*This resource list can be used as a reference for making environmentally conscious book making choices in the UK, and was assembled by the Sustainable Photobook Publishing (SPP) Network

This is a live document, additions + corrections can be sent to: info(at)

  • Glossary
  • Printing
  • Printers
  • Paper
  • Finishing
  • Packaging 
  • Buying | Distribution
  • Calculating
  • External Links


B Corp - Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

Blue Angel - The Blue Angel is an environmental label in Germany administered by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.

EMAS certification - The EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a premium management instrument developed by the European Commission for companies and other organisations to evaluate, report, and improve their environmental performance.

EN 13432 - The EU certification tests compostability through industrial processes. It does not test products for home compostability.

EU Ecolabel - A label of environmental excellence that is awarded to products and services meeting high environmental standards throughout their life-cycle: from raw material extraction, to production, distribution and disposal.

FSC Certification - The FSC system allows businesses and consumers to identify, purchase and use wood, paper and other forest products made with materials from well-managed forests and/or recycled sources.

ISO 14001 - ISO 14001 sets out the criteria for an environmental management system and can be certified to.

Nordic Swan Ecolabel -  The official ecolabel of the Nordic countries. The entire life cycle of a product, from raw material to production, use, disposal and recycling, is included in the assessment, for the benefit of people, the environment and the earth’s resources.

OK certifications - The EU bioplastic certifications are granted by TUV Austria for compostable, biodegradable and biobased products. They indicate whether a product is home or industrially biodegradable or compostable. ‘OK HOME compostable’ means something will break down within 1 year in a home compost environment.

Sustainability Review: Sustainability 101 - 35 terms and definitions you need to know



HP Indigo Press
PRINT RUN: Any number 
INK: Oil based
PAPER: Coated and uncoated
PAPER SIZE: Maximum B1

Offset Lithograph

PRINT RUN: Typically for editions larger than 300 books*
PLATES REQUIRED: Yes metal printing plates
INKS: Typically plant based
PAPER: Coated and uncoated

*This minimum run is due to the high set-up costs of the metal plates used for printing, as well as the energy and paper intensive set-up process of running the machine to get it ready for printing. 


PRINT RUN: Any number 

Details dependent on the specific copier machine


PRINT RUN: Any number 
PLATES REQUIRED: No, the machine makes a 'master' stencil 
INK: Plant based
PAPER: Uncoated only
PAPER SIZE: Maximum A2

A Comparative Study of the Environmental Aspects of Lithographic and Digital Printing Processes, RIT (USA: 2005)Comparison of two sheetfed presses which could potentially be used to produce similar print jobs; a sheetfed offset lithographic press (Heidelberg Speedmaster 74) and a liquid-ink digital sheetfed press (HP Indigo 3000).




Example Book



Litho and digital printing
FSC Certified, ISO 14001 accredited

Curator Conversations- 1000 Words (1000 Words: 2021) Offset printed by Clays

F E Burman 
Bermondsey, London

Litho and digital (B2 HP Indigo Printer).
FSC Certified, ISO 14001 accredited.

Trinity - Oliver Raymond Barker (Loose Joints: 2021). Covers printed on Winter Wibalin Dove Grey using B2 HP Indigo

Generation Press 
Poynings, Brighton

Litho and digital (B2 HP Indigo Printer).
EMAS + B Corp certified.

The Space Between Us - Ed Sykes (self-published: 2021) Offset printed by Generation Press on Fedrigoni Woodstock Azzuro (Soft cover 285gsm / Pages 140 gsm)

Digital printing. 
EU Ecolabel.

Monsanto®, A photographic investigation (newsprint edition)Mathieu Asselin. Recycled (Newsprint) 50 gr

Park Communications
Docklands, London

Litho and digital 
EMAS certified

Beber Mi Sudor: Coffee Colombia - Jake Green (Leyton of London: 2018) Litho printed: Cover in Sunshine Popset 170gsm (insert in 120gsm) by Arjo Wiggins

Pureprint Group 
Uckfield, East Sussex

Litho and digital printing
FSC Certified, ISO 14001 accredited.

Beyond Drifting - Mandy Barker (Overlapse: 2017)

St Austell Printing Company 
St Austell, Cornwall

Litho and digital printing
FSC Certified, ISO 14001 accredited

Taylor Brothers
Bristol, UK

World Land Trust Carbon Balanced Printer.

