NEW YORK – The printing for the final Harry Potter book will not only be the biggest, but also the greenest.
Scholastic Inc. announced Tuesday that it had agreed with the Rainforest Alliance, a conservation organization that works with the business community, on tightened environmental standards for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," coming out July 21 with a first printing of 12 million.
J.K. Rowling's seventh Potter book will be a hulking 784 pages, Scholastic said, a comparable length to the last couple of Potter releases.
Among the details of Tuesday's agreement:
--The paper used will contain "a minimum of 30 percent post-consumer waste (pcw) fiber."
--Nearly two-thirds of the 16,700 tons of paper will be approved by the Forest Stewardship Council, an international organization with a mission to "promote environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests."
--A "deluxe" edition of the new book, which has a first printing of 100,000, will be printed on paper that contains "100 percent post-consumer waste fiber."
"We applaud Scholastic's progressive and bold commitment to support responsible forestry practices by buying FSC certified and recycled papers," Liza Murphy, senior marketing manager in the Rainforest Alliance's sustainable forestry program, said in a statement issued by Scholastic.
In 2005, when "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" came out, Greenpeace and other environmental groups complained that Scholastic wasn't using enough recycled paper and urged consumers to buy copies from the Canadian publisher, Raincoast Books.
Scholastic would not say at the time how much recycled paper it used, but said it did not use paper from ancient or endangered forests. Sales, apparently, were not affected: "Half-Blood Prince" sold 6.9 million copies in the first 24 hours.
On Tuesday, Greenpeace issued a statement praising the new standards for Potter 7 and noting that in "Europe and Canada, the past several editions of the Harry Potter series have been printed on forest friendly paper, per the wishes of J.K. Rowling."
"Many of the Harry Potter fans worldwide have been able to enjoy the books on FSC-certified paper, and it's great news that Ms. Rowling's American readers can enjoy the final installment of Harry Potter while playing a part in responsible forest management," said Greenpeace forest campaign coordinator Scott Paul.