Nielsen's 2022 ESG Report: ESG Highlights and Goals

Aug 15, 2022 9:00 AM ET
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ESG highlights and goals

We know that setting ambitious, yet achievable, targets for our ESG performance is important in order to drive accountability, ownership and continuous improvement for Nielsen and our stakeholders. In 2021, following the sale of Nielsen Global Connect and our transition to a media-focused company, we worked to consolidate ESG data and establish relevant baselines for our new operational footprint. From this new foundation, we have now established or updated a range of new 2024 goals around our key ESG focus areas. With these forward-looking goals, along with our ongoing initiatives, we want to deepen our commitment to our clients, communities and stakeholders in order to consistently improve our ESG performance.

We plan to regularly evaluate our progress toward our goals, and continue our due diligence work to identify, establish and update additional targets that drive Nielsen’s progress as a responsible and sustainable company.

Governance - Highlights of the past year

  • Achieved 50% female representation and 20% racial/ethnic diversity representation across our Board of Directors.
  • Held 8 Board meetings in 2021, with all directors attending at least 75% of the meetings.
  • Updated Board Committee charters to expand and clarify the committees’ roles with regard to ESG matters.
  • Initiated an update to Nielsen’s Code of Conduct, published in May 2022, with the latest foundational guidance to help everyone at Nielsen, including our subsidiaries and affiliates and the joint ventures that we control, uphold Nielsen’s ethical standards.
  • Required Nielsen’s Board and all employees (except where not permitted by local laws) to annually certify that they understand and will abide by our Code of Conduct.
  • Connected the Board with an outside consultant to provide continuing education to the Board and senior management on diversity, equity and inclusion in December 2021.
  • Adopted a Director Continuing Education Policy to provide our directors with articles, information and presentations relating to our business, relevant industries, competitors and corporate governance and regulatory issues.

Governance - 2024 goals

  • Ensure that >80% of Nielsen policies are up-to-date based on our policy framework cadence.
  • Improve average days-to-close Integrity Reports to 40 days.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - Highlights of the past year

  • Maintained diversity of our leadership team; 4 out of 9 Nielsen Executive Committee leaders are women, and 3 out of 9 Executive Committee leaders are racially/ ethnically diverse
  • Launched Gracenote Inclusion Analytics, a unique analytics tool that matches a cohesive view of on-screen diversity with viewership data.
  • Expanded our Diverse Intelligence Series to include thought leadership around media representation and audiences of additional communities, including Native Americans, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities and women over 50 years of age.
  • Added two new leaders, representing Native Americans and people with disabilities, to our External Advisory Council.
  • Started the Diverse-Owned Media Equity program, a first-of-its-kind offering, to accelerate the growth and impact of diverse-owned media businesses.
  • Launched two new Business Resource Groups (BRGs) including Believe (our inter-faith BRG) and NATIV (our Native American, Tribal and Indigenous Voices BRG), bringing our BRG total to 13 in 2021.
  • Accelerated business diversity efforts in the U.S. to alleviate the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on diverse businesses, hitting $104 million in spend with diverse suppliers and 15% of our U.S. sourceable spend.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - 2024 goals

  • Achieve 46% of women represented in global leadership.
  • Achieve 5.2% representation for U.S. Black talent in leadership.
  • Achieve 6.0% representation for U.S. Black mid-level talent.
  • Achieve 5.9% representation for U.S. Hispanic talent in leadership.
  • Maintain 15% of our U.S. supplier spend with certified diverse-owned businesses, with 18% as a stretch goal.

Human Capital - Highlights of the past year

  • Announced our company values of Inclusion, Courage and Growth, which guide everything we do and power what we call our “Growth Culture,” a key enabler of our strategic business goals and our purpose.
  • Launched a new “Smart Work” framework to guide our approach to remote and virtual work, as part of our philosophy of providing flexibility for purposeful and productive work locations.
  • Began offering a new Emotional Health Support program to all employees globally, and expanded paid sick benefits to part-time employees in the U.S.
  • Pivoted to a new employee listening and continuous feedback strategy with a new survey tool designed to improve our employee engagement, experience and overall culture.
  • Achieved a participation rate of 78% of our employees accessing our Learning Management System and Degreed platforms, completing over 73,000 learning activities.
  • Created a new Chief Talent Officer role in early 2022 to maximize our approach to how we attract, grow and retain talent.

Human Capital - 2024 goal

  • Track and increase our Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) from “good” to “great” according to external benchmarks.

Environment - Highlights of the past year

  • Engaged more than 6,400 employees across 17 countries to organize, participate and lead Earth Week events to advocate for environmental justice.
  • 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 GHG emissions.
  • Switched to only recycled or Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper product options in our U.S. purchasing channels.

Environment - 2024 goals

  • Reduce our on-premises application server footprint to 10%.
  • Reduce our business travel spend by 25% from our 2019 pre-COVID baseline, and implement a travel policy that will maintain the reduced travel emissions.
  • Ensure that all of our e-waste managed through our field operations team is diverted from landfills and is recycled, refurbished or reused.

Data Privacy and Security - Highlights of the past year

  • Facilitated training and education events throughout Privacy Awareness Month in January and Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October.
  • Updated our Cybersecurity Policy in April 2021.
  • Updated our Global Privacy Policy in January 2022.

Data Privacy and Security - 2024 goals

  • Ensure that 100% of eligible employees are held accountable to complete required privacy training.
  • Track and grow Nielsen's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework Maturity score internally.

Communities - Highlights of the past year

  • Executed Nielsen Global Impact Day in October 2021, with over 3,000 employees in 40 countries participating, logging over 9,700 hours of volunteer time.
  • Donated an estimated $23.6 million of pro bono and in-kind data, products and services.
  • Provided more than $1.97 million in grants to 49 non-profit organizations through the Nielsen Foundation, a separate private foundation.

Communities - 2024 goals

  • Increase employee participation in community-oriented programs to 30%.
  • Contribute $30 million in total in-kind value for pro bono data donations, public reports, and other support for organizations and topics that are powering a better media future for all people.
  • Grant $6 million by the Nielsen Foundation, a private foundation originally funded by Nielsen, to support educational access and persistence, economic mobility and well-being, and representation in media and technology.

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