The Random House Group CEO Gail Rebuck presents Freedom From Torture with a cheque for £24,500 following a successful year of fundraising by employees.
We strive to be a good corporate citizen by actively supporting the local communities within which we work. We also have a strong commitment to charities and initiatives which promote literacy and the love of reading.
Here are a few highlights of our charity initiatives:
- We support World Book Day, which was co-launched in 1998 by our CEO Gail Rebuck to promote books and the love of reading to UK schoolchildren. The event took the concept and traditions of St. George's Day in Catalonia, when roses and books were given to loved ones, and used them to address the growing crisis in children’s literacy in the UK. Instead of giving roses, a £1 book voucher was handed to every child in the UK in what was the first World Book Day. The World Book Day charity is now firmly established and celebrated in 100 countries around the world as the biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading.
- We are also founding publishers in the Quick Reads initiative, an annual series of entertaining, fast-paced books written in a pared-down style by bestselling authors with the aim of reaching out to adults in the UK with reading difficulties and to those who rarely or never pick up a book. The Quick Reads steering committee is chaired by our CEO Gail Rebuck. Since 2006 over a million Quick Reads titles have been distributed and another 1 million have been loaned by libraries. In a recent survey 90% of adults using Quick Reads said that improving their reading had made them feel better about themselves.
- Every year publishing employees vote to support a designated charity for the year and commit to raise more than £10,000 through various fundraising events. Last year employees raised over £14,500 for Freedom From Torture, which the Group rounded up to a total donation of £24,500. This year we are supporting Shooting Star CHASE.
- We have a number of volunteering initiatives which we encourage staff to get involved with:
- Since 2006 we have worked with Volunteer Reading Help and primary schools across London, giving staff time off and the appropriate training to develop the literacy skills of children who either lack confidence or don’t have access to reading opportunities at home.
- We have a volunteering policy to give all permanent employees the entitlement to one paid day of leave every year in which to undertake volunteering activities.
- In the last few years we've organised a number of volunteering activities, including: a workshop on ‘How a book is made’ at Westminster Primary School; a careers morning for 6th form students at Pimlico school to talk about the publishing industry; a 'Fun Day' at Copenhagen Primary School in Kings Cross; mock interviews for Year 11 pupils at Featherstone High School; a careers talk at Lillian Bayliss Technology School; a trip with children from Kids Company to the Science museum and a 'Breakfast Club' at Lillian Bayliss Technology School.
- We also have a school governor policy, which allows staff to take paid time off to act as school governors.
- We run regular fundraising events for charitable initiatives such as Comic Relief and Breast Cancer Awareness, as well as sponsoring individual staff in their fundraising efforts. Our distribution sites run monthly book sales, with all proceeds donated to charities chosen by staff.
- We sponsor a number of literacy initiatives, literary prizes and festivals and support the Book Trust and BTBS, the Book Trade Benevolent Society.
- We operate a Give As You Earn scheme for staff to donate to a charity of their choice.
- In October 2008 we set-up a joint publisher project with RNIB to make a selection of our titles accessible for the visually impaired.
A mass-tree planting event in Nairobi, organised by the Green Belt Movement using funds donated by the Random House Group. Over 1000 trees were planted at the event.
We are committed to a programme of continuous improvement in order to minimise the negative impacts of our operations on the environment. Following a large-scale audit carried out by The Carbon Trust in 2006, we are currently implementing a three-year rolling environmental plan. The plan covers everything from paper procurement and recycling, to lighting and catering.
Here are a few highlights of our environmental initiatives:
- We were the first UK publisher to publish a pro-FSC paper procurement policy, and the first book publisher in the world to gain FSC chain-of-custody accreditation. In January 2010 we secured a deal with our paper mills to enable us to use FSC paper on 100% of our b/w demy, royal, A format and B format titles.
- In 2005 we established a plant-a-tree programme, setting aside money for a flexible programme to plant trees every year, reviewing annually how and with what organisation we plant them.
- We have recycling schemes in place across all of our sites and send zero waste to landfill.
- Since 2008 we have offered a cycle to work scheme at our London sites, allowing employees to save up to 50% on the cost of a new bike and accessories.
- We first assessed our carbon footprint in September 2006 with the support of The Climate Group. We are currently rolling out a carbon emission reduction programme and making improvements to our sites which should save 250 tonnes of Co2 per annum on an ongoing basis. We reassessed our carbon footprint in May 2009 as part of a worldwide Bertelsmann initiative. In accordance with the guidelines of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol we measured the following CO2 emissions across all sites: Scope 1 - from all publishing and distribution sites (gas, oil), and company owned vehicles (petrol, diesel, LPG). Scope 2 - emissions from operational electricity consumption. Scope 3 - emissions from employee business travel.
We are a founding member of a publishing industry working party set up to construct a tool which will calculate the carbon footprint of a range of standard and hardback books. This will allow the industry to set a benchmark and consequently, realistic reduction targets for reducing waste in book production.
- We use green energy wherever possible across all our sites.
- We are a member of The Environmental Action Group, which was formed by The Publishers Association and The Booksellers Association to encourage and help the book industry to reduce its carbon emissions, operate more sustainably and reduce the impact of book publishing and bookselling on the environment. For more information visit www.green4books.org.uk.
- Our parent company, Bertelsmann SE &Co. KGaA, is a member of the esteemed United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), which encourages businesses all over the world to adopt ten principles of human rights, labor standards, environmental protection and anti-corruption. As a Bertelsmann company, The Random House Group is committed to comply with these ten core principles for sustainable business.
- The Random House Group has embraced the Bertelsmann Code of Conduct, a binding guideline for legal and ethically responsible conduct which covers a range of issues such as: compliance with the law; respect for human rights; interpersonal conduct; financial & business integrity; confidentiality and intellectual property protection.
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