|Information Requested||Nielsen Disclosure|
|Approach to corporate governance, including the organization’s values, principles, standards and norms of behavior||See the Governance section introduction for an overview of our approach. Also, see our Corporate Governance Guidelines, our Code of Conduct and the charters of each of our Board committees, all of which provide the framework for corporate governance at Nielsen. All employees* and Board members are asked to certify annually to the Code of Conduct, which outlines our values, principles, standards and norms, as well as the core values that underpin our strong, unified and unique company culture. Integrity guides the way we work and interact with one another and helps to drive our growth. All of our standard supplier agreements include a requirement to abide by our Supplier Code of Conduct.
*Except where not permitted by local laws.
|Governance structure||The Board of Directors is elected by Nielsen’s shareholders to oversee management and ensure that the long-term interests of all our stakeholders are being served. See the Corporate Governance section of our website for details on our management team and Board of Directors, as well as the composition and responsibilities of our Board and its committees. See also our Corporate Governance Guidelines.|
|External initiative endorsements on economic, environmental and/or social issues and business ethics||Nielsen is involved with many initiatives and trade associations that have a social or environmental component. One recent example is our endorsement of the LEAD pledge. For a detailed list of our memberships, see the Stakeholder Engagement subsection.|
|Board structure and committees||
2019 Proxy Statement, p. 10. 2020 Proxy Statement, p. 10.
|Board leadership and independence, including CEO and nonexecutive roles and committee member independence||
2019 Proxy Statement, pp. 10-12. 2020 Proxy Statement, pp. 10-13.
|Board committees and roles, including Audit Committee role in overseeing controls and Audit Committee membership||
2019 Proxy Statement, pp. 10-12. 2020 Proxy Statement, pp. 10-13.
See also the committee charters available on our Corporate Governance website.
|Director experience||2019 Proxy Statement, pp. 4-8. 2020 Proxy Statement, pp. 4-9.|
|Director nomination process, including consideration of diversity and experience||
2019 Proxy Statement, pp. 2-3. 2020 Proxy Statement, p. 3.
|Board education||2019 Proxy Statement, p. 18. 2020 Proxy Statement, p. 18.|
|Board members’ terms in office, length of terms and frequency of elections||2019 Proxy Statement, pp. 2-8. 2020 Proxy Statement, pp. 2-9.|
|Board evaluation process, including self-evaluation and independent assessments||
2019 Proxy Statement, p. 13. 2020 Proxy Statement, p. 13.
|Board members’ ages, including age of oldest and youngest Directors||
2019 Proxy Statement, pp. 4-8. 2020 Proxy Statement, pp. 4-9.
Nielsen does not have an age limit for Directors. As of April 2020, the median age of our Directors is 64; 44 is the age of the youngest Director, and 73 is the age of the oldest Director.
In our 2019 Proxy Statement, see p. 2 for our Diversity Policy, as well as p. SUMM3 for details on the diversity of our Board. In our 2020 Proxy Statement, this information is available on p. 3 and p. SUMM3, respectively.
The charter of our Nomination and Corporate Governance Committee requires that committee to consider all factors it deems appropriate—which may include age, gender, nationality and ethnic and racial background—in nominating Directors and to review and make recommendations, as the committee deems appropriate, regarding the composition and size of the Board, to ensure the Board has the requisite expertise and its membership consists of persons with sufficiently diverse and independent backgrounds. Over time, the Nomination and Corporate Governance Committee and the Board as a whole will assess the effectiveness of this policy and determine, how, if at all, our implementation of the policy, or the policy itself, should be changed.
|Board member participation on other corporate boards/overboarding||2019 Proxy Statement, p. SUMM4 and pp. 4-8. 2020 Proxy Statement, p. SUMM4 and pp. 4-9.|
|Board mandates||Corporate Governance Guidelines|
|Board oversight of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues||
The Nomination and Corporate Governance Committee of our Board reviews the company’s policies, practices and positions relating to corporate citizenship and sustainability. As such, the committee oversees corporate social responsibility, environmental quality, climate change and diversity and inclusion, among other ESG areas. While we maintain open lines of communication and engagement, the Board does not directly approve this Global Responsibility Report or other ESG reporting.
Nomination and Corporate Governance Committee charter
2019 Proxy Statement, pp. 12, 15. 2020 Proxy Statement, pp. 13, 16.
Climate Change subsection of this report
Nielsen’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) report
|Board meeting numbers and attendance, including committee meetings||
2019 Proxy Statement, pp. 10-12. 2020 Proxy Statement, pp. 11-13.
Corporate Governance Guidelines
In 2018, all Directors attended at least 88% of Board meetings. In 2019, Directors attended at least 80% of Board meetings. Committees held 22 meetings in 2019 with all directors attending 100% of applicable meetings.
|Board member legal proceedings and conflicts of interest||
2019 Proxy Statement, p. 21. 2020 Proxy Statement, p. 21.
Per the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation S-k, Item 103, there are no material proceedings to which any Director, officer or affiliate of the registrant, any owner of record or beneficiary of more than 5% of any class of voting securities of the registrant, or any associate of any such Director, officer, affiliate of the registrant, or security holder is a party adverse to the registrant or any of its subsidiaries or has a material interest adverse to the registrant or any of its subsidiaries.
|Executive compensation, including fixed and variable short- and long-term incentives and inclusion of ESG incentives||
2019 Proxy Statement, pp. 30-71. 2020 Proxy Statement, pp. 30-69.
Diversity is a formal aspect of the job responsibilities, and thus the compensation, of our CEO & Chief Diversity Officer, David Kenny. The Compensation Committee of our Board of Directors makes its decisions based on its assessment of both Nielsen and individual performance against goals, as well as on its judgment as to what is in the best interests of Nielsen and its shareholders. This includes a comprehensive assessment of both quantitative and qualitative measures, which include advancing a truly diverse and inclusive workforce.
|Use of external compensation consultants||2019 Proxy Statement, p. 52. 2020 Proxy Statement, p. 53.|
|Fixed and variable compensation for nonexecutive Board members||2019 Proxy Statement, pp. A-5, A-9, B-8, B-9. 2020 Proxy Statement, pp. A-2, A-3, A-4, B-8, B-9.|
Note: See the Supply Chain Management section for more information on ethics and compliance risk assessment and controls related to our suppliers. Also, our Code of Conduct provides additional detail relevant to the majority of the information requested below.
|Information Requested||Nielsen Disclosure|
|Approach to managing ethics and compliance, including anti-corruption policies and management, anti-competitive behavior, professional integrity and duty of care, and Code of Conduct implementation||
Our global Compliance & Integrity program is dedicated to ensuring ethical and legal behavior across Nielsen—from the C-suite through to the most junior associates all over the world. While upholding our high ethical standards is the responsibility of all our associates, functional responsibility for managing our Compliance & Integrity efforts sits with a dedicated group within our Legal & Corporate Affairs team, reporting directly to our Chief Legal & Corporate Affairs Officer and with oversight from our Board of Directors.
