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World Of Books – The Recycling Company Saving 25,000 Tonnes Of Books From Landfill Each Year

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World of Books, a market- leading ‘circular economy’ technology business for used books, has attracted a £13m majority stake investment from Bridges Sustainable Growth Fund III, which is managed by specialist sustainable and impact investor Bridges Ventures (“Bridges”).

Founded by a group of book-loving entrepreneurs in 2002, World of Books has been a pioneer in the re- use and recycling of books that might otherwise go to landfill – which is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions in the UK. World of Books works with charity shops and recycling merchants to collect and buy used books, while also buying unwanted books directly from consumers through its proprietary Ziffit ‘scan and send’ app. The unique technology platform it has developed over the last decade enables it to re-sell as many of these books as possible (via its own website and others such as Amazon and eBay); while the rest are recycled to make corrugated cardboard packaging and newsprint. This allows World of Books to offer over 2m high-quality, low-cost used books for sale to a global customer base – while also reducing carbon emissions.

Charity shops have to dispose of an estimated 50,000 tonnes of unsold books every year. Previously they had to pay for these to be taken away via trade waste collections, a large portion of which would end up in landfill. World of Books now buys and processes more than 25,000 tonnes of these books, working with over 3,700 charity shops across the UK. Its investment in technology has turned what was once a significant cost for charities into an additional source of income – equivalent to an economic benefit of £11m in the last five years alone.

In the UK, the online used book market is worth c. £200m pa – c. 10% of the total book sales market – and is growing at about 15% pa. Roughly one in three books sold in the UK are second-hand, and research suggests that this figure might be higher if there was a broader selection of books available. World of Books aims to take advantage of this growth opportunity by continuing to expand its inventory, and through further investment in its infrastructure and networks.

Stephen Boobyer will lead this new chapter of the company’s growth as Chief Executive Officer. He will be supported by three of the company’s co-founders: Simon Downes, who has been promoted to Chief Technology Officer, Mike Laundon, who will continue to run the company’s rare books division (World of Rare Books) and Ben Maxfield (Operations Director). Bridges will also work with Stephen to make further appointments to the senior executive team over the coming months. All existing shareholders have rolled over part of their investment alongside the new investment from Bridges.

Chairman Kenneth Blair and co-founder Arthur Maxfield will transition from their current executive roles over the next 6-12 months. However, they will remain actively involved with the business as non-executive directors, so World of Books can continue to benefit from their strategic insight and industry expertise. Bridges Partner Oliver Wyncoll and Investment Director James Hurrell (who together led the investment on the firm’s behalf) will join the World of Books board, while an experienced non-executive chairman will be appointed in due course.

Spectrum Corporate Finance advised shareholders and acquisition debt was provided by Clydesdale Yorkshire Banking Group.

Stephen Boobyer, CEO of World of Books, said:
“We chose Bridges as an investor because we felt they shared our values, understood our sector and our vision of what World of Books can achieve in the future. We hope to draw on the experience of Oliver, James and the wider Bridges team to keep building the business and maximising growth – but also to help us develop the way we think and talk about our existing and future impact as a business.”

Oliver Wyncoll, Partner at Bridges Ventures, commented:
“Sustainable living is a key focus for Bridges, so we’re hugely excited to invest in World of Books. Its pioneering technology-driven circular economy model is not only incredibly impactful, particularly in terms of reducing waste and carbon emissions; it also directly benefits charities and provides the business with a market-leading position in a growing sector. There are many attractive growth opportunities open to the business, and we look forward to working with Stephen, his team and the rest of the board to identify the most attractive options and help them execute their plans – while continuing to maximise the company’s social and environmental impact.”

Guy Stamp, Director, Specialist and Acquisition Finance at Clydesdale Bank PLC, commented:
“World of Books is a clear market leader with a strong management team and proven track record. We are privileged to play a part in their unfolding story and look forward to supporting the business in its next stage of growth.”

Environment

Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness

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Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.

While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.

One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

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Environment

6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move

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Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.

1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.

4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

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