Paper is, still and despite the changes that digital evolution has imposed on the publishing business, our main and indispensable raw material.

The life cycle of the paper product begins within the paper industry where the paper is made and then sent to the printing company. Subsequently, after being stored inside the warehouses, the printed paper product is delivered, through special logistics systems, to distributors and end customers.

Once the book/magazine is in the reader’s hands, the life cycle of the printed product continues in one of the following three ways:

  • the book/magazine remains in the reader’s home and can then eventually be reused (for example, re-read, given as a gift, donated to schools and/or libraries);
  • the book/magazine is sent to the collection and recycling of paper waste, which becomes a valuable raw material that can be reused in paper mills (waste paper);
  • the book/magazine is disposed of in an undifferentiated way.

Around paper, its production and its use, a very articulated supply chain develops, with important impacts also for the environment. For many years the production industry, the paper mills, have been at the forefront to transform the production cycle in sustainable ways, also thanks to international bodies whose mission is the protection of forests – paper is produced from the cellulose of trees – such as FCS, PEFC and Greenpeace.

As publishers, in response to Greenpeace’s invitation in 2010, we are committed to using certified paper throughout our production. We have joined the initiative launched to companies in the Italian paper industry to safeguard primary forests. In particular, we have undertaken to define a path to progressively increase over time the percentage of “forest friendly” paper.
In this sense, the data for the period 2010 – 2019 testify our commitment to progressively increase the sustainability of all our publishing houses.


In 2019, the total amount of paper purchased for the printing of publishing products (in Italy and the United States) amounted to about 66,155 tons (-6% compared to 2018). Thanks to the policy of purchasing goods and services that began in 2014, Mondadori has been able to consolidate its commitment to rationalizing the use of paper for printing its products and to have greater control over the process of selecting suppliers, so as to ensure that their work is consistent with the Group’s sustainability principles. The supplier selection criteria require the paper to be certified according to the two main schemes applied worldwide, FSC and PEFC, in order to progressively increase over time the percentage of certified paper used.


The table shows details of paper consumption by type (certified, classic and recycled) for the period 2017-2019.

Paper consumption - Italy (tonnes)

Certified paper 62,64399.98%67,32599.94%73,57397.9%
Recycled paper 5 0.01%320.05%370.0%
Traditional paper7 0.01% 110.02%1,5782.1%

United States

Rizzoli International Publications indirectly purchases raw materials through printing suppliers, mainly operating in China and, to a lesser extent, in Italy. Due to the type of products published and the international markets in which the company operates, to date the attention paid to the use of certified paper is limited. However, since 2018, the emphasis on the use of certified paper has grown to bring the company’s commitment into line with that of the Group. It is estimated that in 2019 about 80% of the paper used is certified, an increase compared to last year (in 2018 about 45%).

Below are estimates of paper consumption for the period 2017-2019: the increase is due to the increase in the number of copies produced.

Paper consumption United States (tonnes)

Tonnes 62,64367,32573,573

1 I dati relativi al consumo di carta 2017, 2018 e 2019 di RIP sono stati stimati sulla base delle copie prodotte e del peso medio per copia, poiché non disponibili nei documenti ricevuti dai fornitori dati di dettaglio relativi all’effettivo consumo di carta per la stampa, né è stato possibile risalire al solo costo della carta tra i dati riportati nelle fatture di acquisto.

Logistics and the end of life of editorial products

The distribution logistics of the Mondadori Group is developed through a series of overlapping networks that cover the entire national territory and differ in channels for the type of items managed and transported: magazines (newsstands, subscriptions and newspapers), books (trade and school), clubs (Mondolibri products) and e-commerce.

Many of the logistic processes include both a direct shipment to the destination points of the reference channel and a return shipment of the unsold product. Depending on the specific channel, the unsold product may be destined for storage, subsequent reprocessing for recycling or pulping (if paper), destruction or disposal.

Magazine – Italy

The logistics of the magazine area Italy is entrusted to the company Press-di Distribuzione Stampa e Multimedia S.r.l., 100% controlled by the Mondadori Group, which manages the national distribution of Mondadori magazines and newspapers of other publishers for the sole sales channel of newsstands. All of Press-di’s operational processes, including transport management, are outsourced to a network of qualified suppliers. In 2019, a total transported weight of over 64,800 tons was recorded, entirely by road (with additional use of roll-on/roll-off ferry transport to the islands).

