From the New York Times:

J. K. Rowling blocked the Finnish publication of her latest Harry Potter novel on paper from Finland because it lacked the ecologically friendly certification she favors, Agence France-Presse reported. Her Finnish publisher, Tammi, said that Ms. Rowling insisted that it import paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as being derived from wood grown and harvested in a way that promotes sustainable forest development. Sinikka Partanen, a spokeswoman for Tammi, said the first Potter books in Finnish were printed on recycled paper. “This time it’s a more specific demand,” she said. The Finnish-language version of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is due on March 7.

Posted by Mark Coale


  1. Perhaps I’m missing something here. The choices appear to be:-

    Local recycled paper. Transport costs: lower. Trees cut down: zero.

    Imported paper from sustainable forests. Transport costs: higher. Trees cut down: more.

    Why is the imported paper a good idea?

  2. Among the paper merchants and printers I deal with on a daily basis here in Canada, there is an increased awareness of how foreign countries, ie: China, are doing real damage by producing very low cost paper by using any means necessary.

    Whether this is completely factual or not, I suppose is debatable, but it seems likely that it is.
    Be careful of dealing with printing companies that can offer you tremendous savings on paper.
    How are they achieving this deep discount?

    The basic concept behind FSC is that the paper is produced from trees that were cut down in a renewable way, ie, replanting is taking place, and not clearcut from rainforests and virgin timber reserves for example.

    The term recycled paper can be misleading. Recycled paper CAN be just reused pulp and such from the mill, or it can be labelled as Post-Consumer Waste. PCW is seen as the real recycled: stuff that we used, and then threw out into our blue box at the curbside.

    Our clients seem to prefer the recycled glossy stock , not nearly as keen on seeing their messages printed on uncoated, speckled less white paper. Hmmm.

  3. While Ms. Rowling’s heart is in the right place, this is just plain silly and only proves that she hasn’t bothered to check the facts.

    Finland is the most sparsely populated country in the European Union, possibly due to the fact that forests and woodland make up a staggering 76% (seventy-six!) of the land use. (Compare this with the UK 12%)

    If there’s one country in the world that doesn’t need sustained forest development it’s Finland. Importing paper is going to do WAY more damage to the enviroment than not replanting those trees.

    I’m surprised that her Finnish publisher didn’t politely point this out to her this before she embarressed herself in public.

  4. Whether her “heart is in the right place” or not, there’s no way Rowling could block her book’s publication without a contractual proviso that empowers her to do so. That means she has a contract – no doubt printed on pre-approved paper – stating her terms in unambiguous legalese to her Finnish publisher, and those terms weren’t met. What she has to be “embarrassed” about is a fucking mystery to me – her terms were agreed to and the breach of her agreement is presumably being cured to meet the Finnish press date.