Our Code of Conduct is a core element of this program. The Code establishes clear expectations and guidelines for all associates, prohibiting corruption, bribery, facilitation payments, fraud, discrimination, anti-trust/anti-competitive practices, money laundering, insider trading and more; it also requires associates to avoid and disclose conflicts of interest. The Code also sets forth expectations and guidelines for positive behaviors, including treating everyone with respect, valuing diversity, protecting human rights and speaking up to report Code violations without fear of retaliation. Underlying the Code are more-detailed internal policies—for example, a Global Anti-Corruption Policy—to guide associates in their day-to-day activities. The Compliance & Integrity program partners with a cross-functional team of stakeholders to ensure that global, internal Nielsen policies are up to date and relevant for current business activity. Our Board of Directors has approved our Code, and it is available in more than 40 languages.
The Code applies to everyone at Nielsen, including our subsidiaries and affiliates that we control. The Code also applies equally to the members of our Board, our senior officers and every employee, whether full time, part time or temporary. Nielsen independent contractors and contingent workers are expected to be familiar and comply in full with the Code when acting on Nielsen’s behalf. We choose to do business with other companies that follow these same principles. Nielsen suppliers are expected to know and follow the guidelines in the Nielsen Supplier Code of Conduct and in turn to hold their suppliers and subcontractors to the same high standards.
|Ethics and anti-corruption communication, training and certification||
We ask our Board and all employees—except where not permitted by local laws—to annually certify that they understand and will abide by our Code of Conduct. This certification is completed following an annual online training course. Other targeted training is provided to employees as appropriate, including on topics such as anti-corruption, protecting human rights, complying with the General Data Protection Regulation, and data integrity. We also provide training for associates whose roles involve greater corruption risk exposure and those who can most effectively detect and prevent corruption as a function of their day-to-day responsibilities. Also, our global Finance organization receives anti-corruption training each year.
We require compliance with the Code as a condition of employment, and thus this compliance is linked directly to employee compensation. Nielsen takes all violations of the Code seriously. If, following an investigation, a violation is found, Nielsen will determine the appropriate consequences in accordance with local laws, which may include disciplinary action up to and including termination.
We offer multiple options for our associates to speak up and raise any concerns or questions they may have. One option is our Helpline, which is managed by an outside service provider, NAVEX Global Inc., and provides a mechanism for anyone with a concern to connect confidentially by phone or through their dedicated website for Nielsen. This independent reporting service ensures that all concerns are heard and, as needed, investigated through the proper channels.
We enhance the reach of our Compliance & Integrity program with the Integrity Ambassador program. Currently active in more than 30 countries, Integrity Ambassadors serve as “diplomats” of integrity in our offices, spreading the word about Nielsen’s expectations for ethical behavior, how to find answers to questions about doing the right thing and how to raise a concern when something doesn’t seem right. The Ambassadors help to tailor communication plans to each particular market, participate in town halls and build awareness of expectations and resources, all of which helps to ensure compliance with our Code of Conduct.
Our Compliance & Integrity program communicates regularly with Nielsen associates around the world through Global Integrity Updates and information included within other global Nielsen communications.
To encourage, reward and provide examples of ethical conduct, every year we give the Integrity Award to a Nielsen associate who sets an example when it comes to compliance and integrity in their work and relationships with others. This award is given to employees who show courage and a commitment to always do the right thing—even, and especially, when it is not the easiest thing—and who lead and inspire others to live by the Code of Conduct and positively impact our business through their ethics. Nominations are collected from associates around the world, and senior leaders review and select the winner(s), who have come from countries such as Vietnam, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Chile, the U.S., Bangladesh and Algeria.
|Ethics reporting and whistleblower process and protection||
We encourage associates to Speak Up about any concerns of misconduct, without fear of retaliation. Our Speak Up tools include a telephone and web Helpline and email addresses to contact independent third-party representatives, as well as our Compliance & Integrity Leaders around the world. Associates and third parties are able to use these tools to anonymously seek clarification, share information and report grievances using the “Ask a Question” feature via the Helpline. Details about how to call the Helpline or file a claim online—including direct contact information for Integrity Leaders by country—are available in our Code of Conduct and on our intranet.
Through our Speak Up program, our Compliance & Integrity Leaders intake reports of misconduct (directly or through the Helpline) and ensure that the concerns are reviewed and investigated in an impartial and timely fashion. When a Code of Conduct violation is reported, Integrity Leaders work with the relevant stakeholders to determine the appropriate next steps to investigate and resolve the report. If the report is substantiated, an assessment is made as to whether discipline is required and, if so, what level of discipline. Discipline can vary from warnings to termination. The Compliance & Integrity team utilizes data about prior outcomes to inform disciplinary decisions, in order to support and strengthen Nielsen’s commitment to organizational justice.
|Risk assessments and audits of internal ethics controls, approval for sensitive transactions and financial controls||
Our formal Enterprise Risk Management process and supply chain risk assessments include the assessment of risks related to ethics and corruption in our own operations and our suppliers’ operations.
Our Compliance & Integrity team and Corporate Audit Staff (CAS) work together to assess and inform local business contacts across functions such as Legal, Finance, Human Resources (HR), Operations and Sales regarding anti-corruption risks and obligations. This is done through detailed questionnaires to local business contacts regarding their knowledge of anti-corruption risks and obligations. This global approach to addressing risks at the local level enables our teams to put in place new processes and procedures for operations or functions at higher risk of corruption wherever this more tailored approach may be needed.
