Annual Report and Accounts 2010

Responsible business practice

We believe Pearson has a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in those three focus areas – literacy, efficacy and competitiveness.

In addition, we adopt a broad and holistic definition of ‘responsible business’ that captures a series of priorities that are common across many industries and individual companies. These include commitments to:

  • deliver against stakeholder expectations on the key area of climate change and to seek to make better use of resources;
  • extend our principles on labour standards, human rights and environmental responsibility to include our suppliers and business partners;
  • ensure that our products and services are appropriate in content to the age and location of the student and are safe to use;
  • provide a safe, healthy workplace, where our employees are able to realise their own individual potential and aspirations and where there is respect for their privacy, dignity and life outside work;
  • provide opportunities for Pearson people to be good citizens and to get involved in their local communities.

Responsible business practice cuts across all aspects of our company and our focus is to integrate this into the way we manage our businesses.

Highlights of our activities in 2010 include:

Environment: A focus on climate change

A particular focus for us is climate change, as one of the most serious issues facing the planet. Minimising our own environmental impact is not only the right thing to do; it is fundamental to our future as a sustainable business.

  • Our climate neutral commitment has helped us to achieve three times the level of carbon reduction we were previously reporting. It has also helped us do new things, such as to start to invest in renewable energy generation – both wind and solar – at our sites.
  • Pearson was named as a 2010 Green Power Leadership Award winner by the US Environmental Protection Agency. We offset 100% of the energy we use in North America by purchasing wind power credits.
  • Pearson businesses in the UK achieved Carbon Trust Standard accreditation, which recognises organisations for real carbon reduction.
  • Work started on our second solar energy project at our Distribution Centre in New Jersey. It is among the largest company-owned single roof solar installations in the world.
  • We established the Pearson/FT Rainforest in Costa Rica to offset emissions we could not eliminate through other means.
  • CO2 emissions relating to our US Sales car fleet were reduced by 20% since 2007 by moving to more efficient vehicles and introducing over 200 hybrids.
  • Penguin was recognised in the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Global Partner Awards for outstanding achievement in promoting the FSC brand worldwide.
  • The Financial Times has reduced the volume of newsprint it uses by 25% over the past two years, primarily by reducing the base weight of paper used.
  • As part of a three-year environmental plan, the production department of Pearson International surveyed all printers and binders whose turnover with Pearson exceeded £100k.

Our customers, our people and our communities

Highlights in 2010 include:

  • The Pearson Foundation launched The Million Voice project to improve education by listening to students. With the support of thousands of schools and communities from across the US, the project aims to capture the perspectives of one million students in grades 6–12.
  • Pearson continued with its programme of Student Advisory Boards in the US and the UK. Members of the Boards provide input to Pearson in return for mentoring and internships.
  • Pearson hosted a debate on what represents good corporate citizenship in a 21st century media organisation. The event was run in partnership with JustMeans, the online social media platform, and made available to its 70,000 members.
  • Our first site in the UK has been accredited against ISO 18001, the international health and safety management standard.
  • Pearson was again named joint winner of the FTSE Executive Women Award by Opportunity Now.
  • Pearson in the US was named one of the top 100 employers by Working Mother magazine and by The Human Rights Campaign, which campaigns for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.
  • The Financial Times seasonal appeal raised $1.6 million on behalf of Action Against Hunger/ACF International, to help fight child malnutrition and its causes.
  • Pearson VUE helped to bring over 550 Insurance Jobs to Twin Falls, Idaho. To secure the jobs, Pearson VUE helped to deliver nearly 900 insurance licensure exams and follow up background checks in less than 30 days.
  • Penguin Group held its second global walk involving more than 1,000 employees. Walkers raised funds for a national charity of their choice including the Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees campaign in the US and Save the Kiwi in New Zealand.
  • A new partnership between the Global Fund and Penguin saw 50% of the profits from the new (Penguin Classics)RED series go towards the fight to eliminate AIDS in Africa.

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