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Environmental and ethical policies

Oxford Journals is committed to working with the global community to bring the highest quality research to the widest possible audience; and to protecting the environment by implementing environmentally friendly policies and practices wherever possible.

Developing countries: improved access

Oxford Journals' suppliers


Developing countries: improved access

Our mission is to bring the highest quality research to the widest possible audience. This is why we offer developing countries free or greatly reduced rate access to many of our journals, through various initiatives, including:

  • Oxford Journals Developing Country Scheme
  • International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP)
  • Research4Life encompassing the following schemes:
    • HINARI Research in Health, managed by the World Health Organization (WHO) providing access to major scientific journals in the field of public health
    • AGORA, managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), providing access to global online research in agriculture, food science, and related fields. The goal of the initiative is to increase the quality and effectiveness of agricultural research, education, and training in developing countries
    • OARE Research in the Environment, managed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

For more information please visit our Developing Countries Initiatives page.

Oxford Journals' suppliers

For suppliers of outsourced publishing services such as printing and distribution, outside the UK and US, Oxford Journals undertakes to work only with suppliers who are audited by 'prelims', an umbrella organisation for publishers who are concerned that their products are ethically produced. This is an international standard for social accountability.

The companies involved in prelims work to promote and implement a common, internationally recognised social accountability standard, which they themselves and their suppliers must adhere to. The standard covers areas including working conditions, health and safety issues, adequate remuneration, working hours, and the prohibition of the use of child or forced labour.


Whilst investing in new technologies to complement our traditional paper-based products, and supporting the growth of paperless methods of publishing, Oxford Journals continues to play a responsible role as a major purchaser of paper. We aim to reduce any environmentally-damaging impact by adhering to a paper procurement policy which stipulates the use of sustainable materials.

We use paper from sustainably managed forests. Nearly all journals and promotional materials are now printed using paper from sustainable sources, which has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council scheme (FSC), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC), or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council, []) is a non-profit organisation founded in 1993 and key supporters include Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, many indigenous peoples' organisations, timber traders and retailers and members of printing industries worldwide. The Chain-of-Custody certification shows the businesses comply with the highest social and environmental practices, supporting the world's forests and timber resources. The FSC supports forests, ensuring they are conserved for future generations. It tracks certified material from the forest through the production process all the way to the point of sale.

The PEFC Council (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes, []) is a non-profit organisation founded in 1999 which promotes sustainably managed forests through independent third party certification. The PEFC provides an assurance mechanism to purchasers of wood and paper products that they are promoting the sustainable management of forests.

SFI forest certification (Sustainable Forestry Initiative, []/) promotes responsible forestry practices. To be certified, forest operations across the USA and Canada must be audited against the SFI forest standard. SFI chain-of-custody certification extends into the marketplace by tracking fibre content from certified lands through production and manufacturing to the end product. This standard is assured through independent third-party certification.

Journals paper accreditation

Accreditation% of annual tonnage usedFSC 74% SFI 12% PEFC 3% None 11% Total 100%
  • Oxford Journals is committed to purchasing ancient forest friendly products wherever possible, and does not condone illegal logging of ancient forests. We will not use ancient forest fibre in our supply chain.
  • We inform our suppliers of our requirements with regard to the paper procurement policy, and endeavour to work in partnership with our suppliers in order to ensure that the paper we purchase comes from certified, well-managed forests. Suppliers are required to provide evidence to support their claims on environmental issues, and must comply with the relevant environmental laws and regulations in their countries of operation.
  • Oxford Journals is a member of PREPS, a joint initiative from fifteen of the UK's leading publishers. Together, these companies have set up a database to hold technical specifications and details of the pulps and forest sources for each of the papers they use. Papers are given a rating that reflects the level of environmental impact, to support responsible environmental paper sourcing.
  • Oxford Journals will ensure that its employees and customers are aware of the company’s paper procurement policy.

Mailing: wrapping materials

Biodegradable wrappers will be used for mailing journals, where available. On some titles, no wrappers are used, in the US. We hope to expand this in consultation with our library customers and in compliance with local postal regulations.


Oxford Journals is committed to protecting the environment, and implements environmentally friendly policies and practices wherever possible, for example:

  • We buy ‘green’ electricity for our UK operations and are striving to reduce energy consumption in Oxford Journals offices by installing automatic and energy-efficient lighting; power monitoring; and installing solar water heating.
  • We use video teleconferencing to reduce staff travel wherever possible, and have a travel plan to reduce the impact of Oxford Journals staff on Oxford traffic, which includes season ticket loans, the provision of pool bicycles, a salary-sacrifice bicycle-purchasing scheme, and on-site bicycle maintenance.
  • We have a major recycling programme to recycle all paper waste, cardboard, plastic, cans, mobile phones, wood, and glass, and are investigating the possibilities for compacting food waste and supplying biodegradable takeaway food packaging in our staff restaurant.
  • To reduce consumption of paper and other products, we use electronic communications wherever possible.
  • Oxford Journals actively works to raise awareness of environmental issues among staff.


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