The power of reading

Welcome to Duty Calls. This regular feature aims to shine a light on some of the most laudable examples of altruism and sustainability within the travel retail industry by companies that go beyond the call of duty. In this issue, we explore The Estée Lauder Companies’ commitment to promoting literacy and upward social mobility in the UK.

Community care: The Estée Lauder Companies UK & Ireland has donated over 6,000 books which directly impacted over 1,000 children in disadvantaged communities

“It’s estimated that nearly 800,000 children in the UK do not have a book of their own at home. As a company, we are taking action to address this issue and help children acquire the necessary literacy skills they need to improve their educational attainment and ultimately increase the likelihood of upward social mobility.”

That’s the bold plan of The Estée Lauder Companies, as outlined by UK & Ireland Vice President Corporate Affairs Anne Bartle.

It’s also the reason why the beauty house has signed The National Literacy Trust’s Vision for Literacy Business Pledge 2020. The independent charity created the pledge as it continues to work to raise children’s literacy levels in the UK. The project aims to emphasise the importance of the business sector in helping their local communities through practical support, volunteering, events, and sponsorship.

Signing the pledge further emphasises The Estée Lauder Companies’ commitment to raising literacy levels in local disadvantaged communities “to help children acquire the necessary tools and skills to become healthy and productive adults”.

In the last year alone, The Estée Lauder Companies UK & Ireland has donated more than 6,000 books, which directly benefited over 1,000 children through its partnership with United Way’s Reading Oasis programme.

The literacy charity aims to ‘give every child the opportunity to learn to love reading,’ and builds dedicated reading spaces in primary schools in disadvantaged communities. The company’s partnership with United Way also supports the charity’s ‘Reading Buddies’ initiative, through one-off library building and monthly group reading events.

‘Give every child the opportunity to learn to love reading’: ELC has partnered with United Way to support its ‘Reading Buddies’ initiative

In addition to this, The Estée Lauder Companies also launched a pre-Christmas company book donation campaign across its offices in the UK and Ireland. The campaign collected hundreds of books for the London’s Children’s Books Project, which donates new and lightly used books to children and families across the country.

“The art of storytelling is part of our company’s heritage,” said The Estée Lauder Companies Senior Vice President/General Manager UK & Ireland Sue Fox. “Having the opportunity to listen to or read wonderful stories that heighten the imagination and vocabulary is something that I believe is a gift that every child in all communities should benefit from.

“We know that this is not possible for all children so funding new libraries in primary schools, donating books and providing volunteering opportunities for our employees to read to children will hopefully give the joy of storytelling to many more children and families around the country.”

The National Literacy Trust works to raise raise children’s literacy levels and promote upward social mobility in the UK

The Moodie Davitt e-Zine Duty Calls feature highlights environmental and socially responsible initiatives around the globe where people and the planet are the priority. If you have CSR projects, big or small, that you would like featured in Duty Calls, please contact Jason Holland at

The Moodie Davitt eZine

Issue 277 | 24 February 2020

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 20 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd).

© All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher.

To find out more visit and to subscribe, please e-mail