Nielsen 2022 ESG Report: A Message From Our CEO

Nielsen’s 2022 ESG report includes highlights from the last year, new 2024 goals, and refreshed lens on ESG issues as a media-focused company
Jul 21, 2022 9:00 AM ET
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A message from our CEO

At Nielsen, we like to say: Audience is everything.

Every day, we work to provide insights into where the media industry is going, how audience behavior is changing and how we all must adapt to continue to thrive.

We recognize that change is constant, not just in our industry but around the world. In 2021, as the globe grappled with the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people began to rethink how they live and work. In the United States, as in many other parts of the world, there was renewed focus on systemic racism and the existing disparities among people of color. The United Nations continued to sound an alarm about climate change, and in the wake of countless news stories about vaccinations and elections in the U.S., we saw a rising demand for truth and integrity in the media.

At Nielsen, we went through significant change as well, as we completed the sale of Nielsen Global Connect (now NielsenIQ) and emerged as a rebranded, media-focused company intent on helping to power a better media future for all people.

Our reorganization did not impact our long-standing core values of diversity, equity and inclusion, global responsibility and sustainability, data privacy and security, innovation and improving citizenship through positive engagement. We did, however, review our existing environmental, social and governance (ESG) focus areas, considering systemic issues impacting society at large, future generations and our natural ecosystems

Ultimately, we embraced six key ESG areas, which we will detail at length in the 2022 Nielsen ESG Report that follows. At a high level, our ESG strategy going forward will prioritize:

  • Societal trust in media—People’s perceptions of the societal impacts created or amplified by the media and advertising ecosystem in which Nielsen operates.
     
  • Climate change and environment—Climate change and other environmental factors such as waste management and energy management, especially as they relate to Nielsen and the media and advertising industries’ roles.
     
  • Fair and functioning media ecosystem—The impacts and activities of Nielsen and other industry stakeholders such as media producers, distributors and advertisers, and how we all contribute to or detract from a healthy media industry.
     
  • Social inclusion—Nielsen’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion within its businesses, and the company’s influence over media and advertising content related to diverse audiences, representation and overall inclusion.
     
  • Human capital management—The impacts of Nielsen’s operations and culture on its employees, contractors and suppliers and its ability to support, enable and empower its people.
     
  • Ethical governance and business integrity—The internal and external-facing impacts of Nielsen’s governance and approach to business integrity.

Recent achievements

I am proud of our ESG achievements in the last year. A few highlights include starting a Diverse-Owned Media Equity program, a first-of-its-kind offering to accelerate the growth and impact of diverse-owned media businesses. On our Board of Directors, we achieved 50% female representation and 20% racial and ethnic diversity representation. We celebrated our eighth annual Earth Week across 17 countries, encouraging education and awareness for environmental justice. We continued our progress to identify science-based, long-term emissions reductions goals, through an evolution of our data collection process and a full supply chain assessment of our greenhouse gas emissions. We accelerated business diversity efforts and reached 15% of U.S. sourceable spending with diverse-owned businesses. Despite the ongoing pandemic, over 3,000 employees across 40 countries volunteered on Nielsen Global Impact Day in October 2021, logging more than 9,700 hours of volunteer time.

New goals for 2024

We have established or updated a range of new goals for 2024 around our key ESG focus areas. With these forward-looking goals, along with our ongoing initiatives, we want to deepen our commitment to our employees, clients, the communities we serve and additional stakeholders, in order to consistently improve our ESG performance.

These goals include achieving, by 2024:

  • 46% of women represented in global leadership
     
  • 5.2% representation for Black talent in leadership in the U.S.
     
  • 5.9% representation for Hispanic talent in leadership in the U.S.
     
  • Reduce our on-premises application server footprint to 10%
     
  • Reduce our business travel spend by 25% from our 2019 pre-COVID baseline
     
  • Ensure that every eligible employee is held accountable to complete required privacy training
     
  • Increase employee participation in community-oriented programs to 30%
     
  • Track and increase our Employee Net Promoter Score from “good” to “great,” according to external benchmarks

Looking forward, as we prepare to celebrate our 100th year in business next year, I am energized by the bright future that awaits. We remain committed to innovation and measurement integrity in ESG as we bring the industry forward to capture and reflect the changing face of the audience at large.

David Kenny
Chief Executive Officer
Nielsen

To learn more, download the 2022 Nielsen ESG Report here.