Addressing Elsevier's climate-related human rights impacts

Scientists who began a dialogue with Elsevier about its facilitation of fossil fuel expansion announced a human rights grievance mechanism, which can include anyone wishing to address Elsevier's negative impacts. Learn more and decide if you or your organization care to be involved.

Addressing Elsevier's climate-related human rights impacts

Scientists who began a dialogue with Elsevier about its facilitation of new fossil fuel projects have announced a human rights grievance mechanism, something that can include anyone wishing to address Elsevier's negative impacts. Learn more and decide if you or your organization care to be involved.

LATEST UPDATE (May 2024)

CRC has sent initial statements and questions to Elsevier (RELX), along with an explanatory human rights complaint that has also been submitted to The Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council. In May, RELX CEO Erik Engstrom and Global Head of Corporate Responsibility Márcia Balisciano were contacted by a board representative to understand when the company will provide answers to questions that were submitted.

FULL TEXTREPORT TO THE UN

Find out more on our Dialogue page

At the launch of this initiative, Elsevier was listed as a member in an industry group with oil majors misaligned even with 2.5°C of global heating by 2100—and still uncovering more resources. 5 are being sued for "discrediting science."

Learn more about the OSDU Forum

CRC letters to Elsevier leaders

CRC LETTERS:

Laura Hassink

Managing Director,
Elsevier Journals

LETTER

Rachel Martin

Elsevier Global Head of Sustainability

LETTER

Dr. Richard Horton

Editor-in-Chief,
The Lancet

LETTER

Dr. John Pham

Editor-in-Chief,
Cell

LETTER

Laura Hassink

Managing Director,
Elsevier Journals

LETTER

Rachel Martin

Elsevier Global Head of Sustainability

LETTER

Dr. Richard Horton

Editor-in-Chief,
The Lancet

LETTER

Dr. John Pham

Editor-in-Chief,
Cell

LETTER

Elsevier and its parent company RELX have insufficiently considered the human rights impacts of accelerating fossil fuel discoveries for years. In 2021, employees pointed to the company’s neglect of its UNGP human rights obligations, just as scientist groups did in 2022—and as the UN has done with other companies still facilitating fossil fuel expansion, pointing to "significantly worsened climate change-related human rights impacts." A grievance mechanism can involve anyone seeking to generate dialogue, mitigation, and access to remedy. All voices are welcome and needed in such a process—will you lend yours?

Issues

The company is neglecting its human rights obligations by facilitating new fossil fuel projects around the world.

Learn more

Dialogue

The UNGP grievance mechanism is open to all stakeholders concerned about the company's business activity.

Learn more

Advocacy

Concerns have been raised by scientists, organizations, and the company's employees and customers.

Learn more

"We consider the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in all our activities."

Márcia Balisciano, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility, RELX (2023)

"If this were the case, Elsevier would be 'discontinuing activities with potentially adverse climate change-related human rights impacts'…We are concerned that RELX/Elsevier is not living up to its ethical commitments.”

Reply from Kristina Dahl (Union of Concerned Scientists) and Stuart Parkinson (Scientists for Global Responsibility)

"We have to keep fossil fuels in the ground…life on Earth really does depend on how fast we can do this…There’s no more room [in the carbon budget] for fossil fuel expansion.”

Prof. Kimberly Nicholas, speaking to Elsevier employees at a company event in 2021

“We may disagree because the world still needs fossil fuels...We do provide data and analytics and information” for customers still engaged in fossil fuel expansion.

2023 RELX Annual General Meeting, responding to a scientist and investor

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS
ADVISORY BOARD
Dr. Rose  Abramoff, Ronin Institute 
Raki Ap, Civil servant and activist *
‍Dr. Anne Baillot, Le Mans Université, France
Dr Keith Baker, Glasgow Caledonian University
Steve Ballard, on behalf of the London Hazards Centre board of trustees
Dr. Jonathan Bamber, Former President EGU, RE for the IPCC AR5 and contributing author for AR6, Director Bristol Glaciology Centre
Dr. Phoebe Barnard, Founding CEO, Stable Planet Alliance
Dr. Chris Barrington-Leigh, McGill University
Dr. Paul Behrens, Leiden University *
Dr. Martin Birley, Health Impact Assessment
Diane Birmingham, Occupational Health
Dr. Daniel Black, University of  Bristol
Dr. Bjoern Brembs, University of Regensburg
Dr.  Cameron Brick, University of  Amsterdam
Dr Bruno Alves Buzatto, Flinders University
Dr. Yung En Chee, University of Melbourne, Australia
Dr. Patricia Chow-Fraser, University in Hamilton, Canada
Dr. Sara Coopman, Kent State University
Adam Cooper, Slade Group

