social responsibility

#BookstoresAreHolidays: PRH Partners with Binc Foundation to Give Back to Indies

Penguin Random House is committed to supporting bookstores, which provide a source of community, information, and imagination.  This year, we are partnering with the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) on their year-end fundraising campaign, which launched on Small Business Saturday, November 30. To double the power and impact of individual donations, Penguin Random House is matching all donations made to Binc through December 31, 2019.

Looking for an additional way to give back? On Instagram and Twitter, share pictures and stories of your favorite bookstores, books you picked up there, or post a shout-out to your favorite indie employee or owner. When you include the hashtag #BookstoresAreHolidays, we will donate $1 to Binc. Through both of these initiatives, PRH will donate up to $15,000, which will directly help bookstores in need. Binc continues to receive calls and emails from booksellers impacted by the wildfires and power outages in California and also assists booksellers recovering from personal financial hardships like a cancer diagnosis, dental needs, mental health and recovery, and natural disasters. Jaci Updike, President, Sales, Penguin Random House said, “Our hearts go out to those booksellers whose lives have been upended by local natural disasters or personal illness, so it is a privilege for us to align with the Binc Foundation to raise funds to support our retail partners in need. We urge our colleagues and our community to join together in giving all we can toward making a real impact in the lives of people we care about.” Binc recently reported in its 2019 survey results that 1 in 5 booksellers has experienced a financial emergency in the last two years. The need for assistance is high in the bookselling community and continues to grow. A total of $30,000 raised by the end of the year will help 13 booksellers and their families through economic hardship. Binc has already assisted nearly 90 booksellers and their families this year alone. If you would like to contribute, please click here.

Penguin Random House Adds 300,000 to the One Million Books Donated to First Book in Obama Family Name

Today, Penguin Random House joins with Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to announce that the company will donate an additional 300,000 children’s books to First Book, building upon its previously announced donation of one million of its children’s books to First Book in the Obama family’s name. Plans for the one million donation were originally announced in 2017 when Penguin Random House acquired world publication rights to publish books by President and Mrs. Obama.

In celebration of the completion of the one-million-book donation in the Obama family name, Penguin Random House announces that it will donate up to 300,000 additional children’s books to First Book as part of the Hope Love Give campaign to raise one million dollars to help give one million books to kids who need them most. For every three dollars donated to First Book from now through December 31, Penguin Random House will give two new books to First Book, up to 300,000 books. Last year, during her highly successful book tour, Mrs. Obama made a surprise visit to the Para Los Niños Tina and Rick Caruso Early Education Center, an organization located in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles that receives program support from Child360, to spend time and read with a group of four-year-old children. Child360 was one of the first recipients to receive books from the company’s one-million-book donation to First Book. Markus Dohle, CEO, Penguin Random House, said: “We are honored to donate one million children’s books in the Obama family’s name to First Book. When children have greater access to our books and stories, we, together with President and Mrs. Obama, are helping to shape a literate, educated, and democratic society that will become the next generation of readers and leaders.” The Penguin Random House donations to First Book in the Obama family name were made in support of the continued publishing partnership between the company and the authors as a reflection of their shared commitment to social responsibility and to promoting literacy and education. First Book, a longstanding Penguin Random House non-profit partner, is dedicated to promoting equal access to education by providing new books, learning materials, and other essentials to children in need in the United States and Canada.

Penguin Random House: A Story of Shared Values – Our Vision for 2020

Today, we complete our eight-part Social Impact Highlights Summary  series by highlighting our vision for 2020.


Penguin Random House: A Story of Shared Values – Environment & Sourcing

This eight-part series highlights individual sections from our first-ever Social Impact Highlights Summary. Today’s installment features environment and sourcing.

We are constantly inspired to do more with less. We are dedicated to the practices of responsible book publishing, and our policy on environmental sourcing highlights our values and actions on conservation and sustainability. We are proactive in minimizing the energy consumption in our offices and facilities by adopting cleaner energy sources, and it shows.

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Conservation & Sustainability

Along with reduction of resources, we are engaged in efforts to help protect the planet and its future. We contribute to causes that preserve wildlife and improve the air we breathe, and we express unwavering support on global and pressing issues such as the Paris Agreement.

Penguin Random House: A Story of Shared Values – Creativity & Culture

This eight-part series highlights individual sections from our first-ever Social Impact Highlights Summary. Today’s installment features creativity and culture.

Creativity often equals choices. As a company, we foster the development of a wide range of viewpoints in the writers we publish and the stories they share around the world. We broaden the creative spectrum through our partnerships and programs that discover new authors and connect books to new places.

Engaging people with the art of storytelling is central to our Social Responsibility goals. We champion editorial independence and advocate for the freedom of expression in the child we mentor, the authors we honor and the illustrators we inspire. Please click on image to enlarge it

Creativity & the Arts

At Penguin Random House, we are passionate about fostering the freedom to create for our authors and aspiring writers. We are committed to the development of new literary talent and of stories that celebrate diversity, push boundaries and speak from the heart.  
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Penguin Random House: A Story of Shared Values – People & Community

This eight-part series highlights individual sections from our first-ever Social Impact Highlights SummaryToday’s installment features people and community. 