To mitigate sourcing risk in our accounts payable process, new vendors are vetted by Global Procurement before being entered into our vendor master database. Nielsen uses external data sources to ensure, among other things, that there are no sanctions or law enforcement activity against the vendor and no regulatory enforcement actions in progress during our comprehensive vetting process.
As part of its audit process, CAS leads an anti-corruption training to review the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and U.K. Bribery Act. Additionally, CAS distributes an FCPA questionnaire, which requires local business contacts from Finance, HR, Operations and Sales to provide input on their knowledge regarding the FCPA and any potentially corrupt payments. CAS reviews the responses and escalates any concerning responses. CAS also performs disbursement reviews to ensure there are proper controls in high-risk areas such as travel and expenses, auditor advances and panel incentives. This oversight helps to ensure that our operations and activities align with government laws and regulations everywhere we operate. We do not operate in any country without the legal right to do so. Where relevant, CAS audits also encompass a broad range of ESG-related topics to ensure country leaders are aware of risks, regulations and any relevant issues.
CAS remains engaged throughout post-audit remediation processes as relevant to ensure solutions are efficient and sustainable in the long term. CAS uses its audit expertise to partner on strategic initiatives and drive regionwide control improvements when risks or gaps are identified.
CAS also provides internal audits of company financial information, independently reviewing the accuracy of that information, assessing financial processes and evaluating the effectiveness of financial controls for Nielsen’s global business units. The audits are split into two sections: Sarbanes-Oxley and risk-based reviews. Through this approach, CAS ensures coverage of Nielsen’s largest entities as well as high-risk entities that are selected based on several criteria, including but not limited to integrity concerns, turnover, growth and other risk indicators identified by management. The CAS team’s audits and reviews substantially cover our global revenue and assets, and overall coverage has increased year over year. The results of the CAS team’s reviews are reported quarterly to the Chief Financial Officer and the Board’s Audit Committee.
In addition to CAS, our operational internal audit teams perform independent assessments of critical operational controls to determine compliance and effectiveness against established standards and benchmarks. As it relates to our Media business, for example, our internal audit team reviews sample design, including universe estimates, to ensure that our data collection processes are sound and our data is accurate. Our team also periodically visits panel households, verifying household demographics and television channel reception. We design and conduct these audits based on any known or potential risks inherent to our services.
We have also invested in an overall global Financial Controllership organization. Maintaining strong financial controls helps to ensure that our financial statements are materially accurate. We have many employees dedicated to financial controllership around the world, including general accounting associates, billing/credit/collections associates, consolidation teams, operational controllers, revenue controllers, market controllers, corporate controllers and our Global Financial Controlling Center of Excellence leaders. This vast network provides Nielsen coverage over all the countries in which we operate, from both a statutory and a U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) point of view. This team is responsible for closing the books on a monthly basis, reconciling all general ledger accounts, ensuring that financial systems align, and reviewing and understanding balance sheet movements. Our controllers also support various audits each year, including local GAAP audits, internal audits and Sarbanes-Oxley Act audits. It is important that our controllers be connected to the businesses they support as well. This allows the team to be better business partners, assisting in various process improvement and simplification projects.
|Anti-bribery/anti-corruption measures with business partners, including due diligence||
We assess risks for bribery and corruption in our supply chain as part of our supply chain risk assessment process. All suppliers are requested to comply with our Supplier Code of Conduct, and in turn to hold their suppliers and subcontractors to the same high standards. Our Supplier Code includes anti-bribery and anti-corruption commitments as part of our standard contractual obligations. When appropriate based on risk, we conduct extensive due diligence on potential suppliers’ internal programs for managing ethics and avoiding corruption. Additionally, as already mentioned, Nielsen independent contractors and contingent workers are expected to be familiar and comply in full with the Code when acting on Nielsen’s behalf.
Nielsen’s anti-corruption and bribery policies and requirements are also communicated to all suppliers as part of our procurement supplier registration. See the Supply Chain Management section for more details.
|Ethics and ESG compliance incidents and fines||There were no cases or fines associated with ethics, corruption, lack of professional integrity or other ESG issues during the reporting period, including incidents related to false or misleading advertising, misleading communications, breach of customers’ data privacy, any other privacy violations, product quality and safety, or anti-competitive practices. Whether an incident is a confirmed case of corruption involves legal determinations and privileged and confidential legal advice. We also did not have any instances of noncompliance with environmental laws or regulations, and we did not receive any fines from the Federal Trade Commission during the reporting period. No business partners’ contracts were terminated for corruption violations during the reporting period.|
|Use of external auditors, including fees paid, shareholder ratification and years auditor has been employed||2019 Proxy Statement, pp. 23-24. 2020 Proxy Statement, pp. 24-25.|
The management of climate-related risks is discussed in detail in the Environment section and in our TCFD report.
|Information Requested||Nielsen Disclosure|
|Risk management process and risks identified, including the use of risk correlation analysis, time horizon, employee ability to report risks, and internal control coverage of ESG and operational risks||
Our Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework helps us to identify, evaluate, manage and develop mitigation plans for financial and nonfinancial risks. The goal of our ERM program is to ensure that leaders are well-informed about Nielsen’s risk landscape so they can make educated, strategic decisions that lead to sustainable growth. Through this program, regional business owners are required to report back on their assessment of business risks in 21 specific categories, and corporate business leaders are required to report on risks in seven categories. These risk areas include, but are not limited to, Data Integrity, Customer Relations, Conflicts of Interest, and Acquisitions/Divestitures. All leaders and teams are expected to build in measures for continuous improvement on risk management as it relates to our regular engagement through our ERM framework and beyond; leaders and teams with product development and management oversight are expected to build their understanding of these risks into the product development and approval process. We also do correlation analyses of key risks identified for both the financial and business risk categories.
We have identified and regularly track three risk categories that are explicitly related to ESG issues: Climate Change; Health, Safety & Human Rights; and Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity. Climate Change was added as a stand-alone risk area in early 2018; it was previously addressed under Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity. This new standalone category includes adverse financial, strategic or operational impact as a result of—among other risks—an inability to provide climate-focused solutions to address the unique needs of business in a climate-impacted world. Our global climate risk assessment, which looked at climate-related physical and transition risks for Nielsen in the short and long terms—and across multiple scenarios aligned with a 2 degrees Celsius future—also complements our ongoing engagement on this risk area. See the Environment section and our TCFD report for more on how we identify and manage climate-related risks.
