As a leading global information, data and measurement company, operating in over 100 countries, Nielsen’s community impact is a key priority Tweet This!: providing companies, nonprofit organizations, governments, the general public and a range of stakeholders with valuable information to successfully address the world’s most significant challenges.
This case study is based on the 2015 Global Responsibility Report by Nielsen published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate that CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly is achieved by identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment and stakeholders and by measuring, managing and changing.
Sharing its expertise in data collection and analysis with governments, nonprofit organizations and other stakeholders, to create value for society as a whole, is a top priority for Nielsen. In order to achieve this challenging goal Nielsen took action to:
- collaborate, in a number of ways, with universities
- advance UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Project 8 (an online data collaboration platform)
- help Good World Solutions (a nonprofit social enterprise aimed at improving factory workers’ lives worldwide) with survey design
- enter into a strategic alliance with Special Olympics
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With this case study you will see:
- Which are the most important impacts (material issues) Nielsen has identified;
- How Nielsen proceeded with stakeholder engagement, and
- What actions were taken by Nielsen to create value for society as a whole through its research expertise
What are the material issues the company has identified?
In its 2015 Global Responsibility Report Nielsen identified a range of material issues, such as product and service responsibility, data privacy, security and integrity, market responsiveness and proactivity, employee relations, business ethics and integrity. Among these, as a leading global information, data and measurement company, operating in more than 100 countries, creating value for society as a whole stands out as a key material issue for Nielsen.
Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:
Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.
Key stakeholder groups Nielsen engages with:
|Stakeholder Group||Method of engagement|
|· Nielsen Voice employee satisfaction survey
· Regular employee interactions with managers and senior leaders
· Check-Ins between managers and associates
· Social media platforms such as Yammer, Nielsen’s internal social network
|Clients||· Client and industry committees
· Data Science Board
|Research panelists||· Panelist privacy FAQs|
|· Nielsen Cares
· U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement team
|Public and policymakers||· Digital IQ website|
|Shareholders||· Investor Relations and SEC Reporting teams|
How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues
Nielsen used its expertise in data collection and analysis to collect stakeholder feedback through surveys, focus groups, social media platforms, interviews and meetings. In total, more than 30 interviews were conducted and over 200 internal and external stakeholders were engaged.
In its 2015 Global Responsibility Report Nielsen reports that it took the following actions for creating value for society as a whole through its research expertise:
- Collaborating with universities
- Nielsen works together with academic institutions in a number of ways, including:
- assisting with curriculum design
- offering dissertation and research grants
- providing research findings and online education regarding market analytics
- engaging with universities through guest lectures, research collaborations, office visits, academic internships and professional development workshops
- Advancing UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Project 8
- Nielsen played a key role in the creation of Project 8, an online data collaboration platform intended to help researchers across different sectors share, compare, analyze and discuss data related to sustainable development.
- Helping Good World Solutions with survey design
- Nielsen data scientists assist Good World Solutions – a nonprofit organization aimed at improving the lives of factory workers worldwide by polling them on their working conditions, through their mobile phones – in designing survey questions and a range of related matters, using Nielsen’s expertise in survey design to help factory workers across the globe report about their working conditions – also delivering valuable data, regarding their sourcing practices, to multinational corporations.
- Entering into a strategic alliance with Special Olympics
- In October 2014 Nielsen entered into a strategic alliance with Special Olympics, to help the organization gain a deeper understanding of people with intellectual disabilities and their influence in communities (e.g. as consumers), through research, data and insights provided, assisting Special Olympics in creating more successful programs.
Which GRI indicators/Standards have been addressed?
The GRI indicators/Standards addressed in this case are:
1) G4-EC8: Significant indirect economic impacts, including the extent of impacts – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 203-2 Significant indirect economic impacts
2) G4-15: List externally developed economic, environmental and social charters, principles, or other initiatives to which the organization subscribes or which it endorses. – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 102-12 External initiatives
4) G4-SO6: Total value of political contributions by country and recipient/beneficiary – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 415-1 Political contributions
1) This case study is based on published information by Nielsen, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:
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