Oxford University Press has published its first Responsible Publishing Report. The report outlines OUP’s intent to reduce its environmental impact and support its people and communities. It reflects on the progress made in 2021-2022 and outlines OUP’s commitments for the future, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Publishers Compact, of which OUP became a signatory last year. The Compact aims to inspire action among publishers to support the delivery of the UN’s 17 SDGs by 2030, and influence change by raising awareness of social and environmental issues.
As detailed in the report, OUP has set targets around operating responsibly, including 50% women in leadership positions by 2024 and improving ethnicity representation to mirror in-country demographics. In line with its sustainability strategy, OUP is aiming for 100% certified sustainable book paper by 2025; it has already achieved 75% for its top 27 strategic suppliers.
The report further details several initiatives undertaken by the organization to give back to the communities it serves in line with its educational and academic mission, either by donating money and resources or through volunteering. During the financial year, OUP donated nearly 4,000 pieces of computing equipment and devices to Computer Aid, from printers to mobile phones, and continued its long-standing support of its charity partner Book Aid International. In 2021, the company helped Book Aid International send over 100,000 books to schools, libraries, hospitals, and universities across Africa, the Middle East and beyond, giving individuals in refugee camps, prisons, and hospitals access to valuable books.
Other highlights from the report include increasing gender diversity through the 30% Club, which focuses on gender diversity and achieving parity of women in leadership and board roles through mentorship; partnering with Creative Access, S4S (Services 4 Schools); and JobTarget to support ambitions to hire people from diverse backgrounds into internships, work experience programmes, and entry-level roles. OUP’s Education Division ran an Inclusion Incubator programme to learn about the foundations needed to make books truly inclusive.
Additionally, by 2025 OUP aims to be: Carbon neutral from its own operations (office, warehouses and business travel); 100% certified sustainable book paper; and zero waste to landfill (in markets with necessary waste management infrastructure).
As progress towards these goals, OUP has achieved 69% reduction in operational carbon footprint compared to the 2019 baseline, as a result of efficiencies associated with right-sizing of offices and warehouses; 75% certified sustainable paper being used by OUP’s top 25 strategic suppliers, who together represent around three-quarters of our print spend, up from 66% in 2019; and 44% reduction in waste from nearly 5,000 tonnes in 2019 to 2,700 tonnes in 2021.Click here to read the original press release.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) / Sustainability
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