Health, Safety & Human Rights-related risks are linked to adverse financial, legal and reputational impacts as a result of failure to provide safe working environments for our employees, or to protect employees from discrimination, harassment or external threats. Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity risks are linked to adverse impacts resulting from the inability to properly respond, continue business operations or meet client demands in the event of unforeseen incidents, including natural or manmade disasters.
We assess risks in the short term (one to two years), medium term (three to five years) and long term (six to ten years).
For more on risks identified, see our 2018 10-K, pp. 15-21, and our 2019 10-K, pp. 17-30.
|Board-level engagement in risk management, including engagement by nonexecutive Board members and risk management expertise and education||2019 Proxy Statement, pp. 4-8, 19. 2020 Proxy Statement, pp. 4-9, 19.|
|Risk management governance, including monitoring responsibility||
At the Board level, risk management is overseen by the Audit Committee (see 2019 Proxy Statement, pp. 4-8, 19; 2020 Proxy Statement, pp. 4-9, 19). On a day-to-day basis, risk management is overseen by our Corporate Secretary, who reports to our Chief Legal & Corporate Affairs Officer.
We hold one formal risk reporting meeting per year with the ERM Leadership Committee (composed of top executives) and three less-formal, more collaborative “risk-sharing” conference calls with risk owners and risk experts across functions and geographies. To help ensure an effective risk culture throughout the company and foster continuous improvement, the ERM process is supplemented with weekly newsletters, onboarding trainings, workshops and social media posts relating to risk management.
|Risk management training||As mentioned above, Nielsen conducts periodic trainings to educate employees about emerging risk areas that are pertinent to the company and its strategic objectives.|
|Information Requested||Nielsen Disclosure|
|Process for soliciting and incorporating stakeholder feedback, and primary stakeholders engaged||
Because of the nature of our business—collecting and analyzing data and feedback from consumers, so that our clients can better understand the forces that influence consumer behavior and ultimately improve their business strategies—we uniquely understand the importance of hearing from a diverse group of stakeholders about all aspects of our business and operations, in order to continue to drive improvements.
Nielsen interacts with a variety of external individuals and organizations in our regular course of business, as described in the examples below, as well as through the process of conducting our regular nonfinancial materiality assessments. These opportunities to proactively listen to our stakeholders are key to our strategic and evolving ability to directly and indirectly create value through our business and in our communities, today and into the future. We’re committed to incorporating stakeholder feedback into our processes, business strategy and global responsibility and sustainability programs. Beyond seeking to better understand how stakeholders view Nielsen today, we also use this feedback to identify future potential risks and opportunities, including emerging issues that could affect Nielsen’s business success and stakeholder relationships.
In order to conduct our nonfinancial materiality assessments, we engage stakeholders directly or through proxies across all aspects of our value chain. The results of these assessments inform our strategic approach, including our ongoing communications about Nielsen’s overall commitments; how we proactively respond to ESG-related inquiries from investors, clients and other stakeholders; and how we allocate resources to areas of greatest impact and importance to Nielsen. These issues cut across all aspects of our business, operations and value creation through our client and industry relationships, our employee base and our communities.
The following describes the primary types of stakeholders with whom we engage, and how we engage with them:
Clients: We engage with clients on a regular basis, both individually and through client committees, to gain direct input and insights that will enhance the quality of our measurement and methodologies for the industries we serve. As part of our commitment to driving an improved client experience, throughout 2019 we began adoption of a single technology platform, Client Service Online 2.0, to track and service client requests. This enables greater insights on client requests and shapes how we can drive better value for clients. As part of this platform’s feature set, an optional Client Satisfaction Survey has been introduced to gather feedback on how we service each client’s request. An ongoing Customer Experience initiative will determine whether we should introduce further questions to this survey and/or re-assess the baseline criteria for overall key performance indicators of success. We take all client feedback seriously and address all concerns as needed. While we do track client feedback, we don’t share this information publicly because of client privacy concerns.
Media research: The Media Rating Council (MRC) plays an important role in providing third-party validation that Nielsen’s products and services meet or exceed the highest industry standards. In addition to supporting the MRC’s accreditation audit process, Nielsen provides valuable industry leadership by participating in their working groups, standard-building projects and other conversations on matters relevant to the media measurement industry.
Suppliers: We engage with key suppliers on ESG issues multiple times a year—through written correspondence and requests for reporting, in person at their facilities, on conference calls and at conferences. We require standardized, third-party assessments of suppliers’ ESG performance, which then serve as catalysts for meaningful engagement and discussion via our sourcing managers, in an effort to drive continuous improvement. We’ve also developed a Supplier Toolkit as a resource for suppliers to help improve their sustainability performance.
Consumers: We have extensive contacts with individuals and families all over the globe as we collect data to better understand consumer behavior. Our field and membership representatives and retail auditors visit panelists’ homes and local stores worldwide to collect data. We are committed to acting in the best interest of those consumers, especially in terms of protecting the privacy and security of their information.
Investors: Our Investor Relations team engages regularly with investors through individual meetings, conferences, nondeal roadshows, quarterly earnings calls and an annual investor day. Details about our investor engagement can be found on our Investor Relations site, where we also provide information for investors about our ESG efforts through resources such as our ESG Highlights overview.
Creditors: Senior management periodically meets with key creditors in person or via conference calls, and has hosted multi-participant meetings. Through our Investor Relations and Treasury functions, we respond, as appropriate, to inbound inquiries from both debt analysts and key creditors. As a levered company, it is important that Nielsen has access to the various debt markets and on reasonable terms at all times. This allows Nielsen to fund growth initiatives including capital expenditures and potential acquisitions, and provides the company with appropriate liquidity cushions through the economic cycle.
Industry associations: We recognize the importance of engaging with industry trade organizations, strategic business partners, industry influencers, value-added resellers, and nongovernmental and community organizations. A comprehensive list of our association memberships is provided below. As it relates to ESG-related charters, principles, or initiatives, we take an open view and may join new or other initiatives as they emerge. Some examples for Nielsen include our alignment with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) as it relates to this Global Responsibility Report. We have also committed to a variety of pledges, including our CEO’s commitment to the LEAD Network CEO Pledge to advance women in leadership at Nielsen. Additionally, as mentioned in our Global Commitment to Human Rights, we have aligned our approach with the United Nations’ (U.N.’s) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Conventions, and the human rights-related recommendations set forth in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. We are also members of the Responsible Business Alliance, Responsible Labor Initiative and the Responsible Minerals Initiative.
