Our commitment

Our major environmental impact (apart from the energy we use) comes from our use of natural resources, particularly paper. We are committed to using these resources responsibly.

The Financial Times (FT) needs to ensure that environmental impacts are managed throughout the supply chain, from paper production through to printing.

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Our actions

Recycled paper

Our pink newsprint is an important part of our brand and heritage, and we work hard to source recycled paper.

In 2006, we began to trial different sources of 100 per cent recycled pink newsprint. This trial was extended, resulting in the relative percentage of the recycled paper used by the FT rising steadily in 2009.

Responsible paper purchasing

Our parent company Pearson has environmental guidelines for paper purchasing.

In 2004, Pearson joined the WWF-UK Forest and Trade Network (FTN). The FTN promotes and facilitates trade in independently, credibly certified forest products and encourages good forest management worldwide.

As part of its membership, Pearson submits an annual report on the environmental characteristics of the paper it has purchased from around the world.

From paper-based to digital media

As our business grows, we are increasing our use of digital rather than paper-based media.

In 2000, around two thirds of the /FT Group businesses/ [1.2 FT Group] were print focused. In the same year, digital services accounted for 13 per cent of FT Group revenues. By 2009, that had increased to 36 per cent.

Supplier and printer register

In 2003, Pearson began compiling a central register of key paper suppliers and out-sourced printing relationships, which includes those used by the FT.

The register provides us with a picture of the environmental performance of our printers. The survey covers:

  • whether the printer uses a recognised system for environmental management;
  • take-up of direct-to-plate technology – Pearson is committed to using printers with this facility for new title production, as this reduces the use of silver film;
  • measurement and reduction policies for water, ink, solvents, alcohol, energy and waste.

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Digital channels and technology

As the producer of the world’s leading business newspapers, we believe that the printed newspaper will be around for a long time.

At the same time, we are seeing growing demand in alternative digital channels, so we are working hard to provide and promote our content in a range of formats.

Digital printing

Digital printing enables us to service locations that were previously impossible to reach at the start of the working day. The FT now has digital print operations in Cyprus, Malta and Greece, and the launch of our Athens site reflects our continued belief in a future for printed products alongside digital offerings. This means that we no longer fly newspapers to Malta, which has reduced our carbon footprint.

Customer services

Other ways in which the world of print is being improved by using digital technology include:

  • subscribers’ increased use of our ‘Manage My Account’ customer service feature for suspending delivery whilst they are on vacation;
  • the growing number of new print customers who subscribe online.

Subscriptions and e-distribution

Subscriptions for digital content, delivered via desktops or mobile devices such as the iPad, must become a fundamental part of any successful modern news organisation.

E-distribution is fast and effective, more environmentally friendly and frees us up to focus on the quality journalism that will always remain our priority.

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Our achievements

In 2009, we significantly reduced the paper we used to 31,571 tonnes (from 50,509 tonnes in 2008). This was due to a number of factors, including efficiency savings created by:

  • moving to a smaller page size
  • using a reduced base weight.

However, as advertising levels rise, the tonnes of paper used will also increase.

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