Condé Nast maps out sustainability goals

Jo Francis
Friday, May 22, 2020

Publisher Condé Nast has announced that it will end the use of all single-use plastic packaging by 2025, and will move to 100% certified paper by the end of next year.

CN: first priority is to transition to more sustainable materials
CN: first priority is to transition to more sustainable materials

The media group is the publisher of glossy titles including Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and House & Garden.

This week it announced the results of its first-ever global carbon assessment, along with an ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030 “20 years ahead of the Paris Agreement net-zero carbon emission targets”.

Condé Nast said it would also become one of the first publishing companies “to begin accounting for the environmental footprint of its digital value chain”.

The group’s five-year strategy is focused on four areas: reducing emissions; engaging suppliers; using more sustainable materials; and ‘becoming a voice for change’.

It said it would be working with its supply chain “to foster a more sustainable publishing sector, by revising its procurement approaches and foster industry-led initiatives”.

The first priority is to transition to more sustainable materials throughout the production process, “as well as the adoption of high performing alternatives”.

Plans include moving print products to 100% internationally certified paper by the end of next year, and has also pledged to remove “all fossil-based, non-recyclable plastic packaging from publications across all Condé Nast markets by 2025” following its decision to sign up to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s ‘New Plastics Economy Global Commitment’ at the end of last year.

Publishers are increasingly using paperwrapping instead of polywrap for subscription copies of magazines that are mailed, and some are testing alternatives to plastic wraps for newsstand copies that need to be wrapped.

The alternative packaging solutions adopted by Condé Nast worldwide so far are: naked mailing (U.S.); paper envelopes (Russia); recycled plastics made from post-consumer waste and low-density polyethylene (Britain and Germany); and bio-based compostable packaging made from potato starch, sugar cane and corn (Britain, France, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Taiwan, Italy).

Condé Nast has also published its first sustainability assessment detailing greenhouse gas emissions and materials across its 12 Condé Nast markets, its supply chain and the use of paper and plastic packaging in magazine production.

The figures, for 2018, show that 96% of the 35,000 tonnes of paper it used in 2018 was fully PEFC or FSC certified, and 440 tonnes of single-use plastic were used in magazine packaging. 

The detailed report is available at


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