The logistic process of the periodicals in Italy takes place through four phases:

  • industrial overwrapping and preparation of shipments;
  • primary transport: from distribution logistics centers (Melzo, Verona and, since 2019, Rome) to local distributors (about 51 private entrepreneurs in 2019);
  • last mile (delivery to the point of sale): the local distributors carry out the sorting service for newsstand copies and the “last mile” transport service to the point of sale. The local distributors are responsible, on a daily basis, for the collection of unsold product at newsstands and the processing of the returned product for reshipment by the National Press-di Returns Center or for local pulping;
  • return transport: the unsold product destined for return to publishers is returned, through the primary transport network of Press-di, to the National Return Processing Center of San Pietro Mosezzo (NO).

The distribution of newspapers of third-party publishers (including Il Giornale, Libero, Avvenire) is developed on a logistical grid different from that of periodicals. The newspaper network starts from a series of press centers located throughout the country and has as its destination point the local distributors. This network, short and fast, is optimized on delivery times and shared with other distributors for greater volume efficiency.

The reduction of operating costs (deriving from the progressive decrease of transported weights) corresponds to a proportional reduction of emissions due to the use of transport carriers. This result is added to the effect of the certified yield, i.e. the local pulping of unsold copies carried out by local distributors. The process, while guaranteeing the publisher the treatment of returns for statistical and accounting purposes, does not require the return of unsold copies to the warehouse, with a clear reduction in costs and emissions.

As far as the management of returns is concerned, Mondadori has an extremely high rate of local waste disposal: Press-di (in agreement with the Group and the third-party publishers distributed) has, in fact, encouraged the maximum possible diffusion of the certified return processes of local distributors. However, the constant decline in the circulation of newspapers and magazines, in addition to determining a general decrease in returns, has had repercussions over the years on intermediate economic entities (local distributors and newsstands) with a consequent reduction in the total number of local distributors and those that guarantee certified returns.

Trade books

The trade books logistics business (for the Mondadori, Einaudi, Electa, Frassinelli, Piemme, Sperling & Kupfer brands, until April 2017 managed by Mondadori Libri S.p.A. at the Verona logistics center) was sold as a business unit to Ceva Logistics S.p.A. in May 2017. The new supplier, through various phases, transferred the supply, counting and selection activities to its logistics hub City of Books in Stradella (in the province of Pavia), where it already managed the editions of Rizzoli Libri. The launch activities, also managed by Ceva Logistics, are entrusted to an external provider located in the Verona area.

All the packaging used for the distribution of Trade Books is made of corrugated cardboard, with 90% recycled paper. These packages are then in turn 100% recyclable and the source of the recycled material comes from national waste paper binders.

School Publishing
The logistics of the products of Mondadori Education and Rizzoli Education are linked to the peculiar activities of the school (propaganda, adoption and sale of books):

  • through a network of propagandists, in the months from January to May, the texts are presented to the teachers in order to obtain their adoption; the logistics is in charge of sending the volumes from the central warehouse to the propagandists; finally, the propagandists deliver or send to the teacher the essay copy(s). It is pointed out in this regard the introduction of the digital essay copies (linked to the development of multidevice digital school texts), which in perspective will reduce the production and shipment of the paper essay copies;
  • starting from May and, with different intensity, until the end of October, Mondadori Education and Rizzoli Education supply the retail distribution points for the sales campaign; moreover, at the reopening of the schools, the propagandists are provided with volumes and guides to be distributed to teachers as essays;
  • in addition to shipments to peripheral distribution, the central warehouses in Verona and Stradella directly supply some directional customers and about 800 bookstores for the university and L2 (Italian for foreigners) volumes.

Also for the products of the bookclub sales channel the management of logistic flows (warehouse and order picking) and of all business support processes takes place from the logistics hub in Verona. Orders are shipped through the postal channel.
The cardboard boxes used for shipping are of the same type as those used for Trade Books. The material that returns in postal return is subject to recovery operation.

With regard to the products purchased on the website, the logistics activities related to the B2C channel include product management (both by Mondadori and third-party publishers) within the logistics hub of Verona (now Ceva Logistics); the preparation of the product is based on the customer’s order and shipment by express courier directly to the end customer’s address. On this type of product there is practically no return flow.