Nielsen External Advisory Councils: We seek ideas and insights from external stakeholders to help us strengthen our diversity and inclusion efforts. For more than a decade, we have maintained three External Advisory Councils composed of diverse data and measurement industry experts and business and community leaders: the African American Advisory Council, the Asian Pacific American Advisory Council and the Hispanic/Latino Advisory Council. These trusted advisors have shared their views on how Nielsen can better recruit, represent and reflect the unique purchasing and viewing habits of multicultural communities in the U.S. Council members are both our accountability partners and our ambassadors within their respective communities.
Communities: We regularly donate volunteer time and pro bono data to nonprofit organizations around the globe in an effort to make a tangible difference in our communities. More information about these ongoing efforts can be found in the Community Engagement section of this report.
Employees: We have employees in every major region of the globe, so we work hard to keep in close communication with them and ensure we are all aligned and working toward common goals. Companywide, we conduct a myVoice employee engagement survey every year; the survey includes questions on engagement, compensation and work-life balance, among other topics. All Nielsen employees are encouraged to engage across functions and geographies through companywide resources, such as our Google Currents suite of online communities for collaboration and information sharing, as well as through regular global town hall meetings and other events. We also have a variety of employee engagement platforms, such as volunteer leadership opportunities through Nielsen Cares and Nielsen Green, as well as our Employee Resource Groups.
|Memberships in industry and advocacy associations, as well as funding of research organizations||
The following is a representative, though not exhaustive, list of associations Nielsen was a member of during the reporting period. Where appropriate and relevant to our business strategy, Nielsen may also fund research conducted in collaboration with respected industry bodies such as these.
|Information Requested||Nielsen Disclosure|
|Approach to political involvement and public policy||
Our Public Policy & Government Relations team interacts with elected officials to explain our products and promote the use of measurement to create thriving markets and communities. We advocate on issues related to our business, such as U.S. Census funding, diversity in media, media ownership, tax reform, privacy, e-commerce, digital advertising, TV audience measurement and more.
Nielsen does not currently use corporate funds to make direct contributions to candidates, political parties, political action committees (PACs), SuperPACs, political committees, 527 groups, ballot question committees or 501(c)(4) organizations, or to pay for independent expenditures. We maintain a federal PAC, which allows eligible Nielsen employees to pool their resources and support candidates whose positions are consistent with Nielsen’s. Our Nielsen Code of Conduct includes a section on participating fairly and lawfully in political processes; it expressly prohibits employees from attending political events or making donations on Nielsen’s behalf, or using Nielsen funds.
See the Public Policy page of our website for complete information about our government relations work, including links to detailed reports about our lobbying activities and expenditures.
|Focus areas for engagement with policymakers||
In 2018 and 2019, the following issues were the focus of our engagement with policymakers:
|Total amount of political contributions||
We report U.S. political contributions through the Federal Election Commission website.
In the 2017-2018 cycle, Nielsen’s PAC contributed $30,000. In the 2019-2020 cycle, as of February 2020, the PAC contributed $6,000.
|Total spending on lobbying and trade associations||
In 2018, of the $35,000 we paid to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 25% was used for lobbying. Of the $125,000 in membership dues paid to the Information Technology Industry Council, 17.5% was attributable to lobbying. And of the $12,500 in membership dues paid to the US-ASEAN Business Council, 1% was attributable to lobbying.
For 2019, 20% of the $35,000 contribution made to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was used for lobbying. Of the $125,000 in membership dues paid to the Information Technology Industry Council, 17.5% was attributable to lobbying. And of the $12,500 in membership dues paid to the US-ASEAN Business Council, 1% was attributable to lobbying.
Links to detailed reports of Nielsen’s lobbying activity can be found below:
|Details on policy engagement activities related to climate change, and process to ensure consistency of activities to influence climate change policy||
Nielsen’s Global Responsibility & Sustainability and Public Policy & Government Affairs teams collaborate, along with other teams and subject matter experts, to ensure that Nielsen’s direct and indirect activities with stakeholders, including policymakers, are consistent with our overall strategy, including our approach to climate change. Where appropriate, we have shared our approach to environmental sustainability and its related impact on climate change with policymakers through our Public Policy & Government Affairs team’s regular engagement and outreach efforts.
The most recent update to our global climate risk assessment, and our evaluation of its impact on our operational strategy and integration into ongoing functions, helps to ensure alignment between our climate change strategy and activities across the business.
For more detail on how we are addressing climate change, see the Climate Change, Emissions and Energy Use section, our TCFD report and Nielsen’s Global Environmental Policy and Guidelines Across Functions.
|Approach to tax, including tax risk management, Board oversight and governance||
We are committed to complying with tax laws in a responsible manner and to having open, constructive and transparent relationships with tax authorities everywhere we operate around the globe. We have a publicly available Tax Strategy that applies to Nielsen Holdings plc and all subsidiary Nielsen entities; it is composed of five key components: tax planning, relationships with governments, transparency, tax risk management and governance. See the Tax Strategy for more on these topics as well as on Board oversight and governance relating to tax.
|Taxes paid and effective tax rate||
The effective tax rates for the years ended Dec. 31, 2019 and Dec. 31, 2018 were 39% and 21%, respectively.
2018 10-K, footnote 14
2019 10-K, pp. 46, 111
|Information Requested||Nielsen Disclosure|
|Supply chain description and changes||
We have approximately 10,000 active suppliers in our procurement system and spend approximately $2 billion with our suppliers annually.
The bulk of our supply chain spend, approximately 76%, is in technology and telecommunications, including data processing and data centers; computer programming, consultancy and related services; telecommunications and related services; and software and related services. Technology companies in our supply chain tend to be large, publicly traded, multinational enterprises headquartered in the U.S. or Europe. A relatively small subset of our technology suppliers are contract manufacturers who make Nielsen-designed electronic measurement devices, which are used to track television viewership, radio listening and so forth with our research panels. These contract manufacturer suppliers tend to be small to medium-sized enterprises, often in emerging market countries.
