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Sustainability in publishing is under closer scrutiny than ever before – and with so many consumers acutely aware of environmental impacts, all businesses face mounting pressure to get greener.

The increasingly tough questions are the result of growing global awareness of sustainability issues. Activist movements around the world, and high profile individual campaigners like Greta Thunberg, have helped to drive environmental issues into the mainstream.

Alongside this, analysis of environmental impacts has intensified. With around 690 million print books sold in the US last year, the enormous paper consumption of this industry is obvious, while other elements of production like ink and transportation further widen the carbon footprint.

Publishers are responding to the pressure to reduce this footprint. Many companies have pledged improvements through new environmental policies, and industry-wide schemes in the US like the Green Press Initiative have tried to increase momentum for change. There has been a particularly notable shift towards use of recycled paper and more responsible sourcing practices.

Set against the vast scale of paper consumption, reducing the environmental impact of royalties might seem like a small victory. But by using MetaComet’s solutions to automate royalty administration, publishers can take an important step towards better sustainability.

Using a web-based platform to collate sales data and calculate money owed to authors helps to make royalty management a paperless operation. By providing digital statements rather than physical ones, publishers can substantially reduce their paper and printing—which cuts their costs and improves the bottom line as well as reducing their carbon footprint.

A second phase of benefits is the distribution of royalties to authors. Mailing out royalty statements and checks is an energy-heavy process as well as a laborious one. Providing authors with on-demand royalty information via MetaComet’s AuthorPortal instead, and paying by electronic transfer rather than check, cuts the energy consumption involved in mailing. Any follow-up correspondence between author and publisher can be conducted online too. Again, the digitization of this work has significant cost advantages as well as environmental ones.

Automating royalty management isn’t going to solve publishing’s sustainability challenge by itself but it’s a proactive step you can take. Contact us to discuss the many other ways MetaComet’s solutions can help make your business even better.

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