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Powerbroker for

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  • Overall approach
    4/12
    • Overarching commitment on deforestation
      0/4
    • Signatory to an initiative tackling deforestation
      1/1
      Yes
      1/1
      "Pearson is a founding signatory to the Global Compact and annually reaffirms both our commitment and our ongoing support for its 10 principles."; "Our membership of the WWF UK Forest and Trade Network helps us work with our suppliers to effectively meet our environmental responsibilities as a major paper purchaser."
    • Awareness of the value of forests
      1/1
      Yes
      1/1
      "We believe that forest certification plays an important role as a benchmark for well managed forests. [...] We reject illegal logging of old growth forests. [...] We are committed to support the protection of high conservation value forests."
    • Deforestation as a business risk
      1/1
      Yes
      1/1
      Does the company recognise the risk as financial, operational, competition, reputational, or other? Please detail.: Operational
      "Our books require paper... We want to see sustainable forests. Our future business success depends on the continued availability of the different grades of paper we use."
    • High-level management of deforestion
      1/1
      Yes
      1/1
      How often does the committee or board meet to assess company's progress on addressing deforestation-related issues?: Paper policy is reviewed by the board every 2 years. 

      Which commodities does it apply to?: Pulp & Paper
       "The Reputation & Responsibility Committee, a formal committee of the Board, provides ongoing oversight, scrutiny and challenge on matters relating to our Sustainability Strategy and our corporate reputation. [...] The Pearson Executive oversees implementation of business and sustainability strategy. The Responsible Business Leadership Council drives implementation of the strategy on behalf of the Board [...]."
    • Executive compensation linked to deforestation
    • Target to reduce emissions from land-use change
      0/2
    • Reporting on emissions from land-use change
      0/2
    • Disclosure of conservation activity
    • Disclosure of reforestation activity
    • Target to reduce emissions in scope 1/2
  • Commodity score
    39/88
    • Pulp & Paper
      39/88
      • Commitment Strength
        14/20
        • Commitment to protect priority forests
          5/8
          • Commitment details
            Zero-gross deforestation
            4/6
            Commitment to protect priority forests
            Zero-gross deforestation
            4/6
            Which certification schemes are used?: FSC; PEFC
            "We believe that forest certification plays an important role as a benchmark for well managed forests. We work with our suppliers to ensure that the paper we purchase comes from certified,well managed forests. We encourage and expect improvement and promote credible independent certification. We recognise the Forest Stewardship Council schemes (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC) which are both global in scope. The two most significant PEFC recognised schemes for us are the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) schemes. Where this is available, affordable and appropriate to our product mix, our preference isto purchase paper from forests that carry Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.We reject illegal logging of old growth forests. We are committed to support the protection of high conservation value forests."
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            Yes
            1.3/1.3
            Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            Yes
            1.3/1.3
            "We believe that forest certification plays an important role as a benchmark for well managed forests. We work with our suppliers to ensure that the paper we purchase comes from certified,well managed forests. We encourage and expect improvement and promote credible independent certification. We recognise the Forest Stewardship Council schemes (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC) which are both global in scope. The two most significant PEFC recognised schemes for us are the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) schemes. Where this is available, affordable and appropriate to our product mix, our preference isto purchase paper from forests that carry Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.We reject illegal logging of old growth forests. We are committed to support the protection of high conservation value forests."
          • Target date
            Past target date, not updated or not achieved
            0/0.7
            Target date
            Past target date, not updated or not achieved
            0/0.7
            "Along with other members of the WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) in the UK, we arecommitted to continue to increase the proportion of credibly certified and post-consumer recycled fibre weuse.Our target was that by the end of 2020, such fibres will be maintained at 75% of the total we use in our products and we will look to increase the proportion delivered under a chain-of-custody. For 2017, we can report that we have exceeded this target and 93% of fibres purchased in the UK come from credibly certified and post-consumer recycled fibres. We will continue to work to increase the proportion purchased under our chain of custody."
          • Interim target date
            No
            0/0.3
        • Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
          4/5
          • Commitment details
            Yes
            3/3
            Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            Yes
            3/3
            Type of commitment: Recycled content; Reduction of material inputs
