Stakeholder views are the basis for corporate responsibility

Corporate responsibility 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. At Alma Media, corporate responsibility means the way the Group, its business units and, ultimately, every employee act with social, economical, ecological and cultural responsibility and sustainability.

Stakeholder study provides guidelines for corporate responsibility

Alma Media’s stakeholders have played an important role in planning the Group’s corporate responsibility. Alma Media conducted a wide-ranging survey at the turn of 2009–2010 to find out what its key stakeholders consider the most important components of corporate responsibility in the media industry and what kind of expectations they have for Alma Media’s corporate responsibility. The results of the survey indicate that responsibility in the media industry comprises both the special characteristics of the industry and traditional corporate responsibility issues common to all companies.

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.

Corporate responsibility strategy prepared

Based on the survey results, Alma Media prepared a corporate responsibility strategy in 2010, with an emphasis on the aspects highlighted as significant by the stakeholders:

  • Management and coordination

  • Improving internal awareness

  • Stakeholder dialogue

  • Responsible journalism

  • Environmental responsibility

  • Supporting locality and communality

  • Developing reporting

The most important projects in 2011 are related to continuing active stakeholder dialogue, responsible journalism and environmental responsibility. Corporate responsibility is discussed both within the company and in broader settings. For instance, in March 2011, a CR Forum for Nordic media companies will be organised on Alma Media’s initiative. In May 2011, Alma Media will be one of the main partners of Ratkaisun paikka, the first corporate responsibility fair organised in Finland.