2021 - All Press Releases

Springer Nature creates new Climate Action Officer role in industry-first move

London | New York | Berlin, 5 August 2021

Springer Nature has stepped up on climate action through the creation of a new senior role and a newly dedicated group-wide sustainability team. Thea Sherer, Director of Sustainability, will take the role of Climate Action Officer, a first for both Springer Nature and the academic publishing industry, and will be joined by an expanded team focused on accelerating delivery of the company’s environment and sustainability goals.

Springer Nature has made significant progress since 2017 when the company first started reporting on its environmental and social performance. This includes:

  • Becoming carbon neutral in its direct operations in 2020.
  • Reducing energy use and purchasing green electricity for offices around the world.
  • Minimising plastic wrapping of its products.
  • Establishing an internal ‘Green Office Network’ of more than 120 colleagues in 12 countries.
  • First publisher to sign up to The Climate Pledge, and committed to being Net Zero by 2040.   

Springer Nature is committed to supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has:

  • Published 300,000+ research articles or book chapters since the Goals were launched in 2015.
  • Accelerated DEI activity and is on track to meet its target of 43% of senior positions being held by women by 2023.
  • Signed the SDG Publishers Compact, launched by the UN and the International Publishers Association in 2020 and is working closely with partners including the UN Sustainable Development Solutions, and also the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) on projects that explore the role of research in accelerating progress of the Goals. 

Joyce Lorigan, Group Head of Corporate Affairs and Executive Team Lead for Sustainability commented:

“With the creation of this new role and team, we are simply following the science. As publishers of journals such as Nature Sustainability, and Nature Climate Change we are keenly aware of the immediacy of the issues the world faces. By organising ourselves to deliver more and faster we can build on the progress we’ve made to date not just in our own operations but also in our capacity as a connector and influencer in the wider community. I am delighted that Thea will become our first Climate Action Officer and know that she and her new team will be supported by the passion and commitment of so many across the group to make positive change.” 

Sherer, previously Director of Group Communications, took up this new role on August 1st, reporting to Lorigan and will be joined by a small and dedicated team as well as a wider governance network with links across the group. The Sustainable Business steering group is chaired by Lorigan and is drawn from members of the Executive Team.  

Thea Sherer said:

“With less than 100 days to go until delegates convene at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)*, the impact and importance of a more focused, strategic and cohesive approach to climate action has never been more keenly felt. We can make a greater positive impact on sustainability and climate action, by making more active changes in our operations and building on the incredible research we publish. I am very much looking forward to leading this new team and taking action with colleagues and groups across the company, including our Green Office Network, and wider communities to move this work forward.”


More on Springer Nature’s approach to climate action and the development of the group-wide sustainability team can be found here.

Note to editors:

* Springer Nature will be hosting a series of roundtables on science and policy in the run up and alongside the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, with its partner the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and is committed to developing a roadmap for its Net Zero ambitions by the end of 2021. More information on Springer Nature’s SDG programme can be found here.

Follow Thea Sherer on Twitter: @TheaSherer

About Springer Nature Group

For over 175 years Springer Nature has been advancing discovery by providing the best possible service to the whole research community. We help researchers uncover new ideas, make sure all the research we publish is significant, robust and stands up to objective scrutiny, that it reaches all relevant audiences in the best possible format, and can be discovered, accessed, used, re-used and shared. We support librarians and institutions with innovations in technology and data; and provide quality publishing support to societies. 

As a research publisher, Springer Nature is home to trusted brands including Springer, Nature Portfolio, BMC, Palgrave Macmillan and Scientific American. For more information, please visit springernature.com and @SpringerNature


Sam Sule | Communications Officer, Corporate Affairs | Springer Nature