We take steps to ensure that every single Usborne book is produced responsibly, ethically and safely.
Usborne is part of the Book Chain Project that gives publishers the information they need to chart the full story of how their books are produced. The Book Chain Project provides guidance and tools to help publishers better understand their book supply chains and reduce environmental impact. They collect and share information on the origins of tree fibres in the papers, the level of safety of chemicals in the inks, glues and varnishes, and the working conditions of the factories where the books are made.
Looking after our people
We are committed to manufacturing books responsibly and can track where Usborne books are printed. We make sure that the people making our books are safe and being treated fairly and respectfully, and that our suppliers are minimising their impact on their local environments. All our printers have been Sedex or ICTI accredited, which means they undergo regular, stringent audits and share their results with us.
We carefully assess labour and environmental standards in the facilities that produce our products, and make sure our that our suppliers all adopt and implement the Usborne Supplier Code of Conduct. This is a set of sustainability tools and agreed processes based on the International Labour Organization (ILO), The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI).
Every year, we review and publish a Modern Slavery Statement. We are fully dedicated to the prevention of all forms of slavery, forced labour or servitude, child labour and human-trafficking, in our own organisation, in the agencies we use to hire staff and in our direct and indirect suppliers, wherever they are located. We will continue to improve our approach to these matters.
Looking after our forests
Trees can live much longer than we do – they are our link to the past and to the future. They are the biggest and the oldest living things on Earth. There are many kinds, each one fascinating and extremely important.
We want to protect the trees and the forests, their biodiversity, and the habitats they provide for animals and people. All Usborne books and products are printed from a mixture of recycled paper and paper and boards from sustainable, well-managed forests.
As of March 2023, all our books are printed on FSC-certified paper. Our suppliers have necessary certifications and use FSC (Forest Stewardship Council®) certified materials. You can find the FSC logo displayed on our covers and packaging, to indicate that the title was printed on FSC-certified materials.
We can trace where the paper was manufactured, what tree fibres it contains and where those trees were harvested, making sure that the world’s forests are sustained for the future. We use the Book Chain Project database of paper that is graded depending on its sustainability. It considers whether material has been legally harvested (or recycled) and how well the forest sources have been managed.
We also support a range of tree planting projects around the world with our partners at Ecologi, such as mangrove restoration on the coastal land of Madagascar. We are only at the start of the collaboration, but Usborne Publishing has contributed to planting 18,250 trees already.
In 2023, we’re celebrating Usborne Publishing’s 50th birthday. By our 100th birthday, we should have a forest to celebrate, as well as our books. You can find out about Ecologi and the work they do, and to keep up with our reforestation endeavours by checking on the Usborne forest with Ecologi.
There is still lots more to do, and we can all play our part in preserving trees, woodlands and forests. Discover more in our environmental titles and through Usborne Quicklinks.
Looking after our planet
To help minimize plastic pollution we are reviewing all the single-use plastic materials in our products. We are aiming to either remove any plastic from our packaging and toy packs, or to switch to plastic that can be easily recycled.
We have implemented some changes already. As of the start of 2022, there will be no more plastic lids on our That’s not my… book and toy gift boxes, no more plastic brushes with our Magic Painting books and no more plastic packaging keeping the toys in place on our Wind-up and Pull-back books.
The plastic tags that now hold toys in place are now recyclable. We are also trialling the use of plastic-free varnish on our book covers.
Batteries and EEE waste recycling is important. Our sound books, LED books and musical books are battery-operated and should be disposed of correctly, so they don’t end up in landfill or cause harm to the environment or to human health.
Please follow battery recycling guidance, and electrical and electronic equipment recycling guidance – you can find more information here.
Empowering the next generation
As well as implementing improvements to our book production and manufacturing processes, we are also dedicated to creating books that educate and empower children to play their own role in looking after our planet - and the people, animals and plants living on it.
Books to inspire the next generation