Sanoma is a major player in consumer media and Learning in Europe. In Finland and the Netherlands we are the number one and two media company respectively with a broad presence across multiple platforms.Our main markets in Learning are Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.
- Our approach to CSR
- Governance model and business practices
- Governance roles and responsibilities in CSR
- Strategy and value creation
- Economic impact on society
- Tax footprint
- Managing our environmental impact
- Supply chain
- Development as a success factor
Thanks to our strong brands, we command a leading local market position in nearly all parts of our media platforms: TV, radio, magazines, websites and mobile apps. We publish magazines and several leading newspapers, operate six successful learning companies, many TV networks and radio stations and have established a growing digital footprint in our core markets with our successful websites, apps and digital services. In 2015, Sanoma’s net sales totalled EUR 1.7 billion. Sanoma is a public company and listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange. Sanoma has more than 25,000 shareholders, the biggest being Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation (23.44%), Antti Herlin (11.04%), Robin Langenskiöld (7.54%), Rafaela Seppälä (6.31%) and Helsingin Sanomat Foundation (3.50%) owning 51.83% of Sanoma´s shares in total (December 2015).
"Thanks to our strong brands, we command a leading local market position in nearly all parts of our media platforms"
We contribute significantly to society by offering a wealth of inspiration, information, entertainment and education through a broad variety of means. We offer our advertisers the ability to reach targeted and mass audiences, assisting them in doing businesses in our territories. This is something our consumers and customers recognise, appreciate and have come to expect from us. We enable our customers to access the world and create infinite opportunities as a result. It’s what we focus on every day and something we vow to pursue relentlessly. It’s why we’re here today.
Our approach to corporate social responsibility
We serve our customers’ individual needs and create value for society by impacting millions of people every day with high-quality content so they can develop themselves and get more enjoyment from their lives. We take pride in providing quality content across all our media platforms and in educational material and solutions. Therefore we address responsibility from a media perspective: we honour journalistic ethics, freedom of speech and respect our audiences by acting in a trustworthy and transparent manner.
"We take pride in providing quality content across all our media platforms and in educational material and solutions"
We are and want to continue to be respected for the ethical way in which we conduct our business. Responsibility is embedded in all our business practices and the decisions we take. Our corporate social responsibility strategy aims to decrease our environmental impacts and develop and monitor our business practises to ensure that the day-to-day business creates a responsible impact. We strive to improve our economic, environmental and social performance and ensure that we act responsibly in all of our product and service offerings. Click here to read more about our performance in the Enabling responsibility section.
Governance model and business practices
Our actions are guided by the Sanoma Way values, our Corporate Governance Framework and our Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct guides our everyday activities by explaining our internal standards and ethical values as well as our legal obligations. Our business activities are subject to government regulations in the countries in which we operate. Clear roles, responsibilities and competences are crucial prerequisites for compliance and accountability. The implementation of good practices is ensured by Group-wide guidelines for reporting, appropriate approval procedures and internal control. To learn more about Corporate Governance at Sanoma please click here.
Governance roles and responsibilities in CSR:
- We have formed an Ethics & Compliance committee and working group that addresses ethical issues and creates guidelines (members from the Internal Audit, Risk management, CSR, HR and chaired by the Group Compliance Officer).
- Group Internal Audit evaluates the overall effectiveness of risk management processes.
- Sustainability issues are the responsibility of the Communications Director and CSR Manager
- We have a category management procurement model in use where we maximise the benefits across Sanoma to secure profitability and have firm requirements for our suppliers.
- Our certified newspaper printing plants have a coordinating team responsible for day-to-day improvements in health and safety and decreasing the environmental impact.
- Our privacy team has privacy champions who make sure that privacy is included in all products and operations.
"Our certified newspaper printing plants have a coordinating team responsible for day-to-day improvements in health and safety and decreasing the environmental impact"
Managing business risks is a core element in the daily responsibilities of Sanoma’s management. We have an annual Strategic Risk Management cycle coordinated by the Risk Management team, which reviews internal and external risks, reports on them and monitors progress in order to reduce vulnerability and threats.
CSR is related to corporate risk management in two ways: by providing intelligence about what those risks are and by offering effective means to respond to them. Our CSR risks have been assessed and no material CSR risks have been detected. Risk mitigation projects and processes are undergoing especially in sensitive processes like procurement and sales. Any material risks identified are reported to our Audit Committee and Board on a yearly basis and risk-mitigating actions are implemented to manage them. We are also implementing a Supplier Code of Conduct to emphasise the CSR standards we expect of third parties. Read more about our responsible business practises.
