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B Better Than Yesterday: Lulu Achieves B Corporation Certification

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Lulu is proud to announce we recently received certification as a B Corporation, making Lulu the first online publishing company to achieve B Corp status. This prestigious designation is awarded to companies that harness the power of business by observing higher standards of performance, transparency and accountability to solve social and environmental problems.

Lulu pioneered the sharing economy when it introduced free online publishing to the world. “Lulu’s original intent was to remove barriers to publishing so that all authors could tell their story and profit from their knowledge. Little did we know, the print-on-demand business model we developed would eventually save millions and millions of trees from being turned into books no one wanted,” said Lulu founder, Bob Young.

Young refers to recently released statistics stating that approximately 40% of all books printed by traditional publishers will not be sold. Instead they will be returned by retailers and pulped. This means that hundreds of millions of books are being printed, shipped, shelved, returned and pulped each year. About 13% of the paper in every book you buy is composed of recycled paper generated by this pulping process. The remainder comes from our forests.

Lulu’s business model prevents this horrendous waste of natural resources through use of print-on-demand technology. Books ordered from the Lulu bookstore are printed when they are purchased, using certified sustainable paper products and are shipped directly from the printer to the buyer – further reducing Lulu’s, as well as our authors’ and their readers’ carbon footprint.Lulu Loves Trees header

“We always knew that Lulu was environmentally friendly, but as we worked through the B Corp certification process, we learned of the additional impact we can make each day through fair business practices and community involvement,” said Nigel Lee, Lulu CEO.

To encourage greater community involvement, all Lulu employees are granted three paid volunteer days per year to help others in their communities. Employees can participate in Lulu sponsored group activities or share their skills with organizations close to their hearts.

“Lulu is committed to improving our B-Corp scores,” Lee continues. “By trying a little harder each day to achieve this goal, we will make the world better today than it was yesterday. We do that one story, one tree, one classroom, one community, and one paid volunteer day at a time. It’s part of our story. What’s yours?”

View Lulu’s Impact Report

 

About B Corp

Certified B Corporations meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance; legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests; and build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand. Today, there is a growing community of more than 1,600 Certified B Corps from 42 countries and over 120 industries working together toward one unifying goal: to redefine success in business.

About B Lab

B Lab is a nonprofit organization serving a global movement of people using business as a force for good. Its vision is that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the Best for the World® and as a result society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity. Learn more bout B Lab.

 

B Corp Update: Sooooooo Close!

best-for-the-world“The B Corp movement is one of the most important of our lifetime, built on the simple fact that business impacts and serves more than just shareholders—it has an equal responsibility to the community and to the planet.”

Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia

At Lulu we actively strive to make a positive impact on society and the environment – one creator, one creation at a time. We provide free tools for authors to tell their stories, children’s book-making kits to encourage creative learning, and tools that transform digital imagery into art. Better yet, we do all of this using print-on-demand technology that reduces waste and preserves our natural resources

It would be easy to simply stop there. We could sit in our comfy offices in Raleigh, NC, pat ourselves on the back, and call it a day. Instead, we decided to prove we were making a difference. This past February, Lulu was accepted as one of four local businesses to participate in North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) B Corp Clinic.

To achieve B Corp certification, businesses must prove they are:

  • Good for Workers
  • Good for the Community
  • Good for the Environment
  • Good for the Long Term
  • Good to the Core (establishing an innovative business model)

To reach certification, Lulu must score at least 80 out of 200 possible points. Our initial score was 37 points. That may not sound very impressive, but that score represented 37 reasons why Lulu is extra awesome.

By April we had increased our B Corp score to 66.5 points, due in large part to a diligent team of MBA students from NCSU and Duke University. In May we submitted our application for review and we are pleased to announce our current score is 79.6 points. Sadly, the B Corp review board does not round up, but we are working to further increase our score to blow through the minimum threshold of 80 points.

Lulu’s current initiatives include:

  • Reviewing vendors to ensure best employment practices.
  • Ensuring print partners use only sustainable FSC certified paper
  • Auditing waste and recycled material
  • Tracking utility usage
  • Developing collaborative work spaces
  • Writing policies for employing interns

We are also pleased to report that Lulu employees are making good use of their corporate volunteer days. Many employees have used their days to support favorite groups and charities. We have also had teams of Lulus work together on larger efforts.

