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Our Business and Society

Welcome to our report on ‘Business in Society’ for 2007.

As Marjorie describes in her review, as an education and information company almost all our products and services help our customers succeed and get on in their lives whether it’s through formal education, lifelong learning or intellectual stimulation. Our goal is simple: to be a socially responsible company that has a positive impact on society.

Each year we set out targets to help us focus on the way we impact on society across the company and across the world. Here you can see how we performed against these targets last year and our new ones for 2008. There were several particular highlights in 2007.

We are rapidly increasing our commitment to digital products and services – nowhere more so than in our education business, where we lead our industry in developing new ‘adaptive learning’ products which use interactive technology to zero in on the needs of individuals. These services can deliver significant learning gains and help schools and colleges to be even more responsive to their students.

We made good progress towards our aim of becoming climate neutral across all of our operations by the end of 2009. Of course, there is still a lot more to do, and the innovative use of technology will play an important part in helping us reach our goal.

Our targets for 2007

Maintain our position in the key
indices of social responsibility.
Achieved
Expand the environmentally friendly book
packaging options to distribution centres outside
our key markets of the US and UK.
Ongoing
Continue our environmental and labour standards
auditing programme with our printers in
Asia, the Far East and parts of continental Europe.
Achieved
Continue to advance our programme for independent
certification of the paper we purchase for
our books and newspapers.
Achieved
Continue the process of becoming a climate neutral
company with a view to completing that
process globally by the end of 2009.
Ongoing
Continue our commitment to build a truly international
business by helping more of our people experience a new
country on a short-term assignment, with our developing
markets as a priority.
Ongoing
Show evidence of progress in retention of people with
diverse backgrounds for both entry level
and management positions.
Ongoing
Launch the Pearson Foundation Development Fund to
support our businesses in their work with community-based
programmes around the world.
Achieved
Work with the UK government to extend our flagship
community programme Booktime; build on the success
of Read for the Record with Jumpstart in the US.
Achieved

It is central to our strategy that we should become a more international and more diverse organisation. We have stepped up our efforts to achieving this – launching, for example a new development programme to swap people between our companies and between countries primarily on short-term assignments.

The Pearson Foundation continued its work partnering with leading businesses and not-for-profit organisations to support education and literacy across the globe. The FT’s seasonal campaign once again raised money for the charity Camfed, with readers and staff donating over 1.6m for the charity which is dedicated to providing better educational opportunities for girls across Africa. We extended our Booktime programme in the UK to encourage adults and children to read together and again helped set a new world record with Jumpstart’s Read for the Record Campaign in the US. We were also awarded a Big Tick by the UK’s Business in the Community – an award of excellence which recognises companies’ social impact and, in Pearson’s case, the use of technology to transform student learning.

You can find further details about these and our other activities online in our full CSR report at: www.pearson.com/community/csr_report2007

We welcome any comments or suggestions you have, which can be sent to me at david.bell@pearson.com

Our plans for 2008

Maintain our position in the key indices of social responsibility.
Expand our individual company environmental committees into
our US and other businesses, directly involving many more of our people.
Continue our environmental and labour standards auditing programme,
revisiting our printers in Asia, North America and parts of Europe.
Continue the process of becoming a climate neutral company with a view to
completing that process globally by the end of 2009.
Audit the social and environmental policies and impact of companies
acquired in 2007 and set out plans to integrate them into Pearson’s
framework for corporate responsibility.
Accelerate our commitment to build a truly international business by
helping more of our people experience a new country on a short-term
assignment, with our developing markets as a priority.
Show evidence of progress in retention of people with diverse backgrounds
for both entry level and management positions.
Launch the Pearson International Education Summit, bringing together
global education leaders to identify and share exemplary educational practices.
Use the Pearson Foundation Development Fund to work with our businesses
in Africa, India, and Asia to provide training and support for local teachers
in developing communities.
Build on the success of our ongoing Booktime and Read for the Record Campaigns
to showcase the importance of early reading for young people everywhere.

 

Signature of David Bell

David Bell, Director for people


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