The next largest percentage of spend, or approximately 22%, is spent on professional services, which encompass financial services and insurance; office supplies; shipping; staffing; real estate facilities and management; and travel services such as air and auto transportation and accommodations. These suppliers tend to be large, publicly traded companies, often headquartered in the U.S. or Europe.
The balance of our spend is on marketing research and related services, as well as call centers. These suppliers, which are often small to medium-sized enterprises, are located in both developed and emerging market countries.
The primary change in our supply chain during the reporting period was the migration of more of our data to the cloud and cloud service providers. Significantly, Nielsen migrated its core National Television Audience Measurement processing from traditional, on-premise server processing to a cloud-based infrastructure.
|Approach to procurement practices, including details on Supply Chain Code of Conduct||
We recognize that our institutional spend with suppliers around the world comes with risks and impacts that are of concern to our company and our stakeholders—risks relating to climate change, energy use, human rights, conflict minerals, and data privacy and security, among others. Just as consumers collectively have immense purchasing power, as a global company, our institutional spend of over $2 billion can be a demand signal in the marketplace.
Our standard contract terms request that our suppliers abide by the Nielsen Supplier Code of Conduct, which is available in 39 languages and conveys our expectations in areas such as human rights, health and safety, environmental management, ethics, and management systems. Nielsen’s Supplier Code was adapted from the supplier code of conduct of the Responsible Business Alliance, formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition. We provide online training on the Code for suppliers. One hundred percent of our Global Procurement team have been trained on our Supplier Code of Conduct, along with three Global Procurement team members who have been trained to audit suppliers’ compliance with this Code.
|Process for identifying and managing sustainability risks in the supply chain, including monitoring and measuring compliance, assessing supply chain environmental impacts, and risk analyses per purchasing category||
Our supply chain sustainability program systematically addresses ESG risks and opportunities in our supply chain. Managing our supply chain’s ESG impacts begins with an understanding of the effects, both positive and negative, of our purchasing. Our Global Procurement team monitors ESG risks on a continuous basis through multiple tools and business processes including an annual, in-depth analysis conducted every spring, of all of the categories and industry segments in our supply chain. ESG impacts and risks are determined by industry, sector, size, geographic location and company-specific practices and policies. The major categories of supply chain risks we have identified, which remain fairly stable from year to year, are as follows:
|Supplier sustainability assessments, including scope of human rights-related assessments, suppliers assessed for ESG impacts, approach to corrective action, and definition of critical suppliers||
Through our Global Procurement team, we seek to manage our supply chain in an ethical, legal and socially responsible manner. We solicit supplier diversity and sustainability information during the request for proposal (RFP) process for new suppliers. We screen all vendors that register through our core accounting systems for corruption and sanctions.
In 2019, we further embedded ESG management of our supply chain into our procurement systems by adding several required questions on ESG performance to our supplier registration process. With these questions, we are engaging at the broadest level in our supply chain—with every supplier registered in our system—on their ESG policies, practices and outcomes.
We also continued our supplier ESG assessment and scorecarding program in 2019, with assessments of more than 100 of our key strategic suppliers in 26 countries and five global regions, representing 67% of our critical supplier base and over 90% of our managed spend. We assess the sustainability risks associated with our strategic suppliers on an annual or biennial frequency, depending on risk exposure. These third-party assessments cover a variety of key ESG issues, including climate impacts and GHG emissions, energy consumption, waste management, human rights, anti-corruption, bribery and more. We require assessments of suppliers that:
In 2018, we included supplier sustainability assessments as a contractual requirement through our Supplier Code of Conduct for suppliers who meet a $1 million spend threshold or are deemed to be exposed to risk due to industry or geography.
Supplier sustainability assessments address the following topics:
Suppliers are scored for each of these categories and then given an overall score, which can range from 1 to 100 (1=High Risk; 100=Best in Class). The lowest-scoring supplier companies receive corrective action plans aimed at helping to increase their scores.
Tier 1 Suppliers Undergoing Sustainability Assessments
High-risk suppliers undergo additional, multiple risk evaluations in 3-year cycles. One hundred percent of high-risk suppliers were assessed in 2019, and these suppliers will continue to undergo a full set of risk evaluations at least once every three years. All suppliers identified as high risk undergo three levels of due diligence, including:
High-risk suppliers are also continuously monitored using other procurement tools such as SAP Supplier Risk, DDIQ, Exiger and FRDM.
In addition to “paper-based” supplier assessments, Nielsen senior staff visit production facilities quarterly to assess management systems and quality. Nielsen staff engage with the factories belonging to high-risk suppliers on a continuous basis, with site visits to the most active production facilities two to four times per year. During these visits, Nielsen visually checks the sites for building health and safety as well as child labor, and asks factory management questions related to any observations that give cause for concern. In 2018 and 2019, approximately 80% of our most active Tier 1 and Tier 2 electronics suppliers received factory site visits.
Members of our Global Procurement team have been trained by the Responsible Business Alliance to internally audit against our Supplier Code; beginning in 2019, factory visits included internal audits against the Code.
See our 2019 Supply Chain Responsibility Report for more on our supplier sustainability program as well as year-by-year highlights, goals and progress.
|Supplier sustainability assessment results and corrective actions, including number of suppliers identified as having significant ESG impacts, high-risk suppliers with corrective action plans, ESG performance improvements for high-risk suppliers with corrective action plans, and supplier relationships terminated based on ESG impacts||Approximately one-third of the 100+ assessed suppliers received scores indicating some exposure to ESG risk, and corrective action plans were triggered for those suppliers to reinforce continuous improvement. Since the inception of our program in 2016, we have focused on meaningful engagement with our critical suppliers on ESG issues, and those efforts with this core group of suppliers have resulted in scores that have increased over time. Our spend with suppliers that are systematically and strategically addressing ESG issues has also increased over time. In 2018, 85% of our managed spend was with suppliers whose scores indicated a serious commitment to managing ESG risks and opportunities. In 2019, that percentage increased to 90%. In the 2018-2019 reporting period, no suppliers were determined to have significant harmful ESG impacts, and no suppliers were terminated based on ESG impacts.|
|Sustainability-related supplier selection criteria and contract requirements, including green procurement policies and initiatives, social and environmental clauses in supplier contracts, integration of supplier corporate social responsibility performance into purchasing decisions, and suppliers covered by the Code of Conduct||
One hundred percent of new suppliers onboarded through our Global Procurement process are assessed on ESG criteria. We specifically solicit sustainability information during supplier registration and the RFP process. This information is included as selection criteria along with our other requirements for quality, delivery, service and cost. In accordance with our Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy, wherever possible, our Global Procurement team identifies options for products and services to reduce GHG emissions, conserve natural resources and reduce waste.