We may be sitting on a C+ score, but you can be assured Lulu will soon be listed on the B Corp honor roll. Stay tuned. For more information on B Corp certification:

http://www.bcorporation.net/
http://www.ncbcorps.org/

Habitat

Habitat for Humanity

 

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Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

 

 

Renata Habitat Restore

Renata from Italian Support at the Habitat ReStore

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Luise from German Support at the Habitat ReStore

 

We Are Orlando: Stories Lost

We are OrlandoLulu was founded in 2002 to provide a better way to publish books. Our goal was to tear down the barriers that prevent people from sharing and benefiting from their stories, experiences and knowledge. Fourteen years later, nearly one million authors from all walks of life and nearly every country on the planet have written and published their stories on Lulu.

It is our belief that we all have common stories of struggle and perseverance, stories of defeat and victory despite the odds, as well as stories of faith, family, and love. When shared, our stories help us see our similarities and understand our differences. They bring us together through a universal desire for a safe home for our families, plentiful food, clean water, loyal friends, and hope for a happier future. Our common stories are the glue bonding us together into a human tribe.

This past weekend, 49 LGBT people were murdered in an Orlando nightclub. 53 others were injured. The lives of the victims’ families and their innumerable friends will be forever changed – as will those of the shooter’s family. How many stories came to an end that night? How much knowledge did we lose? How will our human tribe heal and come back together?

In the wake of these events, Lulu continues to believe that there is a better way. Our collective stories tear down the barriers that separate me from you, us from them, ours from theirs, the familiar from the strange – but only if we are willing to hear and learn from them. By passing along our knowledge and telling our stories we truly come to know each other, appreciate love in all its glorious forms, and cherish the diversity of our human family.

With profound sadness, the Lulu family mourns the loss of these lives. Our thoughts and prayers go to the families, friends, and survivors of this tragedy. Most importantly, we send our love to Orlando and the LGBT community. Although the world seems to be a little less beautiful today, we have faith that a tragedy can be transformed into a story of hope and love.

Tell your story.

Change the world.

Lulu Author Referral Program

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Have you noticed anything new on the My Projects page lately?

Lulu is excited to announce a new author referral program. Indie authors can now earn extra money, in the form of Lulu credits, by simply inviting their friends, family, and fellow authors to tell their story by publishing with Lulu.

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Why Should I Refer My Friends?

When your friend accepts your invitation to publish with Lulu, they will receive a free copy of their newly published book. When they claim their free copy, you will get 10 units of your preferred currency ($ £ €) in credits to spend in the Lulu bookstore. How simple is that?

How Do I Send Invitations?

To get started, click the Refer-a- Friend button on the My Projects page. Enter your friends’ email addresses, type a friendly message of encouragement and click Send. That’s all there is to it.

Lulu Author Referral Form

Lulu Author Referral Form

 

How Do I Redeem My Lulu Bookstore Credits?

When your friends publish and claim their free first copy, you will receive a coupon code for $10, £10 or €10 that you can apply to your next purchase.

Invite your friends, family, classmates and students to publish with Lulu. Then sit back and wait for the credits to accumulate.

Get started today.

Press Release: Michael Mandiberg and Lulu Join for PrintWikipedia Berlin

Featured_Article_NarrowLulu Press and Artist Michael Mandiberg Print German Edition of Wikipedia for PrintWikipedia Exhibit in Berlin, Germany May 28 — July 2

Berlin, Germany — May 25, 2016 — Lulu.com, the first and largest self-publishing platform in the world, is pairing again with the American artist Michael Mandiberg to upload the 3406 volumes of German Wikipedia to create Mandiberg’s newest exhibition – PrintWikipedia: from Aachen to Zylinderduckpresse — to tell the story and show the incredible extent of Wikipedia in German.

Following the success of Mandiberg’s exhibition in New York City last summer, this latest installment will be exhibited at Berlin’s Import Projects. Over the course of 14 days, the entire collection of Wikipedia content in German will be uploaded to the publishing platform Lulu.com where the volumes will be produced using print-on-demand technology. The result will be a visual representation of the vastness of the Wikipedia collection and the expansiveness of human knowledge.

“Michael’s performance brings to life our mission of facilitating an open, shared knowledge community that provides everyone with equilateral access to the collective understanding of our world,” says Lulu CEO, Nigel Lee. “The richness of human knowledge and the ability to visualize the content created by experts, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts is a unique parallel to the work we do. Michael will bring the magic of collaborative information-sharing to life for all of us.”