Strategy and value creation
This last year has been a challenging one in our proud history but we have made great strides in turning our performance around. Our strategic aspiration continues to be a market leader in consumer media and learning in our countries of operation and securing strong growth in digital media and new services. In 2016 we continue the work of increasing profitability to be able to present a healthy balance sheet.
We operate using a data-intensive business model that feeds us information about where our audiences are headed. We are also a very people-intense business, as content creation relies on our talented employees. As a media company at the forefront of both the broadcasting and publishing industries we have felt the direct impact of the increase of new devices. Our audiences come to expect on-demand content available across a variety of platforms - anytime and on any device. The industry’s transformation will demand new business models that are more complex and require different skills.
New media formats enable increasing personalisation of both content and advertising, which creates an ever-improving cycle. As we learn more about consumers’ preferences, we can serve these better and this plays to the benefit of a large multi-channel media company. It also requires us to become agile and fully focused on the demands of the consumers – as we go from ‘sending’ to ‘fulfilling the pull” of demand of the market.
Economic impact on society
During the course of the last three years, we have responded to fundamental changes in consumer behaviour by transforming ourselves into a smaller but more focused company, active in five core countries where we enjoy market-leading positions. As a result of the tough decisions we made and our strong focus on the consumer, our prospects for 2016 in terms of financial performance look promising.
Sanoma complies with all the applicable tax laws and regulations in its operating countries. We pay direct taxes on our earnings and property. We also influence the economies of our operating countries through indirect taxes, such as VAT, as well as the employment taxes and social security premiums that we collect on behalf of governments. All these taxes and tax-like payments contribute to the societies around us in local, regional and national levels.
Sanoma’s tax structure aims to serve the economic and commercial goals of the Group. Tax facilities are used if appropriate and in accordance with the law. Choices in taxation matters are made following the Group’s Corporate Governance Policy.
The Tax Strategy ensures that Sanoma as a Group is able to perform its business activities, to excel in risk management and overall compliance with the tax laws and regulations, and to share pro-active knowledge throughout the organisation. We also strive to ensure that Group companies have relevant knowledge, e.g. by following the tax legislation currently in force, seeking to ensure the tax treatment in advance and applying filing and payment obligations correctly. Each operating company is responsible for its own annual tax reporting and for timely and accurate tax filings and tax payments.
* The pictures include material taxes and duties divided by type. The outcome is structured using only the information from the core business units. To keep the figures comparable, the tax footprint is calculated using annual net sales.
Managing our environmental impact
The day-to-day management of our environmental impact is driven by principles in our Code of Conduct and our responsible business practises. We carefully assess all suppliers that we use and demand responsibility in the supply chain, as procurement plays an important part in managing our environmental impact. In our production sites, we apply the Precautionary Principle in order to protect the environment. We evaluate environmental risks that may cause harm or damage the environment and mitigate them using the Precautionary Principle to prevent environmental degradation. Read more about our management approach on environmental impacts here.
Our most significant environmental impact results from our use of energy (digital services, production, housing), print production and use of printing materials, distribution of products, transportation and purchasing. We focus on efficiency in the use of materials and energy and to demand responsibility also down the supply chain. We pay special attention to the use of efficient logistics and packaging, as well as minimising waste and recycling as much as possible. Most of our printers are located in Europe, close to our home markets, thus limiting transport distances and therefore emissions. We also look at the use of company cars and transportation in general in order to reduce the environmental impact of our operations. Video conferencing and online meetings have reduced the need for travel between offices. Sanoma offices are conveniently located for commuting.
Our real estate management team in Finland and the Group procurement team regularly monitor our energy consumption. Last year, our energy consumption was about 44,230 MWh, which is about 160 Terajoules. Our energy consumption decreased by 20% in 2015, mainly due to divestments leading to the reduction of production sites and office space. We have continued to centralise our operations, consolidate our operations to main locations and increase the use of leased space. The improvement in energy efficiency is best reached through modernisation. Nowadays, energy efficiency is one of the prime considerations in the design of new offices and the selection of equipment. We manage our real estates by investing in high-tech automation and the efficient use of space.
The media industry produces greenhouse gases directly through energy use, transportations among others and indirectly through the use of digital media. We aim to reduce emissions by increasing energy efficiency thereby leading to lower consumption levels. Our scope 1 GHG emissions are calculated from our own energy use. We have estimated that our direct electricity use contributed to 10,530 tons of CO2 equivalent in 2015. We also monitor emissions from company cars and print product deliveries in Finland and in the Netherlands.
