Sustainable Marketing at IOS Press: A Journey Towards Sustainable Marketing 


16 November 2023 | Pim van Holst, IOS Press, Amsterdam, NL

Discover how IOS Press charts a course toward eco-friendly marketing, blending innovation and responsible practices to align with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Green Horizons: IOS Press' Sustainable Marketing Expedition

By Pim van Holst, IOS Press, Amsterdam, NL

In a rapidly changing landscape where sustainability has taken center stage, businesses are actively reimagining their strategies to align with environmentally responsible practices. At IOS Press, the pursuit of sustainability isn't just a token gesture; it's an integral aspect of our operations. Our strong commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is evident in our marketing endeavors as well, particularly within the realm of conferences and events. In this article, we delve into the dynamic sustainable initiatives driving IOS Press marketing and its harmonization with the United Nations' SDGs.

Creating a Sustainable Footprint
One key area where IOS Press has made substantial strides is in reducing the use of printed materials, directly aligning with SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production[1]. Previously, we would stock printed issues of our journal publications for use at conferences. Whereas now, we have significantly downsized our print run and produce journal publications on demand for conferences and other promotional events. Instead of attending conferences with an abundance of flyers, we opt for sending fewer and embrace the use of posters that direct attendees to online content (with QR codes) – a strategy that bridges the gap between traditional marketing practices and sustainability. Furthermore, we reuse posters and tabletops as much as we can. These initiatives not only reduce waste, but also encourage attendees to engage with materials in a more eco-friendly manner.

Digital Transformation in Networking
Embracing the digital age, IOS Press is also experimenting with digital business cards – a move that reduces the environmental toll of conventional paper cards. This innovative step showcases how sustainability and technology can intertwine to create solutions that are both practical and SDG-friendly.

Additionally, we actively explore new ways to promote environmentally responsible practices. While acknowledging the significance of conferences in facilitating knowledge exchange and collaboration, we are considering alternative approaches to physical attendance. Rather than sending marketing team members to conferences, we involve our editorial board members. Editors-in-Chief who reside in the country of the conference location, are often more than happy to act as ambassadors of their journals. This approach not only leverages their expertise and prominence in their respective fields, but also aligns with our efforts to mitigate the emissions generated by extensive travel contributing to SDG 13: Climate Action. While acknowledging the significance of attending conferences to facilitate knowledge exchange and collaboration, alternative approaches to physical attendance are being explored like attendance at virtual conferences.

By making thoughtful choices and harnessing the influence of our board members, IOS Press aims to contribute to a greener future while maintaining the quality and impact of our scholarly interactions. This initiative stands as a testament to the integration of sustainability principles into all dimensions of our operational strategies, including marketing and academic engagement.

Connecting with the Sustainable Development Goals and Looking Ahead
"At IOS Press, our dedication to sustainable marketing aligns seamlessly with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)", Saskia van Wijngaarden, Head of Marketing at IOS Press, comments. "Our commitment to these goals underscores our belief in the power of business to be a force for positive change."

While we already have made noteworthy strides in sustainable marketing at IOS Press, our vision extends further into the future. Our approach includes the use of eco-friendly paper for marketing materials on conferences and re-usable banners – small changes making a difference in reducing our carbon footprint. The commitment to sustainability extends beyond the logistics side of our operations. It is ingrained in our philosophy. By aligning our marketing strategies with the SDGs, IOS Press showcases how business objectives and sustainability can harmonize to create a better world.

Let's continue this journey of sustainability, one idea at a time. We extend our gratitude to everyone who is a part of the sustainable transformation at IOS Press.

About Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection[1].


1. “17 Goals to Transform Our World” (2023); link: https://www.unesco.org/reports/science/2021/en/download-report