As sustainable development increases, many eco-conscious businesses are adopting triple-bottom-line criteria as a company foundation. This takes into account a company’s ecological and social performance in addition to financial performance. This is still a relatively new idea for the US, but as the economy begins to revive itself, this green approach is proving to be efficient.  Author Andy Savitz states in his book, The Triple Bottom Line, that this is “the place where corporate and societal interests intersect. It is a new way to measure the bottom line, and an illuminating way to understand the often-fuzzy concept of sustainability.” One company that is standing firmly on these 3 legs is Better World Books. They’ve established a clear cause, and managed to make the printed word sustainable.

Better World books began in 2002 by three friends and graduates of The University of Notre Dame. It started as a book drive on Notre Dame Campus, and then a used university book sale online. Today, Better World Books makes it onto the list of top 500 internet retailers, and has almost 400 employees in the US and UK. An authentically sustainable approach is a huge contributor as to why this company has been able to run with the big dogs in online book sales, like Amazon.

BetterWorldBooks’ original mission is to promote literacy, and who can argue with that? Today, this member of the unique and growing group of triple bottom line companies understands that profit is not the only way to measure business success. This eco-friendly company understands that people matter, and so does the planet on which we all live. Better World Books contributes by helping to build a nurseries, supporting book drives, donating books, and offering customers carbon neutral shipping on every book they buy. When you order from Better World Books, the carbon emissions are balanced with Green-e Climate certified offsets from 3Degrees, a leading green power and carbon balancing services firm. In addition,  the company has converted more than 53 million books into over $8.6 million in funding for literacy and education. They’ve also diverted more than 26,000 tons of books from landfills.

In a time where gadgets and electronics are dominating pop culture, it’s as if there’s something nostalgic about a used book. The cool thing about Better World Books is that they help you go green affordably. Find what you need for school, work, or a gift- and give back to the environment with free shipping AND carbon offsetting.

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