"Our contribution as a media company is to raise awareness about climate change and report on the opportunities and possible failures"
Climate change is generally seen as an economic risk because of the increased probability of major disruptions globally. For example, there is a possible financial risk to our operations in relation to the possible increased costs of energy. Finally, there is an indirect physical and regulatory risk that can affect sourcing and costs. The more the business moves towards digital, the more we need to think of ways to impact energy efficiency.
Media sources have an important role to inform the public about climate change. Our contribution as a media company is to raise awareness about climate change and report on the opportunities and possible failures. As part of this discussion, it is crucial that media companies are objective and impartial. We as an industry and as a company share the Global Climate commitment made in Paris in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2015 to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase. We will continue to manage our impact and develop our products and services to contribute to this effort.
Our responsible business practices include the supply chain. The goal is to evaluate and set requirements to ensure that environmental and social impacts are managed properly also down the supply chain. We work with reputable and qualified business partners that adhere to international standards on human rights, labour conditions and anti-corruption, and who manage their environmental impact in the best possible way. We treat our suppliers in a fair manner and secure equal requirements for all.
The supply chain management involves the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing, procurement and logistics. The day-to-day management of our supply chain is managed by our Group Procurement team with input from our CSR and risk management team.
We are developing a Supplier's Code of Conduct that contains elements from the UN Global Compact, International Labour Organization guidelines, and our own Code of Conduct, and sets out the standards we expect suppliers to apply in order to respect human rights and labour practices, preserve the environment and uphold ethical standards by combating corruption, fraud, and bribery. In the future we expect our suppliers to meet the standards by signing our Suppliers’ Code of Conduct. Read more about how we manage the supply chain.
Responsible paper use
Due to printing requirements, primary fibre is pre-requisite for many paper grades. And for quality reasons many paper grades do not contain any recycled fibre at all. Of all the paper used in 2015 about 27% was made from recycled fibre. Recycled fibre is most commonly used in newsprint. 68% of the produced newsprint was made of recycled fibre in 2015. Read more about our responsible paper procurement principles here.
Development as a success factor
Our people have the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit to make the roll-out of new initiatives successful. We employ approximately 7,100 people in addition to a large number of independent professionals. We aim to create a working environment that inspires our employees, supports creativity, values their diversity, embraces their views and respects their individual rights.
During 2015 Sanoma went through significant organisational changes, including the appointment of a new CEO Susan Duinhoven. Our industry is changing rapidly which requires us to be agile and carefully manage our cost base, rethinking the way we work in order to find the most efficient and effective solutions. During 2015 this has meant divesting non-core parts of our business, discontinuing some product lines and general reductions in the number of employees. As difficult as this has been, these measures have been essential in order to ensure we deliver on our promise and return to sustained profitability.
To ensure we keep our remaining employees motivated we need to keep engagement levels high by visible and transparent leadership, clarity on the direction of the company, open communication and focusing on learning opportunities in order to create an atmosphere that attracts and retains the employees with the right mind-set. We also conducted an annual Group-wide Employee Engagement Survey (EES) to find out what our strengths are as an employer and what can be improved. The results for the latest EES will be released shortly and every manager will discuss the results with his/her team and the team will come up with an action plan to address improvement areas properly. Based on previous EES results we can say that our employees have high engagement levels and they feel that they have opportunities to develop their careers within Sanoma. We encourage managers to empower their employees, and provide them feedback on an on-going basis. The Group leadership is more visible and transparent through open communication and, for example, weekly blog posts from the CEO.
"Our employees feel that they have opportunities to develop their careers within Sanoma"
Providing development opportunities for our employees is one of the key factors for success, which is ensured with providing different training programmes. These trainings are focused primarily on developing leadership, new media knowhow, mobile journalism and digital excellence. In Finland a new kind of training for managers was organised in order to develop leadership skills. In the Netherlands several internal and external training sessions were offered to employees, but the most important focus area is the New Media Know How programme. Via this programme employees can get an understanding of their current knowledge level about different aspects. The second part of the programme is blended learning, a combination of classroom learning with a brand new online learning platform where employees can follow lesson plans on all the different topics. The New Media Know How programme is key in keeping our employees future-proof and the programme is scalable to all parts of Sanoma.
Read more about CSR in The Core of CSR.