Creative Responsibility

Our progress in 2018

Students with Michelle Obama at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School for Penguin Talks with orange and pink wash.

Other companies talk about corporate responsibility. At Penguin Random House UK we talk about Creative Responsibility, because creativity is at the heart of everything we do.

Creative people invent, imagine and problem-solve. In a world that is increasingly uncertain, helping people develop creative skills is critical.

But not everyone in society has an equal opportunity to meet their creative potential. Whether it’s mentoring under-represented writers or reinvigorating primary school libraries, colleagues from every corner of our business are taking steps to help close the creativity gap in the UK.

This is our progress so far.

'Equipping young people for the future' with image of students with Michelle Obama at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School for Penguin Talks with blue wash.

Puffin World of Stories logo

Puffin World of Stories is reinvigorating primary school libraries, establishing them as vibrant hubs for creativity and imagination in partnership with the National Literacy Trust.

'50 schools' – with background of girl reading as part of Puffin World of Stories
'77 teachers trained'
'25,000 new books in libraries' – with background of children in library as part of Puffin World of Stories

Penguin Talks logo

In secondary schools across the UK and Ireland, Penguin Talks brings our world-renowned authors face-to-face with teenagers to discuss the issues which matter to them, like the future of work, gender equality and the power of self-belief.

Michelle Obama at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School for Penguin Talks.
Russell Brand and Yuval Noah Harari at Penguin Talks in the Lilian Baylis Technology School
Scarlett Curtis and Saoirse Ronan at Scoil Chaitriona for Penguin Talks
'Taking our books into new spaces' with image of a workshop with the National Literacy Trust with dark blue wash.

National Literacy Trust logo

We’ve partnered with the National Literacy Trust to give thousands of children, young people and families in the UK’s poorest communities the skills and creativity they need to help them succeed in life. 

'By 2021 we will' with image of Penguin Random House staff member reading with a primary school student
'Fund 12 tried-and-tested National Literacy Trust programmes
Raise £100,000 to support their work across the UK
'Donate 150,000 books to disadvantaged areas' with image background of children reading books

World Book Day 2018 logo

World Book Day is our single biggest volunteering effort. Each year, hundreds of colleagues from every corner of the business volunteer in nurseries, schools and communities local to our sites and in literacy-vulnerable parts of the capital.

'500+ colleagues signed up to volunteer' - with background image of Penguin Random House staff interacting with primary school children as part of World Book Day.
'130 schools took part'
'5,500 children impacted'
'6,012 books donated' - with background image of primary school children and Penguin Random House staff as part of World Book Day
'Books are for everyone' - background image with pink wash of secondary school student smiling as part of World Book Day.

Creating an inclusive Penguin Random House which is more representative of society remains a number one priority. We’ve published 2018 data for both our new hires and newly acquired authors here

We have made progress in removing barriers to entry and attracting more people from different backgrounds to join us. There’s still more for us to do create a stronger sense of belonging for everyone. 

'450 paid work experience placements each year' - with background image of Penguin Random House staff talking and smiling.
'Subsidised flat for those joining from outside London'
'1,170 teenagers participated in careers workshops'
'10 paid editorial traineeships via The Scheme' - with background image of Penguin Random House colleagues smiling during a meeting.
'Investing in talent' - with background image of two writers at a WriteNow event, with an orange wash.

WriteNow logo

In 2016 we launched WriteNow – our award-winning programme which aims to find, mentor and publish new writers from communities under-represented on the nation’s bookshelves. 

WriteNow is starting to have an impact on our publishing, with books from 6 authors discovered through the programme already on sale in a bookshop near you.

Images of WriteNow published book jackets - 'A Love Story for Bewildered Girls', 'Music, Love, Drugs, War' and 'How to Be Extra Ordinary'.
Images of WriteNow published book jackets - 'The Single Mum's Wish List', 'The Grassling', 'The Million Pieces of Neena Gill'.
'450 writers attended 9 regional workshops' - with background of Liverpool WriteNow event.
'98% have increased confidence'
'33 writers mentored'
'8 book deals and counting' with background image of author Sara Collins at Liverpool WriteNow event.
'Supporting people making waves across the industry' - with background image of person listening to book via RNIB with purple wash.
'Key funder of The Good Literary Agency' - with background image of children's books.
'Sponsor of the Spare Room Project'
'Match-funded to open #ReadTheOnePercent bookshop'
'25,000 titles free for Royal National Institute for the Blind members' - with background image of person listening to book and smiling via RNIB.
'Sourcing sustainably' - with background image of the forest with a green wash.

To keep bookshops’ shelves full of our latest reads, we distribute millions of books each week. Ethical and environmental management of our global supply chain is a key focus.

This includes ensuring all our suppliers comply with our strict code of conduct, and, more recently, finding new ways to eliminate single-use plastics from our offices and distribution network.

'99.6% of our paper is FSC(TM) certified'- with background image of forest.
'Recognised by WWF for excellence in sustainable paper sourcing'
'Decreased our carbon footprint by 10% in 2018'
'Switched to renewable energy at all our sites' with background image of a Penguin Random House staff member in the warehouse.

We've set ourselves some ambitious targets to the end of 2020, focusing on the following priority areas: Reading, Community, Inclusion and Sustainability.

Read the PDF to see our progress towards these targets in 2018.