The Silent Land - Jesse Alexander (VIKA: 2021) Offset printed by Taylor Brothers.


PCW: Post Consumer Waste
PIW: Post Industrial Waste

note. Litho papers can be used for digital printing but they require sapphire coating



EPN: Eco Paper Database

GOMER: B1 Press Pagination Advice


Mills in Sweden & Poland

FSC, PEFC and cradle to Cradle Certified.

Munken: Uncoated paper range with EU Ecolabel. The range includes both 100% woodfree and blends of woodfree and wood-containing pulp.

Amazonia - Paul Cupido (Alauda Publications: 2019)Munken Lynx Rough 120gsm (one of several papers)

Beyond Drifting - Mandy Barker (Overlapse: 2017) Printed on Munken Polar Rough.


UK Distributor

General paper supplier, stocking Arjowiggins papers including Coccoon and Cyclus

Claro Bulk: FSC, EMAS certified. A matt coated paper and board with a 1.1 volume, which allows you to reduce substance, but still achieve the overall bulk and feel

Arcadia - Ian Howorth (Setanta: 2019) printed on Claro Bulk paper.

FSC Certified, ISO 14001 accredited. Member of Two Sides.

Cocoon: extra-white, 100% recycled, FSC certified papers – engineered from high-quality waste office paper

Cyclus: natural white, 100% recycled, FSC certified coated and uncoated papers

The Earth is Only a Little Dust Under Our Feet - Bego Antón (Overlapse: 2018) Printed on Cocoon paper + Munken Print White

The Tree of Life is Eternally Green - Pascual Martínez + Vincent Sáez (Overlapse: 2018) Printed on Cyclus paper along with Keaykolour recycled and a few others



ECHOSYSTEM range are FSC certified.  Min 40% PCW or PIW, or alternative fibre sources than tree cellulose.

Tree Free: 75% bamboo FSC certified and 25% cotton linters 

Alga Carta: paper created from algae that, by its abnormal proliferation, was damaging the fragile ecosystem of the Venice Lagoon

Aesthetics of Sustainability - edited by ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne (Triest Verlag: 2021)

FSC Certified, ISO 14001 accredited.

Large selection of recycled papers > MATERIA VIVA

The Space Between Us - Ed Sykes (self-published: 2021) Offset printed by Generation Press on Fedrigoni Woodstock Azzuro (Soft cover 285gsm / Pages 140 gsm)

Paper maker and supplier based in Kent (UK), making and distributing internationally.

Colorset coloured paper range, 100% recycled, FSC and Blue Angel certified.

Shiro Echo: 100% recycled, FSC certified paper with zero emissions.

Scale & Substance - Tamsin Green (manual.editions: 2022) Risograph printed on Fenner Colorset & Shiro Echo, GF Smith Colourplan, Claire Fontaine Standard colour paper


European Mills

FSC Certified.

A range of coated and uncoated papers.

The majority of papers are FSC certified and made from virgin pulp. Several G . F Smith ranges include stocks that are wholly, or partly, manufactured from PCW or PIW.

Colorplan: A range of 55 colours, made in GB, FSC certified. 

Extract: FSC certified paper made from approx.20% recycled coffee cups in GB.

this is how the earth must see itself - Tamsin Green (manual.editions: 2021) Digitally printed on GF Smith Extract (cover + box), Naturalis and Zen.


France, Germany

FSC certified. Some papers are Cradle to Cradle certified.

Large selection of papers including compostable paper made from wheat straw, grass, cotton and cannabis.

Miniclick Publication #1 (self-published: 2013) Flecked cover using Gmund Bier Weizen 250gsm

James Cropper Mill

Lake District, UK

Specialist and Custom-made papers. 

Make several papers in the G.F Smith paper range, including Extract and Colorplan.

Vanguard: A coloured paper collection containing a minimum of 30% upcycled fibre.

Certifications: EU Ecolabel, FSC, Cradle to Cradle, Nordic Swan Ecolabel, PEFC

Lessebo Design Smooth: uncoated, wood-free paper, made from chlorine-free pulp (TCF) and is neutrally sized. 

Monsanto®, A photographic investigation - Mathieu Asselin
(Actes Sud / Verlag Kettler: 2017) First edition offset printed on Lessebo smooth white + several other paper stocks

FSC certified.

Large selection of recycled papers made in the UK.

Loop: FSC certified, carbon neutral and made with wind power. The majority of the range is made from 100% PCW.

