Chronicle Books Environmental Policy
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Chronicle Books is committed to environmental sustainability by supporting the protection of the earth’s natural resources. We foster policies that support the global preservation of endangered forests and use of recycled materials and work to minimize excess throughout our supply chain. 

In Our Manufacturing

Paper is the heart of our business, and the choices we make can help preserve endangered forests—today and for generations of future readers to come. To this end, we are dedicated to furthering paper policies that support the global preservation of endangered forests and will continually investigate ways to minimize our environmental footprint as technology and other alternatives evolve. 

Responsible Paper Procurement

Chronicle Books is committed to using paper that is made from legally sourced fiber from well-managed forests. After evaluating our current supply chain, we believe we have reached our 2016 goal of eliminating the use of all fiber for which the sourcing results in social conflict in our manufacturing. That said, we feel that this goal is ongoing and necessitates continuous monitoring to make certain this standard is maintained and evolves as needed. 

We are proud to print our products on responsibly sourced papers, chosen using the Publishers Database for Responsible Environmental Paper Sourcing. We use the PREPS grading system to evaluate the environmental content of the papers we use and have enacted due care fiber testing to ensure supplier compliance with our policy and that the papers we choose do not contain traces of illegally-sourced tropical hardwoods in their fiber baskets.

75% of all titles we manufactured in 2020, including 83% of our frontlist, are currently certified to Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) standards. These numbers represent an increase from 2018 when 63% of all titles, and 78% of our frontlist were manufactured using FSC certified paper. FSC certification protects forests by limiting clear-cut size, restricting the use of pesticides and fertilizers, and preventing the conversion of natural forest to tree plantations. FSC is widely recognized by progressive businesses and the environmental community as offering the greatest protections to critical ecosystems, rare forest types, and the rights of workers and indigenous communities where trees are harvested.

Minimizing Waste

In an effort to minimize total paper consumption, we strive to reduce waste by strategically choosing trim sizes that minimize the amount of unused paper and using lower weight papers when appropriate.

We continually work with our supply chain to help us meet our environmental commitments. Chronicle Books will give preference to suppliers who have demonstrated a commitment to environmental protection and those who will help us achieve the goals outlined in this policy.

By striving to reduce our environmental impact, it is our hope that we will also encourage and inspire our suppliers, peer publishers, and readers to take steps to evaluate and reduce their impact on the environment and conserve natural resources.

In Our Offices

Here at Chronicle Books, environmental awareness extends into every corner of our workspace.

Office Design

When moving into our new building at 680 Second Street in 2007, we asked the architects to reuse as much of the previous build-out as possible, take advantage of the abundant natural light, and include features to conserve water and energy. The architects designed the space to incorporate the building’s original light fixtures, doors, windows, and stairwells. Carpeting in the office comes from local company Tandus and consists of tiles backed with recycled car windshields. The tables in our café space, library, and common areas are crafted from reclaimed wood, while book displays in our lobby and throughout the office are made from repurposed timber pilings. In addition to repurposing and recycling materials for the building itself, Chronicle Books strives to minimize its environmental impact in other ways. The building interiors were painted with low VOC paint and the plumbing was updated with a low-flow water system to reduce consumption.

Renewable Energy

Incorporating renewable energy sources into our building is an ongoing priority and has earned the building an annual Energy Star certification since 2009. Solar panels installed on our roof generate 50 kilowatts per hour of electricity, or approximately 350 kW in a day. That's 3,500 times the amount of energy that a 100-watt light bulb consumes in an hour. We use CFL bulbs wherever possible and all lights in the building are set to timers and motion sensors to help conserve energy whenever a room is not in use. In addition, a “solar shield” window film has been applied to large windows on the 3rd and 4th floors which blocks 99% of UV radiation, 66% of solar energy, and only 20% of visible light, for the end purpose of reducing overall energy consumption, especially during the warmer months. 

Office Paper Usage

Chronicle Books’ use of responsibly sourced paper is not limited to book production. Our catalogs are printed on FSC Mixed Source stock. The copier paper used in our offices contains 100% post-consumer recycled fiber, and our company letterhead contains 30% post-consumer recycled fiber. Our mailroom reuses boxes and packaging materials for outgoing shipments and all janitorial paper products contain at least 50% recycled fiber. In our three retail stores, shopping bags are made from 100% recycled, 95% post-consumer content.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Each floor of the building is equipped with bins designated for compost, recycling, and landfill, in addition to receptacles for batteries and electronics recycling through Green Disk and plastic bag/soft plastics recycling. Book dummies, proofs, and other reusable supplies are donated to SCRAP, a San Francisco non-profit creative re-use center, store, and workshop space providing reusable and recycled art supplies to teachers, art, and community groups.

Non-toxic Cleaning

We only use Method and Seventh Generation soaps and basic cleaning supplies in the office. Our janitorial service uses certified green cleaning products, special cloths instead of paper towels, and HEPA vacuums.


To minimize the number of cars on the road, we offer subsidized public transit benefits to the 80% of employees who take public transit to work. In addition, we offer secure bicycle storage in the building for the approximately 10% of our staff that bikes to work.

The mark of responsible forestry