Goals and Achievements

2015 Achievements

Significant 2015 highlights by topic area are listed below. To learn more, go to the chapters listed in parentheses for each item.

Economics, Clients and Product Innovation

  • Nielsen generated $804 million in free cash flow and returned over $1 billion to shareholders. (Our Company)
  • As part of our Total Audience Measurement initiative, we launched Digital Ad Ratings in 17 countries. (Our Clients)
  • Nielsen was granted a record number of patents in 2015 (131 in the U.S., 220 worldwide), leading the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPOA) to rank Nielsen among the top 300 companies in the U.S. for patents granted. (Our Company)
  • Key acquisitions and partnerships continue to add to Nielsen’s portfolio of innovation across the board. (Our Company)
  • Our Nielsen Innovate incubator near Tel Aviv is thriving with 14 technology-based start-ups working on promising new capabilities that could become part of our future product portfolio. (Our Company)
  • We launched an internal digital enablement strategy to make Nielsen a more digital enterprise, transforming our technical architecture and product sophistication to enable new levels of speed, flexibility, integration and openness to help our clients win. (Our Company)
  • In 2016, we plan to use technology to drive more connection within Nielsen, with both clients and consumers. We are introducing new collaboration technology and improving our associates’ digital experience at work. Our new technology platforms will enable deeper insights into consumers to enable client success. (Our Clients)
  • Nielsen was named “Best in Category” for Demand Data Analytics for the second year in a row by Consumer Goods Technology Magazine. (Our Clients)



  • We assigned official responsibility for Nielsen’s Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability programs to the Board of Directors Nomination and Corporate Governance Committee. (Our Company)
  • We created and publicly shared Nielsen’s Supplier Code of Conduct. (Our Company)
  • We appointed the company’s first Chief Privacy Officer and updated our global privacy policy. (Our Company)
  • We established a new governance structure for privacy at Nielsen, integrating functions including Legal, Government Affairs, Security, Audit, the office of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the Chief Privacy Officer through a privacy steering committee.  (Stakeholder Engagement)
  • We launched a new company-wide security and privacy-focused employee training.  (Stakeholder Engagement)
  • We improved our enterprise risk management (ERM) process by identifying regional risk owners, establishing an ERM Leadership Committee and holding formal meetings in early 2016 to discuss top risks and mitigation plans. (Our Company)

Supply Chain

  • We achieved 8% of our U.S. sourceable spend with diverse suppliers, representing a 14% year-over-year increase and a growth of 37% over the past two years. (Our Company)
  • We launched our Diverse Leadership Network (DLN) Supplier Diversity Competition event, where Nielsen’s DLN and Supplier Diversity teams collaborate to provide pro bono consulting to diverse business owners. (Our Company)

Sustainability Reporting

Diversity and Human Rights

  • We created and publicly shared our global Human Rights Guidelines. (Our Company)
  • We appointed a Chief Diversity Officer as a standalone position reporting directly to our CEO. (Our Company)
  • We created an internal Diversity Council in Europe, expanding beyond North America. (Our People)
  • We launched a new diversity training program for managers. (Our People)
  • Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) grew into new areas around the world. (Our People)
  • Nielsen hosted its second enERGize: ERG Experience Week in spring 2015. ERG Experience Week is a company-wide program to share the value and impact of our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). In 2015, we more than doubled the number of locations that participated in ERG Experience Week with 6,500 employees in 57 countries participating in 86 events—10 of which included client engagements—either in-person or virtually. As a result, ERG membership increased by 3.5% and the number of associates who follow our ERGs through internal social media increased by 14%. (Our People)


Awards and Recognition

  • Nielsen was named No. 42 on the DiversityInc Top 50 (up from No. 50 in 2014), a distinguished list that ranks public and private companies on their commitment to workplace diversity. (Our People)
  • Nielsen was ranked No. 5 on the Diversity MBA 2015 50 Out Front Best Places for Women & Diverse Managers to Work (up from No. 18 in 2014). (Our People)
  • Nielsen was ranked No. 22 in CEO Magazine‘s 2015 Best Companies for Leaders, an award recognizing companies that excel in leadership development. (Our People)
  • Nielsen earned 100% on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)’s 2015 Corporate Equality Index for the second consecutive year. (Our People)
  • Nielsen’s technology team won an Emmy Award for its innovative work on the watermarking technology used in our audience measurement system. (Our Clients)
  • Our Investor Relations team earned a No. 1 Institutional Investor ranking among 86 companies in the business, education and professional services segment. (Our Company)
  • Our Supplier Diversity team was named one of the Best of the Decade for supplier diversity (MBN USA), one of the Top 101 Supplier Diversity Programs (WE USA) and one of the WE USA Corporations of the Year for Supplier Diversity (WE USA). (Our Company)
  • The Nielsen Green Team and Talent Engagement and Development team collaborated on an award-winning program on environmental education. Its creative design and innovative technology won it the Best Blended Learning Solution award at mLearnCon2015. (Our Environment)

