This year’s UN General Assembly meeting featured a special centerpiece event to mark the midpoint of the Sustainable Development Goals since their creation in 2015: the SDG Summit.
The Summit involved world leaders redoubling their commitments to a sustainable future, but the reality is that, at this halfway point, the difficulties in achieving the Goals are stark. As an editorial in Nature outlined last month, it seems that few - if any - of the Goals will be fully met and many are far off target following the pandemic, financial crisis and political instability which have all served to create new barriers and distract political attention away from these wide ranging ambitions for humanity.
So, if the Goals may not be met, why are we at Springer Nature still backing them? Why are we doubling down on our efforts to amplify the goals with our research audiences, creating new routes (journals, books, collections) for researchers to publish on them, and even creating programmes for teachers and children to bring the SDGs into schools around the globe?
It’s because they remain the most visible and concrete way to highlight where governments, business and civil society can collectively contribute to urgent global challenges by creating local solutions. And we firmly believe that they provide a framework for new research, partnerships and collaborations that can move the dial towards better outcomes for society and the planet. At Springer Nature, we want to provide a home for SDG-related knowledge and to enable research to be discovered, shared, used and reused so it can make a positive difference for people and the planet. Take the new joint collection from 44 journals from across the Nature Portfolio, for example. It features articles that showcase effective interventions at a local, regional or national level in regard to at least one of the Goals in order to track progress and amplify successes.
Although this is a special moment in the journey to achieving the Goals, we’ve done a lot to support them since 2015. As this infographic shows, we’ve used our convening power, our published content and the collective importance of our brands to highlight the information needed to inform progress.
Since their ratification we’ve published over 800,000 articles and book chapters relevant to the Goals, collectively cited over 9.5 million times. We’ve also sought to engage and inspire our colleagues to learn more about the SDGs and to take personal action with our SDG Impact Festival. And we’re part of the SDG Publishers Compact, which inspires action across the wider publishing sector - recognising the importance of knowledge sharing and clear communication of research.
We were proud to take part in events around the UN General Assembly in September. We hosted an event called Science Storytelling for the SDGs with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and The Story Collider at the UN General Assembly Science Summit, for which Editor in Chief of Nature Magdalena Skipper delivered the opening plenary. Scientific American was also heavily involved with the SDG Media Zone at the SDG Summit, moderating sessions on ocean and marine diversity, the recent Global Sustainable Development report and fossils and the past informing the climate future.
Our colleagues at Springer Nature are passionate about sustainability and being Part of Progress. We know there is more to do, and we are ready for the next phase of action.