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Thames & Hudson Ltd Sustainability Statement

Thames & Hudson is a globally operating publishing company. Although we publish some paper-free and digital books, the vast majority of our output consists of colour books printed on paper. We recognise that our business is part of a complex supply chain and acknowledge the potential impact that the running of our business may have on the environment and the necessity of maintaining environmentally friendly practices.

To this end we have set up a team of staff members from across the business, led by our company chairman, who are working on our Sustainability Policy by reviewing resources and practices, and setting future goals. Our Sustainability Policy is part of a broad range of social responsibility policies that also include a focus on working conditions and staff welfare on our own sites and those of our suppliers.

We are founding signatories to the UK Publishers Association’s pledge to take action on climate Change.

We actively publish books across our list to encourage and promote sustainability and environmental awareness. These include The Green Imperative; The Eco-Design Handbook; Sustainable Materials, Processes and Production; The New Autonomous House; Design & Landscape for People; Habitat; The Sustainable Fashion Handbook; The Eco-Travel Handbook; How To Thrive in the Next Economy; The Big Book of Belonging; The Big Book of Bugs.

Paper sourcing

To protect and preserve the world’s forests we use papers made from timber and pulp that is from legal, sustainable and well-managed sources. We do not procure paper that is made from mixed tropical hardwood, including ramin, or wood that has been:

  • illegally harvested
  • logged in protected areas, or areas currently undergoing an official process of designation for protection unless the logging is clearly in line with national conservation regulations
  • sourced from endangered, old growth forests, drained tropical peatlands, Indonesian tropical rainforests, high-risk acacia forests and any contentious suppliers or their affiliates

We are committed to using only print suppliers that are accredited by Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Our printers are instructed to buy paper on our behalf which is FSC-accredited.

If FSC Accredited materials are not available, we direct our printers to buy from well-known and reputable sources. As a result, over 90% of our books and all our catalogues are made from FSC-certified materials.


We are committed to working only with print suppliers who can demonstrate a commitment to the preserving the environment. We require ISO 14001 accreditation as a minimum. ISO 14001 is an internationally accredited standard that sets out effective Environmental Management Systems recognising a commitment to effective management of waste, careful use of energy and ensuring recycling processes are in line with governments standards. ISO 50001 accreditation is desirable. ISO 50001 is aimed at organisations committed to addressing their impact, conserving resources and improving the bottom line through efficient energy management.

Our editorial team are encouraged to work to a set of economical page size formats, designed to fit standard printing press sizes in an effort to reduce paper wastage on both first and subsequent printings.

Although it is not suitable for the majority of our book ouput, we fully embrace digital printing and publishing where appropriate.

Shipping and Distribution

We work to print schedules that call for the use of sea freight over land transport or air freight.

Wherever possible, we consolidate shipments from overseas suppliers to reduce the carbon emissions associated with sea freight.

We ship most of our books to only two warehouses, one in the UK and one in the US.

We fully endorse and actively support our UK-based distributor, Hachette Book Distribution’s, Sustainability programme as detailed here:

In-house practices


As a result of our shift to home-working during the pandemic, and in response to employee feedback, we have developed a Flexible Working Policy, which has led to a reduction in emissions arising from staff commuting and general office usage.

We actively encourage the safe use of cycling as a principal means of travel. Our company benefits provider, Enjoy Benefits, participates in the Cycle to Work scheme, which enables our employees to purchase a bike using an interest-free loan provided by Thames & Hudson Ltd. We also provide secure bike lock areas.

Business travel has been reduced significantly, and the carbon cost of any necessary business travel will be offset at the point of purchase from 1 June 2024.

Energy and Waste

We only use energy-efficient light bulbs and we are formulating a policy to upgrade these to LED lamps where possible.

Staff are required to turn off lights and non-essential electrical equipment out of hours when not in use.

All of our meeting rooms are equipped with facilities to show documents on a large screen to reduce paper consumption.

A significant proportion of our office waste is recycled for sorting at the relevant recycling centre, where the target is to recycle 98% of all general waste.

Paper and cardboard collection points are provided on every floor and next to every photocopier.

We have implemented a system to monitor and reduce paper usage of every printer and copier.

We do not accept, or use, any non-recyclable packing materials in our London head office. Flexible plastics and paper are recycled.

We use a high proportion of recyclable cardboard packaging for shipments from our offices and aim to make all shipment packaging 100% recyclable by the end of 2025.

12 March 2024