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Wednesday, October 12

'Nuff said...

No, I'm not getting any sort of kick back for this, I just want to share with you a wonderful company that I absolutely love and whole heartedly support and believe in.

I always feel great about making purchases from them because I know they're responsible in every aspect of the word and that my money is being very well spent.

I love what they stand for, what they're working for, and how they go about conducting the business of everything in between.

Check it out--optimistically, this will become the first place you look to make all your future literary purchases (and hopefully, it will also be the last).

"Fund literacy. Care for the environment. And get a fair price."

Better World Books

Mission and Core Values

Better World Books is a global bookstore that harnesses the power of capitalism to bring literacy and opportunity to people around the world.

Core Values

Respect the book: read often and help others to do the same.

Seek out opportunities to make a difference with value, service & selection.

Choose wisely; consider the return on your efforts & the impact in your actions. Reuse, reuse, reuse….then reduce & recycle.

Take a stand; share your enthusiasm and build momentum through human connections.

Put your ideas to work
; play to win but never fear failure.

Wear your heart on your sleeve; stand up for what you believe.

Challenge yourself; make a point to try new things.

Keep it real; be honest 
with others and true to your quirktastic self.

Adapt to circumstances; help others find ways to succeed in our evolving world.

Be humble; welcome diversity and recognize that shared success is the only kind that matters.

Triple Bottom Line: Social Enterprise

Better World Books is among a unique and growing group of triple bottom line companies who understand thatprofit is not the only way to measure business success. People also matter. And so does the planet on which we all live.

For Better World Books, the triple bottom line comes in lots of forms. From helping to build a nursing library in Somaliland to offering customers carbon neutral shipping on every book they buy, doing good is not just a part of Better World Books’ business—it is the business.

Social: power to the people

We've been thinking about some people we're proud to know. People like John Wood, the founder of Room to Read. John quit Microsoft in 1998. Eight years later, he’s building libraries in rural villages in Nepal with the "scalability of Starbucks and the compassion of Mother Theresa." John has written a book about his journey called Leaving Microsoft to Change the World.

We love literacy programs like Room to ReadBooks for AfricaWorldfundNational Center for Family Literacy,Invisible Children, and our 80 other literacy partners. They provide the building blocks for children and families to learn, grow, and share in the vast collection of human knowledge committed to paper. It just makes sense that a bookstore ought to generate funding for these programs, and we do it with every book we sell. 

Environmental: love your mother

One book that really got us thinking was The Ecology of Commerce, by Paul Hawken. Paul argues that a true economy mimics ecology in its circular no-waste systems and healthy fecundity of niches. In a perfect world, we'd package your books in edible bamboo pouches and load them into Willie Nelson's biodiesel bus, where he'd hand deliver them with a song. We’re not quite there, but we've got some things we think you'll like.

We've gone from a carbon offset program that covered emissions generated when books were shipped to our customers, to one that covers emissions associated both with shipping and our company's other operations and activities. Thanks to a careful audit of our emissions, we now know our total carbon footprint and are taking steps towards balancing out the carbon emissions generated from all of our organization's activities. Giddy up! 
We worked with Sustainable Business Consulting and followed the World Resources Institute Greenhouse Gas Protocol to develop the methodology used to calculate our carbon inventory. Then we partnered with 3Degrees, a leading green power and carbon balancing services provider, to purchase the appropriate number of Renewable Energy Certificates and verified carbon offsets (namely, wind) to get Better World Books carbon balanced. A few cents collected from every customer at checkout helps fight global warming by providing support to wind projects that help avoid carbon dioxide emissions. 

Couple that with the National Postal Service. They use the lowest energy per package of any carrier, thereby generating the least amount of carbon in the first place. We use local post offices whenever we can – so be sure to choose eco-shipping on checkout.

Of course, our greatest contribution of all is finding homes for books. We've even heard horror stories about librarians dumping unwanted tomes down a well at midnight because they couldn't find a good home for them. We gladly accept these orphan books and work hard to find new readers for them. So far, we've kept over 8,000 tons of books out of landfills. 

2009 WasteWise Gold Award for Paper Reduction

2010 WasteWise Gold Award for Climate Change

Economic: true accounting

As this is the end of the page, it's a good time to talk about our last bottom line.

We understand the importance of running a profitable enterprise. But while most businesses answer only to their shareholders, we answer equally to all of our key stakeholders: our employees, our customers, our literacy partners, our investors and the environment.

By accounting for and supporting the long-term viability of those who have a stake in our success, profit takes on a much broader and richer meaning, To prove our commitment, we’ve signed on as a founding B-Corporation joining a growing international network of purpose-driven businesses dedicated to setting a new standard for social and environmental performance.

We hope you'll visit our parent site Better World Books, to learn how to get involved. Together, we truly can build a Better World.


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