Unique contributions

We make a positive impact on society through our knowledge, resources and skills, including:

  • universal sustainable access to information
  • advance of science and health
  • protection of society
  • promotion of the rule of law and justice
  • fostering communities

Scientific, Technical & Medical

Elsevier, the world’s leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information, plays an important role in advancing human welfare and economic progress through its science and health information, which spurs innovation and enables critical decision-making. To broaden access to its content, Elsevier supports programmes where resources are often scarce. Among them is Research4Life, a partnership with UN agencies and approximately 200 publishers; we provide core and cutting-edge scientific information to researchers in more than 100 developing countries. As a founding partner and the leading contributor, Elsevier provides over a quarter of the material available in Research4Life, encompassing approximately 3,000 Elsevier journals and 20,000 e-books. In 2016, there were more than 4m Research4Life article downloads from ScienceDirect. The Elsevier Foundation continued to support scientific publishing in developing countries including the African Journal Partnership Project to further expand our Publishers Without Borders programme, which pairs our colleagues’ expertise in research with the needs of the African health science community.

In 2016, Christiana Figueres, former head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, spoke at the launch of Lancet Countdown , an initiative of the Lancet’s Planetary Health Commission, tracking progress on health and climate change.

Risk & Business Analytics

Over the last four years, LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ Tax Refund Investigative Solution has saved 11 US states more than $500m by averting false tax refunds. In addition, by 2016 LexisNexis Risk Solutions enabled five US states to identify more than $4.4m in fraudulent supplemental nutrition (Food Stamp) payments since 2012; this will result in an estimated annual savings of $5.6m by stopping programme participants from receiving multiple benefits within and in more than one state.

Accuity provides comprehensive data and software to control financial processing risk and compliance. Its tools like Global WatchList help in the fight against anti-money laundering (AML). In 2016, it produced the report, the Challenges of AML for Law Firms 2016, to highlight sector feedback on due diligence and opportunities to improve compliance processes.

In 2016, Proagrica, dedicated to feeding the world sustainably through its content and solutions, launched Agility Crops to provide real-time data to improve productivity. Covering over 750,000 hectares of cropping across the UK, it allows in-season soil and other analytics for the first time, replacing retrospective studies which can only be used historically.

During 2016, RBI became a founding member of the Tech Talent Charter, committed to increasing the ratio of women and under-represented groups working in technology. Together with other peers, RBI is working to encourage education and best practice in tech recruitment and retention of diverse tech talent.


LexisNexis Legal & Professional promotes the rule of law and access to justice through its products and services. During 2016, colleagues continued their efforts to support the transition to democracy in Myanmar. They have been building support for a pilot programme in a rural village in Myanmar, Wellgyi, to establish a land registry database.

The difficulties farmers face include being arrested and jailed for farming what they believe to be their land. Helping them measure and document land boundaries is the first step and we are collaborating with other companies such as Google and Edulink in this effort.


Reed Exhibitions’ events help strengthen communities and support our corporate responsibility focus areas. New York Comic Con, which attracted over 185,000 attendees in 2016, supports the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organisation protecting the rights of comics artists, publishers, retailers, librarians and fans. The show featured sessions on fighting censorship.

Each year, World Travel Market (WTM), Reed Exhibitions’ flagship show for the travel and tourism industry, holds World Responsible Tourism Day. In 2016, the focus was on benchmarking progress in responsible tourism. In the year, BBC World News journalist Aaron Heslehurst held a roundtable on what more can be done 20 years on from the post-Apartheid government in South Africa’s adoption of the Principles of Responsible Tourism in their national tourism policy, which helped launch the responsible tourism movement.

He asked panel members, including Justin Francis co-founder of Responsible Travel, about successes and failures. There is now a World Responsible Tourism Day at all WTM shows including South Africa, Dubai and Brazil.

Read more about our unique contributions in our Corporate Responsibility Report.


The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out the United Nations agenda for people, planet and prosperity over the next 15 years. They were adopted by heads of state at the UN in 2015. The 17 goals aim to address critical needs for humanity and the environment. In 2016, we engaged stakeholders and mapped an SDG Resource Centre which will showcase RELX content, tools and events from across the Group that can help drive forward the SDGs.

