Bookshop.org Goes Carbon Neutral

On Earth Day 2021 (22 April), Bookshop (www.Bookshop.org), the book buying site that empowers socially conscious shoppers to financially support independent bookshops when shopping online, will be offsetting all home deliveries of books across the UK for one day. This means every delivery, including those made by booksellers not currently on Bookshop.org and also those made via other online book buying platforms, will be carbon neutral.

The decision to buy the offsets across the whole industry celebrates Bookshop’s carbon neutral certification, and the site hopes that the gesture will encourage others in exploring ways that the industry can make a difference to its CO2 emissions.

The certification, which is made through Carbon Neutral Britain, means that every single book delivery made through Bookshop.org in the UK is now carbon neutral. This comes at no extra cost to the consumer, the site’s booksellers or affiliates and will be entirely funded by Bookshop.

Research conducted by Carbon Neutral Britain revealed that each book sold through Bookshop.org contributed 130g of CO2 to the company’s carbon footprint, over one year of operation.

By offsetting its carbon emissions, Bookshop.org has been able to support a number of projects through the Carbon Neutral Britain Woodland Fund. The chosen projects have a tangible impact both in Britain and around the world, supporting education, employment and clean water as well as having a positive impact on local wildlife and ecology. They are:

British Woodland Creation supports tree planting projects in Northern England and Scotland through verified schemes to sequester carbon and provide habitat for British wildlife and native plant species.

The Burgos Wind Project in the Philippines produces clean energy and displaces generation from other sources that contribute pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions to the environment, alongside leading projects and initiatives with the local governments and communities that promote the protection of the environment.

Hydroelectric Power in the Amazon works to meet Brazil’s rising demand for energy due to its economic growth, improving the supply of electricity, while contributing to the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of the region.

African Cooking Stove Programme in Kenya provides locally made domestic, fuel-efficient cooking stoves to rural households in Kenya, minimising the amount of wood fuel needed and associated carbon emissions and reducing indoor air pollution, which is linked to a broad range of health conditions.

Nicaforest Reforestation Programme in Nicaragua aims to recreate a health, functioning landscape after decades of habitat loss and degradation, ensuring the landscape will be left in an improved condition for future generations and the planet.

Nicole Vanderbilt, Managing Director at Bookshop UK, said: “Bookshop.org believes businesses can be a force for good, and we are excited to play our own small part in the fight against climate change. Our own carbon footprint as a digital business is small, but we felt it was important to offset the impact of the home deliveries of books which is the main contributor to our CO2 emissions.

“While there is so much still to be done across the industry, offsetting our carbon emissions is a simple, affordable way for us to make a difference and contribute on behalf of the independent bookshops and affiliates who have supported us from the beginning.

“It’s vital that the conversations we are having continue – we are proud to be leading the way with our Earth Day activity and into the future.”

James Poynter, Director at Carbon Neutral Britain, said: “Carbon Neutral Britain is proud to be partners with Bookshop UK, to help identify and offset their environmental impact for 2021 and beyond. 

Businesses contribute a significant amount to the UK’s carbon footprint and climate impact, and only by calculating their emissions, can they be reduced in an accurate and measured way.

Carbon Offsetting is a simple and affordable way to reverse your impact on climate change for emissions that cannot be removed completely – and in the case of Bookshop UK and online retailers, deliveries contribute a significant amount to their total Carbon Footprint.

By offsetting not just their own carbon footprint, but those across the whole of the UK’s book retail industry is a fantastic achievement, which we hope will inspire others into environmental action.”