The term “environmental responsibility” has been commonplace in the professional world for a long time. Simply put, it’s about being mindful of how our actions can hurt or help the health of our planet.
For example, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2016 was the second warmest year ever recorded in the U.S., with extreme weather causing 15 weather and climate disasters that resulted in 138 deaths and $46 billion in damage. NOAA also confirmed that 16 of the last 17 warmest years ever recorded have occurred during the 21st century.
All health care organizations need to own the fact that they are in a position to affect the health of the planet, for better and for worse. That’s why Selected Readings in General Surgery (SRGS®) takes being green seriously. Since 2007, when the American College of Surgeons (ACS) acquired SRGS, being green has been a point of pride for the SRGS editorial team.
SRGS does its part in accordance with the following beliefs:
Less paper = a greener Earth
SRGS‘ online subscription options continue to grow in popularity, and we’re making sure that it stays that way by knowing exactly who our subscribers are and what they need. According to an essay by Jacob Lewis, chief executive officer of Figment, an online community and self-publishing platform for young writers, publishing is all about knowing your audience.
“It is about relationships. Publishers need to discover their readers,” and it’s all about “finding and understanding communities of consumers,” Mr. Lewis said.
From offering various subscription types to providing access to enhanced online features that no other literature review journal can match, the SRGS team strives to demonstrate how much it cares about helping the publication’s subscribers. Recently, SRGS demonstrated that dedication by introducing an audio feature.
“When we prepare content for presentation to our readers, we consider three factors: quality, relevance, and accessibility,” said Lewis Flint, MD, FACS, SRGS Editor-in-Chief. “In response to opinions expressed by a number of surgeons, we took SRGS accessibility to the next level with a new audio feature. Our hope is that this new offering will permit surgeons to access SRGS content in even more locations.”
Greener print publishing policy
According to the survey “Environmental Trends and Climate Impacts: Findings from the U.S. Book Industry,” cutting down trees accounts for nearly 63 percent of the publishing industry’s carbon footprint, while paper production and printing account for 26.6 percent of that footprint. Publishers’ carbon footprint from such things as office energy use, the internal use of paper, and travel contributes 6.6 percent of all industry carbon emissions.
SRGS only works with printers and suppliers who share its commitment to both quality products and the health of the environment. For more than 10 years, SRGS has been printed exclusively on Neenah Conservation paper.
“Neenah Conservation is one of the most environmentally responsible paper choices on the market,” said Michele Pistone, business development manager, Neenah Paper and Packaging, Alpharetta, GA. “It is manufactured chlorine-free with 100 percent post-consumer fiber. The paper is also Forest Stewardship Council certified and Green Seal certified, meeting federal procurement guidelines and ensuring responsible forest management.”
Similarly, SRGS is proud of its relationship with its printer, Darwill, a company that has adopted the highest-quality and most environmentally mindful standards in the Midwest.
“Darwill is committed to protecting the environment in which we live, said Patrick White, Darwill account executive. “Darwill is a proud member of the Forest Stewardship Council, whose mission is to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial, and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests.”
Keep a greener house
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to minimize the harmful health effects of producing and disposing electronics, their manufacturers, users, and owners must practice good stewardship, which requires a holistic approach concerned with the entire life cycle of electronics, from design to disposal.
The SRGS team recently conducted an internal audit of our daily activities and set goals for working greener. The entire SRGS team continues to be mindful of the responsible steps we can take every single day.
“Encouraging online subscriptions, working with green companies and vendors—these are absolutely important steps, but we each contribute personally, as well,” said Whitney Greer, SRGS Managing Editor. “One particular way that I try to contribute is by proofing electronically instead of relying on paper. That’s over 100 pounds of paper saved every year.”
Other simple but meaningful steps we all take include powering computers and printers off at the end of each work day, sending invoices and subscription notices electronically, turning unused lights off, using the recycling bins, walking/taking public transportation as often as possible, and even making sure our homes are as green as possible.
SRGS continues to be proud of its commitment to the Earth and resource savings, which we note on the back cover of every issue of SRGS.
Visit the Education area in ACS Central today to review an issue and demo SRGS audio. Don’t forget that Clinical Congress attendees will receive a 10 percent discount when they purchase or renew an SRGS subscription.