The free SDG Resource Centre will support the UN, governments, researchers, companies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and individuals in their efforts to advance this vital global agenda. Our 2016 CR Forum Stakeholder Session focused on the SDGs and involved internal experts, peers, government and NGOs on business – and RELX Group –and the SDGs.

During the UN General Assembly in September 2016, we contributed to the launch of the Global Alliance for Reporting Progress on Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies (SDG 16), providing the only private sector statement on the positive role business can play by exercising their unique contributions to society.

To replace ad hoc responses, in 2016, we convened a cross-business working group to establish a strategy for responding to disasters and emergencies; we have strengthened our ties with primary relief partner the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and will focus on providing relevant in-kind contributions that can address short- and long-term needs in the wake of disasters and emergencies.

2016 marked the sixth year of the RELX Group Environmental Challenge, focused on providing improved and sustainable access to water and sanitation where it is presently at risk. The $50,000 first prize winner, UK-based Loowatt Ltd., has developed a proprietary waterless and energy-generating toilet system that is clean and odourless, creating social and environmental benefits that include water savings, carbon emissions reduction, improved human health and job creation. Award-winning Loowatt’s patented core technology can fit into toilets of any shape or size and seals human waste into biodegradable polymer film. Waste is then emptied into an anaerobic digester where it is converted into natural gas or fertiliser – creating local jobs and revenue streams.

With support from the Environmental Challenge, Loowatt will address low access to quality sanitation in Madagascar’s capital city, Antananarivo, through investment in local manufacturing capacity for toilet refills.

Missing People is a UK charity focused on bringing missing children and adults back together with their families. The organisation uses Risk & Business Analytics tools, including Tracesmart, to help in the search. In the year, we took part in the UK National Crime Agency’s Child Rescue Alert Development Board – supported by partners such as Missing People and Amber Alert Europe, which works across 16 European countries to protect endangered missing children – to help spread awareness of the Child Rescue Alert service which notifies police forces and members of the public when a child goes missing in a certain location. We have been exploring with Missing People and Amber Alert Europe how our big data expertise can further their work.

2016 OBJECTIVES Achievement
Advance of science and health: Launch of Innovations in Health Information programme
  • Partnership between Elsevier Foundation and Amref Health established to support continuing education for nurses in East Africa through a scalable m-learning solution
  • Working with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to support research capacity building at their Niger research and training centre; in-kind access to ScienceDirect, Scopus, Embase and Clinical Key
Protection of society: New tools and support in the search for missing children with key partners National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), Missing People and Amber Alert Europe
  • NCMEC (US) now using new ADAM programme platform; use of new platform under consideration by Missing People (UK); developing missing persons police training model with Amber Alert Europe
Promotion of the rule of law and access to justice: Assist United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) in promoting awareness and support for Business for the Rule of Law
  • Hosted rule of law roundtable with UN Global Compact UK, continuing in 2017; highlighted throughout the year including at high- level panel, Peaceful, Just, and Inclusive Societies for Sustainable Development: Delivering on the 2030 Agenda, at the 2016 UN General Assembly
Fostering communities: Expand reach of World Travel Market’s World Responsible Tourism Day
  • WTM 2016: focus on responsible tourism in India and South Africa with community representatives invited to showcase their sustainable tourism offerings and impact
Universal, sustainable access to information: Establish process to ensure relief and other agencies gain access to relevant information during disasters and emergencies
  • Disaster relief priorities mapped with core business strengths and draft of RELX Group disaster relief strategy
  • New internal disasters and emergencies working group launched
  • Advance of science and health: expand “Research Without Borders”, which pairs African health and medical journals with our leading US/UK biomedical journals to build editorial skills through journal mentoring and training
  • Protection of society: help broaden reach of ADAM programme; new training programme on missing people for UK law enforcement
  • Promotion of the rule of law and access to justice: assist UNGC in embedding Business for the Rule of Law and work with UN Development Program and Member States to support reporting progress on SDGs
  • Fostering communities: World Travel Market (WTM) to convene travel industry roundtable for collaboration on responsible tourism key challenges, including antitrafficking initiatives
  • Universal, sustainable access to information: launch free access SDG Resource Centre

Use our products and expertise to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), among them:

  • SDG3: Good health and well-being
  • SDG4: Quality education
  • SDG10: Reduced inequalities
  • SDG13: Climate action
  • SDG16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
  • Including by creating an SDG Resource Centre

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