporation, one of McGraw-Hill’s paper manufacturers, to de-ink textbook pages so that their paper fiber can be reused in new books; increase awareness of textbook recycling; and conduct further research on the lifecycles and supply chains of textbooks.

“This is one of the steps that McGraw-Hill is taking to show its commitment to sustainable business practices, including offering almost all of our content digitally,” said Louise Raymond, vice president of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at The McGraw-Hill Companies.

The McGraw-Hill Companies was recently recognized by Corporate Responsibility Magazine as one of the "100 Best Corporate Citizens" (PDF) for the second straight year based in part on its environmental leadership, and the multi-billion dollar company doesn't appear willing to rest on its laurels. The textbook recycling grant is only the latest in a series of environmental initiatives that saw the company reduce by some 2 million pounds the paper used in its educational workbooks and shift more than 90 percent of its U.S. paper purchases to certified sustainable sources in 2010.

The new program will focus on helping individual students, schools and organizations recycle hardcover books that are outdated or otherwise unsuitable for reuse. According to Earth911, an environmental services company, paper made with recycled content can reduce total energy use by up to 44 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 38 percent in addition to eliminating virgin wood use.

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global financial information and education company that powers the Knowledge Economy. Well-known brands include Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts and J.D. Power and Associates.

NewPage Corporation is the largest coated paper manufacturer in North America. The company’s product portfolio includes coated freesheet, coated groundwood, supercalendered, newsprint and specialty papers.

To learn more about NWF’s environmental education programs, visit the Eco-Schools USA and Campus Ecology pages.