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Sustainability Science Hub: Using data to drive action on the UN SDGs

6 janvier 2022

Sustainability science hub illustration

Free access to analytical reports, data sets, tools and other resources for sustainable development

What gets measured gets done, and progress in sustainability science is no different. Data has the power to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)S’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre, and with an ambitious 2030 target, there are just eight years left to accelerate action and drive change.

But what kind of data? And does it signify real impact? How can we develop and leverage research and data to make a real difference?

By combining our unique insights in content, data and analytics with the networks and expertise of the research community, we can work together to develop tools to achieve significant progress.

There were an estimated 4.1 million scholarly papers related to the SDGs published in 2015-19 alone, meaning researchers and institutions are presented with a massive amount of data that is growing exponentially. To help them navigate this sea of information, we have produced analytics to better understand sustainability science, tracked the extent to which gender factors into SDG research, examined scholarly impact and collaborationS’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre — and made datasets availableS’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre for everyone to use. As a company, we are proud signatories of the Climate Pledge, meaning we are accountable to achieve net zero carbon across all emissions by no later than 2040. to the rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, aiming to achieve net zero emissions before 2050.

On our Sustainability Science Hub you can explore how data can produce critical insights into climate, sustainability science, gender, medicine and more; find tools to help decision-makers make evidence-based interventions; and discover resources to fuel innovation that is fundamental to achieving a sustainable and equitable future.

Analytical reports

Pathways to Net Zero: The Impact of Clean Energy Research

Released in October 2021 Pathways to Net Zero: The Impact of Clean Energy ResearchS’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre is based on a study analyzing more than 1.6 million papers from Elsevier’s ScopusS’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre database, combining data with content and subject-matter expertise to gain unique insights into how research can accelerate efforts to mitigate climate change. It’s designed to:

  • Provide descriptive insights into dimensions of research collaboration and knowledge transfer of particular relevance to net zero innovation ahead 

    COP26S’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre.

  • Serve as an opening to discussions around net zero research and innovation.

  • Act as a springboard for debate on research funding and collaboration, technological choices and policy setting.

Download the reportS’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre

Pathways to Net Zero: The Impact of Clean Energy Research

Sustainability Science in a Global Landscape

As the first of a series of activities that aim to provide valuable insights into the global research landscape surrounding the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this report, conducted by Elsevier in collaboration with SciDev.NetS’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre, contributes to the understanding of sustainability science as a research field and the dialogue between science and society in sustainable development.

In this relatively young field, this study establishes a baseline, both in the definition and the understanding of sustainability science, from which we may follow its progression and trajectory. Six key themes that encompass the 17 United Nations Sustainability Development Goals are examined in the report: Dignity, People, Prosperity, Planet, Justice and Partnership.

Download the reportS’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre

Sustainability Science in a Global Landscape

Mapping research to advance the SDGs

Elsevier's report on the progress of sustainability science comes five years after the UN adopted its  Sustainable Development GoalsS’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre (SDGs), setting an ambitious 2030 target to achieve a sustainable and equitable future for our planet. 2020 marks the start of the “Decade of Action” we have left to achieve them.

To this end, the report – The Power of Data to Advance the SDGs – offers unique insights and initiatives, many developed together with partners, to map the state of research within each SDG area. 

Read more and download the report.

Sustainability report 2020

Elsevier's first sustainability science report

In September 2015, on the eve before the UN ratified the 17 SDGs, Elsevier and SciDev.Net released the analysis they collaborated on. Sustainability Science in a Global Landscape provided an overview of the landscape of sustainability science as a research field with a critical eye as to whether enough was being done in the field given the current global challenges.

Sustainability report 2015

Research insight

Earth Day insights from top-downloaded SSRN climate researchers David Tucker | April 21, 2022

SSRN research insights collage

Practical guide

The role of carbon storage in achieving net-zero targets Gregory Mirabella | April 8, 2022

Illustration of Carbon Capture process

Help identify research that advances the SDGs

Elsevier’s data science teams have worked with experts to create a Scopus search queryS’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre for each SDG. With this SDG matching toolS’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre, you too can play a part in helping to identify publications relevant to each SDG.

Full details of the methodology and results for each SDG search query are freely available on MendeleyS’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre, and the research publications retrieved by these queries can be analyzed in SciVal.

Researchers and institutions can also use this tool in SciValS’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre to help researchers and institutions track and demonstrate progress towards the targets of the SDGs.

Interactive information and education platforms

Video modules: Sustainable development goals for researchers

In these Researcher Academy modulesS’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre, experts share how to make your research gender balanced, how to protect the environment while continuing your work, and other ways to help achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals through your work.

Screenshot of Researcher Academy sustainability videos

The Lancet Countdown : Tracking progress on health and climate change

The Lancet Countdown works to ensure that health is at the centre of how governments understand and respond to climate change. The Lancet's work ranges from ensuring policymakers have access to high-quality evidence-based guidance, through to providing the health profession with the tools they need to improve public health.

Screen capture of RELX SDG Resource Centre

The RELX SDG Resource Centre features curated content, a news tracker, events and more.

Stories and resources related to the SDGs

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being

The UN's third goal is to "ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages."

3 Good health and well being

Novel Coronavirus Information Center The Elsevier Community | January 27, 2020

image of novel coronavirus

Q&A: Amref leader on why universal health coverage is crucial for Africa Domiziana Francescon | March 4, 2019

Image of nurse carryingg a baby

SDG 4: Quality Education

The UN's fourth goal is to "ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all."

SDG 4 Quality Education

SDG 5: Gender Equality

The UN's fifth goal is to "achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls."

SDG 5: Gender Equality

Research insight

Elsevier's reports on gender in research March 4, 2020 | 20 mins

Portugal gender report cover

Research insight

Can data change the way we think about gender and research? Karin Hilton | April 16, 2020

Image of Karil Hilton on stage

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

The UN's 10th goal is to "reduce inequality within and among countries."

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities


MOOCs help researchers and librarians in developing countries access the latest scientific information Domiziana Francescon | July 15, 2020

A woman looking at a monitor screen

Research insight

Working toward racial and social equity: research and commentary The Elsevier Community | July 23, 2020

Illustration of different colors of hand raising

SDG 13: Climate Action

The UN's 13th goal is to "Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts."

Climate change showcase

Explore a selection of Elsevier research S’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtrerelating to climate change and global warming, explained in plain language by professional science writers

Climate Action Hub

SSRN’s Climate Action hubS’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre highlights curated, early-stage research related to Earth’s climate changes due to global warming and the subsequent large-scale shifts in weather patterns, across many disciplines that may inform the ongoing conversation about climate change and global warming.

We are also signatories to the SDG Publishers CompactS’ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre and have committed tobe Net Zero by 2040 at the latest. You can find out more about our commitments here.

SDG 13: Climate Action

Researcher stories

Butterfly effect: Meet the team protecting biodiversity in India Rob van Daalen | April 21, 2020

Collage of photos of Ankur and his team carrying out research

A researcher’s quest to clean Nepal’s water leads to an unexpected journey Alison Bert, DMA | January 15, 2020 | 7 mins

Tista and researcher in a riverside conducting research to water