Environment and Sustainability Committee

Research on climate change clearly demonstrates that it is of paramount importance to strive for a carbon-neutral use of our resources within the next 10 to 20 years. This can be achieved only by coordinated global actions. Every individual, company, institution and organisation, whether large or small, public or private, needs to contribute – ‘think global, act local’.

Scientific publishing has led the transformation from print to digital journals and e-books over recent decades, but can we do more? This Environment and Sustainability (E&S) Committee was established in Spring 2021 with the following objectives and key tasks:

  • To broaden the membership of the Committee and include experts in the field who can help to drive the initiative forward, develop a strategy and action plan for the period 2021-2023, and build on the momentum created at the 15th EASE Conference on the theme of sustainability in publishing and editing.
  • To promote the EASE environmental manifesto widely, amongst EASE members and the wider publishing and editing communities, and encourage those people to share it in their own networks. Download here
  • To collaborate with other organisations and appropriate initiatives to maximise synergies, such as the UN’s SDG Publishers Compact.
  • To review and ensure the Association’s own environmental policy is up-to-date and set some ambitious new targets for the period 2021-2023 to meet our aim of supporting the UN’s SDG Publishers Compact goals.

Recent activities

The E&S Committee has co-organized the EASE / STM / HESI / SDG Publishers Compact Fellows Sustainable Solutions Summit in April 2023, during which best practices in sustainable publishing were presented and discussed, as well as available resources and tools.

In July 2023 the E&S Committee has organized an ISMTE 2023 Global Event EASE session: Harnessing leadership and accountability for a sustainable publishing industry, which aimed at making Aspire 2023 participants aware of the recent developments and of the opportunities for integrating sustainability-, environment-, and climate-related actions in the publishing ecosystem.

During PUBMET2023 Conference held in September 2023 at the University of Zadar, E&S Committee has organized in collaboration with the Croatian Association for Scholarly Communication (CROASC or ZNAK in Croatian) a panel session: Environmental awareness and sustainability in scholarly communication, presenting best practices and recommendations from leading associations and publisher regarding sustainability.

The results of the EASE/HESI Survey conducted from October to December 2022 were reported at the EASE Webinar – Walking the walk: assessing our commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, held on 20 February 2024. The results of the survey were compared with those of the annual survey launched at the same time by the International Publishers Association. The impact of the activities proposed in the EASE Environmental Manifesto was also presented and discussed, along with the STM’s SDG Sustainability Roadmap. The Roadmap serves as a toolkit of resources for scholarly publishers that can help reaching Sustainability Development Goals.

EASE resources were added to the IPA Dashboard. EASE environmental sustainability and scientific publishing quick check table, published in the EASE Environmental Manifesto, is in the process of revision, and will be updated soon.

Some ideas for future activities

  • Expanding the EASE environmental sustainability and scientific publishing quick check table and mapping it to the SDGs.
  • Monitor and evaluate environmental and sustainability policies and process used by others in our industry and communicate good practice to our members.
  • Undertake a study to evaluate the environmental impact of reduced travel to meetings/conferences by our stakeholders during the pandemic and consider how a more sustainable model could be developed for the future.
  • Advocate for environmental awareness and sustainability practices in editing and publishing.