Environmental Policy

19/06/2019 - Environmental Policy






Policy Statement

Bibliophile Books, a small privately owned bookselling business based in East London, recognises its responsibilities and impact on the environment and the community in its role as a local business, employer, service industry provider and consumer.

We regularly review our environmental impact and follow best practices which make commercial sense.


  • In the 40 year history of Bibliophile Books, the nature of our business is one of recycling in its very essence.  Directly due to publishers overprinting books, we buy remaining stock in order that books are not pulped.  By selling these books at vastly reduced prices we are able to find them a happy home.  From the premises in East London we service book orders and our warehouse in Kent does the picking, packing and despatching. Using a specialist book servicing warehouse outside London reduced our carbon footprint and consolidated transportation between publisher suppliers. Editorial and customer services operate from luxury offices created from upcycled container units (box park) at Trinity Buoy Wharf, a charitable organisation providing affordable space only to artistic and creative industries. 25% of the rent goes to supporting the live/work artists, sculptors and musicians on site. Tenants here include English National Opera, the Royal Drawing School, architects and in 2019 The Prince's Foundation to run educational classes in lost trades and crafts.


  • Waste and Recycling
  • Our advertising material is in the form of a newspaper style catalogue printed on 100% recycled paper, environmentally sourced by our printers.  We control our mailing list and routinely prune out non-buyers, deceased and gone away addresses in order that the fewest possible catalogues are printed. These are then despatched on a 7-10 day service in bulk, never priority as this has an inherent additional environmental impact.
  • Nearly all company correspondence and paperwork is sent by e-mail rather than printed letter. 
  • In terms of output, we print receipt notes to enclose in the book parcels making a combined statement of the financial transaction and order details so as to avoid posting a second document.
  •  Bibliophile’s mailing house has successfully sourced a recyclable polythene plastic wrap LDP4 which Royal Mail will accept because their machines must be able to read the address on the printed matter beneath.   
  • The book warehouse working practices include recycling publisher's boxes and buying in recycled boxes in addition which are plain and not overprinted. 
  • Paper is shredded in an industrial shredder.


  • Onsite Energy Usage
  • We operate a “Turn Off” policy: energy is managed by only switching on the energy saving lights as required.
  • At night all computers except the server are powered down.
  • The office is monitored for consumption of energy and heated only as and when the staff require by central heating on a thermostat. 


  • Transport
  • The Company owns no commercial vehicles. 
  • For deliveries of our goods we use Royal Mail and agree with their environmental policies and use Yodel for our heavier parcels to consolidate packages to UK locations for bulk despatch.
  • We offer no overnight or 24 hour service which reduces the use of half empty vans.
  • We have few customers abroad and therefore have minimum impact from airline transportation in operating the business.
  • Many of our books are imported from the USA and Canada and this is done by consolidation and the final 25 or so miles from our freight forwarder to the warehouse is by lorry load at a time.
  • Twice yearly Overseas buying trips have been suspended since 2009 to reduce carbon footprint and allow suppliers to travel to make sales visits instead.
  • None of our staff have to travel more than five miles to work since we employ local people, three of whom travel by car and the others either walk, cycle or use public transport.


  • Health & Safety We regularly have Health and Safety checks, maintain a clean working environment and routinely maintain our computers.


  • Community Projects & Charity
  • The Company supports the local Scout Group and overstocks of children's books are regularly donated to a range of charities.
  • Community Vision has been a recipient of donations.
  • The Royal Warrant Holders Charity Fund kindly donated to one of our staff's voluntary work projects at a local allotments in 2019.
  • Bibliophile supports the Ward Clubs of the City of London and is active with Coleman Street Ward Club in all their fundraising activities and the Lord Mayor's Show float.


Purpose and Scope

The Policy Statement makes clear to all concerned that we are committed to the highest of environmental standards mindful that this is a challenge for every size of business.



Each member of staff must play their part as appropriate and be guided by the Directorship.


Policy Owner:

Annie Quigley

Director, Bibliophile Books

Revised June 2019