Our strategy

We pride ourselves on the privileged role our businesses have in society and we take the impact we have on the world very seriously. I know that the terms 'corporate social responsibility' and 'sustainability' mean different things to different companies, but at Pearson, our goal is simple: to be a socially responsible company that has a positive impact on society. We try to fulfil that aspiration through a four part strategy:

1. Sustainable business practice

We will continue to aim '[to meet] the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' and we agree that 'business is good for sustainable development and sustainable development is good for business'. Pearson plans to be a climate neutral company and we're making progress towards that target through policy changes and staff-led initiatives. We're using less paper as we digitize more of our processes and products and work within our supply chain to find the most suitable environmentally-friendly way of producing the newspapers and books we print.

2. Valuing our people

As a creative business, everything we do can only be as good as the imagination and the minds of the people that work here. Pearson's companies consistently feature in annual 'best to work for' lists because we nurture our people and continue our progress towards harnessing the enormous benefits of a diverse workforce. We work hard to keep our people fulfilled in their roles, giving them opportunities to increase their skills, to take on international projects and move between businesses, and to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

3. Commitment to fairness and quality

Our role as a publisher with the ability to reach large audiences and partner in the education process is a privileged one that brings special responsibilities: our products themselves have a fundamental and significant 'impact on society'. Pearson Education is helping to revolutionise teaching and learning for millions of students and educators; many of Penguin's award-winning authors and imprints are actively involved in raising awareness of social, commercial and environmental issues; and the FT has spent generations building their reputation for responsible, accurate journalism. We partner with independent research agencies to measure the impact of our learning products and we ask our customers – from seven year olds to septuagenarians – for their input to make our output better.

4. Supporting active citizenship

Pearson's people are likely to be some of the most active citizens you willmeet. They raise sponsorship to bake, cycle, dress up, walk, grow moustaches, swim, build, sing, run and clean to raise money, and that's before we get to the thousands who donate their time and expertise to help a good cause.We match their fundraising where we can and run a number of volunteer schemes for staff to give some of their working day to community programmes. Everything the Pearson Foundation, our charitable arm, does promotes learning and literacy on a global scale, working with innovative partner organisations around the world to level the playing field for those without ready access to education.

Each year, we set our targets to help us focus on the way we impact on society across the company and across the world. You'll find the review of last year's targets and the new ones for 2009 at the end of this report.

As Marjorie mentioned, our website will also be updated throughout the year if you'd like to read more about all our work and projects in detail, but this report should give you a good synopsis of our activity over the past 12 months.

As ever, we welcome your comments and suggestions: just email me at david.bell@pearson.com

David Bell
David Bell Director for people
Board member responsible for corporate responsibility

David Bell

β€˜At Pearson, our goal is simple: to be a socially responsible company that has a positive impact on society'
David Bell
Director for people