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Sustainable growth for business, people and society

Sustainable Alma Media

Sustainable media refers to responsibility in our own operations and making responsibility a fixed element in our business.

Corporate Responsibility in Alma Media

Corporate responsibility (CR) means a company's responsibility for its impact on its surrounding society and stakeholders. In the media industry, corporate responsibility has unique characteristics, which traditional definitions of responsibility cannot sufficiently describe. In addition to the economic, social and ecological effects typical of all entrepreneurial activity, the activities of media companies have direct and indirect social and cultural effects that are difficult to measure but still important.

According to the study, reliability, primarily implying the provision of reliable media content, as well as environmental responsibility are the two most important elements of responsibility. Journalistic integrity, responsibility for employees and the promotion of the freedom of speech also stood out as important factors. The stakeholders emphasised Alma Media's responsibility in supporting and promoting locality and communality. The strongest stakeholder expectations on Alma Media are related to environmental responsibility.

The Sustainable Media programme

Alma Media's corporate responsibility principles are the foundation of its Sustainable Media programme. Sustainable media refers to responsibility in our own operations and making responsibility a fixed element in our business. Responsible operation and profitability are not conflicting goals. On the contrary, they are preconditions for each other: economically sustainable media needs to also be socially and ecologically sustainable, and vice versa. Changes in media consumption and consumer behaviour create a need for renewal in the media sector. Alma Media's response to these challenges is sustainable media that cultivates traditional journalistic values while integrating broader corporate responsibility in all operations. 

Corporate Responsibility Strategy

Alma Media's corporate responsibility is developed within the framework of the Sustainable Media corporate responsibility programme. As responsibility becomes an integral part of Alma Media's day-to-day operations, it will gradually begin to introduce new perspectives on the Group's business. While the primary responsibility for the programme lies with the Corporate Communications function, its effective implementation depends on the participation of everyone at Alma Media.

The Sustainable Media corporate responsibility programme is divided into key development areas:

  • Developing open corporate communications
  • Responsible influence & impact on society
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Integrating responsibility into product and service development
  • Incorporating responsibility into the day-to-day work of Alma Media employees

Developing open corporate communications

Openness and transparency are the cornerstones of Sustainable Media. Communications on responsibility in the coming years will be focused on integrated reporting, which combines corporate responsibility reporting with traditional financial reporting. Exercising influence on the development of reporting at large through participation in various working groups and the Finnish Business & Society network are key aspects of developing transparent communication. Communications will also become more dialogue-oriented and participatory through the launch of a new stakeholder publication. A third important objective in the field of communication is to extensively communicate the results of the environmental survey commissioned by Alma Media in 2011, both in Finland and internationally. Alma Media engages in active communication to spark discussion on sustainable media, not just in terms of ecology but also content, and the role it plays in people's daily lives and as part of a sustainable society.

Responsible influence & impact on society

In the Sustainable Media programme's positive impact on society area, Alma Media is aiming to set the stage for responsibility in the media sector and to promote participation in society. Examples include cooperation with the Media CSR Forum and the Responsible Summer Job campaign. The Group also actively develops its relations and communication with SRI investors (Socially Responsible Investment) by cooperating, for instance, with Eurosif, the pan-European SRI network and by participating in the CDP (earlier Carbon Disclosure Project) climate initiative each year. 

Environmental responsibility

Environmental matters are one of the key focal points of Alma Media's Sustainable Media corporate responsibility programme. Alma Media's environmental responsibility is based on three principles which are efficient operations, responsible supply chain and increasing environmental awareness. The company aims to prevent and minimise negative environmental impacts by following these three principles. As regards the management of environmental responsibility, the people in key roles in environmental matters within Alma Media's corporate responsibility network work on environmental issues on a cooperative basis. These key people, such as the Quality and Environmental Manager of Alma Manu, the printing and distribution unit, help setting environmental targets for Alma Media and implement environmental actions through their own roles in, for instance, property management and printing operations.

The most significant environmental impacts of Alma Media's and its business units' operations are related to printing and distribution, properties and travel. Alma Media's new Helsinki office in the Töölönlahti area and the new printing facility in Tampere, which began operations in spring 2013, reduce the Group's direct environmental impacts. Both of the buildings recieved LEED environmental certification in 2013.

Responsibility as an integral part of product and service development

Responsibility in business operations will be developed by improving transparency in journalism, giving readers more opportunities to participate by providing ideas for articles and discussing their backgrounds and updating the ethical principles and processes that guide the Group's journalism. Media literacy projects are also included in the objectives of the Sustainable Media programme. In the area of media sales, the Sustainable Media programme supports clients in their corporate responsibility efforts by communicating the environmental impacts of Alma Media's media channels. In the future, corporate responsibility will be integrated into new product and service development, which is supported by Alma Media's strategic focus on digital media. A third focal area is purchasing and, in particular, analysing and developing responsibility in the ICT supply chain. 

