Sustainable Development Goals
In December 2020, IOS Press became a signatory of the United Nations SDG Publishers Compact and in doing so committed to develop sustainable practices and act as champions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), publishing books and journals that will help inform, develop, and inspire action in that direction. Details about our publications and targets will be added to this section in quarterly updates.
Commitment to the SDG Publishers Compact
The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs have seen numerous sustainability transformations emerging. From now up to 2030, we must take urgent action. As outlined on the UN website: “We must be the generation to end extreme poverty, win the race against climate change, and conquer injustice and gender inequality. We will shine a light on solutions that expand access and demonstrate the possibilities of ideas. We will drive sustainable innovation.”
How does we contribute to this and advocate for sustainable practices in relation to our membership in the SDG Publishers Compact? Primarily in the sharing of ideas and in relation to the content that is published. Among the publications in the IOS Press catalog, you can find content that supports the following SDGs in particular:
- SDG 3 – Good health and well-being
- SDG 6 – Clean water and sanitation
- SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy
- SDG 13 – Climate action
- SDG 14 – Life below water
- SDG 15 – Life on land
- SDG 16 – Peace, justice, and strong institutions
Click the visuals for more information:
Progress on any SDG-related projects or special issues will be detailed here in due course or highlighted on the individual journal pages.
Q4 2021 Update:
Focusing on our priorities for SDG 12 (responsible consumption), we have committed to drastically reducing the amount of paper that we print and are investigating moving to a more ecologically-sound approach of prioritizing electronic services. During this quarter, a number of editors announced support for the IOS Press Diversity and Inclusion Statement for their journals, including:
- Advances in Communication and Swallowing
- Cancer Biomarkers
- Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments
- Technology and Disability
Q3 2021 Update:
We began considering actions relating to responsible consumption and production, as well as working with partners/suppliers with a common goal of sustainability. We joined with 45+ organizations in a joint commitment for action on inclusion and diversity in publishing with an aim to pool our resources, expertise, and insight to accelerate research culture change. A number of editors began taking action to improve geographical and gender equality for their journals, as listed in our quarterly update.
View: Q3 update
Q2 2021 Update:
We support an inclusive and diverse culture within scholarly publishing and IOS Press now has a Diversity and Inclusion Statement (DIS) in place. Editors will be informed of the listed actions and considerations that we hope will lead to improved geographical and gender equality. Any editors supporting the DIS will be invited to promote, spread awareness, and implement the relevant actions for their journals.
Q1 2021 Update:
During the first months of 2021, IOS Press set up a working group to look at the SDGs with an aim to set specific targets. Indicated below are five current priorities and we are working with journal editors to assess board membership in terms of gender and diversity, as well as assessing partnerships in terms of responsible production.
Q4 2021 Update:
Nov 26, 2021: Statistics on difficult to measure population groups
An editorial by the Editor-in-Chief of the Statistical Journal of the IAOS (SJI) highlights that the 2030 agenda makes a clear commitment to inclusiveness. "The role for the international organizations is, alongside their mandate as custodian of specific SDGs, to develop and maintain clear guidelines and standards for producing and disseminating harmonized data on these issues and guarantee the integrated approach of statistical information of these groups with all other groups and the total population."
Nov 26, 2021: Food balance sheets
A research article in SJI's Vol.37, Iss.4, looks at SDG 12 aiming to guarantee sustainable consumption and production methods. "To achieve this objective, it is necessary to be able to assess food losses before any intervention aimed at reducing them. The UN agencies responsible for the evaluation of food losses propose to split them into: a part concerning food losses measured by the Global Food Loss Index; and another part relating to food waste, the indicator of which is the Food Waste Index."
Oct 26, 2021: Rent soil theory versus Sustainable Development Goals
Published in Vol.51, Iss. 5 of the Environmental Policy and Law, this paper looks at Indonesia’s rent soil theory – a policy that aims to increase state revenue through the imposition of rent for forest land along with natural resources (wood, lumber, stable soil, etc.). "This practice is contrary to the principle under SDG 15, which promotes sustainable management of all types of forest. It exposes the land owned by indigenous people to the threat by the State under the guise of its social function."
Q3 2021 Update:
Sep 1, 2021: Applications of e-learning for the Sustainable Development Goals
A research article by Sharleen Forbes and John Harraway published in Vol.37, Iss.3 of the Statistical Journal of the IAOS covered teaching official statistics relating to SDGs: "The e-learning environment allows for direct linkage to online courses including those run by UN agencies, such as the UN Statistics Division’s Compiling national metadata for Sustainable Development Goals and UNITAR’s Introduction to data governance for monitoring the SDGs. It also enables innovative ways of teaching."
Aug 27, 2021: Information-seeking behaviors of teacher students
In Education for Information Vol.37, Iss.3, a paper by Claes Dahlqvist reviewed quantitative methods and touched upon SDG matters: "UNESCO recognizes teachers as the key to achieving SDG 4 (quality education). Teachers are acknowledged as fundamental for guaranteeing quality education and to accomplish that, the training of teachers and teacher students is considered crucial. This also applies to processes essential for contributing to a high-quality teacher education."
Aug 27, 2021: Gratitude
Karen Jacobs, the Editor-in-Chief of Work was one of the first to express support for the IOS Press Diversity and Inclusion Statement. In the journal's Vol.69, Iss.4, the editorial states: "We strive for equal opportunities for everyone regardless of gender and geographical location. A 3-year analysis of our journal was conducted and it showed that the vast majority of the authors publishing in the journal are affiliated with institutions in Asia, Europe, and North America. Our board is predominantly female, which breaks the trend where women are typically under-represented on editorial boards. In reviewing this analysis, there are some broad actions to be taken."
