Sourcing our raw materials sustainably and reducing our environmental impact

Pledge #8: We will source 100% of our paper sustainably by 2020

92% of the paper we use to make our books is currently Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified, in other words sustainably sourced. Our aim is to increase this to 100% by 2020.

FSC® is the hallmark of excellence in sustainable paper sourcing and helps protect forests, their local communities and wildlife.



Safeguarding forests with FSC®

Wood is by its very nature a renewable resource. When forests are properly managed, harvesting timber can be an effective way of safeguarding forests for future generations. That’s important given that forests support up to 1.6 billion of some of the world’s poorest people, as well as countless plant and animal species. 92% of our paper is currently FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) certified.

FSC® is the only wood certification scheme endorsed by WWF, Greenpeace and the Woodland Trust. Certified forests must meet a range of best-in-class standards, ensuring harvested trees are replanted or allowed to regenerate naturally. FSC® also safeguards forest biodiversity and local communities.

Pledge #9: We will measure and reduce our carbon footprint by 2020, from paper mill to bookshop

The pulp and paper industry is the fourth largest industrial user of energy worldwide. We have a responsibility to work with our partners and suppliers to reduce our environmental impact, thinking about our entire supply chain including our paper mills, printers and distribution network. Before the end of 2017 we aim to publish a detailed breakdown of our carbon footprint for the UK business. 

We annually publish our global carbon footprint through our parent company Bertelsmann which you can read here



Pledge #10: We will only work with suppliers who have signed up to PRELIMS industry-wide environment and labour standards by 2020

We will ask all our suppliers to join PRELIMS – a publishing industry code which sets out the minimum labour and environmental standards we require, covering fair pay and working conditions, health and safety, and energy and water management.



Working with sustainable paper suppliers

Currently more than 80% of our paper is sourced from Swedish forests through our biggest paper supplier, Holmen. Holmen is committed to sustainable forest management and they operate on a 100-year planning cycle, planting two new trees for every one harvested. 46% of the energy they use is self-generated including wind and hydro power.  

In 2015 global environmental action charity WWF awarded Penguin Random House UK the highest possible score as part of their Timber Scorecard, which assesses the timber sourcing policies of companies across a range of industries.

Our non-paper products

Sourcing the paper we use to make our books in a sustainable way is important – but we believe that it’s equally important to ensure our non-book products are sourced sustainably too. We work with suppliers around the world to source products like our branded Penguin mugs, tote bags and notebooks as well as a wide range of children’s products.

To make sure all these products are ethically and responsibly sourced we set high standards for our suppliers. We confirm their compliance both by using expert audits from third parties such as Sedex or ICTI, and through our own site visits to assess a number of factors including working conditions for employees, and environmental management.

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