Skip Links

Menu Links

Our Progress in 2006

Each year we set ourselves targets to help us become the kind of company we strive to be: one that is brave, imaginative and decent. You can read below about how we performed against them in 2006.

Continue to advance in the key indices of social responsibility.

We significantly improved our ranking in the Business in The Community Corporate Responsibility Index for 2005 from 57th to 24th. Our score has risen from 58% in 2002 to 94.5% in 2005. The 2006 results will be published in May. We also maintained our status in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for 2006, and the FTSE4GOOD Index Series.

Examine ways to minimise the environmental impact of book packaging.

Our main distribution centres in the US and the UK explored several options to change methods and materials for the packaging and distribution of books. A number of these options were piloted and some adopted with both a positive environmental and cost impact.

Extend our environment and labour standards auditing to our printers in South Africa and Latin America.

Audits were carried out at the main printers of our books, magazine and newspapers in South Africa. Visits were also made by our production and purchasing teams to key book printers in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Columbia and Chile.

Continue our drive for independently verified certification to ensure the suitability of paper we purchase for our books and newspapers – this will expand to include jackets and covers.

We made significant progress this year. A particular highlight is that Penguin in the UK has secured Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) chain of custody certification which will allow its books to carry the FSC label. As well as certification systems such as FSC, we have our own procedure to track wood back through the production process to the original forest allowing us to verify the sustainability of the papers we use.

Conduct our biennial employee survey.

Nearly 10,000 employees from every part of Pearson participated in the 2006 employee survey. Areas of strength included benefits, working conditions, co-workers and ethics while pay, stress and job security were marked out as areas for improvement. Diversity scored very highly. We shared the survey findings via the Pearson intranet which is accessible to employees around the world.

Continue to recruit and promote people from diverse backgrounds and increase the number of women in senior management roles.

We measure progress in this area specifically against our US and UK businesses. Our focused recruiting efforts in major markets resulted in a 10% increase in minority representation in the US businesses. Also in the US, the number of women in senior management roles increased by 10% in 2006.

Introduce diversity networking groups in the UK and US to develop future leaders and retain key employees.

We spent time exploring interest in diversity networks in our two largest markets, the US and the UK. Although we met with a positive response, we still have some way to go to establish self-maintaining networks which we will continue to focus on in 2007. We continue to run initiatives such as Diversity weeks which have proved popular with our businesses.

Conduct a full evaluation of the pilot of our UK community programme and, subject to that, roll out the project more widely.

The evaluation findings from the pilot of our UK community programme Booktime were extremely positive and confirmed our belief that it fully supports the work of teachers, parents and librarians in inspiring young children to learn to read. In 2006 we rolled out the programme – 250,000 children starting school received the gift of a free Puffin book. In 2007, Booktime will reach every child in England and up to 50% of children in Scotland and Northern Ireland. We are delighted to be working with the Department for Education and Skills who are providing funding to support the roll-out in England.

Continue to develop our partnership with Jumpstart in the US, to support and encourage college students to become teachers.

In 2006 we provided fellowships and training to 45 Pearson Teacher Fellows, and inaugurated Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign, which, using a special edition of Penguin's children's classic The Little Engine That Could, raised more than $1m in support of Jumpstart's mission to ensure that every child has an equal chance to enter school prepared to succeed.

Back to top ^