In August 2018 Ethical Consumer sent a questionnaire to Better World Books, which included a question about the company's environmental policy. The company responded stating that it was a BCorporation and that (as of August 2018) it had reused or recycled over 307 million books.
It also stated that it had two environmental reduction targets underway:
- a paperless picking strategic initiative
- consolidation of inbound freight and streamlining logistics
No specific dates or quantifiable targets were given in relation to these initiatives.
An environmental policy was deemed necessary to report on its environmental performance and set targets for the future. A strong policy would include two future, quantified targets, demonstrate that the company had a reasonable understanding of its main impacts, be dated within the previous two years and be independently verified.
The company's website stated that customers could choose to pay for carbon offsetting of their order, which had amounted to 87,000 tons of carbon offsets on BetterWorldBooks.com shipping at the time of research. Ethical Consumer considered carbon offsetting schemes to be problematic and no details were given on specific projects funded.
Furthermore, although the company's purpose was to use revenue from the resale of used and excess books to fund literacy projects and was therefore deemed to be providing an environmental and social alternative, its turnover was too great to qualify for an exemption in this category.
Qumpus, Inc therefore received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Environmental Reporting.
https://www.betterworldbooks.com (9 August 2018)