*Can be used as a reference for making environmentally conscious book making choices in the UK

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

This resource has been assembled by the Sustainable Photobook Publishing (SPP) Network


  • How many books are being made?
  • What chemicals are used in the printing process, are vegetable, soy or water based options available?
  • Does the printer have eco certifications? (14001, FSC)
  • Can the paper be de-inked for recycling? 
  • If plates are used in the printing process, can they be recycled/ re-used? 
  • What is the paper made of, are the materials sustainably sourced? 
  • What is the paper size? Can the book size be optimised to minimise waste? 
  • Are the materials recycled and/or recyclable? (Most coated paper cannot be recycled)
  • Can the use of plastic be minimised or avoided?


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. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

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.

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. It maps out a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up an effective environmental management system.




Example Book


F E Burman 
Bermondsey, London

Litho and digital (B2 HP Indigo Printer).
FSC Certified.
ISO14001 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). 
Award winning sustainable printers.
EMAS 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. 
All paper types are either 100% recycled or sourced from sustainably grown forests. 
Digital press uses solvent-free toner manufactured with certified green energy. 
Printing plant is powered in part by solar panels.

Park Communications
Docklands, London

Litho and digital 
EMAS certified: sustainable printing processes, from chemicals usage, to waste reduction, to carbon reduction across the entire supply chain

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

Park Press 
Margate, Kent

Risograph Printer 
High quality spot colour printing with low environmental impact

The Sustainable Darkroom // Workshop Guide by London Alternative Photography Collective (2020)

Pureprint Group 
Uckfield, East Sussex

Litho and digital printing
First CarbonNeutral® printer in the world. 
Offers printing with soy/vegetable based ink.

Beyond Drifting by Mandy Barker (Overlapse: 2017)


Waterless offset printing with LED drying
100% alcohol (VOC) free printing process
FSC Certified
100% renewable energy
Zero waste to landfill (since 2009)
Net carbon negative

St Austell Printing Company 
St Austell, Cornwall

Litho and digital printing
Award winning sustainable printers 
Factory is built to BREEAM Excellent rating 
Carbon balanced printer, FSC certified


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

Digital - HP Indigo Press

B2 HP Indigo Printer (B2 = 500x707mm max sheet size) 

B1 HP Indigo Printer (B1 = 1000x707mm max sheet size)

PRINT RUN: Any number 
INK: Oil based
PAPER: Coated and uncoated

Offset Lithograph

PRINT RUN: Typically for editions larger than 200 books 
INKS: Typically Vegetable based inks (depending on printer) 
PAPER: Coated and uncoated


PRINT RUN: Any number 
Details dependent on the specific copier machine

(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


PRINT RUN: Any number 
METAL PLATES REQUIRED: No/ The machine makes a 'master' stencil 
INK: Vegetable
PAPER: Uncoated only

FURZE - Jack Whitefield (Tarmac Press: 2020) Risograph Printed on Newsprint paper


General paper supplier, stocks Arjowiggins papers including Coccoon and Cyclus (natural white)

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

Large selection of recycled papers

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

EXTRACT: FSC Recycled paper made from waste coffee cups: Coloured (130, 380gsm)

this is how the earth must see itself - Tamsin Green (manual.editions: 2021) Digitally printed by FE Burman on GF Smith Extract 380gsm recycled paper (cover + box)

Bier: Textured (100-250 gsm)Heidi: Coloured + textured (250gsm)

Options: White, textured + smooth (118-352 gsm)

Environment: White + coloured (90-324 gsm)

Large selection of recycled papers

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

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

(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

Writing Wove: White (90-298 gsm)

Kraft: Coloured + textured (50, 120gsm)


Munken: Uncoated paper rangeEU Ecolabel, FSC® FSC-C020637 and PEFC™ PEFC/05-33-99 certified

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

Claro bulk is 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

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)

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) 


Using left over paper stock

Ol Pejeta by Jack Davison (Loose Joints: 2021) Responsibly printed using a mix of excess papers, leftover from other projects

Using paper off-cuts from the book making process as protective packaging for shipping

manual.editions: All shipped books use paper off-cuts as protective packaging

Using test print sheets as protective dust-jackets

YET issue 12: What We Have Learnt About Publishing

Using paper off-cuts from the book making process to make new work

Handmade Paper Drawings by Sayako Sugawara


Supplies recycled and compostible clear packaging

Supplies eco-bookwraps that are made of recycled material and recycle-able

Using Format