Pearson is a global company with 33,000 people, a network of suppliers and operations in more than 60 countries. We want Pearson to be known as a company that is brave, imaginative and decent all around the world. To help guide us, we have our Code of Business Conduct, which spells out our basic standards for conduct in Pearson and what we expect of anyone connected with our company - employees, suppliers and partners. We know that rules can't tell us how to behave but we think this is a good starting point. You can download the code at www.pearson.com/community/codeofconduct.htm.
We are also guided by the Global Compact's ten principles on labour standards, human rights, business ethics and the environment. Pearson became a founding signatory to the Global Compact at the United Nations in 2000 and we continue to be actively involved through our membership of the Advisory Committee.
We have applied the Global Compact to our own business and created our own set of guidelines on labour standards and human rights which we use to assess and report on our performance. These guidelines are:
In 2001, with the assistance of independent consultants, we put in place a procedure to assess our performance against these guidelines. We carry out an annual survey among our Human Resources professionals focusing on these guidelines. The 2004 survey covered 92 business operations in 45 countries. Together, these business operations surveyed employ 31,349 people out of a current universe of 33,000 employees. This represents 95% of all Pearson employees. The survey report can be found at www.pearson.com/community/progresscommunication.htm.
Based on this report, employee feedback to our Code of Business Conduct and our social, environmental and ethical risk assessment processes confirm that we have continued to meet the guidelines we have set ourselves.
Pearson spends around £2billion each year with our suppliers. Our most significant categories of supply are:
The majority of our suppliers are located in North America and in Western Europe. However, some of our suppliers, particularly those providing print and production services are based in less developed countries. As our Code of Business Conduct and adherence to the UN Global Compact imply, we have certain principles we expect of all our suppliers wherever they are in the world. This is what we are doing to help ensure these standards are being maintained:
We set a number of business targets in this area for 2004. Here is how we performed against them:
|To ensure over 75% of our key printing contracts contain
clauses relating to labour standards & human rights
|To extend our programme of in-depth supplier visits to assess
compliance with the Global Compact to a further 3 countries
Singapore & Australia)
|To carry out a series of briefings to our global purchasing and
production teams to explain their responsibilities on labour
standards and human rights
|To work with the UK book publishing industry to agree
common standards on labour standards and human rights.
For 2005, our targets in this area are: