“We do not want to go back to exactly the way it was. We now have the opportunity to truly shape a new type of world”
– Michiel Kolman –
“All publishers can contribute, whether they're small and can contribute a small amount, or if they are large and can contribute more significantly.”
– Michiel Kolman –
“The IPA's SDG Report is a great example of how publishers can contribute towards the (SDG) goals..”
– Michiel Kolman –
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Publishers are uniquely positioned to drive progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the deadline of 2030. This interactive SDG site showcases diverse examples of how publishers are both improving sustainable business practices and act as agents of change in critical areas such as education, equality and justice.

The International Publishers Association (IPA) is the world’s largest federation of national, regional and specialist publishers’ associations. Our membership comprises 86 organizations from 71 countries in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe and the Americas. Through its members, IPA represents thousands of individual publishers around the world who service markets containing more than 5.6 billion people. For the topic of sustainability, the IPA has taken an active role to both prioritize sustainability within its membership and to utilize the global goals to develop key programs and activities as part of the Inclusive Publishing and Literacy Committee, chaired by Michiel Kolman, former IPA President (2018 -2020).

Publishers and The United Nations SDGs

The IPA perspective on culture and sustainable development is further highlighted in the IPA 2020 Sustainable Development Goals Report.

SDG related IPA activities

African Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF)supporting literacy, book access, indigenous publishing, and library restoration in Africa, providing USD 800,000 to fund projects and initiatives from 2020 to 2024.

UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition: In April 2020, IPA joined UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition “to support countries in scaling up their best distance learning practices and reaching children and youth who are most at risk.”

Freedom to Publish and the Prix Voltaire: the IPA defends the rights of authors and publishers to create and distribute their works of the mind in complete freedom. This work is carried out by the IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee.

UNESCO World Book Capital: the IPA was instrumental in the founding of the World Book Capital and is part of the selection committee that will encourage a culture of reading

Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) and Accessible Books Charter: The IPA is a founding member of this multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to increase services available in accessible formats for people living with a visual impairment. The IPA and WIPO established the accessible publishers charter, signed by over 100 publishers to dive critical progress.


Sustainability and the Global Goals are universal and interlinked. Multi-stakeholder partnerships are crucial in the effort to reach them. IPA currently works with: