Springer nature and the SDGs

Our most significant contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is through our publishing, which helps bring important knowledge to light.

Since the SDGs were launched in 2015, Springer Nature has:

  • Published almost 390,000 relevant articles or chapters, collectively cited more than 3.5 million times.
  • Increased the volume of SDG-relevant articles published by around 20%.
  • Signed the SDG Publishers Compact and joined the Fellows Initiative to bring this Compact to life.
  • Launched an SDG Impact Festival to further raise awareness and celebrate colleagues working on related projects.

“Global challenges – neatly summarised by the UN Sustainable Development Goals – won’t be solved in a single research lab, institution or think tank. They require teamwork, cross-disciplinary thinking and an openness to alternative views.”

Frank Vrancken Peeters, CEO

Our Focus SDGs

SDG 4: Quality Education

Quality Education

We amplify sustainability research so that it can have maximum impact within the research community, for our own employees, and in wider society.

Addressing SDG target: 4.7

SDG 13: Climate Action

Climate Action

We publish the latest climate research, managing our operational impacts and working to become net zero by 2040.

Addressing SDG target: 13.3

SDG 17: Partnerships For The Goals

Partnerships for the Goals

We are a leader in open access, connecting researchers, policymakers and practitioners to solve the world’s greatest challenges.

Addressing SDG target: 17.6

Our operations also have an impact on:

  • SDG 5: Gender Equality
  • SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10: Reducing Inequalities
  • SDG 15: Life on Land

Case study

Celebrating action: SDG impact festival

In 2021, we held our first internal SDG Impact Festival to recognise and celebrate those across the company who are going above and beyond to develop projects that support delivery of the SDGs, or demonstrate commitment in other ways. There were almost 80 entries into the festival, and five individuals and three business projects were recognised as festival winners.

Aakanksha Tyagi, Life Sciences Book Program Leader, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa, was one of the five winning ‘Heroes’. Based in New Delhi, Aakanksha was nominated for launching several major new book series ranging from sustainability sciences in Asia and Africa to clean energy production, organising external events such as panel discussions connected to the SDGs, living the values of the SDGs by prioritising diversity of voices in her book series and by championing SDGs internally through her role as an active member of the Springer Nature Women India chapter and the Green Office Network.

SDG Impact Festival logo

“I have been passionate about the concept of sustainability right since my earliest days in academics. I think it’s very important as a global leader in publishing that we amplify the voices that aren’t heard so much.”

Aakanksha Tyagi, Life sciences book program leader

Forging new partnerships

The SDGs have prompted new ways of working and partnerships across our business and other sectors. We have introduced internal collaboration approaches, and facilitated more opportunities for our teams to connect. We have also focused on connecting research and interdisciplinary experts with key decision makers through brands such as Nature and Scientific American.

Case study

Learning from crises: sustainable solutions

One opportunity that has emerged during the past two years is an increase in virtual and international collaboration.

We continued our long-standing partnership with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), delivering the second edition of our joint virtual conference: ‘Science for a Sustainable Future’. Policymakers, government representatives, UN officials and leading global scientists came together for the conference, with opening remarks from Nature Editor in Chief Magdalena Skipper, Scientific American Editor in Chief Laura Helmuth and SDSN President, Jeffrey Sachs.

Together we also organised a series of roundtable discussions over 2021, under the theme ‘Learning from Crises: from COVID to Climate’. The talks brought together experts from disparate disciplines and sectors to explore lessons that can be taken from the response to the pandemic, and applied to the climate crisis. The result was a white paper of recommendations for policymakers and practitioners to be published in 2022.

People sitting at a conference event

Opening up research

We’re firmly committed to a future where every element of the research process is immediately available, discoverable, understandable, usable, reusable and widely shareable.

This will allow us to speed up scientific and academic research and support an evidence-based pursuit of all research outcomes.

Open access (OA) research is key to this vision. We drive change through practical approaches, technology enablement and developing suitable policies.

The power of OA:

  • OA books are downloaded 10 times more often and cited 2.4 times more, reaching 61% more countries.
  • OA articles are, on average, downloaded 6 times more than non-OA articles.
  • OA articles attract 1.6 times more citations than non-OA articles across all subjects.

Springer Nature is the most comprehensive OA publisher in the world. By 2024, at least half of our publishing output will be OA. By the end of 2021, we’d published:

  • More than one million OA articles
  • More than 1,600 OA books

We celebrated the important million-article milestone by committing to plant 10,000 trees in the Meghalaya region of northern India – approximately one for every Springer Nature colleague.

Case study

Lyrasis open access sponsorship agreement

In 2021, Springer Nature signed a first-of-its-kind sponsorship agreement for OA books with LYRASIS, a US non-profit membership association of libraries, archives and museums. The agreement will provide free access to research in critical areas that support the UN SDGs through the publication of new OA book titles, focused on climate change, equity, peace and justice.