Q2 2021 Update:
Jun 8, 2021: Impact of green practices on consumers’ sustainable purchase intentions
Human Systems Management Vol.40, Iss.3 includes an article covering sustainable development. One paper investigates the impact of distinct green practices – environment, perceived environmental responsibility, environmental advertisement, and eco-labeling – on sustainable purchase intentions (SPI) in relation to adopting green strategies in Pakistan. Positive results were evident that provide extensive input into the growing literature of psychology in terms of humans’ sustainable consumption behavior with empirical evidence from a developing nation.
Jun 3, 2021: Sustainable futures
Information Polity (IP) Vol.26, Iss.2 is a special issue looking at digital government and gender. IP’s Editors-in-Chief, Albert Meijer and William Webster, state in their editorial: “Our ambition to contribute to a sustainable future is an important stance for an academic journal to take, as we are not just committing our scholarly endeavors to creating and disseminating new knowledge and understanding, but also to using this for the greater good – in this case a stronger sustainable democratic information polity. In our opinion, it is important to demonstrate the significance of our field and its intellectual contribution to the future evolution of critical institutions and infrastructures in society and especially the polity.”
May 11, 2021: Our Earth Matters special issue
In early May, the first issue of a two-part special issue of Environmental Policy and Law was published on the topic of “Our Earth Matters” in which expert scholars outline the urgent action required for environment governance. One article in Vol.50, Iss.6 was highlighted during the recent World Environment Day webinar (watch the full recording here), which takes an interesting stance on SDGs that is worthy of discussion: “Sustainable development is now so ubiquitous in many of our social systems that it ‘has become ingrained as the rationale for social and economic policies and, as such, is rarely challenged, but accepted as necessary and inevitable.’ The SDGs are an apt example in this respect. But sustainable development only continues to offer a smokescreen without having any ability whatsoever to achieve the type of deep and meaningful internal and external transformations that are necessary to promote planetary integrity.”
Q1 2021 Update:
Mar 22, 2021: Sustainable development goal indicators
Statistical Journal of the IAOS Vol.37, Iss.1 includes articles covering sustainable development. One paper looks at assessing sustainable causal relationships between informal employment indicators and the main components of SDGs. Others suggest to provide more up-to-date information for monitoring sustainable development and providing timely evidence for policy makers has led to an increased interest in “nowcasting.” Technological innovations, new data sources and the emergence of big data have created additional opportunities to follow economic and social developments with reduced time lags. This is covered in this paper and in this special editorial.
Feb 22, 2021: Envisioning the future through e-transparency
An article published in Information Polity Vol.26, Iss.1 highlights the lack of correlation between long-term goals and available data relating to commitments or international agreements like the sustainable development goals. The study then outlines a method that has been developed to allow a civil society organization to seek public budget information using open government data (OGD). Such OGD platforms can be used to monitor government capacity in achieving policy goals and five constraints have been identified for their use: granularity, traceability, correlation, accessibility, and usability. Civil society is interested in using the information to project the future outcomes of public policy rather than monitor the past, which creates a feature in envisioning the future public policy accomplishment.
Jan 20, 2021: Towards the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework
The top viewed content on the Environmental Policy and Law website in Q1 2021 is a post by Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The article focuses on the post-2020 framework and states that, in order to address the global biodiversity agenda, we need to be open to the interconnectedness of different challenges and ensure engagement of all stakeholders and sectors. Milestones need to be set that build on what has already been achieved, learn lessons, and fill the gaps. The strategic plan of the CBD, set out as the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, will hold the key to the future of the planet.
Q4 2020 Update:
Dec 22, 2020: SDGs highlighted in the Q4 2020 mailing
A number of articles focusing on sustainability and SDGs were featured in the latest IOS Press Quarterly mailing, including: statistical approaches and the contribution of corporations to SDG targets in the Statistical Journal of the IAOS; health literacy for promoting SDGs and a paper where the author calls on academic publishers to have a major role in transforming research to support the implementation of Agenda 2030 in Information Services & Use; and a call to improve environmental policy-making process to enable achievement of SDGs in Environmental Policy and Law.
Dec 18, 2020: Discussion forum on OfficialStatistics.com
On the website of Statistical Journal of the IAOS, there is a Discussion Platform section where points are raised for comment. The December discussion questions featured challenges of regional cooperation and capacity development, based around the overarching question: “Improving less developed statistical systems – do we apply the correct foundations and are we at risk of leaving some countries behind?” The discussion points cover global statistical systems, in relation to monitoring parameters for SDG indicators and beyond.
Oct 14, 2020: Towards sustainability to realize Agenda 2030
The most popular contributed blog post on the Environmental Policy and Law (EPL) website in 2020 focused on sustainability. In particular, it highlighted the urgent need for the transformation of sustainability pathways and how vital it is that this is carried out in an integrated manner. Almost 5 years after the adoption of Agenda 2030, the Global Sustainable Development Report was written prior to the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in 2019 and it outlined the science behind what was needed to achieve sustainable development. This article highlights the key players and points.
“If the sustainable development goals of the Agenda 2030 are to be met, human societies need to take a new stand for implementing this plan of action – without delay”
Eeva Furman, professor at the Finnish Environmental Institute and board member of EPL
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[Page first published: Jan 15, 2021; updated: Dec 20, 2021]