Pearson Annual Report 2003
Chairman's statement
Chief executive's review
About us
Culture and conduct
    Progress and plans
    Our products
    Our publishing
    Our communities
    Our people
    Labour standards
    UN Global Compact
    Managing our risks
    How we rate
Operating performance
Governance & financials
Directory of pdfs
Standing up. In all we do, we aim to be brave, imaginative and decent.

David Bell, Director
for people

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Standing up
For the first time this year we've included a special section on corporate social responsibility in our annual report. This is not because we have just discovered it. Weetman Pearson, who led the company more than a century ago, had a reputation as one of the most enlightened employers of his time.

We have tried ever since to set the highest possible standards in the way we treat our people, our customers and the wider world in which we operate. This section focuses on the progress we are making with all three groups.
More than 30,000 people now work for Pearson in 62 countries. In the past year we have made good progress towards the goal we set ourselves some years ago. This is to be a brave, imaginative and decent company, a place where people want to work, where they treat people as they want to be treated themselves – in short one of the best employers in the world.

It goes without saying that it is our people who create the products we sell. Their strong sense of responsibility and integrity is at the heart of everything we do and all the products we make. You see this when you meet our education experts who produce teaching materials, our journalists who report and analyse the world or our editors and publishers who make the most entertaining and informative books. Pearson could not succeed without their very high standards and a deep-rooted and unswerving commitment to accuracy, independence and learning.

But that is not enough. We also want all our external 'customers' – investors, authors, readers, teachers, printers, distributors, retailers – to judge us by the same high standards. As the world's biggest publisher nothing is more important to us than that we meet these standards.

Of course we have a way to go. But we are making good progress. Opposite are some highlights of our progress so far and some of our plans for 2004.

We very much welcome comments, observations and suggestions which can be sent to me at
David Bell, Director for people
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