Our standard contract terms request that all suppliers abide by the Nielsen Supplier Code of Conduct. Our Code incorporates key elements from a widely used industry standard, the Responsible Business Alliance’s code, including elements relating to labor (specifically human rights), health and safety, environmental management, ethics, and management systems. Starting in 2019, 100% of our new suppliers provide written acknowledgment of our Code, and we are working to gain this acknowledgement from suppliers with whom we contracted before implementing this requirement. We are also proud to provide automated online training to all on our Supplier Code of Conduct; this training is available in 12 languages.
|Addressing human rights risks, including child and forced labor risks, in our supply chain, including approach to employment in supply chain and suppliers considered to have significant child labor risks and/or freedom of association/collective bargaining risks||
The greatest human rights risk in the Nielsen supply chain is with our contract electronics manufacturers, particularly those located in Asia. We work with the Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers in this area to assess and engage them on their human rights practices, particularly as they relate to human trafficking and modern slavery. We cover our approach to managing human rights and modern slavery risks in our supply chain and beyond in our annual Nielsen Modern Slavery Statement.
In 2016, Nielsen became a supporting corporate member of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), formerly the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition. As a corporate member, we updated our Supplier Code of Conduct to incorporate key aspects of the RBA Code of Conduct, a supplier code that has been adopted by more than 100 Fortune 500 or multinational corporations engaged with the global electronics supply chain. We have chosen to align ourselves with this industry code and organization to address the particular risk of exposure to labor exploitation within the technology and electronics equipment manufacturing segments of our supply chain. Child labor and forced/compulsory labor are major forms of exploitation within this sector overall.
Nielsen expects that the suppliers with which we do business support and respect the free exercise of human rights, including through compliance with applicable human rights and labor laws and the provision of safe and healthy working environments. Forced, involuntary and child labor are strictly forbidden.
As part of our Supply Chain Sustainability program, we require suppliers to demonstrate similar commitments by agreeing to abide by our Code (or their own Code, if commensurate with our requirements) and providing company-level information related to sustainability throughout their tenure servicing Nielsen.
Prior to contracting with a supplier, Nielsen establishes a baseline of expectations regarding social compliance through our Supplier Code of Conduct. We assess the social compliance risk of new suppliers prior to contracting with them and require that they have the management systems necessary to address any potential violations after the contract is made.
Our comprehensive supplier assessment and engagement process, described in detail throughout this section, includes many elements specifically related to human rights risks, including the following:
The assessments above are reviewed and monitored by a Nielsen director and manager with subject matter expertise in social compliance, and are shared with external consultative bodies as well for additional review.
We also conduct regular factory visits to our most active production facilities. Finally, we utilize social compliance data available through our membership in the Responsible Business Alliance to access specific social compliance information on our suppliers’ production sites or prospective production sites.
For more information, see our 2020 Nielsen Modern Slavery Statement, which describes our efforts to mitigate the risk of modern slavery and forced labor in our supply chain, as well as our 2019 Supply Chain Responsibility Report for more on our supplier sustainability program and year-by-year highlights, goals and progress.
|Materials and conflict minerals||
Nielsen purchases electronic measuring devices through subcontracted manufacturers. This is the only segment of Nielsen’s supply chain in which managing materials is an issue.
Through electronics contract manufacturing, Nielsen is exposed to risks relating to the extraction and use of conflict minerals. A group of four mined metals—tungsten, tin, tantalum and gold (3TG)—are the most commonly mined conflict minerals. The 3TG minerals are widely used in both consumer and commercial electronics. While these metals are mined across the world, they pose particular risk when extracted from Africa, where there is a greater likelihood for their sale to result in financing warfare or the subjugation of people. Nielsen undertakes due diligence and publishes the results of our due diligence measures annually in a Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals disclosure, as required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The products requiring 3TG data collection and disclosure in our supply chain are the Portable People Meter family of meters and encoders designed by Nielsen Audio and manufactured by contract manufacturers. An internal management team with representatives from Engineering, Global Procurement, Legal and Finance ensures compliance with our conflict mineral reporting requirements. We utilize a specialized, third-party provider to collect information from our direct suppliers with respect to the origin of the 3TG metals contained in components and materials supplied to us. We also include sources of 3TG that are supplied to them from lower-tier suppliers.
Our third-party provider:
If template responses are insufficient or absent, Nielsen examines each case individually and determines a response based on the likelihood of 3TG being present, the specific component and the availability of the component from other sources. Possible responses include suspension of purchasing the component from that supplier, working with the supplier to obtain the 3TG data necessary for a determination of its sourcing, or designing out that particular component from our products going forward.
Compliance with our conflict minerals due diligence is specifically included within our Supplier Code of Conduct.
Finally, as a corporate member of the Responsible Business Alliance and the Responsible Minerals Initiative, Nielsen adds its purchasing power to an industry coalition to influence change and encourage responsible sourcing systemically within the electronics industry.
See also our Global Environmental Policy & Guidelines Across Functions, p. 24.
|Supplier engagement and capacity building, including external supply chain industry initiatives||
Nielsen has long-term, multiyear agreements in place with our major suppliers globally. These long-term contracts lead to mutual relationships that allow us the opportunity to build awareness and capability to meet our expectations for supply chain responsibility.
Much of our supply chain work seeks to increase positive impacts, such as supplier diversity, environmentally preferable purchasing, impact sourcing, local sourcing and multistakeholder collaboration.
We specifically engage suppliers who are critical to our core business, encompass the largest percentages of our spend and have particular exposure to environmental, social or governance (ESG) risk. We engage suppliers in all of the major sectors of our supply chain: technology, professional services, contract manufacturing of measuring equipment, and market research. We engage with our key suppliers multiple times a year with a focus on ESG issues, including through the following:
Measurement and disclosure: As discussed previously, once a key supplier enters our supply chain, we require a standardized supplier assessment on ESG performance (provided by a third party), which benchmarks our suppliers according to their industry, size and country or countries of operation, along with ESG updates during regular business reviews. The assessments and regular business reviews serve as catalysts for meaningful supplier engagement.
