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Social Responsibility


Social Responsibility

We will source 100% of our paper from credibly certified sources by the end of 2020. 

At DK we pride ourselves in extending our work beyond that of a publisher, considering the ethical and environmental impact we have in society. 

We champion diversity and accessibility in our workplaces, and are involved in numerous charity initiatives and support worthy causes across the globe. 

DK is committed to building a diverse workforce that reflects the varied communities that read our books across the world. We encourage applications from all individuals, regardless of age, religion, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or social background.

As part of our commitment to responsible publishing we ensure that all our products are made without infringment of human rights or local laws, and that we only use paper and board materials that are from known, legal and sustainable sources. 

Click here to read DK's Social Responsibility Statement.



We are engaged in a number of charitable initiatives across the globe, from our partnership with The Connection at St Martin's in the UK to book donations across all our territories. 

Read more about our charitable efforts here. 



We will source 100% of our paper from credibly certified sources by the end of 2020. 

FSC logo

Wood is by its very nature a renewable resource. When forests are properly managed, harvesting timber can be an effective way of safeguarding forests for future generations. That’s important given that forests support up to 1.6 billion of some of the world’s poorest people, as well as countless plant and animal species. 82% of our paper is currently FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) certified. We have held the FSC Chain of Custody certification since 2006. Our FSC Licence code is FSC-C018179.

FSC is the only wood certification scheme endorsed by WWF, Greenpeace and the Woodland Trust. Certified forests must meet a range of best-in-class standards, ensuring harvested trees are replanted or allowed to regenerate naturally. FSC also safeguards forest biodiversity and local communities.

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.


WWF Global Forest Trade Network

WWF logo

DK, together with Penguin Random House UK, have been members of the WWF GFTN since 2014. All GFTN participants commit to progressively source forest products, in our case paper and board, from well-managed sources. The WWF Timber Scorecard rates 128 companies on their publicly available timber buying policies, and performance towards sustainable timber. It also assesses whether a company’s performance has changed since the first Timber Scorecard which was published in 2015. The scorecard covers key sectors such as construction, home-builders, paper / printing and publishing, general retailers and furniture retailers. 

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 UK have been awarded 3 trees in 2015, 2016 and 2017. We will continue to actively communicate and improve our timber buying policies and practices. You can find out more about WWF GFTN here




Climate: We ask that our suppliers have, work towards or follow the framework for the ISO14001 environmental standard. This is an international standard providing a structure that companies can follow to set up an effective environmental management system. 

We measure our carbon footprint and our parent company Bertelsmann have set rel="noopener" targets for reduction. To achieve this we have introduced energy-efficient designs across our buildings and invested in technology to connect our global offices as alternatives to business travel, and all the electricity we purchase in the UK comes from renewable sources.

Waste: We encourage our suppliers to increase rates of recycling, reduce water, energy and materials consumption, and where possible to use more environmentally friendly materials such as vegetable based inks. Our London office operates a zero waste to landfill policy - all waste produced is either reused, recycled, composted, or sent to energy recovery.

Recovery: We collect and recycle batteries from our books containing electrical components, that are placed on the UK market and finance the cost of the collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal through recognised collection schemes.


Fair Labour

Working conditions

We believe that all workers have a right to fair labour conditions and a safe environment as set out in the International Labour Organisation Conventions, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the UN Global Compact.

Our Manufacturing Labour Policy, Supplier Code of Conduct, and Manufacturing Agreements set out our commitment to ensure that all our products are made without infringement of human rights or local laws, and to ensure good working practices are embedded throughout our supply chain. We monitor and risk assess our supply chain, and require independent third party audits for manufacturing suppliers considered ‘higher risk’, to independently verify working conditions.


ICTI Ethical Toy Program

ICTI ethical toy program

The ICTI Ethical Toy Program is an independent, not-for-profit organisation established to safeguard and improve ethical and sustainability standards in the global toy industry supply chain.

DK and Penguin Random House UK became full Ethical Toy Program members in 2017. Participation in this programme provides us with a range of resources which support our responsible sourcing. This includes access to a supply chain management platform that helps us manage ethical risks at the factories we source from by monitoring and reporting on progress. The Ethical Toy Program leads the industry with far-reaching and specialised audits, a robust ethical certification scheme, capability building and training programs, factory education as well as peer to peer learning to drive continual improvements.



Product Safety

Ensuring product safety is integral to the design and manufacture of all products made by or on behalf of DK and we accept both our moral and legal responsibility to ensure that everything we put on the market will not harm a person or the environment.
We have a long established and effective Global Compliance Programme in place, which has been developed to ensure conformity with all applicable current regulations for the markets into which we regularly sell. We continually monitor the global compliance landscape to ensure that our programme continues to reflect and comply to evolving international requirements.

In conjunction with an independent accredited testing house, we have created and maintain a ‘Product Safety Manual’ for use by all those responsible for the design, creation and manufacturing of our products. The manual provides guidance on risk assessment, gives advice on technical documentation, product testing, product design and material recommendations as well as labelling requirements. All employees are required to follow guidance provided in the manual.

Our third party suppliers are required to source and supply only materials that are compliant to relevant international legislation and are asked to sign a manufacturing agreement obliging them to comply. We verify material compliance via a mixture of third party certification checks and formal product or substrate testing.


The Book Chain Project

The Book Chain Project logo

We consider 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.

DK and Penguin Random House UK are founding participants of The Book Chain Project. The Book Chain Project gives publishers the information they need to tell the full story of their books; from the origins of tree fibres in the papers, the safety of chemicals in their inks, glues and varnishes, to the working conditions of the factories where the books were made. This initiative is run by Carnstone and involves twenty six leading book and journal publishers worldwide. It also benefits from the participation of many other people along the book supply chain and around the world, including 234 printing companies and 248 paper manufacturers.

The Book Chain Project has three tools to help publishers better understand their book supply chains:

PREPS assesses responsible forest sources for hundreds of paper brands, delving into the pulps to identify the tree species and the countries in which those trees were harvested.

PIPS collects and screens chemicals used in book components – inks, varnishes, glues etc. – and alerts publishers to the safety laws that control their use and importation.

PRELIMS shares publishers’ expectations for labour conditions and environmental performance at the manufacturing sites that make books.

You can find out more about the Book Chain Project here.


More Information

Download DK's Social Responsibility Statement 

Download DK's Paper Sourcing 

Download our WWF Global Forest and Trade Network 2017 Forest Products Report

Download DK's Modern Slavery Statement  

Download DK UK's Labour Policy

If you would like any further information, please contact us at dksocialresponsibility@uk.dk.com.