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Social responsibility


DK and a sustainable future

Our code for Social Responsibility


Responsible DK

In our books we set out our four priorities as a responsible business. We are proud of our record and in the sections below we explain why we chose each as a priority and what we are doing.


Our paper is assessed for its environmental impact

Books require paper and board which comes from forests. Each felled tree that helps make up a book can pass through a saw mill, a pulp mill, a paper plant, a printer, warehouses and a retailer or distributor before reaching you. Forests are the natural air purifiers of our blue planet, the earth. They are very precious and we care for them. We have made two commitments:

- We will purchase from forests that carry Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification wherever we can.

- Where we cannot use FSC certified product, we will grade all our papers using PREPS.


DK's Timber Scorecard rating

DK are committed to buying sustainable timber and timber products. DK, together with Penguin Random House actively engage and support the WWF (UK) Timber Scorecard, which rates companies performances related to sourcing of timber and timber products.

The scorecard awards each company a score from zero trees (no apparent progress on sustainable timber and timber products) to three trees, (sourcing over 70% certified sustainable wood and have policies and control systems in place). We are proud that DK and Penguin Random House were awarded 3 trees in 2015 and will continue to actively communicate and improve our timber buying policies and practices.


What is PREPS?

We are founding members of the Publishers Database for Responsible Paper Sourcing (PREPS). Using a grading system based on that created by WWF all papers are graded based on if the pulp sources are from known, responsible and low risk sources:

Grade 1 - Unknown or unwanted

Grade 3 - Known, responsible and low risk

Grade 5 - FSC or 100% post consumer recycled

It is our policy to use board and paper from grade 3 and above. Grades 2 and 4 are no longer used by PREPS.


  2013 2014 2015
Total Tonnage (metric tonnes) 25,000 25,000 28,000
FSC (%) 45% 61% 70%
Grade 3 and above (%) 55% 39% 30%


The work that we have put into sourcing materials and labelling our books was recognised by FSC in 2010 with an FSC International Award for promoting FSC paper and products.


We check our suppliers' working conditions and eco credentials

It is our duty to think about the entire journey our books take from forest to printed page. We are committed to treating the members of our supply chain fairly, right back to the forest owner - sharing with our partners a care for the environment, respect for local communities and a concern for all the people who work on our books.


Working conditions

We are founder members of the publishing industry group PRELIMS whose purpose is to assess worker rights, working conditions and pay in our suppliers. We, and PRELIMS, work with the ICTI Care Process in Asia and in 2011 PRELIMS adopted its own code of conduct for other parts of the world. All of our printers in the Far East will be audited against the standards set out by these codes of conduct. We also make our own visits and commission our own supplier audits. We use the results of these audits to decide on who we work with and to encourage improved working rights and conditions where we can.


Manufacturing and being green

We want our printers to increase rates of recycling, reduced water, energy and materials consumption and moving to more environmentally friendly materials such as vegetable inks. We ask that all our printers have ISO14001. We will continue to work with printers who are willing to engage in this process but haven't yet achieved the accreditation. We also ask our largest printers to report on their environmental performance.


Product Safety

Ensuring product safety is integral to the design and manufacture of all products made by or on behalf of DK. Our legal and moral responsibility is to ensure that everything we put on the market will not harm a person or the environment. We developed a safety manual which records procedural steps, legislative requirements, developmental advice and labelling information to help achieve this goal. The manual is regularly updated to reflect changing global requirements and developments to internal processes and due diligence procedures. We only work with suppliers who source and supply materials that are fully compliant with all relevant directives and legislation for the territories into which our goods will be sold and every supplier is asked to sign an appendix to our Terms and Conditions of trade to verify this.

To become climate neutral, we:

1. Measure - independently verify our climate footprint relating to our buildings and from business travel.

2. Reduce - cut the energy we use in our buildings and business travel. We have introduced energy-efficient design across our buildings, invested in alternatives to business travel such as video conferencing, and all the electricity we purchase in the UK comes from renewable sources.

3. Offset - Whatever emissions we have not been able to reduce or avoid are offset by supporting projects that either save or absorb a metric tonne of carbon for each tonne that we emit.


© 2016 Dorling Kindersley Limited. Registered Number 01177822, England. Registered Office: 80 Strand, London, WC2R 0RL. 'Dorling Kindersley', 'DK', 'Eyewitness' and the open book logo DK are trade marks of Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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