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As a business based on ideas, our direct environmental impact is limited, but we are committed to understanding the effect we have on the world around us and to setting targets to manage and reduce that impact. Environmental responsibility is not new to Pearson. We introduced an Environment Policy back in 1992. This was reviewed and updated in 2000 and again in 2004. The full policy can be viewed at We are also guided by the UN Global Compact's principles on the environment.

For us, our impact falls into two distinct areas - aspects under our direct control, and areas where we can exert influence over the practices of our suppliers. Areas of greatest direct impact for Pearson are energy use, business travel, unsold product and waste. However, most of the significant issues in publishing are supply chain issues and therefore about influence rather than direct control. The key areas here are the purchase and use of paper, use of third party printers and distribution.

In 2004, we made good progress in furthering environmental management within the company. Here are some highlights:

  • We have reviewed and updated our environment policy.
  • We have continued to improve the quality and quantity of the data collected and reported within our environmental report.
  • We have reviewed the environmental performance of our major paper and printer suppliers.
  • We have briefed our purchasing and production teams on environmental issues.
  • We have maintained or improved our position within key ethical investment indices.
  • We have reported on our progress to the UN as part of our commitment to the Global Compact.
  • We have increased the efficiency of our use of electricity and gas by 4% compared to our target to reduce electricity and gas use levels across the company by 10% by the end of 2008.
  • We have prepared an intranet site focusing on how colleagues can help Pearson save energy.

The environmental considerations relating to the purchase of paper continues to be a priority for us. Following our introduction of a paper purchasing policy in November 2003, Pearson has become a member of the WWF UK Forest & Trade Network, a partnership between businesses and the conservation group WWF, seeking to improve responsible paper sourcing practice. During 2004, we agreed an action plan as part of membership of WWF UK F&TN; communicated our policy to our suppliers; discussed the issue of increasing recycled content in our book papers with our suppliers; and collected information on the source and origin of wood used, certification systems, chlorine and recycled content of the paper we purchase.

Our full environment report can be found at

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