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Taking responsibility on climate

We are committed to reducing our own emissions and accelerating change in the wider world.

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Content, analytics and commitment

We use data combined with content and subject expertise to gain unique insights into how research can accelerate efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change. As a company, we are committedopens in new tab/window to the rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. 

Being a responsible business 

We are fast reducing our direct and indirect emissions with the goal of becoming Net Zero by 2040, with additional ambitious milestones in place for 2025 and 2030. To help with this, our parent company RELX has developed an in-house reporting tool, the RELX CO2 Hubopens in new tab/window.

Read our climate emergency statementopens in new tab/window.

We know we have more work to do and as we take this journey, we will share our progress and learnings, and welcome constructive dialogue and ideas.

Dr Heyddy Calderon discusses water scarcity and adaptation measures with community members in the Dry Corridor of Nicaragua. (Photo by Armando Muñoz)

Highlights so far include:

Our path to net zero

Since 2010, RELX has achieved a 70% reduction in location-based emissionsopens in new tab/window and has been net zero for areas including work-related flights, cloud computing, home-based working and commuting.

Elsevier’s Climate Action program’s ambition is to identify and put in place the actions that will accelerate progress towards delivering on the RELX targets. We are aiming to be net zero for all emissions by 2040 and are in the process of setting specific Elsevier science-based targets for emissions.

Read more about our progress in accelerating climate action opens in new tab/window

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Fostering a sustainability mindset within Elsevier

In 2021, Elsevier set a business travel target to reduce business travel emissions by 50% against a 2019 baseline.

We hold certification to the ISO 14001:2015opens in new tab/window standard for our environmental management systems at 27 office locations. This equates to 55% of our business by employee count, indicating an efficient use of resources and reduction of waste.

We have also established a climate board to advise on key actions and initiatives to deliver a net zero future, explore best practice that will help drive progress on climate change solutions, and influence and advocate for science-based decisions and action needed to address the urgent climate emergency.

Our road map to address climate changeopens in new tab/window

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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

250 Elsevier colleagues joined the First Elsevier Climate Race, together taking 1500 specific actions to achieve an estimated saving of 124 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

We also launched Press Zero, a dedicated project to reduce print copies starting with promotional copies that has already saved around 37,000 copies of journals equivalent to 471 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Elsevier's Climate Action Report

Download now opens in new tab/window

Advancing research and knowledge 

Climate action depends on increasing the understanding of climate change and its impact on our world. Our job is to support the scholarly dialogue on climate change and its impacts though unique content, data and products. This includes a focus not just on climate change, but where climate research intersects in areas such as health, food production and clean energy.

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"Ensuring that research is communicated effectively, grounded in real world examples, and acted upon by the right people, is one of the great challenges we are facing"

Laura Hassink


Laura Hassink

Managing Director, Journals at Elsevier

Among the steps we have taken are:

The power of data

In 2021 we launched our most successful research trends study: Pathway to Net Zero: The impact of Clean Energy Research, including a foreword by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. In the lead up to COP 27, we published Pathways to Net Zero: Global South Research in the Transition to Clean Energyopens in new tab/window, highlighting the role of research in the Global South in the energy transition.

In our books team, we have created an “Energy with Purpose” mission to ensure all newly contracted titles positively contribute to the energy transition.

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Content for change

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Joining global calls to action

We support international events such as the annual climate COPs and World Earth Day with free access to curated special issues hosted on the RELX SDG Resource Centreopens in new tab/window.

All 24 Lancet journals joined 250 health journals in issuing an editorialopens in new tab/window in advance of COP 27 with global press coverage and an endorsement by the United Nations.

SSRN’s Climate Action hubopens in new tab/window continues to highlight early-stage research and helps present curated insights informing the ongoing climate change conversation.

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Partnering for action 

Addressing climate change is complex and requires collaboration across our wider publishing sector. Yet the road to action is not always clear. Organizations such as the International Publishers Association, and national associations such as The Publishers Association (UK) are helping to drive the climate change agenda within our sector. In 2021, Michiel Kolman, the former IPA President and current chair of the Inclusive and Literacy Committee hosted the first IPA Sustainability Summit at Frankfurt Book Fair. This marked the first-time trade associations and publishers from across the supply chain came together to discuss the opportunities and challenges we collectively must overcome to address climate. The event followed the Joint COP 26 statementopens in new tab/window to take action on climate. 

Closer to home, in 2022, we will be actively sharing our net zero goals and progress to hear and learn from editors, authors, society partners and customers how we can collectively achieve a more sustainable future.