Circular economy pioneer World of Books Group wins two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in its 20th year, as sales exceed £100million for the first time

Worthing-based second-hand bookseller World of Books is one of only seven companies to achieve two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in 2022.

The group is a pioneer of the circular economy and in its 20th year, it has won awards for Sustainable Development and International Trade.

It was one of more than 200 award winners this year but also one of the handful to be chosen for two awards.

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Graham Bell, chief executive of World of Books Group, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be recognised at this year’s Queen’s Awards. One award win is brilliant but to have won two awards really is a huge accolade, and is a testament to the hard work and amazing results our people have delivered.”

Circular economy pioneer World of Books Group is one of only seven companies to achieve two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in 2022

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The company received its first award for its exemplary and comprehensive sustainability strategy, which uses a recommerce model to encourage consumers to shop more sustainably.

It was also recognised for its contribution to international trade, harnessing innovative technologies to fuel expansion into international markets. This is the company’s second win in the category, having received a Queen’s Awards in 2017.

Mr Bell added: “Since our foundation, World of Books Group has been committed to balancing profit and purpose and we feel honoured to have won our award for sustainable business. It is also fantastic to have another win reflecting our growth in the international market.”

Graham Bell, chief executive at World of Books Group, based in Worthing

Based in Woods Way, Goring, the group was set up in 2002 and now employs 720 people. It began when a group of book-loving entrepreneurs rescued a bag of books destined for landfill, taking them from a charity shop bin and selling them secondhand.

World of Books has grown to be a global company driving the circular economy, selling more than 12million used books a year to customers in more than 175 countries.

The two awards come shortly after the company launched its Impact Report, which saw the business exceed £100million sales for the first time in 2020/21 while contributing to the equivalent of saving more than 26,000 tonnes of new paper, equivalent to 449,000 trees.