Pearson Announces Progress Towards 2020 Sustainability Plan

Pearson, the digital education company, published its 2017 Sustainability Report, which highlights the progress made in implementing its 2020 Sustainability Plan and a continued vision for integrating social and environmental issues into every aspect of the business.

Pearson’s 2020 Sustainability Plan is centered around three pillars:
1.Reach more learners by removing barriers to education both through core business and partnerships and enabling learners to be their best selves;

2.Shape the future of learning by leveraging technology and innovating to meet each learner where they are, with content that equips today’s learners with the skills to shape a better tomorrow for people and planet; and

3.Be a trusted partner to learners, educators, suppliers, and communities: operating responsibly, creating value for society, and protecting the environment.

Select 2017 highlights include:
Improving access to education for disadvantaged groups: Through products and services like Pearson’s developmental product portfolio, MyPedia, and the AcceleratED Pathways program, Pearson helped learners overcome barriers to improve their learning outcomes.

Encouraging innovation for low-income learners: Funded and coached employees to develop new business models that support underserved learners through the Tomorrow’s Markets Incubator, and reached over 650,000 learners in 6 countries through Pearson Affordable Learning Fund portfolio companies.

Advancing education in emergencies: Launched a new mobile learning app and programs in 3 schools in Jordan through Pearson’s Every Child Learning partnership with Save the Children.

Reducing environmental impact: Met goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% from a 2009 baseline.

Supporting gender equality: Released its first gender pay report in the United Kingdom and continue to work towards its target to report in other geographies.

Strengthening its commitment to inclusive content: Introduced a global editorial policy to ensure content is appropriate, effective, and relevant for all learners, and trained over 75% of employees involved in content creation or marketing globally.

Exploring the future of skills: Released new research, ‘The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030,’ in partnership with researchers from the University of Oxford and Nesta, with the aim of helping ensure students in today’s education system develop the skills to succeed in the workplace of the future.

Raised awareness and mobilized action on illiteracy: Shed light on adult illiteracy in the US and UK through Project Literacy’s ‘Give Your Word’ campaign.

“By enabling better learning for all and helping to remove barriers to education, we empower learners to be their best selves and, in turn, build a better life and a better world,” said Amanda Gardiner, Vice President of Sustainability and Social Innovation at Pearson. “Our 2020 Sustainability Plan is helping us focus our business priorities on where we can make the most impact and ensure that we put our values into practice in how we operate.”

The report, which covers 1 January – 31 December 2017, is Pearson’s second in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and follows the new Standards. Pearson is a founding signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, and this report also represents its Communication on Progress (COP) and outlines its contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Pearson focuses on three SDGs — 4 on quality education, 8 on decent work and economic growth, and 10 on reducing inequalities — where it can have the greatest impact.

To read Pearson’s full 2017 Sustainability Report and learn about its 2020 Sustainability Plan, visit

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