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In September 2021 Ethical Consumer searched the Ebooks website for the company's environmental policy or report. The company’s 2020 Environmental Policy was viewed. This discussed minimising energy and water use within buildings in order to conserve supplies and minimise the consumption of natural resources; monitoring its energy and water use and effluent production; where possible, purchasing products and services that do the least damage to the environment; reviewing and enforcing its sustainable procurement policy to align with good practice. It provided a brief update on progress.

No specific mention of environmentally friendly IT infrastructure was found, such as using a green server company, which you would expect from a digital business.

No quantified future environmental reduction targets could be found and performance data was not independently audited.

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.
Ebooks did not meet any of these criteria therefore it received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Environmental Reporting and lost a whole mark in this category.


2020 Environmental Policy (3 September 2021)

In September 2021 Ethical Consumer searched the Ebooks website, looking for information on what the company was doing to tackle climate change. Ethical Consumer was looking for the following:

1. For the company to discuss its areas of climate impact, and to discuss plausible ways it has cut them in the past, and ways that it will cut them in the future.

For the company to not be involved in any particularly damaging projects like tar sands, oil or aviation, to not be subject to damning secondary criticism regarding it’s climate actions, and to have relevant sector-specific climate policies in place.

2. For the company to report annually on its scope 1&2 greenhouse gas emissions (direct emissions by the company) in CO2e, and,

3. to go some way towards reporting on its scope 3 emissions (emissions from the supply chain, investments and sold products).

4. For the company to have a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with international agreements (counted as the equivalent of at least 2.5% cut per year in scope 1&2 emissions), and to not count offsetting towards this target.

If a company met all of these criteria it would receive a best rating. If it met parts 1&2 (impacts and annual reporting CO2e) it would receive a middle rating. Otherwise it would receive a worst rating.

Ebooks did not provide a specific discussion around its climate impacts and did not report its scope 1, 2 or 3 emissions. It did not appear to be working on any particularly damaging projects.

It provided a brief annual progress report around its environmental policy which discussed reducing corporate travel air miles, offsetting all flights, switching to more energy efficient laptops. However there was no systematic reporting on how the company was working to reduce its green house gas emissions in line with international agreements.

Overall, Ebooks received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for carbon management and reporting and lost a whole mark under Climate Change.


2020 Environmental Policy (3 September 2021)