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Press Release: 31.03.2021 - World of Books Group to be Carbon Neutral by 2022

World of Books Group to be Carbon Neutral by 2022

  • World of Books Group, the UK’s largest retailer of used books, have announced plans to be a carbon neutral business by 2022
  • This commitment forms the first step in their roadmap to Net Zero by 2030
  • The announcement comes as the business release their Impact Report for financial year 2019/20
  • Despite a challenging year, the B Corp certified business has remained committed to using their business as a force for good and continued to have a positive impact for charities, communities and the environment

World of Books Group have released their second annual Impact Report, telling the story of their social and environmental achievements over the last year and outlining their plans for their next chapter. The business has used this report to officially announce their plan to be a carbon neutral business by 2022 – a huge step on their journey to Net Zero by 2030.

The B Corp certified business was founded on an ethos to do good, support charities and protect the planet – and their commitment to be carbon neutral by 2022 is only possible thanks to years of work adapting their operations to reduce emissions. Last year, the business met their ambitious pledge to reduce their carbon footprint for each book sold by 30%, paving the way for their journey to carbon neutrality.

Amy Greenacre, Head of Impact, said: “Challenge and change is inevitable, but it causes us to adapt and continually improve – to be the change we seek in the world. As the world around us is changing, our sense of responsibility, purpose and drive to make a difference remains the same. Climate change is a real and imminent threat to our planet, so we’re always taking action to reduce our carbon footprint and are now able to pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2022.”

Over the last two decades the business has grown from a start-up to being pioneers of the circular economy. Committed to reducing waste, in the last year over 20,000 tonnes of books were responsibly recycled and the business saved the equivalent of over 26,000 tonnes of new paper through the resale and recycling of used books. The business also made payments of over £1.4 million to charities for unsold books and media during a particularly difficult year for the sector.

Simon Downes, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, said: “From the very beginning, the ethos of our business has been to balance profit with purpose. Through supporting charities, saving goods from waste and building a business on the concept of the circular economy – it has always been important for us to play our part in supporting communities and protecting the planet. We realised very early on that it is the responsibility of everyone – not just governments, NGOs and charities - to work to build a sustainable future.”

Graham Bell, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We’re proud to have helped people navigate these strange and strained times with books that have provided escapism, access to education and wellbeing whilst continuing to support our people and make progress in regards to social and environmental impact. We’re excited to share our latest Impact Report which showcases the many ways in which we have taken action and pioneered, at times against the odds”

World of Books Group’s Social and Environmental Impact Report is now available to view here.


World of Books Group FY19-20 Impact Report (opens in new window)

Media Contacts

Nick Ford, World of Books Group Brand Communications Manager

[email protected] | D: +44(0) 7967 789993

Notes to Editors

About World of Books Group

  • In 2008 World of Books was founded with an ethos to do good to help charities and to make a positive impact. Over the last decade they have grown from a start-up into a leading global seller of quality used books and pioneers in re-use and recycling. Their inventory has grown to over 7 million items in stock, and they sell a book somewhere in the world every two seconds.
  • World of books are an accredited B Corp. Certified B Corporations (B Corps™) are for-profit companies that use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
  • World of Books Group is comprised of re-commerce technology businesses: World of Books, Ziffit and Shopiago.
    • World of Books is a leading global seller is used books online to missions of customers; directly, though third-party platforms and wholesale partners.
    • Ziffit is a free and easy to use app and website to sell unwanted books, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and games for cash. One of the largest trade-in sites in the UK the Ziffit business model is 100% circular.
    • Shopiago is an online sales software product that is utilised by charities to generate additional revenue for good causes and enable more goods to be reused.
  • In 2018, World of Books Group launched Shopiago, a for-profit software company that supports charities and helps more goods to be re-used. The re-commerce software enables charity retailers to manage their listings across online marketplaces, exposing their goods to buyers around the world to help increase revenue for worthy causes.
  • Ziffit has been developed to help close the loop on new book purchase, use and reuse. The innovative application of technology, to help individuals, charities and commercial partners to generate additional income, supports a wider circular economy vision.
  • World of Books Group vision is to be the leading seller of used books globally, while helping people to reuse and recycle for less through innovation and technology.

About our carbon pledge

A carbon neutral footprint is one where the sum of the greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) produced is offset by natural carbon sinks and/or carbon credits.

Carbon neutrality has a minimum requirement of covering Scope 1 & 2 emissions with Scope 3 encouraged. Net zero must cover Scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions.

Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy. Scope 3 emissions are all indirect emissions (not included in scope 2) that occur in the value chain of the reporting company, including both upstream and downstream emissions.