Everyone at Candlewick Press is committed to making the world a better place, not just through the books we publish but also in the way we work. You can read here about our green initiatives and our commitment to improving life in our community.
A strong sense of ethics is intrinsic to most great children’s books, so to us, taking our responsibilities seriously seems obvious: more than that, it is central to everything we do. As a publisher of more than two hundred books a year in the United States alone, we’re particularly aware of our impact on the environment and have always done everything we could to ensure that that impact is positive rather than negative. Here are some of the ways in which we are working:
Our Books and Products
As a producer of children’s books, we aim to do business with suppliers who recognize a social accountability standard, and we are engaged in a number of projects to make that goal a reality. Candlewick Press will not knowingly use paper sourced from high-risk regions or other controversial sources. We are deeply committed to halting the production of all paper from controversial sources, which are defined as:
Producers and fiber associated with the loss of old growth, intact or primary forests, tropical peatlands and peatland forests, or other high-carbon landscapes; producers and fiber associated with the loss of habitats of threatened or endangered fish and wildlife species; producers and fiber associated with the loss of high conservation values; producers and fiber associated with the conversion of natural forests to plantations lacking natural forest diversity or to non-forest land uses (and thus likely reducing forest carbon stocks and maintaining forest landscapes, biodiversity and resource sustainability); producers and fiber associated with violations of indigenous or local community rights; producers and fiber associated with violations of laws applicable to forest allocation, management, production, and trade; and producers and fiber associated with the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs); producers and fiber associated with the use of elemental chlorine and harmful water and air pollution; producers and fiber associated with companies that have failed to address the legacy of negative social and environmental impacts of their operations via restoration/compensation efforts and resolution of land and social conflict with affected communities whose rights have been violated by a process mutually agreed by the parties.
(Source: Rainforest Action Network)
As a global publishing group we have stopped using paper from controversial Indonesian sources and do not do business with the Indonesian mills of Asia Pulp and Paper and Asia Pacific Resources International Limited. Our minimum paper requirement is a three-star rating on the PREPS database, and Candlewick Press actively encourages print partners to improve recycled grades and FSC availability. We are currently 100 percent three stars and above with the goal of having 40 percent FSC stock in Asia, subject to availability and cost, and will work diligently towards being able to report a higher increase over the next three years.
In addition, we support and encourage our suppliers to operate in accordance with our high standards.
Candlewick Press and our parent company, Walker Books Group, are founding members of the Publishers' Database for Responsible Environmental Paper Sourcing (PREPS), an organization that provides objective information about paper and its sources. PREPS is a joint initiative of twenty-three leading publishers. Together, these companies have set up a database of technical specifications and details of the pulps and forest sources for each of the papers they use, with the aim of ensuring that we all use legally harvested and sustainable forest sources. Based on this information, each paper will be awarded a grade of one to five stars, using the PREPS Grading System. This system considers whether material has been legally harvested (or recycled) and how the forest sources have been managed. Our policy is to use materials that are three-star grades and above, which excludes pulp of uncertain origin, including Indonesian, and we have been actively substituting our core range of papers to stock with traceability. The rating system also encompasses FSC and PEFC certification. Further information about PREPS can be found at www.prepsgroup.com.
Independent Fiber Testing
We carry out fiber testing with an external testing laboratory and are currently working toward having all group papers from Asia tested at random from each of our printers to cross-reference the data we hold from both the PREPS database and fiber profiles from our print partners. For domestic printings, where papers originate in North America, we will cross-reference via fiber testing the environmental renewable credentials against information supplied by the printer and mills.
Forest Stewardship Council
The Forest Stewardship Council is an international nonprofit organization founded in 1993 to promote and recognize good and sustainable forestry practices around the world.
At Candlewick Press, we insist that all our suppliers hold the FSC Chain of Custody, a tool for tracking and confirming how much wood fiber comes from a certified forest. It certifies that all raw wood material is from legal sources and also certifies the tracing process. Wherever possible we use FSC grades, which ensures that the paper and board in our books are natural recyclable products made from wood grown in sustainable forests. This helps to prevent illegal logging as well as preserve indigenous habitats and wildlife.
The manufacturing process must also conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin. For more information, visit www.fsc.org.
Overall, Candlewick Press makes every effort to minimize waste wherever possible, both in our supply chain and our office environment.
Candlewick Press’s parent company, Walker Books, also belongs to PRELIMS, an umbrella organization for companies in the international book trade who want their products to meet the highest ethical standards. We are all working together through PRELIMS to promote and implement a common, internationally recognized social accountability standard, which both we and our suppliers must adhere to. For further information, please visit
The standards we are adopting derive from those used by the global toy industry and managed by its industry body, the International Council of Toy Industries. Called the CARE Process, the standard covers areas such as working conditions, health and safety, remuneration, working hours, and the prohibition of the use of child or forced labor. For more information about social accountability and for details about CARE, please visit
We want to ensure that our books are fun and safe, and all of our products with play value are tested to relevant legislation EN 71 (Europe). Candlewick Press products are and will remain in compliance with the relevant portions of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which went into effect August 14, 2008. Please refer to: www.cpsc.gov for complete details and the latest information on this act. Please direct any further questions on Candlewick products to us at
Our Work with Charities and the Local Community
Caring for children is at the heart of what we do, and Candlewick Press has a long history of supporting literacy and charitable organizations, including, but not limited to, Reading Is Fundamental, First Book, the Department of Social Services, the Boys and Girls Club of America.
Candlewick Press in the Community
As anyone who has worked with children knows, often the most precious thing you can give them is your own time. So as well as donating books to schools and educators, a number of Candlewick staff participate in the Read to a Child program.
Read to a Child (readtoachild.org) is a national nonprofit literacy and mentoring organization that inspires caring adults to read aloud to children.
Our Working Environment
When Candlewick Press moved offices in March 2008, we made sure that environmentally friendly materials were used in our new office space, from our light bulbs to flooring materials, which are a combination of concrete and bamboo. We also used sustainable fabrics for some of our furnishings and kept a substantial portion of our furniture from our old offices to use in our new space.
Recycling: We encourage all employees to recycle, and to make it easier, we make sure every desk has a recycle bin and each department a separate bin. Our paper recycling efforts typically yield approximately 19,000 pounds of paper each year. Every effort is made to use recycled paper products as much as possible.
Energy efficiency: We encourage everyone to be energy-conscious, to switch off unwanted lights and turn off computers when not in use, whether during the day or when leaving work. Our office lights are also programmed to switch off after business hours, and the interior offices have sensors so the lights automatically turn off when rooms are not occupied. We also use timers on our HVAC systems so they automatically shut off each weekday and stay off over weekends and holidays to conserve electricity.
Drinking water: We filter our drinking water from the main water line rather than using bottled water, and we encourage use of glasses instead of plastic cups.
Photocopier paper: Our paper is supplied from sustainable sources and returns to the recycling process as waste. The aim is for everyone to print only when necessary and to print on both sides of the paper. In the summer of 2009, Candlewick, in an effort to reduce our paper consumption, replaced the distribution of printed manuscripts with distribution via e-reader devices.
Video conferencing: We use our in-house video conferencing facilities to help reduce “meeting miles.”
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