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People and values

The Press continues to invest heavily in the creation of a workplace and shared culture that will attract and retain colleagues of the highest quality, and to support community engagement and charitable action by our offices around the world.

Our continued growth meant that by the year-end we had 2,845 permanent colleagues, up 135 from a year before. The international nature of our business meant that 57 per cent of our colleagues were based outside the UK, working in 43 countries around the world.

Cambridge is still by far our largest office. But Manila, which celebrated its fifteenth anniversary during the year, and moved to new premises, has seen remarkable growth and is now our second largest centre, with around 500 colleagues, working primarily on digital development and customer service.

Our colleagues, with their knowledge and skills, are our most important asset. To attract and retain the best, in a world of intense competition for talent, we need to continue to foster an environment that encourages flexible, creative thinking and the acquisition of new skills. We want a sharing and open culture, with strong ethics, community engagement and a commitment to the equal treatment of all.

Our investment in skills has included a major leadership development programme over the past few years which drew to a successful conclusion in 2018–19, having involved 280 managers from 18 countries. It has produced very positive feedback from participants and will be followed in the year ahead by another programme for more managers to experience. The aim has been to strengthen management skills and entrepreneurial thinking, while remaining mindful of the Press’s purpose to advance learning.

We have also been pleased by the success of our apprenticeship programme, which has introduced 18 colleagues from diverse backgrounds to the operating side of the Press over the past few years. They have brought valuable new perspectives to the business and enriched our culture. In the coming year we will be adding publishing apprentices under a government scheme supported by the British publishing industry.

We take serious note of how our people view the Press. We were pleased that our 2018 global colleague survey found that colleagues’ overall engagement score – a measure of commitment to an organisation – rose to 77 per cent from 73 per cent in 2015, when the survey was last conducted. The success of our leadership development programme was reflected in higher scores for leadership.

Over the past year we have placed much emphasis on promoting a culture that values diversity and inclusion, and we were pleased that the survey found 82 per cent of colleagues felt respected by the Press, while 78 per cent said the Press valued diversity.

World Book Day was marked in New York with students spending a day with colleagues in the office learning career-related skills.
World Book Day was marked in New York with students spending a day with colleagues in the office learning career-related skills.

Our diversity activity included a commitment to a ten-point action plan drawn up by the Publishers Association to bolster inclusivity in the workforce. The aims include employing at least 50 per cent women in senior leadership positions and executive level roles; and ensuring at least 15 per cent of employees are black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) within the next five years.

We have established an inclusion working group, which has led to the development of an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) network and a Disability and Neurodiversity network, with other colleague networks expected during the coming year.

We have also promoted greater understanding of mental health issues, including workplace stress, so as to break down the stigma that often attaches to them. Working in partnership with Mind, the mental health charity, we have run presentations and workshops. In 2018–19 we focused our activities on workshops for 80 managers. A further 80 colleagues took part in resilience training.

We are committed to treating all colleagues the same, with equal opportunity to progress through the ranks, regardless of sex, race, religion or belief, age, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or disability.

We have built a strong partnership with Cambridge University Press as well as a friendship. Hetti Wood, Rowan Humberstone”

We are fully behind the government’s moves to highlight gender pay gaps and at the end of March 2018 we reported a median UK pay gap of 18 per cent, an improvement on the previous year. We are confident that male and female colleagues are paid the same for doing the same job across the Press. However, we have more male colleagues than female at senior management level, and more female colleagues at entry level, which creates the gap. We are working to address this in numerous ways, including balanced male and female shortlists, mentoring, flexible working and unconscious bias training for colleagues.

Community engagement and charitable giving are an important part of our culture and values. During 2018–19 charitable actions by colleagues around the world, together with donations from the Press, raised £61,000. In the UK, colleagues raised £17,000, £9,000 of which was matched by the Press and £13,000 of which was through ‘Give As You Earn’, which enables people to donate to charities of their choice directly from their monthly pay.

Events to celebrate World Book Day were held in Cambridge
Events to celebrate World Book Day were held in Cambridge

For the second year running, our UK Charity of the Year was Rowan Humberstone, a Cambridge-based charity and arts centre for people with learning difficulties. Colleagues raised over £5,000 for Rowan, £1,800 of which was matched by the Press. A further Press donation of £10,000 meant the charity received a total of over £17,000, as well as volunteering work by colleagues. Over the two-year period, Rowan Humberstone received more than £31,000 in cash donations. These funds enabled them to develop and enhance their music and performing arts programme by creating the only dedicated performing space for adults with learning disabilities in Cambridgeshire.

