The SDG Publishers Compact, launched by the International Publishers Association and the United Nations back in 2020, has continued to gather momentum for the wider publishing sector. In practice, the compact requires aligning our daily practices, our content, and measures of success to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One sector accelerating progress has been academic publishing.

Arguably, research and education are core elements needed for society to make progress towards achieving the SDGs by the deadline of 2030. Academic publishers were among the first to sign up to the Compact, joining over 150 organizations committed to the SDGs, including academic publishing industry associations such as STM and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers. In this blog post we explore several new projects making the SDGs a driving force towards a sustainable future for everyone.   


The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) SDG Publisher Compact Fellows 

Created in 2012, HESI is a joint initiative from multiple United Nations agencies and higher education.  In support of the Compact , sixteen representatives from across the academic publishing sector ( including publishers, librarians, academics)  volunteered to become SDG Publishers Compact Fellows. The Fellows have established various working groups to create useful tools and important outcomes for the academic international community. These groups are working on 4 key topics; 





STM SDG Academic Publishers Forum 

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The STM Association supports over 140 publishers from 20 countries in their mission to advance trusted research worldwide. STM signed up to the SDG Publishers Compact earlier this year and will convene a new SDG Publishers Forum in the new year. The idea is to create a place to gather like minded publishers to discuss and take action on industry wide SDG related initiatives. It provides the ideal place to discuss the output, best practices and top 10 tips from the HESI group and others as the wider sector steps up to the challenges and opportunities that the SDGs present for research and education.  


Partnerships for the goals 

The 17 SDGs are broad and ambitious. Each goal is interlinked, requiring progress to be made across several goals at the same time. It is why the last goal, SDG 17, is dedicated towards partnerships. The academic sector has recognized that partnerships, projects and initiatives from all parts of academia are needed. The HESI SDG fellows, members of the STM SDG forum and academic publishers signed up to the Compact provide a great blueprint of how working together can create this important movement that is redefining research and education with SDGs in mind. 


If you are an academic publisher and would like to get involved please sign up to the SDG Publishers Compact and start taking action.