Research: Environmental Impact of Publishing Houses

New research piece: Together with Chris Hartgerink, we look at scholarly publishing houses and their environmental impact in this guest post.


1) We need transparent, comparable, machine-readable emissions data. We are in a Climate Emergency — there is no time to hide behind wordy (100 pages) reporting.

2) Some of these research publishers are big enough to fall under existing mandatory ESG reporting requirements, but only 4 out of 5 of the biggest publishing houses share corporate transparency reports, namely RELX, SpringerNature, Informa and Wiley. Sage, the Publishers Association and STM all talk about climate action but none of them share their GHG emissions data.

3) Our analysis highlighted some interesting details
💡 The sum of all (under-) reported emissions amounts to ~10.8 million mtCO2e
💡 Scope 3 emissions are largely excluded
💡 Noteworthy exception: Informa with 97% of their emissions in scope 3

The data we used in our analysis is openly available on Liberate Science’s ResearchEquals.

You can support our sustainability addition to the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure on Gitlab, a quick thumbs up is highly appreciated!

Feedback very welcome!

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