Neil was the architect of many of the multi-client projects that Carnstone has established, and is a strong believer in collaboration both within sectors and also with other key stakeholders. Neil leads much of our work on sustainability in global supply chains - from raw material sourcing, through to environmental and social performance at processing and manufacturing sites. Prior to joining Carnstone, he worked for an international shipping and trading company based in Europe and Asia.
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.
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?
A clear trend is emerging; more companies are increasing their involvement in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and more customers want to trust that business practices are ethical. Yet customers are sceptical of the validity of ethical claims, and businesses have doubts about the sincerity of customer interest. In an effort to better understand why businesses are often slow to engage customers on CSR, this report looks firstly at the evidence for customer interest in environmental and social issues, then secondly at some of the common barriers preventing businesses from engaging with customers and markets on the subject of CSR. Finally it reviews best practice in this area to identify approaches taken to overcome some of these barriers and suggests practical steps for better customer engagement.
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 and Northern Ireland, 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…
Debut summit for the Asian publishing, paper and print sector
Carnstone’s paper supply chain project, PREPS - the Publishers’ database for Responsible Environmental Paper Sourcing - held its first Asian Summit on 29 June in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. Over 90 delegates attended from across Asia, Europe and North America, representing major publishers, printers, paper mills, and national and international NGOs. The event brought these parties together to address the most pressing challenges with responsible paper sourcing in the region.
Delegates heard the views from customers, suppliers and manufacturers; each represented by US-publisher Chronicle Books, China-based printer Leo Paper, and global paper manufacturer UPM. Other panellists gave their views ‘from the ground’ in the form of WWF China and the Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE). IPE also announced a major Chinese paper sector environmental initiative.
Masterclasses in the afternoon saw dedicated PREPS database training for mills and printers, with plenty of opportunities to feed back on the system’s features and how it can be improved for a better user experience. Our publisher and NGO delegates held a separate panel discussion where FSC and the China Forest Certification Council (CFCC) discussed the future of forest and wood product certification in Asia. This was particularly timely given the Chinese Government’s new Forest Certification Regulation which was announced less than a week before the Summit.
Over 50 companies participated including, the Hong Kong Printers Association; mills such as Hansol, ITC, and Chung Hwa Pulp; NGOs including RAN Japan and Chinese Environmental Paper Network, and many representatives of the PREPS publishing houses.
Judging the Waitrose Way Awards
In September Neil Everett took part in the judging of the 2014 Waitrose Way Awards. Waitrose Way is the sustainability strategy of Waitrose, and these annual awards recognise the contributions that Waitrose’s suppliers have made towards that strategy.
Carnstone has worked with Waitrose’s ethical trade team and so were asked to judge the Treating People Fairly category. The two worthy winners were: Dairy Crest (branded product) and Dalehead (own label).
Dairy Crest won for their holistic approach to the health and well-being of their staff. The approach covers not only the diagnosis and treatment of existing conditions, it actively encourages employees to lead healthier lives. To this end, Dairy Crest has shown real long-term commitment in terms of resources and investment. Dalehead won for their impressive employee training programme. Of all the award entries, arguably this one had the greatest impact as it covered the entire workforce.
Congratulations to all the Waitrose Way Award winners from Neil and the Carnstone team!