Linking Literacy and Sustainability under the Framework of the Circular Economy

DSC_1587On Thursday 19th May we held our 2nd annual Literacy & Sustainability Conference at our UK warehouse in Dunfermline. We wanted to build upon the success of last years conference and show the link between literacy and sustainability. Our goal was to provide our speakers and attendees with a platform that would enable great debate, networking and a forum for making a difference. The challenge was to set a theme that would link literacy and sustainability and connect the various organisations and people we’re proud to call our clients, customers, partners, vendors and friends.

At Better World Books our business model is an example of the Circular Economy in action (we were VIBES Circular Economy Award winners last year!). Built on the foundation of a triple bottom line of People, Planet and Profit, we are able to be profitable, sustainable, and most importantly do good. Inspired by the Circular Economy which is currently high on the agenda in Scotland, we set the theme of The Circular Economy – Transforming Literacy and Education: A Sustainable Framework.

We were joined on the day by librarians, publishers, university sustainability officers, business advisors and many more who came to hear our wonderful guest speakers and take part in networking and workshops.

DSC_1581Guest Speakers:

Lynn Wilson (Sector Manager – Textiles, Zero Waste Scotland) explained what the Circular Economy is and how it can be applied to education and literacy.

Martin Mullin (Head of Sales, Better World Books) used case studies to talk about how Better World Books is helping to make a difference one book at a time through enhancing social & environmental impacts through partnerships and reuse.

Fiona McLeod (Former MSP and Former Minister for Children & Young People) discussed how closing the literacy gap is part of a sustainable economy and society. She used the case study of Fathers Network Scotland in The Year of the Dad.

Michelle Sweeney (Partnership Development Manager, Fife Cultural Trust) focused on the role of the trust and explored the nature of collaborative work in creating innovative and sustainable solutions.

Abigail Moss (Deputy Director, National Literacy Trust) mapped ideas around the Circular Economy onto the Cycle of Literacy Development. She talked about National Literacy Trusts role in finding fixes when that cycle gets broken.

Fiona Mawuena (Founder, Let Us Shine) provided an overview of the work that the charity does in Ghana to support girls education, and how they are working to be sustainable for the individual, the family, the community and for Ghana.

After great discussion and debate during the workshop session the day ended with more networking and tours of the BWB warehouse to see our 1.4million preloved books! Another successful event for BWB UK.

READ MORE: See a full write up of our conference in Holyrood Magazine.

JOIN IN: We have launched a new Friends of BWB Forum on Facebook to allow all interested parties to share views and start discussions. You can join here: