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The Press’s shared culture is one of our most precious assets as we expand our range of services and grow the number of our colleagues who work in offices all around the world.
We now have over 50 offices in 39 countries, employing around 2,450 colleagues. Their skills, teamwork, integrity and dedication to the highest standards are what makes the Press successful, and such a creative place to work.
There are many aspects that make up our culture, but we believe that six distinct characteristics are at the heart of what we are and strive to be. They include being collaborative, innovative, decisive, and responsive to the needs of our customers.
They also involve empowerment – breaking down hierarchies to give colleagues responsibility for their own decision-making, and supporting each other to take appropriate risks. The sixth characteristic is responsibility – acting with integrity and accountability and using our profit for purpose, contributing to the greater good of society.
The Press remains well regarded by those who work here. Our latest survey found that 81 per cent of colleagues around the world said they were proud to work here. The overall measure of colleagues’ engagement with the organisation is 73 per cent, ahead of benchmarks from both private and public institutions. Nonetheless, the scale and pace of change is a challenge for everyone working across the industry, and that is no different at the Press. We continue to work on how we handle change, put customers first, and collaborate most effectively between offices, departments and functions.
We are investing in greater training, including through our online training portal, where there is a rich range of learning material which includes information technology, communications, and people management. We are in the second year of a Future Leaders’ Programme, under which colleagues from around the world come to the UK for project work during the year and train at the Cranfield School of Management.
People at the Press care passionately about our aim to advance knowledge, learning and research, and many of them give significant time to community engagement in education.
Initiatives this year ranged from the introduction of a new volunteering programme in Melbourne to the installation by Indonesian colleagues of sanitary facilities in a rural school. Our team in New York continued to support Westchester Community College through bursaries which help students to attend a summer course at Cambridge.
The Press and individual colleagues raised almost £65,000 for educational charities, including our UK Charity of the Year, Centre 33, teacher bursaries for the Institute of Continuing Education and for UNICEF to provide aid for the reconstruction of schools after the earthquake in Nepal.
We marked World Book Day with community events in several countries. In the UK we conducted a digital Shakespeare publishing workshop for 40 students in year 10 and their teachers from schools across Cambridge. In India, the Press team organised a publishing workshop for 17 schools in the Delhi metropolitan region, the first of its kind in the Indian publishing sector. It took 60 students and 20 teachers on the journey of a book from concept to publication.
In South Africa, as part of our relationship with Shine, our local Charity of the Year, seven colleagues read to 320 schoolchildren from St Paul’s school in Bo-Kap, Cape Town, and donated 250 books. Shine works to promote literacy by early intervention and individual coaching of children by trained volunteers.
Through the year, Press colleagues worked with our UK partner school, Coleridge Community College, as part of the Business in the Community Business Class programme. All Year 11 students from Coleridge took part in a CV workshop, while Year 9 students visited the Press each term as part of a three-year programme to learn about different aspects of publishing. The Press had 73 work experience placements, more than three times those in the previous year.
During the year we donated more than 75,000 books, up by three-quarters from the year before, of which nearly 40,000 were given to BookAid International, the UK’s leading book donation charity for the development of libraries in sub-Saharan Africa.
We are committed to acting in an environmentally responsible manner in areas such as carbon emissions, the use of paper and water, and the recycling of waste. Our procurement policy requires all suppliers of timber to provide sustainably sourced products.
During the year we cut our total energy consumption, measured by CO2 output of our UK sites, by 18 per cent, from 1,903 tonnes CO2 to 1,559 tonnes CO2. A total waste reduction campaign contributed to an overall drop in waste at UK sites of 45 per cent, from 228 tonnes to 125 tonnes, of which recycling accounted for 89 per cent. We are now focusing on carbon emissions from business travel through more webinar and videoconferencing facilities to reduce business travel. We have purchased electric bikes for business trips in Cambridge.