Feature articles about Oxford University Press around the world
We have published our first Responsible Publishing Report, in recognition of our wider impact on society.
The report outlines our intent to reduce its environmental impact and support its people and communities. It reflects on the progress made in 2021-2022 and outlines our commitments for the future, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Publishers Compact, of which we 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, we have 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 our sustainability strategy, we are aiming for 100% certified sustainable book paper by 2025, and have already achieved 75% for our top 27 strategic suppliers.
The report further details several initiatives undertaken by us to give back to the communities we serve in line with our educational and academic mission, either by donating money and resources, or through volunteering. During the financial year, we donated nearly 4,000 pieces of computing equipment and devices to Computer Aid, from printers to mobile phones, and continued our long-standing support of charity partner Book Aid International. In 2021, we 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.
Nigel Portwood, CEO of Oxford University Press said: 'Our mission is to further the University’s objectives of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. We know the positive impact our products and services have on people all over the world, but equally recognize that as an organization with a global presence, we must operate consider our wider impact. This report highlights the steps we are taking to ensure we operate responsibly for our people, communities, and environment, while also capturing the progress we have made so far. We remain committed to extending our work in the future to help meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and drive positive change in the publishing industry and beyond.’
Other highlights from the report include:
Diversity & Inclusion
- 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.
- Our Education Division ran an Inclusion Incubator programme to learn about the foundations needed to make books truly inclusive
By 2025, we aim to be:
- Carbon neutral from our own operations (office, warehouses and business travel)
- 100% certified sustainable book paper
- Zero waste to landfill (in markets with necessary waste management infrastructure)
Progress towards this:
- 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 our top 25 strategic suppliers, who together represent around three-quarters of our print spend, up from 66% in 2019
- 44% reduction in waste from nearly 5,000 tonnes in 2019 to 2,700 tonnes in 2021
You can access the full report here.