            "Our new target is by 2020 to reduce the number of metric tonnes of paper we use to generate one million pounds of revenue by 80% compared to our 2008 baseline." [...] "Where viable to do so, we will reduce the base weight of the papers we use, move to papers made from ground wood (the whole tree, not just selected parts of it) and blend physical and digital content" [...] "Recycled Fibre. Where practical, and viable, we favour using paper products that maximises recycled content. We commit to ensure that our paper suppliers understand our interest in the development of commercially viable new grades of book paper that include recycled fibres."
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            Yes
            1.3/1.3
            Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            Yes
            1.3/1.3
            "Our new target is by 2020 to reduce the number of metric tonnes of paper we use to generateone million pounds of revenue by 80% compared to our 2008 baseline." [...] "Where viable to do so, we will reduce the base weight of the papers we use, move to papers made from groundwood (the whole tree, not just selected parts of it) and blend physical and digital content" [...] "Recycled Fibre. Where practical, and viable, we favour using paper products that maximises recycled content. We commit to ensure that our paper suppliers understand our interest in the development of commercially viable new grades of book paper that include recycled fibres."
          • Target date
            Past target date, not updated or not achieved
            0/0.7
            Target date
            Past target date, not updated or not achieved
            0/0.7
            "Our new target is by 2020 to reduce the number of metric tonnes of paper we use to generateone million pounds of revenue by 80% compared to our 2008 baseline." [...] "Where viable to do so, we will reduce the base weight of the papers we use, move to papers made from groundwood (the whole tree, not just selected parts of it) and blend physical and digital content" [...] "Recycled Fibre. Where practical, and viable, we favour using paper products that maximises recycled content. We commit to ensure that our paper suppliers understand our interest in the development of commercially viable new grades of book paper that include recycled fibres."
          • Interim target date
            No
            0/0.3
        • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
          4/6
          • Commitment details
            Downstream company, traces to Processing Facility, no compliance check
            2/4
            Commitment to a traceable supply chain
            Downstream company, traces to Processing Facility, no compliance check
            2/4
            "We are committed to work with our suppliers to find out where the trees that go to form the paper we purchase comes from [...]We first established a comprehensive global database of the environmental characteristics of our paper supply chain over a decade ago. We capture data from manufacturers, paper merchants and printers that purchase paper on our behalf and our database is global in scope.Overall, this database held information on just under 90,000 metric tonnes of paper for 2017and covers all our businesses. It includes:• supplier and paper name• quantity purchased• recycled content, both pre-consumer and post-consumer• certification methods used• mill name• species of wood• country of origin of wood"
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            Yes
            1.3/1.3
            Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            Yes
            1.3/1.3
            "We are committed to work with our suppliers to find out where the trees that go to form the paper we purchase comes from [...]We first established a comprehensive global database of the environmental characteristics of our paper supply chain over a decade ago. We capture data from manufacturers, paper merchants and printers that purchase paper on our behalf and our database is global in scope.Overall, this database held information on just under 90,000 metric tonnes of paper for 2017and covers all our businesses. It includes:• supplier and paper name• quantity purchased• recycled content, both pre-consumer and post-consumer• certification methods used• mill name• species of wood• country of origin of wood"
          • Target date
            Current/achieved
            0.7/0.7
            Target date
            Current/achieved
            0.7/0.7
            "We are committed to work with our suppliers to find out where the trees that go to form the paper we purchase comes from [...]We first established a comprehensive global database of the environmental characteristics of our paper supply chain over a decade ago. We capture data from manufacturers, paper merchants and printers that purchase paper on our behalf and our database is global in scope.Overall, this database held information on just under 90,000 metric tonnes of paper for 2017and covers all our businesses. It includes:• supplier and paper name• quantity purchased• recycled content, both pre-consumer and post-consumer• certification methods used• mill name• species of wood• country of origin of wood"
          • Interim target date
            NA (target date current or achieved or 2022)
            0.3/0.3
            Interim target date
            NA (target date current or achieved or 2022)
            0.3/0.3
            "We are committed to work with our suppliers to find out where the trees that go to form the paper we purchase comes from [...]We first established a comprehensive global database of the environmental characteristics of our paper supply chain over a decade ago. We capture data from manufacturers, paper merchants and printers that purchase paper on our behalf and our database is global in scope.Overall, this database held information on just under 90,000 metric tonnes of paper for 2017and covers all our businesses. It includes:• supplier and paper name• quantity purchased• recycled content, both pre-consumer and post-consumer• certification methods used• mill name• species of wood• country of origin of wood"
      • Social Considerations
        4/18
        • Labour rights in the supply chain
          Yes
          4/4
          Labour rights in the supply chain
          Yes
          4/4
          Details of commitment: ILO; UNGP; UN Declaration for HR; Discrimination; Forced labour; Child labour; Freedom of association

