November 19, 2021
Association of American Publishers Announces Expanded Focus on Two Key Areas: Climate and Sustainability & Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Association of American Publishers today announced that it is expanding its public policy portfolio to include industry-wide work in the areas of climate and sustainability, and diversity, equity and inclusion, following a recent vote by the AAP Board of Directors.
“Throughout history, the publishing industry has been instrumental to distributing knowledge and empowering human progress,” said AAP President and CEO Maria A. Pallante. “By focusing AAP on diversity and sustainability challenges, the Board is not only acknowledging the potential impact of change management within its own ranks, but also acknowledging its responsibility to future generations of publishers, authors, readers, and leaders.”
The renewed focus on AAP’s portfolio and corresponding resources has been led by Brian Napack, President and CEO of Wiley, who was elected Chairman of AAP’s Board in September 2020. Under Mr. Napack, the Board created working groups for both diversity and sustainability, bringing together representatives from across the trade, education, and academic publishing sectors to review best practices and make recommendations for further action.
“With its broad industry role and global footprint, the AAP is well-positioned to amplify the important work that publishers are doing to advance the critical causes of global sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion,” Chairman Napack commented. “Today’s announcement affirms the publishing industry’s deep commitment to the promotion of a healthier and more equitable world — and the recognition that we must collaborate to achieve maximum impact.”
Beginning in 2022, AAP will assign new staff to each area, who will work with member companies and partners to facilitate industry-wide information, tools, collaborations, and programming, and advise AAP’s leadership on short and long-term objectives for the publishing ecosystem. The Climate and Sustainability and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion working groups will be converted to committees within the AAP governance structure, opened up to additional participants from the membership, and tasked with advising and contributing to industry objectives for both categories.
Building on Existing Momentum
The focus on climate and sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion builds on a number of previous and ongoing efforts.
In terms of climate and sustainability, AAP’s previous Chairman and longest serving officer John Sargent, former CEO of Macmillan, was instrumental in prioritizing initial Board discussions on sustainability and convincing the industry’s leaders to convert values into action items. In addition, many AAP member houses have already taken steps to limit their impact on the environment and preserve resources by embracing renewable energy, recycling, using fewer resources, reducing waste, and decreasing carbon emissions related to their offices, company operations, manufacturing, and transportation.
In terms of diversity, equity and inclusion, many AAP houses have created and hired for new executive positions, measured and publicly shared workforce demographics, conducted publishing audits, added diverse publishing imprints, and rolled out best practices implementing DEI principles and cultural sensitivities in content, particularly with regards to nonfiction and educational materials. Throughout the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding racial injustice uprisings across the United States, the publishing industry helped to serve a tremendous reader demand for both fiction and nonfiction titles promoting racial justice and inclusion.
AAP | The Association of American Publishers represents the leading book, journal, and education publishers in the United States on matters of law and policy, advocating for outcomes that incentivize the publication of creative expression, professional content, and learning solutions. As essential participants in local markets and the global economy, our members invest in and inspire the exchange of ideas, transforming the world we live in one word at a time. Find us online at www.publishers.org or on Twitter and Instagram at @AmericanPublish.