In March 2021, IFIS became a signatory to the SDG Publishers Compact, launched by International Publishers Association (IPA). Our team aspire to enrich the possibilities that reliable and accessible education and research can bring to the planet.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), designed by the United Nations, address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. As a sub-section of the SDG, the SDG Publishers Compact is a specific sustainability framework designed to inspire action among publishers, in human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. As of December 2020, 193 governments have signed the SDG, committing to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere, by 2030.
We at IFIS do what we can to live sustainably, in both our work and personal lives. For example, we don’t invest reserves in carbon-intensive industries, use a minimal amount of paper (especially since onboarding digital systems for finance and HR processes this year) and take part in a variety of recycling schemes.
Additionally, as a not-for-profit charitable organisation and one of the leading international providers of information on the sciences of food and health, we work to help further knowledge of food and health across the globe. To help achieve this, we work with Research4Life, who include FSTA in 4 of their programmes, all of which provide free or low-cost access to academic and professional peer-reviewed content online.
We believe investing in the sciences of food and health will greatly benefit the world in the future and are committed to stimulating global education, research and vocational training in the food community.
However, we're not stopping there. Having now signed the SDG Publishers Compact, we've committed to implementing the 10 principles of sustainable publishing, in addition to more specific goals:
We selected these goals based on their relevance to IFIS, in terms of how we work together and engage with the world.
Although the SDG Publishers Compact was only recently launched, at Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2020, the IFIS team had already set about making a difference in recent months:
In April 2020, we officially signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge, committing to tackling stigma and discrimination about mental health in the workplace. Our mental health initiative has included training, resources and recruiting in-house 'mental health champions', who continue to roll out activities to encourage communication around mental health, and to improve happiness and mental wellbeing. We're proud to have made mental health part of the culture at IFIS, and something to never be ashamed of. Read more here.
We raised money for Show Racism the Red Card, the UK’s largest anti-racism educational charity, with an IFIS team member sharing her experiences with racism growing up as a mixed race individual in a British village.
We took part in Christmas Jumper Day to raise money for Save the Children, as we do every year (although this year we had to show our garish garments off via a video meeting, rather than in person!) Save the Children work on making sure children across the globe stay safe, healthy and have access to education.
Many members of the team took part in the Movember UK 2020 challenge - to walk or run 60km in November. Movember is a leading charity for men's health, providing funding for the three biggest health issues facing men: mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. We collectively walked/ran 988km, almost double our original goal of 500km! The current total we've raised is £1,168, and there's still time to donate: https://movember.com/t/ifis-publishing?mc=1
With the SDG Publishers Compact framework in place, we're able to guide our efforts more formally. We've assigned a variety of tasks and a champion to each of the 4 goals, and look forward to sharing our progress as we activate change both internally and externally, doing the little bit that we can for society and the planet.
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Images courtesy of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Minor correction: this post initially said that IFIS became a signatory of the SDG Publishers Compact in December 2020. This has been updated to March 2021.