Our role as a responsible publisher

Chief Executive Officer

Nigel Portwood

Whether in our capacity as a publisher, or employer, we recognize the role we can play in helping to shape and inform a more equal, sustainable, and progressive society.

For more than 500 years, we have engaged with the most pressing issues facing society through our publishing. Whether it’s sharing groundbreaking scientific studies, helping millions of children learn to read with Oxford Reading Tree, or building a definitive record of the English language with the Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press helps people to understand the world around them and to find solutions to support progress.

We continue to find new methods for sharing our content, with technology providing us with an even greater opportunity to reach more people. However, as new technologies like AI emerge—along with a myriad of other global issues and trendswe also find ourselves grappling with new challenges, such as the rise of misinformation, and how to prepare young people for an uncertain future.

In this global context, we recognize that we have an important role to play; providing access to trusted research and educational content, so that people can navigate an increasingly unpredictable, complex world.

Take climate change, for example. Through educating the next generation about its potential impact, we can inspire and contribute to the conversations that will help us to address its causes and effects. In recognition of this, we developed the PISA 2025 Science Framework for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to inspire discussion about how science education can encourage environmental action. Additionally, our recently launched Oxford International Curriculum for Sustainability gives teachers the tools to engage children with the changes they can make to build a more sustainable world.

We also recognize that finding solutions to the different challenges facing society can be beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research. In 2023, we announced the forthcoming launch of Oxford Intersectionsa new interdisciplinary research resource to help policy and decision-makers address complex topics. I look forward to seeing the first worksRacism by Context, AI in Society, and Social Medialaunch early next year.

This is just a snapshot of some of the initiatives we have in place to increase the impact of research and education. Other examples include extending our Raise a Reader initiative with the National Literacy Trust to help children who have fallen behind in vocabulary development; providing teachers and schools with practical advice to help refugees continue in education; and donating books and resources to charities across the world to further our educational mission.

And beyond our role as a publisher, we also recognize our responsibility as an organization to operate ethically, sustainably, and in support of our people and the communities we serve.

Over the past year, we have made further progress against our environmental sustainability targets to reduce waste, use paper from certified sustainable sources, and cut our carbon footprint; we are on track to achieve these targets in line with our 2025 goal. As a next step, we are preparing a long-term climate target and strategy to reduce emissions from all parts of our operations and supply chain, and will work closely with colleagues, suppliers, and our communities to make this a reality.

We also maintain our focus on supporting wellbeing, inclusion, and professional development for colleagues globally. Key highlights from the past year include launching a new internal development programme, Pathways, which aims to help all colleagues unlock their potential and develop their careers, whatever stage they are at in their journey; and the second phase of our flagship Global Inclusion Programme, which focused on the theme of ‘awareness to action.  

Whether in our capacity as a publisher, or employer, we recognize the role we can play in helping to shape and inform a more equal, sustainable, and progressive society. I am proud of the steps we continue to make at OUP, which you can read more about in our latest Responsible Publishing Report.