Community Engagement

  • In November 2015, we established the Nielsen Foundation, Inc. for charitable, educational, scientific and literary purposes. (Our Communities)
  • We donated $10.5 million in data, insights and pro bono volunteer services for nonprofits in our priority cause areas through Nielsen Cares, our global corporate social responsibility program. Nielsen associates around the globe also volunteered more than 100,000 hours in 2014 and 2015 in both skills-based and traditional volunteering. (Our Communities)
  • We launched a Dedicated Volunteer Time policy for all full-time and part-time associates, granting them 24 hours of discretionary volunteer time each year. (Our People)
  • We deployed 22,000 Nielsen associates to volunteer through more than 1,400 projects in over 800 community organizations where we could make a difference for Nielsen Global Impact Day. This annual global day of service covers all of our regions in more than 90 countries. (Our Communities)
  • We played a leading role in Project 8, a data collaboration platform built by The Demand Institute in collaboration with the United Nations Foundation, the U.S. Department of State, Accenture and Salesforce.org, focused first on the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal #2 – “Zero Hunger.” (Our Communities)
  • Based on external benchmarking through True Impact, Nielsen ranked in the top 25% of companies in individual skill development through volunteerism and in the top 25% of companies based on the overall employee participation rate in our Nielsen Cares programs. Based on our internal surveys of employees, 82% of Nielsen associates said that they are proud of Nielsen’s involvement in the community and social causes and 95% of Nielsen associates who had volunteered in 2015 said that volunteerism is a core or positive part of their overall job satisfaction. (Our Communities)
  • We increased the U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement “You Matter” Database by 65% in 2015, reaching a total of 123,585 contacts and further growing the Nielsen community.  (Stakeholder Engagement)
  • More than 30,000 employees participated in Earth Week in 2015, a week of activities to promote green awareness, impact and advocacy. (Our Environment)

Employee Development

  • We established a People Analytics team to more holistically collect, analyze and respond to associate data, especially employee retention and satisfaction. (Our People)
  • We centralized our global Talent Engagement and Development team to more effectively retain associates through a range of ongoing career development opportunities. (Our People)
  • We deployed the biannual Nielsen Voice 2015 survey and achieved a 98% response rate, our highest ever. (Our People)
  • The 2015 Nielsen Voice survey showed that the vast majority of our employees are clear about ethical expectations. (Our Company)
  • We launched a global Compliance & Integrity survey with a 70% employee response rate. (Our Clients)
  • Our Integrity in Action “Speak Up” campaign and poster contest led to 130 poster submissions from employees around the world, along with hundreds of votes and comments on Yammer, our internal social network. (Our Company)
  • The MENAP (Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan) Integrity Council initiated a “Leading with Integrity” online Manager Portal and training, as well as expanded regional Integrity in Action efforts. (Our Company)
  • The first-ever Integrity in Action award was given to an associate after 120 nominations were received. (Our Company)
  • We launched our global myLearning Network platform and our Manager Excellence training program in 2015. (Our People)
  • The average hours of e-learning per associate increased in 2015 to 4.8 hours, up from 1.4 hours in 2014. (Our People)

Looking ahead: short-term goals

  • Beginning in the first quarter of 2016, our Vendor Management team launched a new Vendor ESG program with our strategic suppliers, representing up to a third of Nielsen spend with suppliers. These suppliers will be surveyed on a variety of ESG issues material to both Nielsen’s and the suppliers’ businesses. By the end of 2016, we plan to analyze the data collected and initiate corrective action plans when the surveyed suppliers do not meet Nielsen’s standards. (Our Company)
  • In 2016, we plan to increase our average training hours per associate by 15%, up to 26.9 hours per associate. (Our People)
  • By the end of 2016, we plan to certify all employees to our updated Code of Conduct and we plan to complete Code of Conduct training for employees in all regions.(Our Company)
  • In 2016, we plan to create additional Global Inclusion Councils, which will represent our global view of diversity and inclusion. These Councils will help to leverage overall learning from associates around the globe on a continual basis, share best practices, exchange knowledge of cultural nuances, enhance the experiences of our Employee Resource Groups and increase mentoring and professional development opportunities. (Our People)
  • In 2016, we plan to continue integrating client satisfaction and relationship management systems on a global, cross-functional scale by expanding a comprehensive Customer Relationship Management approach. (Our Clients)

Looking ahead: long-term goals

  • By 2018, our Vendor ESG program, which evaluates suppliers on a variety of ESG issues, will cover up to 50% of total spend with suppliers, up from more than a third of our spend in 2016. (Our Company)
  • By the end of 2019, we plan to upgrade our data center storage to all-flash for energy reduction and enhanced efficiency. (Our Environment)
  • By 2020, we plan to reduce our global energy use per square foot of facility space by 5%. (Our Environment)
  • By 2020, we plan to send virtually none of our global e-waste to landfills, continuing to focus on the opportunity to recycle and refurbish our e-waste wherever possible. (Our Environment)
  • By the end of 2020, we plan to mobilize our associates to volunteer a cumulative total of at least 300,000 hours in the communities where we live and work around the world. (Our Communities)
  • By the end of 2020, we plan to donate a cumulative total of at least $50 million through pro bono projects that leverage skills-based volunteering and in-kind gifts of Nielsen data and services for nonprofits in our priority cause areas. This maintains our annual goal to donate at least $10 million each year through skills-based volunteering projects and in-kind giving. (Our Communities)
  • By 2020, we strive to meet the industry average of 32.4 training hours per associate, up from 23.4 training hours in 2015. (Our People)