Photograph by Megan Seldon, National Geographic
Over the past few years, National Geographic has commissioned or collaborated on a number of reports and studies intended to help us, as well as our partners, vendors, and the industry at large, better understand the environmental impact of our printing and production activities. We are committed to continuous assessment and improvement, and strive to do our work in a way that minimizes our environmental impact while delivering a quality product at an affordable cost.
Each of the reports in this section has provided important insights and analysis.
2009 National Geographic Magazine LCA (Life Cycle Analysis)
The National Geographic magazine LCA was done by the Society with its paper supplier, Verso Paper, and its printer, Quad Graphics. It was done in conjunction with Harmony Environmental LLC, a certified LCA practitioner. The goal was to establish the carbon footprint of the National Geographic magazine.
We undertook this "cradle-to-grave" emissions assessment of a copy of the magazine (the functional unit) so we could understand the opportunities we have to reduce those emissions. We have made significant strides in reducing those emissions since 2009, and we will continue to pursue the goal of driving those emissions down as far as possible.
2012 Analyses of Virgin Versus Recycled Paper
In 2012 Environ International Corporation was commissioned to produce a report, aided by several NGOs, to help National Geographic establish the relative benefits of using recycled paper versus using virgin paper in magazine printing. Since much of the decision as to which to use depends on the existing market conditions for recycled fiber (availability, quality, cost, and performance on press), we had Environ also do a market study to help us understand the market conditions so we could be better informed on the availability and cost of recycled paper.
When the Environ reports were completed, we had Harmony Environmental LLC do a comparison of the results.
An "Assessment of the Environmental Performance of the Verso Paper Androscoggin Mill," by Paul Stuart of Processys. This was commissioned in 2011.