          Other workers' rights commitments: Living wage; Only work legal working hours; Guaranteed safe and healthy workspaces; Free from abusive practices/undue disciplinary procedures
          "Timber production and forestry has been identified by Pearson as a higher risk industry due to the potential for human rights abuses, including the use of forced, indentured and child labour. [...] The risk of slavery is associated with unsustainable and illegal forestry practices. As a cornerstone of their certification criteria, FSC and the PEFC require ethical treatment of workers in the forestry industry and compliance with fundamental ILO conventions, including the Forced Labour convention [...] In our annual report and on our website we report annually on our progress to meet our commitment to the UN Global Compact and other human rights standards including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s declarations on fundamental principles and rights at work, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights [...]. It also sets out our expectations for supply partners to oppose discriminatory, illegal or inhumane labour practices including slavery and human trafficking. [...] The Partner Code sets out our support for universal human rights (including equal employment, freedom of speech and of association."
        • Inclusion of small-scale farmers
          No
          0/4
        • Gender equality in the supply chain
          No commitment
          0/4
        • Commitment to remediation
          No
          0/2
          Commitment to remediation
          No
          0/2
          Type of harm covered: Social harm
        • Commitment to ensure Free, Prior and Informed Consent
          No
          0/4
        • Commitment to resolve land conflicts
          No
      • Reporting and Implementation
        21/50
        • Reporting against commitments
          0/2
          • Commitment to protect priority forests
            Yes, for all commodity exposure
            1.7/1.7
            Commitment to protect priority forests
            Yes, for all commodity exposure
            1.7/1.7
            Does the company report on the degree of compliance/progress with commitments, disaggregated by relevant factors such as origin or supply chain stage?: Yes
            "In 2019, we purchased over 100,000 tonnes of paper globally. To help to reduce our impact, we have retained Chain of Custody accreditation from the FSC in the UK, which enables Pearson products to carry the FSC logo. Of the more than 12,000 tonnes of paper we purchased in the UK, 86% was certified to an environmental standard, such as FSC or PEFC."
          • Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            No
            0/1.7
          • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
            No
            0/1.7
        • Reporting is independently verified
          0/1
          • Commitment to protect priority forests
            Yes, using a third-party verification scheme or certification scheme.
            1/1
            Commitment to protect priority forests
            Yes, using a third-party verification scheme or certification scheme.
            1/1
            What percent of the company's supply volume is verified using company verification systems?: 10320 tons in the UK

            Which processes or groups does the company use for third party verification?: Third-party certification

            Which tools, approaches, third-party verification, including certification, schemes are used?: FSC or PEFC
            "In 2019, we purchased over 100,000 tonnes of paper globally. To help to reduce our impact, we have retained Chain of Custody accreditation from the FSC in the UK, which enables Pearson products to carry the FSC logo. Of the more than 12,000 tonnes of paper we purchased in the UK, 86% was certified to an environmental standard, such as FSC or PEFC."
          • Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            No
            0/1
          • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
            No
            0/1
        • Suppliers aligned with deforestation commitments across supply chain
          Yes, encouraged
          0/2
          Suppliers aligned with deforestation commitments across supply chain
          Yes, encouraged
          0/2
          "We require our suppliers to comply with environmental laws and regulations applicable in their countries of operation... We commit to ensure that our paper suppliers understand our interest in the development of commercially viable new grades of book paper that include recycled fibres... We work with our suppliers to ensure that the paper we purchase comes from certified, well managed forests. We encourage and expect improvement and promote credible independent certification."
        • Deforestation cut off date
          No
          0/2
        • Collaborative actions
          Yes
          2/2
          Collaborative actions
          Yes
          2/2
          What is the nature of that participation?: Attending & contributing to meetings

          What initiatives does the company participate in?: Pearson is a founding member of the Book Chain Project. 
          "We helped set up PREPS - Publishers for Responsible Environmental Paper Sourcing. This group was set up to extend the approach used by Pearson and others on mapping the environmental characteristics of the paper purchased by opening this to other industry members. Through working with our industry peers we have helped establish an industry reporting standard helping improve data quality.Pearson has adopted the PREPS approach and grading system as our global standard and we use it to assess the papers we purchase. A description of the grades is attached as Appendix 1."
        • Risk assessments for forest risk
          No
          0/2
        • Operations assessed to comply with law
          Yes
          2/2
          Operations assessed to comply with law
          Yes
          2/2
          "All Pearson Business Partners must operate in fullcompliance with the laws, rules, and regulationsof the jurisdictions in which they operate andwhere they provide goods or services to Pearson.Where this Code sets higher standards than thelaw, Business Partners are expected to adhere tothe standards of this Code [...] Pearson reserves the right to review or audit Business Partners’ compliance with this Code and the organization’s system of ethics and compliance controls and management oversight."
        • Accessible grievance mechanism
          Yes, publicly accessible grievance mechanism
          2/4
          Accessible grievance mechanism
          Yes, publicly accessible grievance mechanism
          2/4
          Which issues does the grievance mechanism cover?: Social; Environmental

