Bookdonors – The Online Book Retailer
Established in October 2005 as a not for profit social enterprise trading in used books to help book, charities and the environment. Bookdonors is recognised as a Social Firm providing employment and training opportunities to people with disabilities and those with other disadvantages in the mainstream labour market.
In the six years since its inception, Bookdonors has established a central base at Selkirk in the Scottish Borders. It processes millions of used books each year and has an 180,000 online inventory of books for sale at any one time.
Bookdonors is on the RBS Social Enterprise 100 Index where it was ranked 6th in the UK 100 (2010) and in June 2011 was ranked 2nd amongst social enterprises in Scotland.
At the very core of Bookdonors’ social enterprise business model is the employment of those individuals classed as being most removed from the labour market, i.e. those with a disadvantage or disability. Relationships have also been established with a number of employment training & volunteering bodies to offer meaningful placements to their clients. It currently has 17 staff; 4 volunteers and provides 10 training placements each year. In excess of 40% of our staff team are people with mental or physical health issues.
Reusing books does not have the same environmental impacts in terms of CO2 emissions and resource depletion than the purchase of new books. Bookdonors environmental policy is to reuse as many books as possible and then recycle the remainder. Its policy of not send anything to landfill ensures that even its packaging material get reused many times before finally going for recycling.
In early 2011 a study by Zero Waste Scotland estimated that Bookdonors delivered a net average annual carbon savings of 0.79 tonne of CO2e emissions per tonne of books handled. Since Bookdonors started to keep records for books received in April 2008, it has diverted 1582 tonne from landfill up to March 2011 resulting in a saving of 1,249tonne of CO2e emissions. This is based on an average of 3,000 books per tonne.
Bookdonors is proud to be a member of:
Scottish Borders Social Enterprise Chamber
Scottish Borders Supported Employment Network
Community Resources Network Scotland (CRNS)
Social Enterprise Scotland
Unit 4 Burnmill