A Message from Mitch Barns
Mitch Barns, CEO, Nielsen
Welcome to our second Global Responsibility Report, where we explore how we are expanding what it means to create value as a company.
It’s through our holistic approach to cultivating a corporate responsibility and sustainability mindset that we create—and multiply—value for our company, our people, our shareholders and our world. We recognize that to do it right, value creation must be collaborative, inclusive and focused on the long term.
Today, we see this happening in areas in and beyond our company, such as our commitment to investing in meaningful development opportunities for our associates, addressing the risks related to climate change in our own global operations, or using our powerful, world-class data for good. I’m excited to share these results from 2016 and 2017 as we remain focused on our forward-looking strategy. Among the highlights, we:
- Embarked on our Path to 2020 plan, a multi-year transformation focused on investing in innovation to drive growth and efficiency.
- Enhanced the reach of our Compliance & Integrity program with the launch of an Integrity Ambassador program; Integrity Ambassadors serve as “diplomats” of integrity in our offices around the world.
- Completed our first global climate risk assessment, which looked at climate-related physical and transition risks for Nielsen in the short and long term.
- Expanded the reach of our supply chain sustainability assessments, covering 40% of our spend in 2017, up from 30% in 2016, the first year of the program.
- Launched a new, multi-year strategy to strengthen employee engagement.
- Were named one of the Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles®, which recognizes companies that are committed to improving their employees’ physical health, productivity, overall quality of life, financial security, and emotional and social connectedness.
- Established the Nielsen Global Support Fund, through which associates can apply for grants in times of personal hardship or natural disaster, as well as donate to fellow associates in need. In 2017, the Global Support Fund made grants to associates in 12 countries.
- Logged 170,000 volunteer hours and delivered $23.1 million in pro bono work and skills-based volunteering through Nielsen Cares since 2016.
- Saw a more than 300 increase in the number of offices being represented by Green Teams since we launched Green Teams globally in mid-2013.
As detailed in our inaugural value creation model, our mission as a company is to fuse data, science and the talents of our people to provide measurement and improvement for the clients and markets we serve, ultimately creating value and yielding greater prosperity for all. In my letter to shareholders in Nielsen’s Annual Report, I highlighted the efficiency implications of the productivity initiatives that we’re undertaking through our Path to 2020. When you consider these in the full context of our value proposition, it’s clear that this focus on the long-term sustainability of Nielsen adds a necessary dimension to our overall business strategy.
I hope you are as energized as I am by the possibilities ahead, which include refining, and in some cases, redefining, our understanding of how we create value. It’s only through consistent measurement, learning and engagement with a variety of stakeholders that we’ll continue to deliver value in the fast-changing world and diverse communities in which we operate.
A Message from Crystal Barnes
CRYSTAL BARNES, SVP, GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY & SUSTAINABILITY, Nielsen
& EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NIELSEN FOUNDATION
In 1923, 26-year-old Art Nielsen started a business with the revolutionary idea of using data to understand consumer behavior. Almost 90 years later, a bright young associate revolutionized Nielsen with his suggestion of formalizing our commitment to service, including an annual day of service. This idea quickly led to the creation of a robust corporate responsibility program that reflects the spirit of stewardship ingrained in our company and a commitment to making a difference throughout the year and around the world.
Over the years, our approach to managing Global Responsibility & Sustainability at Nielsen—including our environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy—has always focused on long-term solutions in areas that drive continuous improvement and value for our business and our stakeholders. In fact, our priority ESG issues coincide with our critical business issues, including diversity representation and inclusion; data privacy, security and integrity; future-focused leadership and innovation; and others included in our non-financial materiality assessment, conducted once every two years. We also strive to use the assets that set Nielsen apart—our world-class data, our science and innovation, and our people—to make a lasting positive impact on the world within and beyond our organization.
Since 2016, when our first Nielsen Global Responsibility Report was published, we’ve expanded our scope and streamlined our efforts through the three pillars of our Global Responsibility & Sustainability platform. The three pillars include: Nielsen Cares, our global volunteer employee engagement program, through which we leverage our time, data assets and expertise to uniquely affect change in our communities; Nielsen Green, our environmental sustainability program, where we continue to harness the power of our employees and identify innovative practices to minimize our impact on the environment; and our Responsible Practices and External Reporting Practice, which furthers our commitment to continuous improvement across our business and increased transparency with our investors, clients and all stakeholder groups.
In each of these areas, our multi-stakeholder lens has challenged us to think about the comprehensive nature of what corporate citizenship means through the ESG factors that matter most both to our long-term business success, and as it relates to making a positive social and environmental impact.
We believe that one action can be a multiplier—a multiplier for our business, our clients, our associates and our communities. By listening to our stakeholders, we will continue to unlock new opportunities and create strong relationships that pay future dividends in the inevitable times of challenge and prosperity to come.
The following are some of Nielsen’s key accomplishments and areas of progress since our last report was published in 2016, organized by report section.