Our social impact is considerable. We have the power to raise awareness with our content, ramp up education with our learning solutions and provide work and prosperity in our operating countries.

Both media and learning have a vital role in promoting democracy. Through media and learning solutions, Sanoma participates in producing and disseminating information and knowledge. The ability to think critically, as well as being able to read and write, is considered a skill needed to participate in democratic life. In addition to securing literacy, and critical thinking, education also prepares individuals to take an active role and to participate in society.

Educating, informing and strengthening democracy being the “watchdog” of those who all benefit society. Some of the impacts are out of our reach. Recognising this, we focus on increasing the positive impacts that media has on the individual. By reflecting and fostering diversity in society we are able to facilitate understanding, debate and social cohesion by offering multiple platforms for comment, participation, content creation and interaction.

What makes our CSR efforts unique is the value we add to society. We have identified that we add value to society in three core ways, otherwise known as ‘impacts’; through our content (societal impact), learning solutions (leaning impact) and by the innovative use of data (Data and privacy impact). 

"What makes our CSR efforts unique is the value we add to society"

Societal impact

We impact the society with our content (print, online, learning material, radio or TV) affecting attitudes, knowledge, actions and ideas. We strive to influence the content impact, also known as ‘brainprint’, by applying high ethical standards, best-in-class journalistic principles and continuous interaction with consumers to ensure high quality and highly focused content creation. We wish to contribute in building a big picture that consists of diverse perspectives. Read more about raising awareness.

Learning impact

The target of modern education is to develop children for their future role in society. Developing children best through education means maximising learning impact: the best learning outcomes are obtained with pupils who are engaged to learn and teachers who can work efficiently. We believe that high-quality learning resources are indispensable to this. Learning results achieved with our resources are high, giving teachers, pupils and society immediate and enduring value. We have decades of experience and strong roots in some of the best educational systems in the world, such as Finland. Our methodologies are based on a profound understanding of teachers and pupils, as well as unrivalled expertise in instructional design. Our learning methodologies - multichannel, print and digital – help to maximise teachers’ time and attention for individual pupils. By automating workflows and creating dashboards we give them more time to teach. By integrating digital technology into our methodologies, we offer them an effective personalised learning path. This, in turn, empowers the teacher to achieve the full learning potential of each pupil.

"Our learning methodologies - multichannel, print and digital – help to maximise teachers’ time and attention for individual pupils"

Data & privacy impact

Data is a resource that benefits businesses and consumers. Taking good care of our consumers’ privacy, being transparent, and offering our consumers choices regarding the use of their data helps us to build a relationship of trust. We are able to bring value to our customers through data while fostering a trusted relationship. Privacy is built into our products by assessing the privacy impacts of data use in advance.

Data helps us make better and more interesting services and content for our audiences that benefit both the individual and the society. Innovative uses of data and analytics benefit B2B customers and consumers by enhancing the impacts that our products have. Data helps consumers to find relevant content and enables better learning results for students. Data is used to create personalised features and content recommendations and avoid advertising overload by selecting on relevancy.

Raising awareness                                   

We believe that increasing knowledge and raising awareness is an important element in the quest to create a sustainable world.  We want to raise discussions, create opportunities, connect people and encourage them to change their perception.  We have the capacity to inform, create debate and engage about responsibility issues, such as pressing environmental matters, human rights, economic and social justice, and wellbeing.

"We raise awareness through our journalistic content, be it radio, TV, newspaper or magazine"

We raise awareness through our journalistic content, be it radio, TV, newspaper or magazine. For example, in Finland Sanoma has hosted various discussions on burning topics and brought specialists in various fields to Sanomatalo’s Mediatori creating an opportunity for the public to participate. We are in a unique position to invite specialists from various fields to participate and raise discussions about different matters.

Arman Alizad brings the debate about human rights in living rooms

In the Arman and the last crusade – documentary TV series by Nelonen, a Finnish TV channel - Arman Alizad travels around the world and lives for 10 days in different communities, tribes and environments that differ considerably from western societies. He lives with native families and acts upon their customs and culture. The touching stories and tragic destinies have made a significant impact with Finnish audiences, opening their eyes to the events in the world and human rights questions. “It has been exceptional that this programme has attracted such audiences that don´t usually follow reality programmes. That says a lot about the powerful reach of television and that the message in the programme has been current. Arman himself is a powerful character that has a different narrative approach that has convinced audiences,” says Channel Manager Ville Toivonen. 

The programme has increased the knowledge of the world around us, giving perspective and raising awareness to appreciate what we here in Finland have. Plan Finland (a charity organisation supporting the human rights of children) was the official partner of the programme. 

“The weakest people were able to share stories that challenge current assumptions and help eliminating fear towards the unknown,” explains Plan´s Marketing Director Kirsi Mettälä.

Partnerships, sponsoring and donations

Every year, and with the approval of the Annual General Meeting, Sanoma donates the sum of EUR 682,300 to charity, of which 30% represents the free media space for the initiatives we supported. The two main projects that we supported in 2015 remained the same as last year: the John Nurminen Foundation and The Children´s Hospital. The John Nurminen Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea has enjoyed our support for many years. Through direct financial support and by offering media space in our Finnish media, both print and TV, we have been able to contribute to the decontamination of the Baltic Sea. During the past few years the Clean Baltic Sea project has delivered some tangible results.

"The two main projects that we supported in 2015 remained the same as last year: the John Nurminen Foundation and The Children´s Hospital"

The support association for the New Children’s Hospital 2017 wishes to accelerate the construction of a new expert unit in a children’s hospital in Finland. With many of our print and digital media brands giving media exposure, Sanoma has been a key supporter of the initiative since the very beginning.