Responsibility in the daily work of Alma Media employees

Corporate responsibility is not a separate function, but rather a perspective on all Alma Media operations. The Sustainable Media corporate responsibility programme is based on responsibility in the daily work of everyone at Alma Media. Examples of responsibility in the daily work of employees include familiarity and compliance with Alma Media's Code of Conduct (pdf) and projects concerned with employee well-being and ecological considerations related to the working environment. Offering employees opportunities for volunteer work is also an important and meaningful aspect of corporate responsibility and its significance in the Sustainable Media programme is increasing.

Management of Corporate Responsibility

At Alma Media, corporate responsibility refers to the way in which the Group, its business units and, ultimately, every employee acts in an ecologically, economically, socially and culturally responsible and sustainable manner. The high priority assigned to corporate responsibility at Alma Media is reflected in the operating model for managing corporate responsibility.

The guidelines for the Sustainable Media perspective are provided by the Group’s executive management and, where necessary, the Board of Directors as a part of the Group’s strategy work. At the core of the CR operations is the corporate responsibility network, which spans all of the Group’s business units. The operation of the network is coordinated by Alma Media’s CR manager. The task of the network is to facilitate the flow of information regarding CR matters at the Group and business unit levels. The network also develops the responsibility of each business unit in line with common guidelines.

Code of Conduct

A Code of Conduct defines the key ethical principles guiding the Group’s operations. The Code of Conduct (pfd) contains the central guidelines and principles for managing corporate responsibility and business operations sustainably. The Code of Conduct is in line with the UN Global Compact's ten principles.

Key memberships

Alma Media is a member of FiBS. FiBS (Finnish Business and Society) promotes economically, socially and ecologically responsible business in Finland. Alma Media has also participated in the founding of the Media CSR Forum. Since 2011, Alma Media has been a signatory of the UN Global Compact

Alma Media's other memberships include those of the Finnish Newspapers Association, the Federation of the Finnish Media Industry as well as IAB Finland. Through different sector organisations, the company aims to actively contribute to developing the media sector and its future preconditions for success in Finland. In addition to these fora, Alma Media employees hold different positions of responsibility in issue-specific working groups at the ministry, bureau and business level. As a member of Finnmedia, the company also participates in the Shape and Next Media research projects.

Corporate Responsibility reporting

Alma Media’s business operations are based on the Group’s socially responsible mission: acting for individual freedom and well-being. Alma Media’s corporate responsibility reporting describes the Group’s business operations from the perspective of this mission, each year providing qualitative and quantitative information on what corporate responsibility means for Alma Media.

The latest Annual Review is an integrated corporate responsibility report created with the G4 guidelines where applicable provided by the Global Reporting Initiative. The Annual Review is available at the Alma Media website and here. See also previous corporate responsibility reports.  

Corporate responsibility reports

Sustainable development: Threats and opportunities

The analysis of opportunities and threats presented by sustainable development is a key element of the company’s risk management and, most importantly, of the development of Alma Media’s CR strategy. The recognition of sustainability threats and opportunities is enabled by the active interaction with the company’s various stakeholder groups. Compared to traditional risk management, the analysis of sustainability threats and opportunities is characterised by a longer time span. This contributes to the development of economically sustainable and dynamic media in the long run.

With regard to analysing threats and opportunities related to sustainable development, Alma Media has cooperated with Eurosif, the umbrella organisation for SRI investment in Europe. In 2012, Eurosif launched a specific study (Media Sector Report 2012) on the risks and opportunities of the media sector, in which Alma Media is highlighted as a case example of successful sustainability management.

Alma Media’s sustainability work has also gained some international acknowledgement. In 2015, Alma Media was ranked as the best Nordic media group in the global Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). More than 5,500 companies participated in CDP’s extensive environment and climate change survey, in which they analysed the risks and opportunities resulting from climate change and reported on their carbon dioxide emissions, among other things. About 820 institutional investors around the world utilise the CDP results in making investment decisions. Investors consider good results an indication of the companies’ good management of climate issues.

Sustainable development: Threats

In the chart below main threats for sustainable media are listed. The chart also presents outcomes that would take place if any of the threats materialised, and actions which have been taken in order to mitigate the threat. From the Columns bar below you can choose, which columns you want to take a look at.

Sustainable development: Opportunities

  • Journalism: Turning transparent, reliable and interactive journalism into a competitive advantage.
    • Reaching responsible consumers and the advertisers who seek exposure to that target audience.
  • Reaching new audiences and user groups through a multi-channel approach and diverse content.
  • The reputational benefits of sustainability and transparency and the resulting high level of trust.
  • Environment: Communicating reliable scientific data to create environmental perceptions based on fact.
  • Building trust with current and future customers around the theme of sustainable development.
    • Opportunities to identify joint projects and business ideas

Sustainable media? Watch the video

Sustainable Alma Media


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