Pearson Aligns Sustainability Plan with the SDGs

Photo by Hannah Maule-Ffinch/Save the Children

Adopted in September 2015, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have ushered in a new set of principles to guide the public, private, and civil society sectors’ commitment to positively impact communities and the world at large. GBC-Education founding member Pearson has released its 2015 Sustainability Report illustrating how it is addressing education inequality on a global scale, and aligning with the SDGs.

After assessing the seventeen SDGs, Pearson selected three that were best aligned with and most important to its core business capabilities:

Goal 4Quality Education
Goal 8Decent Work and Economic Growth
Goal 10Reduce Inequalities

Pearson’s sustainability report is reflective of a larger conversation on how the private sector can meaningfully align their social responsibility practices with the SDGs, thereby supporting the UN’s work to end global poverty, combat inequality and injustice, protect human rights, and create a peaceful world.

“Our new report identifies the areas where we think our business can make the most transformative impacts on society,” says Amanda Gardiner, Vice President of Sustainability & Social Innovation at Pearson.

For Pearson specifically, its sustainability strategy is focused around three pillars:

Be a Trusted Partner – Pearson is committed to operating responsibly, ethically, and transparently in order to maintain stakeholder trust and earn a license to operate in communities around the world

Reach More Learners – Pearson has identified a long-term growth objective to reach 200 million learners annually by 2025 – more than doubling its current reach. This will require both innovation and collaboration to ensure its products are accessible, affordable, and effective, and that its reaching the people who need education most. Partnerships with Save the Children to support refugee education and with Camfed to support girls’ education are two examples of where the company is already leading.

Shape the Future of Education – Pearson will continue to evolve its products and services and invest in technology to remain at the forefront of the fast-changing education sector and provide the best outcomes for learners. Through participation in multi-stakeholder forums, like GBC-Education, the company contributes to the global education agenda and helps to bridge the equality gaps in education around the world.

Pearson’s three-pronged sustainability plan is a critical part of a greater effort to integrate sustainability more closely with business strategy and with the SDGs. Pearson will continue to improve and build out its sustainability plan, and to work collectively with GBC-Education and the wider business community to accelerate progress in delivering quality education for all of the world’s children and youth.

To learn more about the work Pearson is doing to support the SDGs, read its 2015 Sustainability Report here.