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NRAs 2016 - Retail/Service Sector Recycler Of The Year

Winner: World of Books in partnership with Viridor

World of Books sells quality used books to millions of customers worldwide each year. The company recovers and organises the reuse of around 26,000 tonnes of used books which would otherwise have been left unused in charity shops and ultimately sent to landfill.

World of Books has been recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing companies in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 and International 200 awards.

Donating used books to charity shops is common practice, with 45% of people in this country having done so in the past year (UK Giving Report, 2014). The uptake from charities has been significant, with more than 3,000 UK charity shops (around 30%) now working with the company and its nationwide logistics network services shops on a weekly basis.

The epitome of innovative and entrepreneurial drive. It has reuse and circular economy thinking and a plan for the future. All waste materials are recycled and there is a strong drive to improve social, environmental and educational goals

Judges’ view

Using an advanced inventory system, the company matches good quality used books with those that are looking for them, from popular fiction to rare finds. New homes are found for more than nine million items every year. Since the company began operating, between £8m and £10m has been generated for UK charities.

With the help of partner Viridor, any books that cannot be reused are recycled for use in new products.

Growth has been managed carefully to ensure that expansion never runs ahead of profitable returns. This means that growth is entirely self-funded.

The group is now considering other used products that could benefit from the inventory system developed in the virtually limitless reseller market. The core business will, however, continue to target increases in the number of books processed.


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