Dr. Sarah J  Darby, University of  Oxford
Dr. Valérie D'Acremont, University of Lausanne
Dr. Nico  Edwards, University of Sussex
Dr. Hans Eickhoff, NOVA University, Lisbon
Dr. Julien  Emile-Geay, University of Southern California 
Dr. Theodore  Endreny, SUNY
Dr Jane Fisher, Centre for Alternative Technology
Dr. Charlie Gardner, University of Kent 
Dr. Jacquelyn Gill, University  of Maine
Dr. Joshua Goldstein, University of Southern California
Dr Alison Green, Executive Director, Scientists Warning
Alexander Hoogsteyn, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, https://renewablereads.com
Dr. Amy Janzwood, McGill University
Dr. Kathi Kemper, Editor in Chief, Complementary Therapies in Medicine (Elsevier)
Alaina Kinol, Northeastern University
Susanne Koch, Charité- Universitätsmedizin Berlin; University of Southern Denmark Odense
Dr. Halliki Kreinin, University of Münster
Dr. Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky,
Paris School of Economics  

Jonathan Leggett, Greenpeace Nederland *
Dr.  Melissa Lem, University of British Columbia
Dr. Peter Newell, University of Sussex
Dr. Susan Park, University of Sydney    
Dr. Martin Parker, University of Bristol
Dr. Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director, Scientists for Global Responsibility
Dr.  Vincent Perrot, Vrije Universiteit, Brussels
Dr. Fernando Racimo, University of Copenhagen
Dr. James Rice, North Carolina State University
Lawren Richards, Business consultant
Dr. Martin Röck, KU Leuven
Dr.  Matthieu Romagny, Université de Rennes
Dr. Johan Rooryck, Leiden University   
Dr. Valeria Scagliotti, Sustainability consultant   
Dr. Günter Schwarz, University of  Cologne
Dr. Julia Steinberger, University of Lausanne
Dr. Elia Valentini, University of Essex 
Dr. Duncan Watson-Parris, UC San Diego
Dr. Phil Webber, Scientists for Global Responsibility

* Panelists at Elsevier's 2021 Sustainability Festival

CRC Board statement (February 2024)

ENDORSEMENTS

Dr. Nikoline Borgermann

University of Copenhagen

Dr. Edina Dóci

Université catholique de Louvain

Dr. Jeannette Eggers

Swedish U. of Agricultural Sciences

Içvara Barbier

Imperial College London

Blessed Chidhoni

Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice

Dr. Johanna Vollhardt

Clark University

Dr. Marthe Wens

VU Amsterdam

Dr. Caroline Vincent

Scientists for XR

Dr. Jorge Saturno

Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt

Dr. Abi Perrin

University of York

Dr. Cornelia Huth

MSc, Bayreuth, Germany

Dr. Audrey Bras

University of Helsinki

Suzanne Catty

Author and activist

Dr. Marta Matos

Climate activist

Dr. Tony Warne

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Emma Smart

Ecologist and activist

Dr. Hugo Raguet

INSA Centre-Val de Loire

Dr. Shankar Prakash

Climate activist

Dr. Michal Pech

Czech Academy of Sciences

Alex Dickinson

Conservation biologist

Dr. Justyna Świdrak

IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain

Dr. Chris Shaffer

University of California San Francisco

Dr. Guillaume Sescousse

Lyon Neuroscience Research Centre

Ajipo NA

Climate activist

Dr. Skylar Hope

UC Davis

Dr. Anthony Goodchild

APHA UK (retired)

Dr. Benedikt Ehinger

University of Stuttgart

Austin Barnes

UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Michelle Bina

M.A./M.S. Environmental Science

Dr. Nicole Miriam Daniels

University of Cape Town

Dr. James King

University of Sheffield

Dr. Fiona Kinniburgh

Technical University of Munich

Dr. Benjamin Carr

Marine Env. and Fisheries Science

Hannah Denniston

Climate activist

Giorgia Dalla Libera Marchiori

Australian National University

Dr. Stephanie Rach

Climate activist

Dr. Maria-Inti Metzendorf

Heinrich-Heine-University, Germany

Diana Meisenhelter

Climate activist

Aline Telek

Communications Design, Zurich

Mphatso Mkumpha

SR Malawi National Coordinator

Dr. Juan Artes Vivancos

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Dr. Lynn Bjerke

London, UK

Ilan Henzler

University of Innsbruck

Dr. Amy Woodson-Boulton

Loyola Marymount University, USA

Dr. Lane M. Atmore

University of Oslo

Isabella Kumar

George Washington University

Marina Salmon

Elsevier paper co-author

Fredrik Bertilsson, M. Sc.

Climate activist

Dr. Veronika Chvátalová

Environmental Science

Dr. Carolina Meireles

Universidade de Lisboa

Dr Elizabeth Sawyer

University of Westminster

Dr. Zeke Williams

Applied mathematician

Dr. Tina Shull

UNC Charlotte, CCN Advisory Board Member

Prof. Aniebiet Inyang Ntui

University of Calabar, Nigeria

Pascal  Pein

Scientists for  Future

Guillaume Cullerier

Scientist Rebellion
CRC MEMBERSHIPS
PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS