Skip to main content

About Scholastic

Green Initiatives

Last Updated: September 15, 2015

For a downloadable PDF of this document, please click here (PDF).


  • Silver Workplace Designation from Smart Commute MRH (a division of Metrolinx) for sustainable transportation performance and initiative, 2015
  • Best in Class, Canopy Ancient Forest Friendly™ Awards, 2012
  • Environmental Business of the Year from the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce, 2012
  • Inaugural Conservation Supporter Award from Canopy, 2011


At Scholastic Canada, we care about the future and the preservation of Earth’s natural resources. As a publisher and distributor of children’s books, one of our goals is to educate and inspire young people to actively pursue environmentally friendly choices. We also feel that it is our responsibility to lead by example. Every part of our organization is committed to demonstrating our respect and concern for the environment. We do this on a daily basis in the decisions we make and the actions we take, be it through office recycling programs, improved warehouse practices, or leadership in paper procurement policies. In these and other ways, we hope to help ensure that this and future generations of children can learn, grow, and prosper in a healthy world.

Please refer to the glossary at the end of this document for abbreviations and terms used here.



  • We are careful to select suppliers who demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement in source reduction and pollution prevention to minimize their environmental footprint, including the use of vegetable-based inks.
  • Throughout our organization, we strive to reduce carbon emissions caused by transportation. We work with domestic paper mills and have streamlined logistics to reduce our carbon footprint. Over 90% of our printing (including promotional material and books) takes place in Canada.
  • We work with virtual proof-to-press (softproofing) with as many print vendors as possible to reduce paper use in the production process


We strive to reduce carbon emissions caused by transportation. We work with domestic paper mills and have streamlined logistics to reduce our carbon footprint.

Promotional Materials

  • Catalogues: 100% are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and most are printed on 10–30% Post Consumer Waste (PCW). All of our catalogues are recyclable.
  • Displays: Displays are created to be multi-purpose and are retrofitted to accommodate new product. Header boards are modified using stickers instead of printing new ones for each promotion. All of our displays are recyclable.
  • Bags: Paper or cloth bags are used whenever possible. Plastic bags are only used for samples, and since 2008, they have been produced from oxo-biodegradable plastic.
  • On a case-by-case basis we look at the end-use of each product, and we seek to reduce waste and the amount of virgin fibre used.

Book Printing

  • We only work with FSC-certified printers.
  • We constantly work toward change and are improving the number of book titles printed on FSC-paper with recycled fibre. In some cases, there are technical limitations and availability constraints on book-quality recycled paper stock. We believe that once paper mills can meet quality and quantity demands, we can move more books onto FSC-certified recycled paper.
  • We supply environmental impact statements on copyright pages as space permits.
  • When packaging is necessary for our products, we use oxo-biodegradable plastic or FSC-certified stock.


  • We print our student news flyers on 100% recycled paper that is FSC-certified and Ancient Forest Friendly (AFF). The newsprint used for the student news contains at least 85% PCW (varies by batch).
  • We work locally: we print our flyers in Canada, and our paper is sourced domestically, thereby limiting shipping and minimizing our carbon footprint.
  • We continually update our databases, thereby increasing accuracy and reducing waste and duplicate mailings.
  • Reading Club packages are sealed in bags made from oxo-degradable plastic. These bags may be recycled where plastic bag recycling facilities exist.
  • Every component of the Reading Club kits mailed to schools, including packaging, plastic binding, staples, and the flyers themselves, can be recycled.
  • In spring of 2010, Book Clubs ran a Green version of the ClassroomsCare program, empowering students to make a difference for the environment. When classes read 100 books between January 2010, and Earth Day, April 22, 2010, Book Clubs made a donation to help protect 100 square kilometres of Canada’s Boreal Forest, to a maximum of 50,000 square km. The donation is being used to support the study and protection of this vital ecosystem.


  • Our marketing materials are printed on FSC-certified paper, with the majority containing 10-30% PCW, and some containing as high as 50% PCW.
  • Our consultants verify a school’s enrolment and grade levels before a Fair so that accurate quantities are provided and waste is kept to a minimum.
  • We encourage our customers to recycle all of our paper items and to keep Book Fair items, such as cardboard easels and table covers, for future Fairs.
  • A new 16-page Book Fair Planner has replaced the larger 32-page Chairperson’s Guidebook. A new 16-page Bilingual Planner replaces both the 32- page French and 32-page English Guides sent to each Festival du Livre.
  • Our Promotions Guide is now only available online. This has eliminated a printing of over 10,000 booklets each year. Our Commission Worksheet and Evaluation Questionnaire are also available online.
  • A new Prepaid Reorder resource is now available online. As more customers transition to online reordering instead of faxing, we anticipate decreased need for paper, toner, machine maintenance and energy.
  • As many of Scholastic catalogues are now available online, we have minimized the number of hard copies sent in our Planning Kits, thus saving on paper and reducing shipping needs.
  • The introduction of new online webinars allows customers to participate from their schools or homes, eliminating the need to travel to workshop locations.


Catalogue and Marketing Materials

  • 100% of catalogues and flyers are FSC-certified and most are printed on 10–30% Post Consumer Waste (PCW). All of our catalogues are recyclable.
  • Fall 2010 saw the launch of our online catalogue and ordering system (resulting in reduced page counts of all our major catalogues).

Text Printing

  • We only work with FSC-certified printers
  • Non-book media texts are produced on long-lasting, recyclable polyart.
  • Our packaging is either FSC-certified stock or plastic bags that contain 10% recycled plastic and are 100% recyclable where facilities exist.
  • We have started to shift to more online student and teacher resources.


  • Temperature regulation in our buildings ensures 22°C when using heat and 25.5°C when using air-conditioning.
  • Blue bins for recycling cans, bottles, and paper have been installed throughout our buildings.
  • Batteries and writing tools are recycled. Drop boxes are provided at each of our locations for these programs.
  • Used printer and toner cartridges from our printers and photocopiers are returned to the appropriate supplier for recycling.
  • Remanufactured cartridges contain an average of 90% reused/recycled parts.
  • Our cleaners use environmentally friendly products, and we use an organic form of lawn maintenance on our grounds.
  • A “lights off’ policy is promoted for rooms not in use.


  • All of our shipping boxes come from a responsible source and contain 39% recycled content (pre-consumer + post-consumer). This percentage changes based on the paper mill and is updated on a yearly basis.
  • Dunnage and loose paper, used to support packages, is made from 75% recycled content.
  • Warehouse lighting has been upgraded to include motion sensors on overhead lights in the bulk warehouse. Lights power up automatically when a person or vehicle enters an aisle and automatically extinguish when the aisle is vacated.


  • In June 2015, 411 kgs (four pallets) of technology equipment was recycled by Artex Environmental Corporation on behalf of Scholastic Canada through the Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) program.
  • The Scholastic Canada Green Team was formed to encourage fellow employees to “Go Green.” The team initiate and shared ideas on energy conservation, waste reduction, and earth-friendly practices — such as Garbage Free Fridays and encouraging the use of stainless steel water bottles.
  • FSC-certified (50% PCW) office paper is used for all photocopiers, faxes, and printers in our offices and warehouses.


Scholastic Canada donates books to support nationwide charitable organizations and initiatives directed at special needs and at-risk students. Books are also donated to events that promote literacy. Scholastic Canada’s book donations also reach children and families worldwide through international aid agencies and disaster relief projects helping to rebuild schools and libraries. Over 150,000 books in English and French are donated each year to over 1500 organizations. Remaining books that are damaged or not suitable for donation are sent to a recycling facility.


Ancient Forest Friendly

In order to be designated Ancient Forest Friendly (AFF), 100% of the paper’s fibre must have ecological attributes. This means that the paper is manufactured with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled, recycled and/or agricultural residue fibre and that any new fibre used in the paper must be both Forest Stewardship Council certified and assessed not to originate from endangered forests. Bleaching must be chlorine free.


The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit organization that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests. To certify a paper product, the council monitors the paper-making and printing processes, from the forests to the warehouse, to ensure that they are environmentally responsible. The FSC ensures that the forests where our paper pulp comes from are well managed and sustainable, and that the printers are as energy efficient and as environmentally friendly as possible. When a paper product has an FSC logo on it, it means that it has met the FSC criteria for environmentally responsible production choices.


Oxo-degradable plastic has been treated with an additive that stimulates thermo-oxidation. This significantly shortens the life-cycle of the bags in landfill: they are expected to biodegrade in 2–5 years with exposure to oxygen, heat, and stress.


Post-Consumer Waste refers to paper fibre created from materials such as newspapers, magazines, and flyers gathered through blue bin recycling programs. This fibre, which has already been used in one paper product, is then used to make new paper. The percentage shown in the Möbius loop identifies the amount of PCW in that product.