Publisher Springer Nature reaches carbon neutrality

Global research publisher Springer Nature Group has today (8 April) confirmed that it has reached carbon-neutral status for emissions associated with its offices and business travel.

Publisher Springer Nature reaches carbon neutrality

As outlined in the company’s latest sustainability report, Springer Nature has met a target set in March 2020 to become carbon neutral.

Emissions from the group have fallen by around 59% compared to 2019, driven mainly by the impacts of Covid-19 lockdowns, while increased green energy purchasing and offsetting have enabled the group to become carbon neutral for its offices.

The report confirms that Springer Nature is net carbon neutral across its offices, fleets and flights.

Springer Nature’s chief executive Frank Vrancken Peeters said: “2020 was a year like no other: the COVID-19 pandemic affected all our lives and showed unequivocally the importance of a research ecosystem that can operate at its most efficient. These events have highlighted the need for collaborations that can accelerate solutions to urgent global challenges including climate change.

“I am proud to say that we are now net carbon neutral and we continue to work to reduce the wider environmental impacts of our publishing, while sharing critical research on climate change, adaptation and mitigation with the policymakers and practitioners who need it most.”

According to the report, the company has created a “green office network” of more than 120 volunteers from different areas of the business. These volunteers are engaging with colleagues to help reduce environmental impacts, both office-based and personal.

Office-based emissions have been reduced through the procurement of renewable energy certificates across more than 150 locations globally. Additionally, offsets via a Vivo-certified reforestation project in Nicaragua have been utilised to help achieve carbon neutrality.

The company is also attempting to raise awareness of the importance of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since the Goals were formed in 2015, Springer Nature has published more than 300,000 articles and book chapters on the 17 Goals, which collectively have been downloaded more than 725 million times.

Diversity drive

On diversity, the company has revealed it is on track to meet a 2023 target to improve diversity amongst its leadership positions.

Women now account for 43% of Springer Nature’s most senior positions, a 4% increase compared to 2019. Targets will be set for race, ethnicity and international representation in leadership.

The events of 2020 both highlighted and widened existing social inequalities. While the appetite for climate action in the process of ‘building back better’ is palpable, many sustainability professionals want to see the same level of commitment to social justice. edie recently explored how this can be achieved in a two-part feature based on insight from the award-winning Sustainability Leaders Forum. Read the piece here.

The second part explores how businesses can ensure social inclusivity through the climate emergency response. You can read the second half here. 

Matt Mace

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