In June 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed the Better World Books website for the company's environmental policy or report. There was information on the website which showed understanding of the company’s environmental impacts. This included a ’Triple Bottom Line’ section on its website which referred to the company’s use of a carbon offset programme which covered emissions associated both with shipping and the company’s other operations and activities which it had done through “Renewable Energy Certificates and verified carbon offsets (namely, wind) to get Better World Books carbon balanced”. The company also stated that “as part of our commitment to environmental sustainability, we never, ever throw away a book. Any book we cannot find a proper home for is recycled.around carbon emissions and landfill waste.”
However, Better World Books did not appear to have an environmental policy or report.
An environmental policy was deemed necessary to report on a company's environmental performance and set targets for reducing its impacts in the future. A strong policy would include two future, quantified environmental targets, demonstration by the company that it had a reasonable understanding of its main environmental impacts, be dated within two years and have its environmental data independently verified.
Better World Books did not sufficiently meet any of these criteria therefore it received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Environmental Reporting and lost a whole mark in this category.
Better World Books webpage on environmental reporting (12 July 2021)