Association of University Presses Signs Onto the SDG Publishers Compact

In News by Porter Anderson

The AUPresses’ initial support of the SDG Publishers Compact is to focus on ‘partnerships, creating a community hub’ for the effort.

Image – Getty iStockphoto: Munole

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘Creating a Community Hub’
Today (October 12), we have news of a big boost to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Publishers Compact organized in collaboration with the International Publishers Association (IPA). We initially announced the formation of the Publishers Compact last year, as it was inaugurated in October 2020 at Frankfurt Book Fair.

By July, the IPA was able to confirm that more than 100 signatories to the agreement were in place, a handsome achievement considering that a publisher signing onto the compact is making a serious commitment to 10 points of action that include “annually reporting on progress” toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goal adopted by world leaders in 2015, as well as “dedicating budget and other resources toward accelerating progress.” Signing on to the compact is nothing you’d expect to take lightly if you’re a publisher.

Now, a consortium of more than 150 international nonprofit scholarly publishers are coming aboard, as the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) signs on, joining this “voluntary commitment that recognizes the responsibility of the publishing industry to create a sustainable future through action.”

“Through the rest of the UN’s 2020-2030 ‘Decade of Action,'” the university presses’ media messaging says today, “AUPresses will promote the Sustainable Development Goals throughout our scholarly publishing community, and develop partnerships and programs that will work toward selected goals.”

At the outset, the association will focus on SDG 17: Partnerships, creating a community hub dedicated to the Publishers Compact where member-presses can share knowledge and ideas, collaborating on sustainable action.

Lisa Bayer

In addition, there are SDGs that already have corresponding pertinent activity centers and standing committees in the AUPresses context. Those include SDG 10 on reducing inequality, SDF 5 on gender equality, and SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth.

In a prepared statement, Lisa Bayer, the AUPresses’ president, is quoted, saying, “The UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Publishers Compact are fully embraced by the core values of the Association of University Presses, and in harmony with the mission-driven spirit of our global community.

Michiel Kolman

“I’m proud to see the association and the board of directors join the Compact at such a key juncture for our industry and, indeed, our planet.”

And for the IPA, the association’s chair of its Inclusive Publishing and Literacy committee, Michiel Kolman, says, “We look forward to the members of AUPresses exchanging best practice on how university presses can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Global Goals by 2030.”

The 10 Points of Commitment in the SDG Compact
  • Committing to the SDGs: Stating sustainability policies and targets on the signatory’s site, including adherence to this compact; incorporating SDGs and their targets as appropriate
  • Actively promoting and acquiring content that advocates for themes represented by the SDGs, such as equality, sustainability, justice, and safeguarding and strengthening the environment
  • Annually reporting on progress toward achieving SDGs, sharing data and contributing to benchmarking activities, helping to share best practices and identify gaps that still need to be addressed
  • Nominating a person [in the signatory company] who will promote SDG progress, acting as a point of contact and coordinating the SDG themes throughout the organization
  • Raising awareness and promoting the SDGs among staffers to increase awareness of SDG-related policies and goals and encouraging projects that will help achieve the SDGs by 2030
  • Raising awareness and promoting the SDGs among suppliers, to advocate for SDGs and to collaborate on areas that need innovative actions and solutions
  • Becoming an advocate to customers and stakeholders by promoting and actively communicating about the SDG agenda through marketing, sites online, promotions and projects
  • Collaborating across cities, countries, and continents with other signatories and organizations to develop, localize, and scale projects that will advance progress on the SDGs individually or through [the company’s]
  • Dedicating budget and other resources toward accelerating progress for SDG-dedicated projects and promoting SDG principles
  • Taking action on at least one SDG goal—either as an individual publisher or through your national publishing association—and sharing progress annually

Image – Getty iStockphoto: Tatabrada

More from Publishing Perspectives on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is here, more on the International Publishers Association is here, and more on the Association of University Presses is here.

Publishing Perspectives is the world media partner of the International Publishers Association.

More on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.