Penguin Random House | New York, 08/18/2020

Social Responsibility Beyond The Books

Subject: Society, Environment, Media & Services
Country: USA
Category: Project

Penguin Random House has launched a Global Social Impact website, where the publishing group provides information about its social and environmental commitment. The new website covers three core areas: Diversity & Inclusion, Environment & Sustainability, and Free Expression & Joy of Reading. Markus Dohle hopes that this will set a precedent for the industry.

For Markus Dohle, head of Penguin Random House, it is beyond question that book publishers inherently render a service to society. But that alone isn’t enough for the world's largest publishing group. “We go beyond the books,” declares its CEO. “By taking advantage of our size and scale, we embrace our responsibility as an industry leader to drive lasting cultural and environmental changes that right now, around the world, feel more important than ever.” This stance has now found expression in the launch of a dedicated portal: Penguin Random House’s new Global Social Impact website.

In presenting the new website, Markus Dohle explained that it “reflects the three areas of Penguin Random House’s social impact commitment: Diversity & Inclusion, Environment & Sustainability, and Free Expression & Joy of Reading.” Specifically, users of the website will find examples of the promotion of authors from underserved social groups, literacy campaigns, and scholarship programs aimed at schoolchildren and students in the “Diversity & Inclusion” section. The main topic in the “Environment & Sustainability” section is climate neutrality, another issue to which the world's largest publishing group is committed.

“Freedom of expression and the joy of reading” are non-negotiable key elements for the self-image of the book and publishing world. The topics covered on the new website include the donation of hundreds of thousands of books, World Book Day, and the publishing group’s campaigns in support of freedom of opinion and the press. Current topics that complement the three core areas include support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the fight against racism in the U.S., and Penguin Random House’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The mission statement on the Penguin Random House website reads: “We seek to bring people together by amplifying storytelling and diverse voices, not only in the books and in the authors we publish, but also within our company.” The next part of the statement makes it clear that Penguin Random House wishes the social responsibility it assumes to also and especially have an effect within the company: “Penguin Random House wants to ensure an equitable and inclusive home where all are welcome and where every person is empowered to be themselves and to share their perspectives.”

“Leading with action empowers us to connect deeply with our communities, our readers, and ourselves,” writes Markus Dohle. “Being part of a worldwide community that strives to create a positive impact on the world, locally and globally, is not only aspirational—it guides our decision-making across all aspects of our business.” The Global Social Impact website can be found at