In addition to making large donations we participated in a number of local initiatives as part of our wish to be good corporate citizens.  The ways in which we can contribute varies: we can offer media exposure, do volunteer work, use our media products to raise awareness, or offer our products and services. Media exposure is important to charities because it increases their fund-raising opportunities.  Initiatives are selected by the local businesses unit with a view to benefitting the local society or as part of a bigger global initiative.  Here are some of last year's examples, from different business units:

  • A few highlights from Sanoma Learnings initiatives are listed below:
    • Donating books for Christmas presents for underprivileged children ( Joulupuu-keräys charity scheme).
    • Participating in the Nenäpäivä fundraising event by organising a sale (Learning products) for the benefit of the children in developing countries.
    • Sanoma Pro has for the past eight years, supported hospital schools in Finland. Every year some 4,000 children study in hospital schools.
    • Oppi & Ilo also set up a fundraising event for the Children´s Hospital in Finland by organising an auction selling rare items from the Donald Duck series, left over office furniture, and books and famous illustrations by Kari Korhonen.
  • Young Digital Planet’s CSR efforts focused on supporting educational programmes:
    • Odyssey of the Mind: March 2015 – YDP was a sponsor of The Odyssey of the Mind competition. Odyssey of the Mind is an educational programme and an international competition at the same time. The project is aimed at school and university students from all over the world. Tens of thousands of young people participate in it every year. The aim of the programme is to develop children's and youth’s creative skills.
    • July 2015 -– YDP was a strategic partner and a lecturer of Gdansk Business Week. GBW is a six-day event during which meetings, lectures and workshops take place. Its aim is to promote creativity and entrepreneurship among teenagers. The workshops are held by renowned managers from international companies, e.g. Microsoft and Boeing, to name but two. The programme has its origins in the United States and is based on and licensed by Washington Business Week. It is supposed to inspire young people to be active in business.
    • June 2015 – YDP invited a group of Polish primary and secondary school students to the company’s headquarters. They prepared a special educational programme for these young visitors to present them different methods of learning – fun and intellectually challenging at the same time.
  • Creative workshops for ICT teachers: in May 2015 YDP invited a group of ICT teachers from primary, intermediate and secondary schools to a creative workshop. The aim of the workshop was to assess and verify the idea behind the new product, Computer Science & Coding Curriculum.
  • Nowa Era has several CSR initiatives.
    • A governmental programme called “Large Family Card” in support of large families with three or more children. Thanks to this cooperation between the government, companies and various institutions, each family can benefit from a set of discounts and additional rights throughout the country. According to estimates by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, 3.4 million people, including two million children, will use this card in the coming years.
    • Providing educational materials for teachers and students to help them in carrying out voluntary activities
    • Christmas gifts for poor families, which involves collecting food, hygiene products and school supplies for children in the Ukraine (refugees from conflict zones). The aim of the action was to give donations in kind to the Refugee Centre in Kiev. The facility records about 600 new people every day. For 45 days from the date of registration refugees receive specific support (clothes, medicines, personal hygiene goods, food) and can also take advantage of medical, psychological and point placement help.
  • Helsingin Sanomat was the official media partner of Helsinki Cup, a junior football event celebrating their 40-year anniversary
  • Nelonen TV channel partnered up with World Vision to help children from the developing countries by sponsorship activity. World Vision set up a concert with one of the most popular Finnish artists, Robin, to raise funds and raise awareness of the good cause. Nelonen aired the concert twice in December.
  • Sanoma Media Netherlands supports the SIRE foundation. SIRE is an independent foundation that brings social issues to the attention to the Dutch public, puts them on the agenda and makes sure these issues will be sdiscussed by the Dutch public, opinion leaders and decision makers.

Reporting principles and data collection

This report has been compiled in accordance with GRI G4 Guidelines (Core) and the additional media sector guidelines (GRI Media Sector Supplement). We also applied the Reporting Principles in this report. We focused on two main segments, Consumer Media and Learning, as well as the Group support functions. Unless otherwise stated, the report covers Sanoma’s operations in all its operating countries focusing in our core business so “other operations” are not included. The CSR report is an integral part of the Annual report (Sanoma View) and financial statements. More information can be found on the company website. The reporting period for this CSR report is Sanoma’s financial reporting period 1 January to 31 December 2015. Sanoma intends to publish its next CSR Report in 2017.

The materiality has been determined by conducting a G4 materiality assessment, engaging with key stakeholders and addressing the company’s management.  We have reported all entities inside the organisation that have had significant impact on the material aspects. The reported scope covers all our major economic, environmental and social impacts. We executed a group-wide assessment about our targets and defined our CSR strategy in the last quarter of 2015.  We still need to develop our impact assessment but we have described our core impacts and how we manage them. Therefore, we are still in the process of defining targets and key actions and are unable to report about all our performance indicators due to the timing.  We are building processes and setting KPIs to be able to measure our targets and performance in the next report. The quality of reporting will be developed and specified.

"We are building processes and setting KPIs to be able to measure our targets and performance in the next report"

A list of key reported items can be found in the GRI Index Table. The reported disclosures and indicators are seen to give appropriate information about our performance. The calculation principles are compliant with the GRI G4 Guidelines and information is reported if available and relevant. The economic responsibility section and figures are consistent with the financial statement. The numbers concerning environmental responsibility have primarily been collected from business units and data systems. Statistics from the Finnish energy organisation Motiva have been used in the calculations of carbon dioxide emissions. Information pertaining to social responsibility has been collected from HR systems, business units and representatives. Certain figures are not comparable to earlier years due to change of reporting systems and reporting methods.