          Does the company publish grievances that have been made against it, as well as responses and resolutions including status and timeframes: No
          "Business Partners should promptly report violations of this Code or any unethical behavior by a Pearson employee to a Pearson manager. If this is not feasible, Business Partners may confidentially report concerns by contacting the PearsonCompliance Office at compliance@pearson.comor by using PearsonEthics.com, an independent resource that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
        • Report volumes of commodity
          Reporting total volume
          2/2
          Report volumes of commodity
          Reporting total volume
          2/2
          Total/partial volume reported: 100,000 metric tons
          Pearson report in their 2019 Sustainability & ESG Report on paper used (MT) - 2017: 95,552, 2018: 103,758, 2019: 100,000. 
        • Report verified volumes of commodity
          80-99%
          4/6
          Report verified volumes of commodity
          80-99%
          4/6
          What is the compliant volume?: 86%

          For what percent of the company's supply volume is third-party verification of performance relative to commitments conducted?: 86%

          What is the certified volume?: 10,320 tons in the UK

          What third-party verification is used?: FSC or PEFC

          What is the non-certified/non-compliant volume?: 1680 tons
          "In 2019, we purchased over 100,000 tonnes of paper globally. To help to reduce our impact, we have retained Chain of Custody accreditation from the FSC in the UK, which enables Pearson products to carry the FSC logo. Of the more than 12,000 tonnes of paper we purchased in the UK, 86% was certified to an environmental standard, such as FSC or PEFC."
        • Upstream: Monitor compliance with human rights
          Yes, commit to monitoring compliance with labour/worker rights
          2/4
          Upstream: Monitor compliance with human rights
          Yes, commit to monitoring compliance with labour/worker rights
          2/4
          "The board Audit committee monitors implementation of the Business Partners Code and Pearson Legal oversees third party adherence to our Business Partner Code."
        • Downstream: Publishing supplier lists
          No
          0/4
        • Downstream: Monitor compliance in supply chain
          Yes, for its suppliers
          3/4
          Downstream: Monitor compliance in supply chain
          Yes, for its suppliers
          3/4
          Details of monitoring: Using internal monitoring and verification systems

          How frequently is compliance assessed?: Not specified
          "A senior executive at Pearson has responsibility for ensuring that our environmental guidelines are followed by our businesses. We review the policies and performance of our suppliers against these standards and encourage improvement wherever possible."
        • Downstream: Reporting hectares of deforestation
          No
          0/4
        • Downstream: Engagement with non-compliant suppliers
          Engage with suppliers but with no time-bound threat of exclusion
          1/2
          Downstream: Engagement with non-compliant suppliers
          Engage with suppliers but with no time-bound threat of exclusion
          1/2
          Does the company engage non-compliant indirect suppliers in order to address and remedy non-compliance?: No
           "For many of our grades of paper, FSC paper is currently unavailable or uneconomic to use. We continue to encourage our paper suppliers to increase overall levels of certification and in particular to adopt the FSC standard."; "We work with our suppliers to ensure that the paper we purchase comes from certified, well managed forests. We encourage and expect improvement and promote credible independent certification." 
        • Downstream: Disclosure of non-compliant suppliers
          No disclosure
          0/2
  • Commitment strength
    14/20
    Avg. score
  • Reporting and Implementation
    21/50
    Avg. score
  • Social considerations
    4/18
    Avg. score

Profile

Pearson Plc is a learning and media company based in London. The company operates in more than 65 countries and publishes material online and in book format. The large-scale publishing operations require vast amounts of pulp and paper. Pearson PLC is selected as a powerbroker for pulp & paper.

Sector
Industry sector 
Printing & publishing
Segments
Retailer
HQ
HQ 
United Kingdom
Company Type
Company type 
Public listed
Collective Commitments
Consumer Goods Forum member
New York Declaration on Forests signatory

How we assess the Forest 500

To ensure deforestation free supply chains, companies need to adopt and implement timebound and measurable policies for forest risk commodities.

All assessments use policies published on company websites, some links may have changed or been removed since the time of assessment.

Disclaimer

This assessment has been carried out following the methodology developed for the Forest 500 project, available here. Please see our disclaimer applicable to all information contained within this site and our terms and conditions for use of data presented on this site.

All assessments use policies published on company and financial institution websites, and while we endeavor to keep them updated some links may have changed or been removed since the time of assessment.

Please contact us with any concerns or feedback about this or other assessments included in the Forest 500.