Environment

Environment

Earth viewed from space.

Growing our impact on society, not the planet

Sustainability links to everything we do: from climate education and research to cutting our own carbon emissions. We are committed to being part of a positive, sustainable future in which everyone can thrive.

Our commitment

Cambridge University Press & Assessment recognises the climate emergency and our responsibility to act. Our role as a leader in global education and research is to inform and progress action and debate around the world’s most pressing challenges, including the environment and climate change.

We are also committed to reducing our environmental impact across all areas of our operations. We work to support our suppliers to share our ambitions for a carbon zero supply chain, while promoting our environmental ambitions to our people, customers and partners around the world.

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Cut emissions

In the last financial year we reduced our UK electricity and gas emissions by 7 percent (scopes 1 and 2 of the greenhouse gas protocol).

Plastic-free packs

We're commited to plastic free journal distribution by the end of 2023. So far, 40 percent have been switched from plastic polywrap to FSC approved paper wrapping.

FSC certification

60 percent of all our paper use across our publishing, assessments and office use is now from certified sustainable sources. We're aiming to achieve FSC chain of custody certification.

ISO 14001

We passed an external audit in May 2022, confirming again we meet this international standard for managing our enviromental impacts. We've held this recognition since 2007.

Sustainable travel

We now have fewer fleet cars, travelling fewer miles, and added electric car charging points to our UK sites. Our travel policy encourages our team to get to work by active travel & public transport.

Our publishing

The books and research we publish as Cambridge University Press aim to improve understanding of big, global challenges – from climate change to pandemics – and to find solutions. Many of these titles have won a range of prestigious awards, with the most recent ones listed in our latest annual report

 

Many of our authors are at the forefront of climate science, and our publishing ranges from scientific research to general books from some of the world’s highest-profile climate activists. Some of our key climate and sustainability titles include:

The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Success: Overcoming Myths that Hinder Progress by Mark Jaccard
Named one of the best books of 2020 for environment in the Financial Times.

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There is No Planet B by Mike Berners-Lee
‘Mike doesn’t preach, instead he shares his insights with warmth and wit, and his book could not be more timely.’ David Shukman, BBC Science Editor.

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Global Sustainability

An open access journal dedicated to supporting the rapidly expanding area of global sustainability research. It publishes interdisciplinary research, reviews and commentaries that explore human social and economic pressures and sustainable solutions.

Find out more

 

Environment publishing highlights

 

Our qualifications and assessments

Our content is being systematically updated or built into syllabuses, curricula and support materials to help teachers to bring environmental sustainability topics into the classroom. 

Cambridge Learner Attributes is designed to recognise students’ need to develop attitudes and life skills throughout their education

Global Perspectives series across early years, lower secondary, IGCSE and AS and A Level helps students learn core, transferrable skills such as critical thinking.  

CELTA and DELTA, benchmark qualifications for teaching English overseas, help more people access the language of climate change and sustainability. 

Our UK exam board OCR is working on a new GCSE in Natural History and we also have plans for vocational qualifications.  

 

Accreditation and awards

The passion, energy and commitment of our colleagues has resulted in external recognition from accreditation to international standards to an array of sustainability awards for Cambridge University Press & Assessment.

ISO14001 environmental management

We achieved ISO14001 certification again after an independent external audit in May 2022, having first achieved the international standard in 2007. To be certified to ISO14001 standard – which meets international best practice – we have to prove we have considered our impact on the environment, have plans, leadership and sufficient resources in place to improve our environmental performance, and we monitor and document our performance to ensure we can continually improve.

IPG Sustainability Award winners

Cambridge University Press won the Independent Publishers Guild Sustainability Award two years in a row, which recognised the concrete actions we have taken to make our operations more sustainable, as well as the powerful combination of our climate change and sustainability publishing, and the energy and enthusiasm of our colleagues. We were proud to be a finalist again in 2022

Green Impact Awards 

In 2022, we achieved a Platinum Green Impact award for our UK operations in recognition of extensive efforts to promote sustainability practises at work, Silver for our Cape Town team and bronze for Madrid. Two colleagues achieved special awards, one for environment improvement for bringing our on-site allotment back in to use; and for colleagues who organise monthly climate cafes. Cambridge Assessment has previously won the Platinum Award and Cambridge University Press's environment action group gained a Bronze Award for their work to reduce the environmental footprint of University Printing House. 

Timber Scorecard

In 2019 the Press gained the top Timber Scorecard rating from World Wildlife Fund – a prestigious 3 Trees score recognising our work to make sure we source sustainable timber. We went from a 0 Tree score in 2015 to 3 Trees in 2019. The scheme has been discontinued. 

 

Environmental policy

Our environmental policy sets out our responsibility to protect the environment, our expectations of our staff, suppliers and contractors, our objectives for reducing our environmental impact and the principles we use to guide our environmental efforts.

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