06/03/2024 - Environmental & Sustainability 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 impact in the social, cultural, and economic environment 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. 
  • The unpredictability of the publishing business leads to too many books being published, printed and the resultant overstocking of books throughout its supply chain. Many books are returned unsold by bookstores under the ‘sale or return’ common terms of trade, many that make the back list languish in warehouses for a variety of reasons for many years before they are remaindered. Bibliophile has focused on the excess stock in the market and in giving these books a second chance and finding them a good home. We buy and sell these books to stop them going to either landfill direct or being pulped.
  • Bibliophile remarkets these books to book lovers at vastly reduced prices. 
  • From our office premises in East London we service our customers and their book orders. Editorial and customer services operate from offices created from upcycled shipping container units (a box park) within a creative community at Trinity Buoy Wharf. They are a charitable organisation who provide 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 became involved in the facility to run educational classes in lost trades and crafts.
  • We use a consolidation warehouse facility in Kent to do our picking, packing and despatching. This consolidation facility outside London has significantly reduced our carbon footprint and consolidated transportation between publisher suppliers.
  • 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 print on industry standard sized paper which maximises our printer’s production facilities. 
  • We control our mailing list and routinely pruning 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 catalogues are mailed in bulk with other clients' items to reduce logistical costs.
  • 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. 
  • We regularly review our warehouse operator’s standards to ensure compliance with our policies.
  • 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.
  • All our staff live within five miles of our offices and we have a policy to employ local people. All our staff have been with us for many years with the newest joining us some 10 years ago.
  • Trinity Buoy Wharf itself operates a limited car parking facility which restricts our private car  usage to three 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 allotment 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, using, developing, and protecting resources at a rate that enables people to meet their current needs while providing for the needs of future generations.



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

•             Identify the global issues affecting every business

•             Understand the business case for taking action on them

•             Follow the bespoke sustainability vision and plan to realise it

•             Learn how to engage your employees, suppliers, customers and communities

•             Discover how to effectively communicate your sustainability progress.



  • Bibliophile operates a workplace that values individual differences in the workforce, and makes staff feel welcome and accepted.
  • Inclusivity and diversity are moral and legal responsibilities and as employers, we are working hard to give diverse voices a platform.


Policy Owner:

Annie Quigley

Director, Bibliophile Books