Communicating our progress (2003)

  • 02-Jun-2004
Time period
  • January 2003  –  December 2003
  • In line with the principles of the Global Compact, Reed Elsevier communicates its progress on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to stakeholders through our CSR Report, the CSR section of our corporate internet site, the company intranet, the Annual Review, in CSR policy documents (Code of Ethics, Vendor Code of Conduct, etc) and through participation in stakeholder surveys. In each of these we state our commitment to the Global Compact.

    We provide detailed information on our five CSR impact areas: governance, marketplace, workplace, community and the environment and in 2003 our key accomplishments included:

    - Setting clear objectives, measurement systems and sharpening accountability

    - Launching a new Code of Ethics and Business Conduct

    - Introducing a Vendor Code of Conduct

    - Conducting a second global employee survey

    - Expanding our community engagement

    - Advancing our environmental management system

    We improved CSR objectives and measurements by establishing a CSR Forum led by our Chief Executive. We launched a new Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, which incorporates the nine principles of the Global Compact and is made available to every employee, providing a guide for individual and corporate behaviour.

    Our Vendor Code of Conduct ("Code") has been rolled out to key suppliers, which requires that they meet minimum standards on human rights, labor practices and environmental performance. We are conducting both internal and third party audits to ensure compliance and remediation with the Code.

    We conducted our second global employee survey. The overall response was excellent with 79% (over 28,000) of all employees participating. Despite our businesses having experienced very tough market conditions in the last two years, most employees felt that Reed Elsevier was doing better. We will use the information, particularly areas highlighted for improvement, including greater support for first-line managers, to make effective changes.

    We expanded our community activities with the introduction of the Reed Elsevier Cares programme underlining our mission to play a positive role in our local and global communities, primarily through employee involvement. The central focus of the programme is to provide education for disadvantaged young people and community initiatives of importance to local employees. In October 2003 we held our first group wide Reed Elsevier Cares Month marked by almost 100 different activities supporting schools, community organisations and charities with the involvement of thousands of employees.

    We launched our Environmental Management System across the Group and established a network of environmental champions who will facilitate the improved collection of data on our primary impact areas of energy, waste, and water and the achievement of environmental goals for our key facilities. In line with the Global Compact we will be working to support the environmental commitment of our vendors by introducing an environmental survey this year.


    In addition to Reed Elsevier''s fifth consecutive year of entering the Business in the Environment benchmarking index run by the UK''s Business in the Community (BitC), we participated in BitC''s second Corporate Responsibility Index, a demonstration of our commitment to disclosure and involvement in all aspects of CSR. We were ranked first in the media sector, demonstrating improvements particularly in environmental management. During the year we continued expanding environmental data coverage and established more robust data collection processes throughout the group.

    Our CSR goals for 2004 include:

    Community - deepen RE Cares programme in 75% of business locations (for example, increased activities or employee involvement); create greater awareness of RE Cares programme in remaining 25%

    Environment - further development of the Environmental Champions network; across the board data collection relative to targets ; development of key facility targets

    Governance - continue to find ways to facilitate understanding of the Code of Ethics and Business Conduct among all employees; stay abreast of trends in company law

    Workplace - take steps to address results of 2003 Respond survey; further development of the graduate recruitment programme; improved reporting on training policy and health and safety data collection

    Marketplace - enhanced reporting on customer interface across the group; wider roll-out of the Vendor Code of Conduct and independent auditing of compliance

    Communication - advance internal (Intranet, campaigns; board) and external (SRI engagement, surveys) communication

Principles covered
  • Principle 1 - Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights
  • Principle 2 - Make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses
  • Principle 3 - Businesses should uphold freedom of association & effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining
  • Principle 4 - The elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour
  • Principle 5 - The effective abolition of child labour
  • Principle 6 - Eliminate discrimination in respect of employment and occupation
  • Principle 7 - Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges
  • Principle 8 - Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility
  • Principle 9 - Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies
  • Principle 10 - Businesses should work against all forms of corruption, including extortion and bribery
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