March 20, 2007 / 9:08 PM / 10 years ago

Harry Potter works magic on publishing industry

3 Min Read

<p>File photo shows Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling applauding while watching a performance by Romanian children in Bucharest January 26, 2006. The record-breaking 12 million copies of the first U.S. printing of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" will be printed mostly on paper from well managed forests, the publisher announced.Vadim Ghirda/Pool</p>

NEW YORK, March 20 (Reuters Life!) - Harry Potter is working his magic on the publishing industry.

The record-breaking 12 million copies of the first U.S. printing of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" will be printed mostly on paper from well managed forests, the publisher announced.

The publication of the seventh and final book in the popular series by British author J.K. Rowling will require nearly 22 million pounds of paper.

But publisher Scholastic Corp. (SCHL.O), in collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance, said it will make sure 65 percent of the 16,700 tons of paper used to publish the book will be on Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper, which comes from forests that are socially and environmentally managed.

This is the largest purchase of FSC-certified paper to be used in a single printing to date.

"It's a really big step for the publishing industry to have a book this size and this number, this sheer volume of pages and print to be able to be on FSC-certified paper," said Kyle Good, vice president of corporate communications for Scholastic.

Scholastic has used recycled paper for its books in the past, but Good insists that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" presents a particularly big challenge for the publisher because of the sheer number of books that need to be published.

She added that sixty-five percent of the book will be printed on FSC-certified paper is quite an accomplishment.

"Other publishers don't have a million print run of a single book. So getting enough paper to print 12 million copies of a single book at the same time -- it is very hard to procure that amount."

A senior manager at Rainforest Alliance, which worked with Scholastic to obtain the vast amounts of FSC-certified paper, said that the environmentally-conscious forestry industry has grown quickly in the last two years.

"One of the things that's really rather notable about this is that in the fairly tight time frames that (Scholastic) worked in to identify who could get them what paper, they were able to find significant amounts in the marketplace," said Liza Murphy, Rainforest Alliance senior manager of marketing development in sustainable forestry.

"And what that speaks to is over the last two years there's been a tremendous increase in FSC-certified forests, and as a result we're seeing product move through the supply chains in abundant amounts," she added.

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