Cairn: 100% recycled paper

Context Natural: 100% recycled

Corona Colours: 100% recycled

Trinity - Oliver Raymond Barker (Loose Joints: 2021) Hp Indigo on Paperback Loop & Cairn plus number of other stocks

Creative Climate Investigations - Climate & Cities (Folium: 2022) Printed on Context Natural, Arden Silk + Corona Colours

UK, Germany

PaperWise: high quality paper and paperboard made from agricultural waste (leaves and stems)


RecyStar Nature: uncoated, matt finish, made from 100% recycled fibre. Blue Angel + Nordic Ecolabel certified.

Recorder - Miranda Lichtenstein
(Loose Joints: 2021) Printed on RecyStar Nature + other paper stocks

Revive Offset: FSC certified, carbon balanced and made from 100% PCW.

re.source - The Sustainable Darkroom
(Folium: 2022) Litho printed in the UK with bio based inks on Revive Offset & Paperback Context


London, UK

Shepherds stock a selection of recycled papers, wood free papers (including elephant dung!) and boards

Redeem: 100% Recycled PCW, high opacity, high bulk.

(Copy) 80. The Schwarze Mönch - Sayako Sugawara (Self-published:2021) A photocopied book on recycled materials. Redeem 130gsm / 315gsm, Slipcase: Cairn Multiboard - Grey/White 350gsm

Stone Paper

Willich, Germany

Stone paper: is a type of paper that is made out of calcium carbonate 80% (limestone) and bio-polyethylene resin 20% (HDPE)

67-P Second Edition - Claudio Pogo & Magdalena Wysocka (Pogo Books, Berlin: 2017) 



NW England

Vegan foil

Zero foil to landfill > The thin polyester film used as a carrier for the hot stamping foil is collected and converted to solid recovered fuel (SRF) to be used in the cement industry.

The Silent Land - Jesse Alexander (VIKA: 2021) Cover foil blocked using Folico.

WRUP-CYCLING range of recycled content book covering materials.

WIBALIN® Recycled: Uncoated, dyed-through paper made from 100% recycled paper fibres derived from both post-consumer waste (PCW) and industrial waste (PIW).

Toile Ocean: woven from 100% recycled plastic waste (55% from ocean bound plastic, 45% PCW) and coated with water-based acrylic. It can be offset printed and finished with screen printing and foil stamping.

I Also Fight Windmills - Ania Ready (VIKA: 2022) W&C Toile Ocean used for the book cover.



EPN: Eco Paper Database

EPN: Solving Packaging*

Glassine Paper Bags (100%) recyclable as paper

Eco alternatives to single-use plastic tape.

Compostible clear 'Cello' bags made in the UK

GreenWrap is an eco-friendly paper alternative to bubble wrap by offering similar cushioning protection but is naturally biodegradable, compostable, and fully recyclable.

Clear bioplastic film made from wood pulp in the UK (Recyclable, Compostable, Biodegradable). OK HOME compost certified and EN 13432

Cardboard bookwraps that are made of recycled material and recycle-able.

Eco Alternatives To Bubble Wrap including Geami Wrappak an expandable paper.

A company focused on developing innovative sustainable packaging alternatives to single-use plastic. Based in Cardiff, Wales, B-Corp Certified.

*Recommends naked (i.e. no packaging) or Re-usable packaging. 
Where this isn’t possible yet, there are other ways to make packaging more sustainable:

  • Make sure it’s the right size for the product
  • Choose non-toxic and sustainably-sourced materials
  • Include a high percentage of recycled content
  • Make it easy for consumers and businesses to recycle after use
  • Get robust certification for compostable packaging
  • Consider alternative materials made sustainably from waste fibers

Buying | Distribution

Database of international bookshops stocking photobooks, and associated poster & tote bag campaign.

Light Logistics
Hong Kong

A person-to-person distribution network enabled by the surplus carrying power of couriers.



2030 CalculatorA product carbon footprint calculation tool with a large database of materials

Creative Climate Investigations - Climate & Cities (Folium: 2022)


BEIS 2022 conversion factors: Can be used to calculate greenhouse gas emissions. Particularly useful for calculating Energy, transport and travel

Creative Climate Investigations - Climate & Cities (Folium: 2022)

Electricity Maps

Climate Impact by AreaShows where each country gets their electricity; Carbon intensity, renewables + low carbon sources. Especially useful in understanding operational carbon footprint by geographic area

Using Format