Neil is a strong believer in collaboration to achieve long-term sustainability. Clients span fashion, food, pharmaceuticals, publishing, and the technology sector. He leads much of our supply chain work, looking at the conditions under which products are made through to the impacts of the materials they’re made of. Recent work includes: the development of a technology platform and app to support human rights training in the field, setting a CR strategy for a large food retailer, and supporting the development of a community partnership in the fashion supply chain. Before Carnstone, Neil worked in the shipping industry, first in London and then Japan and Hong Kong. He has a BA from Leeds University and an MA the School Of Oriental & African Studies.
Neil is responsible for Carnstone Asia Ltd. He is also a Trustee of Migrant Help.
This report summarises the impact achieved by the Book Chain Project over the past 15 years. It traces the history of the Book Chain Project, from three separate tools to one collaborative project building better book supply chains; looks at our reach; outlines our work and impact across the three workstreams; describes our collaborations; and ends with a look at the future.
In the face of rapidly changing reading habits what does the future hold for printed books? Will they still be around in ten years? And if so, how might they be made?
Our publishing initiative, the Book Chain Project, helps publishers to better understand how, where and from what their books are made. It’s been ten years since the first part of the Project began by gathering data on the tree species used in paper. We wrote this report to reflect on that past decade, to better understand our current reading habits, and finally to gaze into the crystal ball to see what books of the future might look like, and how and where they might be made.
Based on current trends we’ve identified four underlying stories of the book:
- Digital print: New printing technology is significantly affecting how books are made. It’s allowing print-on-demand, local production, and personalised content, and allowing publishers to revive their archived titles, and take opportunities to trial new authors.
- Digital conversion: In some cases digital clearly offers benefits over print when we look at connectivity and interactivity. Where the changes are happening, they’re happening quickly.
- Digital interaction: Print and digital can complement one another in blended approaches where digital interactivity can help to bring print to life.
- Digital distraction: In our desire to avoid digital overload from the ever-present screens and devices in our lives, are books one of our last remaining bastions of escapism?
We go on to predict three possible futures for the book and ultimately what this means for our future work on the Book Chain Project.
The report’s findings are informed by our desk research, in-depth interviews with the Project’s publishers, and guest presentations from our 2016 seminars in London and New York.
Still Feeling Stumped? Report
Since March 2013 businesses across Europe have been responding to the EU Timber Regulation; a law prohibiting illegal timber from appearing on the European market. We wanted to gauge the feeling across the retail and manufacturing sectors so, eight months on from the law’s introduction, we conducted a short survey to understand how companies were facing the new requirements. We presented the findings to the Chatham House Illegal Logging Update in February 2014. The results are summarised in our report Still Feeling Stumped?
Neil's Pro Bono Work…
Neil is a trustee of Migrant Help, a charity that provides advice and support for migrant communities across the UK, including specific support for victims of human trafficking in to the workplace. As well as sitting on the board, Neil is also helping the organisation to develop support services for companies that employ migrant workers.
Neil in our news section…
John Lewis Partnership Better Jobs
- 03 August 2021
The John Lewis Partnership Better Jobs Programme was designed to support JLP suppliers to build better jobs for the people that make their products.
The Better Jobs Programme consists of two parts: a framework that helps suppliers think about the ways they support, engage and reward their employees, and the World of Work Survey that captures the views of the employees themselves.
2020 was the second year of the programme and 45 suppliers took part, with over 1,800 responses to the World of Work Survey. This means that since inception, 52 suppliers have taken part in the framework and over 2,600 survey responses have been collected.
The programme was also piloted with 15 suppliers in China this year. Those 15 suppliers had an excellent response rate to the survey, with almost 3,000 employees taking part.
We are extremely proud to have supported the John Lewis Partnership with the Better Jobs Programme since the beginning.
To find out some of the key findings from the Better Jobs Programme in both the UK and China this year, please click here.
Accountability Framework Initiative: Book Chain Project case study
- 18 March 2021
The Accountability Framework Initiative (AFi) today announced a case study on how the Book Chain Project has applied the AFi methodology to assess paper mills' forest sourcing practices, in our Mill Assessment Framework.
We are proud that the Book Chain Project has been highlighted by the AFi - a coalition of famous NGOs including The Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Alliance, Verité, World Resources Institute and WWF. The case study recognises the Book Chain Project as one of the first sectors that took AFI recommendations and applied them to help improve improve a global commodity supply chain.
The case study describes the scale of the paper supply chain that we engage with through the Book Chain Project (290 mills in 38 countries); the challenge of ensuring forest sourcing is done responsibly and the key role paper mills play in that; and how we developed the Mill Assessment Framework to assess and engage with paper mills on their sourcing practices.
“The outcome of the evaluation helps us to improve our shared best practices and processes at the mill, and see the new opportunities and challenges we face when managing responsible sourcing. We have increased our engagement with business partners to share our best practices and help them build capacity.” Jacek I. Los, Arctic Paper’s Executive Vice President of Procurement.
Forest Risk Tool 2020 update
We have updated our Forest Risk Tool for 2020. The tool assesses forest and transhipment risks in global timber supply chains for 186 countries, and is a core part of our work with the Book Chain Project. This year, we found 116 countries with forest risk and 93 countries with transhipment risk. Take a look at the results here