We continue to see many benefits from a longer relationship with our Charity of the Year, which allows both sides to understand each other much better and promotes local volunteering. Hetti Wood, Communications Ambassador at Rowan, said: ‘Over the last two years we have built a strong partnership with Cambridge University Press as well as a friendship. Our newly transformed performing space is used every day at Rowan in music and drama, making a huge difference to our student artists, helping to reduce isolation and increase confidence and independence.’

We look forward to starting a partnership with our new Charity of the Year, which is to be the Castle School, a community special needs school in Cambridge.

We celebrated World Book Day by hosting 50 pupils from six Cambridge schools, who spent a day at the Press learning about opportunities in the publishing industry. Community engagement continues to develop in other offices internationally. In New York colleagues are enjoying a second year of their partnership with PENCIL, a local educational charity, which received a donation of $3,500, while students involved with the charity spend a day with colleagues in the office learning career-related skills.

The Manila office signed an agreement with Don Bosco Technical College, which runs a programme taking in 160 scholarship students from disadvantaged families. This paved the way for Cambridge Manila to donate 30 desktop units and set up a computer lab. Colleagues can volunteer to conduct basic computing classes and provide training on career-related skills.

The Press donated 46,000 books to various causes during the year. These included donations to the Brazilian National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, which was largely destroyed by a fire in September. We helped particularly with replacement volumes for the Francisca Keller library, part of the graduate programme in social anthropology.

At a ceremony to mark the donation, Paula Mello, coordinator of libraries and information at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, said that when the museum had appealed for replacement volumes, ‘the first publisher to express solidarity and propose a relevant donation was Cambridge University Press. How do partnerships work, how do they manifest themselves? Years and years of working together, of business relationships that turn into beautiful and old friendships.’

Press colleagues participating in a workshop at Rowan Humberstone, our charity of the year
Press colleagues participating in a workshop at Rowan Humberstone, our charity of the year



New photovoltaic panels on the roof of our Cambridge head office.
New photovoltaic panels on the roof of our Cambridge head office.

The Press is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and 2018–19 was a year of multiple initiatives to achieve this, whether by cutting electricity usage, investing in rooftop solar power or refining our long-term sustainability strategy.

Our developing strategy, planned to cover the decades to 2050, involves setting goals under the three different ‘scopes’, or categories, as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, a standardised international framework for measuring greenhouse gas emissions. Scope 1 covers direct emissions, Scope 2 covers indirect emissions via the purchase of electricity, while Scope 3 measures indirect emissions in an organisation’s day-to-day operations. 

Under Scope 1 (gas and company-owned vehicles), we cut our overall emissions by four per cent to 132 tCO2e, with our fleet emissions falling by 22 per cent to 65 tCO2e. We raised awareness of our car sharing scheme, offered charging for electric vehicles and free electric bike use in and around Cambridge.

Under Scope 2 (electricity) we made a substantial investment in solar power. Late in the year we installed 496 kW of photovoltaic panels on the large flat roof space on the main Cambridge office building and 52 kW of cells on the sports and social building. These will give big benefits in coming years, creating combined savings of up to 233 tCO2e, approximately 21 per cent of the carbon emitted through our onsite electricity energy use per annum. Total electricity use at all of our UK sites fell by seven per cent to 911 tCO2e. We continued the replacement of high energy use bulbs with more energy efficient lighting, installed additional energy efficient gas boilers, improved heating, ventilation and the air conditioning system at our headquarters, and put automated lighting in refurbished areas.

Under Scope 3 (business flights, taxis, private vehicles, recycled waste, water and office paper) our emissions rose by 21 per cent, or 3,036 tCO2e, due to travel. This is a difficult challenge for any growing global business. To help tackle this, we are growing our use of video conferencing and will be developing more overarching plans to help contain or reduce our impact. 

We now send zero waste to landfill. Our waste is diverted to refuse-derived fuel and during the year we recycled the equivalent of 3.3 tCO2e, up 48 per cent on 2017–18. We were delighted that the World Wildlife Fund awarded us three out of three in its 2019 Timber Scorecard, in recognition of our ethical paper purchasing policy and responsible sourcing practices.

We are working closely with the wider University and partners to align our sustainability strategy with theirs and are collaborating with our teams and supply chains around the world to ensure our long-term commitment to environmental sustainability.

All data calculated using latest conversion factors as at 6 May 2019. Electricity conversion factors have reduced from the previous set, due to the decarbonisation of the grid. Conversion factors expire on 31 July 2019.


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