Australian Online Bookstore goes carbon neutral to tackle ‘greatest moral challenge of our time’

Whilst our political leaders equivocate over the ‘greatest moral challenge of our time’, Australian online bookstore Boomerang Books has pledged to do its part for the environment by becoming ‘carbon neutral’.

Boomerang Books is proud to be Australia’s first carbon neutral online bookstore, independently accredited by the Carbon Reduction Institute (Certification #NC166).

‘Books have a very apparent carbon footprint – they’re made of carbon – so we thought it was important for us to give something back to the environment, to help ensure that future generations can enjoy books the way that we do’, explained Boomerang Books’ managing director and part-owner Clayton Wehner.

From May 2010, Boomerang Books is subject to an annual carbon audit and must purchase carbon credits each quarter to offset the company’s emissions.

Carbon credits are a mechanism that allows organisations to fund and trade climate change actions on an open market. Each carbon credit represents one tonne of carbon dioxide or its greenhouse gas equivalent (CO2-e) reduced or saved from entering the atmosphere.

The cost of offsetting a book is, on average, 1% of the price of the book. Boomerang Books customers have the opportunity to help pay for the environmental footprint of their books by contributing half of that cost (ie. 0.5% of the sale price) when they purchase books on the Boomerang Books website.  For a $30 book, this levy represents an additional cost of only 15c to the customer.

‘Unlike the airlines, we’re not pushing the full carbon offset cost onto the customer.  We’re just asking them to pay half the cost, with Boomerang Books paying the remainder’, Clayton explained.

‘Additionally, customers are not obligated to pay the levy.  They can opt-out, but we’re hopeful that the majority of our customers will contribute.  If they choose not to pay the levy, then Boomerang Books will still offset the full environmental cost of the books’.

‘So, at the end of the day, we’re taking full responsibility for the carbon footprint of our products.’

In addition to its carbon neutrality, Boomerang Books has implemented a host of environmentally-friendly measures to minimise its internal environmental footprint including a recycling program, flexible working policies and the efficient use of electricity and utilities.

Further information about Boomerang Books’ carbon neutral program can be found here:

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Clayton Wehner

Clayton is the founder and managing director of Boomerang Books. In a past life, Clayton worked for 12 years as an intelligence officer in the Australian Army and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Royal Military College Duntroon and holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science and a Master of Management Studies (Human Resource Management) from the UNSW. He is also a trained Indonesian linguist and served with the United Nations in East Timor as an interpreter/translator.