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Sustainability is an issue I have always been very passionate about. Over the years, I’ve witnessed firsthand the effects of global warming on my coastal hometown. Seeing things change more by the year has spurred me to look deeper into how I’m personally contributing to climate change, and what steps I can take to combat it.
This most recent Earth Day, I learned some interesting facts about Macmillan Learning’s commitment to sustainability. Macmillan Learning CEO Susan Winslow noted that “our global team has taken an active role in making the education and publishing industries more sustainable” since 2009. I wanted to dig a little deeper into the details of this, and as it turns out there was a lot more to it than even I knew.
I’m not the only one concerned about the impact of climate change; it’s something that’s important to many people including Instructors and students. They care deeply about supporting companies that are dedicated to sustainability and helping the environment.
Here are four things I learned about Macmillan Learning’s role in supporting the environment.
1. Macmillan Learning is Carbon Neutral
Macmillan Learning and its supply chain has been carbon neutral since 2013! Climate neutrality is the “idea of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by balancing those emissions so they are equal (or less than) the emissions that get removed through the planet’s natural absorption” Source. Climate neutrality is an important step everyone can take in fighting climate change.
2. Emissions have Decreased by 60% Globally
Carbon emissions occur when a carbon compound, like carbon dioxide, is released into the atmosphere by human activities like burning fossil fuels. These carbon emissions, also known as greenhouse gas emissions, are a main contributing factor to climate change. Reducing carbon emissions globally is necessary to combat climate change.
Macmillan Learning has been taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint and as a result, its carbon dioxide emissions in the US have dropped 60% from 2010 to 2021. The reduction includes Scope 1 emissions, which are derived from heat in our facilities and fuel in our sales representatives’ cars; Scope 2 emissions, which are derived from the electricity we purchase from utilities to power our building; and major Scope 3 items, which are emissions are derived from our manufacturing and transportation of our books, business travel, employee commuting, and waste management.
3. Paper production
When buying textbooks, you may not think twice about the type of paper it was made with, but Macmillan Learning does. Macmillan Learning has drastically reduced emissions by vetting the supply chain, and purchasing paper at lower carbon-intensive mills. And they have also supported the efficient use of recycled fiber for hardcover books, although hardcovers are used less and less frequently.
4. The Shift Toward Digital Learning Materials & eBooks
E-textbooks, or eBooks, provide a completely digital experience for students that can be accessed anywhere on any device. In recent research conducted by Student Monitor, students named “environmental benefits” as one reason that they prefer digital course materials to their print counterparts.
Macmillan Learning offers ALL of our textbooks in a digital format! eBooks provide a variety of benefits compared to traditional textbooks, and many students prefer the features offered by digital textbooks. eBooks use no paper, are generally more affordable, are easily portable, and have features such as searching and highlighting. They’re also more accessible as they allow font size and brightness to be adjusted to fit each reader’s needs. Macmillan Learning’s eBooks have been recognized as Global Certified Accessible by Benetech, meaning that the digital learning options offered “ensure that all students have the same access to information”.