People are at the heart of what we do at Penguin Random House. From our employees to our booksellers and ultimately our readers, we believe in the power of reading— and how just one story can change a perspective for a lifetime, enriching ourselves and our global community in ways we never could have imagined.

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Our Drive to Help

At Penguin Random House, community involvement is not a side story. We volunteer to support and fundraise for organizations around the world that are aligned with our mission to foster a universal passion for reading.  

Penguin Random House: A Story of Shared Values – Literacy & Education

This eight-part series highlights individual sections from our first-ever Social Impact Highlights SummaryToday’s installment features literacy and education.

The power of reading and writing knows no bounds. The ability to read and write is key to unlocking a new perspective and a greater awareness of not only the world outside but also the one within. It is the starting point in both transcending and uniting generations and cultures, building empathy and expanding the imagination.

We strive to recognize educators across our territories who nurture the next generation of readers and writers.  Please click on image to enlarge it

Access to Books

At the forefront of our objectives in social responsibility are programs offering books to people in communities where few are available. Each year we contribute millions of our books, which serve as an invaluable resource to schools and programs worldwide.  

Penguin Random House: A Story of Shared Values – Inclusion

This eight-part series highlights individual sections from our first-ever Social Impact Highlights SummaryToday’s installment features inclusion and diversity.

Authors and books have never been more important in our championing of diverse voices in our culture, as well as an inspiration in our workplace. We are committed to strengthening and promoting equality, diversity and social inclusion through our company and among our shareholders, and by partnering with organizations that share our commitment.

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Embracing Diversity

Penguin Random House Embraces the diversity of our authors and employees and, though various initiatives in and out of the office, we strive to create an environment of belonging and respect for all.    

Penguin Random House: A Story of Shared Values – Freedom of Speech & Expression

This eight-part series highlights individual sections from our first-ever Social Impact Highlights SummaryToday’s installment features freedom of speech and expression.

The right to freedom of expression and the protection of writers against censorship and unjust persecution are indispensable to the development of society and culture. We are unwavering in our support of writers who seek out truth in their stories and stand with organizations that share in our commitment and devotion to free speech as a fundamental right. Please read on to learn about some of our initiatives to support Freedom of Speech & Expression.

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Penguin Random House: A Story of Shared Values – Take Our Quiz

Last December, our CEO Markus Dohle shared Penguin Random House’s first-ever Social Impact Highlights Summary as part of his year-end letter. As Markus wrote, the summary “showcases how our company operates responsibly and complements our publishing efforts by going beyond the day-to-day activities of the business to give back to our communities, both locally and globally, across our territories.”

In this 8-part series, which will run over the next two weeks, we will highlight individual sections from the summary. We’d like to kick off the series with a short quiz: How big is our global and nationwide impact?  The answers will be revealed at the bottom of the post. Each year, we contribute millions of our books to national and international key partners like First Book, Worldreader, and Save the Children, as well as community focused organizations like Books For Babies, Read Ahead, and Mighty Writers. In 2017, First Book alone received more than 2 million books for low income children and delivered those books to their communities, schools and libraries, and areas affected by natural disasters.   1. Approximately, how many physical and digital books did Penguin Random House donate globally in 2017?
  • 6 million
  • 3 million
  • 4 million
  Given our scale and network of resources, we have the extraordinary opportunity to contribute and commit to projects and partnerships that have a meaningful and lasting impact beyond the books we publish. While this dollar amount is worldwide, our Social Responsibility initiatives are local and community-focused. 2. What was the dollar amount of our total charitable giving in 2017 worldwide?
  • $6.8 million
  • $9.6 million
  • $11.4 million
  Institutions such as the American Cancer Society, PEN America, American Civil Liberties Union, American Red Cross, and Village Health Works were among the most popular organizations our employees supported. 3. How much money did employees in the U.S. donate using our Matching Gift program last year?
  • $350.880
  • $492.370
  • $531.971
  This Penguin Random House Foundation signature program gave out over 1,570 awards to public high school students and conducted more than 500 “Write Now” classroom workshops. Looking for writing with a strong, clear voice, by young writers who are daring, original, and unafraid to take risks, this program focuses on Title 1 schools in New York City’s five boroughs. 4. How much money did our company donate to scholarships as part of our Creative Writing Awards since its inception in 1994?
  • $2,100,300
  • $2,638,500
  • $5,800,900
  Dedicated to the practices of responsible book publishing, we are committed to source 100% of the paper we use worldwide from a certified major international paper certification system by 2020. 5. What percent of the paper we purchase derives from one of the major international paper certification systems?
  • 65%
  • 87%
  • 95%
  Answers: (1) 4 million  (2) $9.6 million  (3) $531.971  (4) $2,638,500  (5) 95%