Springer Nature Group's Responsible Business report shows progress: lower carbon footprint and greater diversity in leadership

The Responsible Business report provides insight into how Springer Nature is supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and addressing material issues.

The Responsible Business report provides insight into how Springer Nature is supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and addressing material issues.


London | Berlin, 26 March 2020

Springer Nature Group today publishes its annual Responsible Business report on its environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. The report highlights how the publisher supports research, education and professional communities globally by opening doors to discovery and providing greater access to the latest knowledge, science and research. Throughout the report, Springer Nature outlines ways it is supporting delivery of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), how it manages its environmental impact and the actions being taken to support diversity and inclusion.


Springer Nature has taken decisive action to reduce its net carbon emissions by around 30% in 2019 (taking carbon offsets into account) by increasing its use of green electricity and reducing air travel, and has a goal of being carbon neutral by the end of 2020. The company is also on track to meet its 2023 targets for greater diversity in leadership, with women now making up around 41% of its most senior leaders - up from 39% in 2018.

As a leader in publishing SDG-relevant research, with titles including Nature Climate Change (the most highly-cited climate change journal) and Nature Sustainability, Springer Nature publishes research of critical importance to our understanding of climate and sustainability issues and how to tackle them. The Responsible Business report shares the commitment to connect relevant research with the policymakers and practitioners who can build on these insights.

CEO Frank Vrancken Peeters commented: “We believe that research and learning are the cornerstones of progress. In these uncertain times, it is vital that we play our part in supporting our communities by sharing and disseminating knowledge widely. 

“In our operations, we seek ways to reduce our impact on the environment. In 2019, our net CO2 emissions fell by around 30% (when carbon offsets are accounted for) and, building on the previous three years’ reductions, we will be a carbon neutral company by the end of 2020.”

The 2019 Responsible Business report addresses the most significant material issues for Springer Nature, including:

Advancing sustainable solutions and delivering real progress against the world’s greatest challenges by publishing content, hosting events and participating in high-level discussions to advance knowledge related to many of the SDGs.

  • Coordinated operational support for three priority SDGs: SDG4: Quality education; SDG13: Climate action; SDG17: Partnerships for the goals.

Opening up research and enabling researchers worldwide to easily and immediately read, use and build on it.

  • One in four open access (OA) articles published by Springer Nature. 800,000 OA articles in total – more than any other publisher.

Supporting diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the research community and within its global workforce. In 2019, Springer Nature created a mid-term D&I strategy and demonstrated progress against targets for a better gender balance in its global leadership tiers.

  • 2023 target set for 45% women in the most senior leadership tiers. In 2019 the figure reached 41%, up from 39% in 2018.

Addressing environmental impacts, reducing both its operational carbon footprint and the amount of plastic used in packaging and delivery of products.

  • Working collaboratively through a global voluntary green office network of more than 100 people, in 19 locations, making local changes to increase efficiency and reduce energy use. 
  • Goal to be carbon neutral in 2020, following a 30% reduction in 2019, when offsetting is taken into account. 

The full 2019 report can be downloaded at www.springernature.com/responsiblebusiness