Michael Mandiberg’s exhibit will be showcased continuously at Import Projects, Berlin from May 28 — July 2, with a special opening ceremony on Saturday, May 28, 6–9 PM. Additionally, as part of the Berlin Biennale’s opening week, Import Projects will host a special reception on June 2 from 5–7 PM featuring conversations with Michael Mandiberg, Alfredo Salazar-Caro and William Robertson, presenting the Digital Museum of Digital Art (DiMoDA) concurrent with the exhibition. An artist, theorist and Co-founder of Geocities Research Institute, Olia Lialina, will also join the artists on the theme of Virtually Physical: Institutions and Archival Processes.

“Seeing the work that the Wikipedia community has contributed being exhibited in one place brings a feeling of accomplishment and empowerment”, says Christoph Kepper, CEO of PediaPress, an online service that partners with Wikimedia Foundation and Lulu.com. PediaPress allows anyone to create customized books from Wikipedia content. “Over 3400 books, needed to capture the content that has been created by thousands of people, is a testament to the vast expertise within the German-speaking community.”

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More about the project: http://printwikipedia.lulu.com

International media from the PrintWikipedia New York event:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/this-is-what-looks-like-when-you-print-out-wikipedia/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/17/books/moving-wikipedia-from-computer-to-many-many-bookshelves.html

ATCG: Lulu Prints The Human Code

Riccardo_Sabatini__How_to_read_the_genome_and_build_a_human_being___TED_Talk___TED_comHow many pages would it take for you to write the story of you? This story will contain your most intimate details such as height, eye color, facial structure, heart size, hair patterns and all the other details that make you unique. The team at Lulu learned the answer (see below) to this question when we partnered with scientist and entrepreneur Riccardo Sabatini in preparation for his TED Talk: How to Read the Genome and Build a Human Being.

DNA, the blue print for all life here on Earth is composed of four nucleic acids; adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C) and guanine (G). You need about 3 billion of these to form the sequences required to build a human. As part of his TED talk, Sabatini needed a visual representation of the enormity of the human genetic coding. His idea was to print the entire genetic code for one human being as a series of books.

Printing and binding the DNA coding for one human being had never been done before.  The schedule was tight, but our teams and the printer pulled together to make history.

You can view Sabatini’s TED talk here: How to Read the Genome and Build a Human Being

Although not included in the official TED talk video, at the conclusion of his presentation, Sabatini offered to give away printed volumes to attendees. Apparently, there was quite the “scrum” to get a copy.

Lulu is proud to have worked with Sabatini on his Human Code project. The books we printed for his presentation displayed the complexity of one human’s story. The books we’ve printed for nearly 1 million other humans may not be as complex, but are as equally important in telling their stories.

the human genome.phpAnswer: Did you guess 262,784 pages? That’s 175, 8.5×11 volumes printed at 8pt font.

The Human Code is the first printing of the entire genome of a single human being – Craig Venter. This is the start of Chromosome 1.

Buy Now

Lulu: Good for Authors, Good for the World

best-for-the-world“The B Corp movement is one of the most important of our lifetime, built on the simple fact that business impacts and serves more than just shareholders—it has an equal responsibility to the community and to the planet.”

Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia

At Lulu we are actively striving to have a positive impact on society and the environment – one creator and one creation at a time. We provide free tools for authors to share their stories with the world, book making kits to encourage creative learning, and tools to transform digital imagery into art. We do all of this with print-on-demand technology that reduces waste and preserves our natural resources.

We are confident we are doing good, but we wanted to prove it. This past February, Lulu applied and was accepted as one of four local businesses to participate in North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) B Corp Clinic. To achieve B Corp certification, businesses must prove they are:

* Good for Workers

* Good for the Community

* Good for the Environment

* Good for the Long Term

* Good to the Core (establishing an innovative business model)

 

The goal for certification is to score at least 80 out of 200 possible points. Our initial score was 37. That may not sound very impressive, but that score represents 37 reasons that we are extra awesome.

Since that initial assessment, Lulu has been working with a team of MBA students from NCSU and Duke University to identify opportunities for improvement and to implement sustainable best employment and environmental practices. Recent improvements include a newly revised employee handbook, two additional paid employee volunteer days for a total of three days, tracking / monitoring energy usage, and active support for local schools and charities.

As a result of these changes and others, Lulu’s B Corp assessment score is up to 66.5. We are diligently working to exceed 80 points in the coming months.

As part of the Lulu family, we will keep you informed of our progress. For more information on B Corp certification:

http://www.bcorporation.net/
http://www.ncbcorps.org/

 

Content contributed by Sheridan@Lulu

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