The Association of University Presses (AUPresses) became a signatory to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Publishers Compact in October 2021. A “universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere,” the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been adopted by all member states. The International Publishers Association (IPA) launched the Publishers Compact in cooperation with the UN in 2020, and a growing list of international publishing houses, associations, and service providers have joined the call to work towards the SDGs. These include (as of Spring 2022) AUPresses members Bristol University Press, Liverpool University Press, Marine Corps University Press, the University of Ottawa Press, Oxford University Press, Qatar University Press, and the University of the West Indies Press.
The Association’s initial focus is on SDG #17: Partnerships for the Goals. We have established UP Commons Group workspace and forum for members interested in both the SDGs and the Publishers Compact, and will leverage this community space for sharing ideas and planning action in the future.
Because the SDGs reflect the Association’s core values, our commitment flows through much of the Association’s work and programming in support of these goals.
- SDG #5: Gender Equality—A gender pay parity analysis is now a core element of the biennial AUPresses Compensation Survey.
- SDG #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth—The most recent cycle of the Compensation Survey also included a new analysis of regional price parity. Members of the Association’s Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Committee led multiple press director activation sessions sharing ideas on how the data and analysis could be used to conduct pay parity audits and address inequities. Our Board of Directors has also committed to transforming the survey into a more transparent tool for the publishing workforce.
- SDG #13: Climate Action—The Association’s new annual meeting plan, committing to fully virtual meetings on a biennial schedule, took into account the stress that business travel puts on the planet. Small actions at in-person meetings will also reduce our footprint—such as asking attendees to show off an existing favorite bookstore or publisher totebag at the meeting rather than manufacturing and printing hundreds of new bags.
Over the rest of the UN Decade of Action (2020-2030) for the SDGs, the Association looks forward to joining with more of our members, partners, and friends to advance these and other goals for a more just, sustainable, and hopeful future for us all.