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Press release

Elsevier commits to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2040

Amsterdam | 15 July 2021

Elsevier becomes signatory to the internationally recognized Climate Pledge, strengthening its longstanding efforts to address the global climate emergency and announces new Climate Advisory Board

Elsevier, a global leader in research publishing and information analytics, is pleased to announce its commitment to becoming net zero by 2040, signing the Climate Pledge together with parent company RELX, to reach the target at least a decade ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of 2050.

Kumsal Bayazit, Elsevier’s CEO said: “The scientific consensus is clear, climate change is happening and we all have the responsibility to make the future sustainable for our planet. At Elsevier we are already net zero for our own direct emissions and by signing the climate pledge I am confident we can rise to the challenge and accelerate the action needed to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040.”

In 2020, Elsevier was net zero for its own direct emissions (Scope 1 and 2) and business travel (part of Scope 3)1. By joining The Climate Pledgeopens in new tab/window alongside other signatories, Elsevier sets out its accountability to achieve net zero carbon across all its emissions by no later than 2040. Today’s announcement further reinforces Elsevier’s longstanding efforts to address the global climate emergency and builds upon the company’s science-based target to limit the rise in average global temperatures.

To Fly or Not to fly illustration

To fly or not to fly? Making Elsevier’s business travel more sustainable.

To achieve its goal, Elsevier will:

  • Set a clear target to reduce carbon emissions resulting from business travel by 50% before 2025, based on a 2019 baseline, saving around 10,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions annually.

  • Establish an ambitious climate action program focused on sizing and reducing indirect emissions from suppliers (Scope 3 emissions).

  • Form a Climate Advisory Board of distinguished research experts to help identify the challenges, explore best practices and initiatives that will accelerate progress in climate change research.

  • Leverage its data analytics capabilities to map the net zero pathways in renewable energy with its latest finding due to be released in October 2021.

  • Focus on our leadership in publishing content on sustainability science and by launching interdisciplinary journals covering climate science such as One Earthopens in new tab/window and The Lancet Planetary Healthopens in new tab/window.

  • Create Sustain, an employee-driven resource group to further embed sustainable principles and practices throughout the company.

Elsevier’s wider sustainability efforts focus on accelerating progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including being an early signatory to the SDG Publishers Compactopens in new tab/window and the release of the landmark SDG Report, The Power of Data to Advance the SDGs . The report offers unique insights and initiatives, many developed together with partners to map the state of research and integration of sex and gender within each SDG area, including SDG 13 Climate Action.

Elsevier has also launched an SDG tool on SciVal, its web-based analytics solution that provides access to the research performance of global research institutions and their researchers. The SDG tool enables researchers to investigate, understand and analyze SDG research globally to develop existing partnerships or identify potential new opportunities for collaboration.

Nick Luff, Chief Financial Officer, RELX, said: “Between 2010 and 2019, thanks to the efforts of colleagues across our business, we achieved a reduction of 52% in our carbon emissions. But we know there is much more to do to limit climate change to 1.5⁰C. By making a commitment to net zero through The Climate Pledge, we will continue our work on tackling climate change through our own operations, and by meaningful engagement with our suppliers, customers and other stakeholders.”

Read more about RELX signing The Climate Pledge hereopens in new tab/window.

Elsevier will also publish a report analyzing the global impact of research around energy-related emissions, expected in October 2021.


Notes for editors

1 Sourced from: "Being a responsible business | Environment"opens in new tab/window, RELX, 2020

About Elsevier

As a global leader in scientific information and analytics, Elsevier helps researchers and healthcare professionals advance science and improve health outcomes for the benefit of society. We do this by facilitating insights and critical decision-making with innovative solutions based on trusted, evidence-based content and advanced AI-enabled digital technologies.

We have supported the work of our research and healthcare communities for more than 140 years. Our 9,500 employees around the world, including 2,500 technologists, are dedicated to supporting researchers, librarians, academic leaders, funders, governments, R&D-intensive companies, doctors, nurses, future healthcare professionals and educators in their critical work. Our 2,900 scientific journals and iconic reference books include the foremost titles in their fields, including Cell Press, The Lancet and Gray’s Anatomy.

Together with the Elsevier Foundationopens in new tab/window, we work in partnership with the communities we serve to advance inclusion and diversity in science, research and healthcare in developing countries and around the world.

Elsevier is part of RELXopens in new tab/window, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. For more information on our work, digital solutions and content, visit


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Jonathan Davis

Elsevier Communications