Based on our Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy, we measure the performance of our real estate facilities management, paper, printing, electronic devices and fleet suppliers on 50 environmental, supplier diversity and social metrics.
Continuous improvement: Through meaningful supplier engagement, we ensure visibility into ESG risks and opportunities and drive higher standards within our own supply chain. Our sourcing managers engage with our suppliers with the goal of quantitatively improving sustainability performance at both the supplier and product/service level.
Capacity building: We’ve developed a Supplier Toolkit as a resource for our suppliers to improve their sustainability performance. The Supplier Toolkit includes guidance for developing social, ethical and environmental policies, practices and reporting. Additionally, the toolkit includes a comprehensive list of 150 performance indicators that suppliers can use to track ESG performance.
Collaboration: We also combine our purchasing power with other institutions and seek to address these issues systemically. In addition to membership in the Responsible Business Alliance, we are a founding member of the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition and a member of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council.
See our 2019 Supply Chain Responsibility Report for more on our supplier sustainability program, including year-by-year highlights, goals and progress.
|Supply chain environmental engagement, including engagement on climate change strategies and green procurement initiatives||
As described above, our supply chain risk assessment process has identified the primary environmental risks associated with our supply chain. In 2019, we contracted with Trucost for an assessment of Nielsen’s supply chain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The assessment found that 70% of GHG emissions in our supply chain were from purchased goods and services. See the Environment section for more on our Scope 3 GHG emissions.
Alignment with our Supplier Code of Conduct, which addresses environmental management and sustainability information, is required for 100% of suppliers newly added through our supplier registration system. Sustainability information is requested and collected in 100% of our major, centrally managed travel supplier RFPs, a supply chain segment with a heavy climate footprint.
Our ongoing supplier sustainability assessment process includes a range of environmental issues, including energy consumption, energy efficiency and climate change mitigation strategies.
Nielsen is a founding member of the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition, a coalition of multinational corporations and suppliers committed to employing corporate procurement as an innovative means to address global poverty and increase economic inclusion. We have continued to play a leading role in the emerging impact sourcing movement and have increased the number of impact sourcing-related jobs at Nielsen from an initial baseline of 342 in 2017 to 437 through year-end 2019. These jobs focus on poverty alleviation, or providing productive work that increases workers’ household income above the $2 per day poverty line, according to the standard of the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition.
We developed an Impact Sourcing Buyer’s Toolkit to raise awareness about impact sourcing among economic buyers and decision-makers for whom an impact sourcing supplier would be a good option. The toolkit includes a buyer’s presentation; user-friendly fact sheets and case studies; a directory of providers; and an opportunity identification worksheet to take stock of where opportunities may be available within our company.
Impact sourcing is a key initiative for aligning our supply chain with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through impact sourcing, we are addressing multiple SDGs, including SDG 1 (end poverty in all its forms everywhere) and SDG 8 (promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all). To promote this practice throughout the business community, we were on the Review Committee for the “Reducing Poverty Through Employment Toolkit” published by Business for Social Responsibility.
For more information about this commitment to impact sourcing, see the feature about Nielsen on the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition website. See also our 2019 Supply Chain Responsibility Report for more on our supplier sustainability program, including year-by-year highlights, goals and progress.
|Buyer training on social and environmental supply chain issues||We understand that the cumulative purchasing decisions of institutional buyers can catalyze systemic change through market demand and that training and resources enable and empower those decisions. Nielsen provides education and awareness-raising efforts internally and externally throughout the year to increase the awareness and practice of sustainable purchasing, and 100% of our Global Procurement team has completed certificate training with the Responsible Business Alliance on our Supplier Code of Conduct. We have also developed an internship program with DePaul University, the Illinois Institute of Technology and Rutgers University for project-based, graduate-level internships focused on developing future supply chain sustainability professionals who are equipped to manage social and environmental risks. Since 2016, we have provided internships to 26 students from six educational institutions in Chicago, New Jersey, Florida and California.|
|Supply chain management goals||
See our 2019 Supply Chain Responsibility Report for more details on goals and progress. See the Diversity and Inclusion section for information on our supplier diversity efforts.
|Information Requested||Nielsen Disclosure|
|Human rights policy, due diligence, risk assessment and governance of human rights issues||
Human rights are embedded in our overall approach to risk management through our Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework, which covers 100% of our operations and joint ventures where we have management control. This multichannel collaboration allows us to take a more comprehensive and proactive approach to human rights risk management. ERM ensures that we are conducting ongoing, in-depth assessments through our existing due diligence processes, monitoring and reporting on these risks, taking appropriate actions when needed to address the risks, and integrating any relevant findings into our organizational processes and policies as needed. We also monitor human rights-related risks on an ongoing basis through a variety of other internal audit processes across geographies and different areas of our business. For more detail, see our Global Commitment to Human Rights, which covers our operational commitments and expectations for joint ventures and other stakeholders. As it relates to our Tier 1 suppliers, 68% have been assessed for human rights-related risks over the last three years.
We are committed to continuous improvement in this area in terms of increasing coverage across our workforce, operations, supply chain and beyond, advancing our own policies and practices, and encouraging the same of our stakeholders. To that end, we publish regular updates on our approach to this and related areas in our Global Commitment to Human Rights, which is updated every two years, as well as our annual Modern Slavery Statement.
|Vulnerable groups assessed for human rights risks||We recognize that monitoring human rights risks is critical for all stakeholder groups, but that not all groups require the same type or degree of monitoring, resources and support. With that in mind, we have identified key vulnerable groups that require more rigorous monitoring, including manufacturing suppliers’ workers, panelists and remote workers. Nielsen is continually revising our approach to providing these groups and others with the resources and information they need to recognize and address potential human rights risks or opportunities that might come up in the course of their work or interactions with Nielsen. Please see our Global Commitment to Human Rights for more information.|
|Grievance mechanism for human rights impacts||
Nielsen associates have a responsibility to report any potential human rights violations. Associates may file formal or informal grievances through their managers, next-level managers or Human Resources. Nielsen also maintains a Helpline whereby associates can bring formal and informal grievances anonymously, or raise questions or concerns. All grievances are investigated. Nielsen’s Code of Conduct maintains that no associates are to be retaliated against for bringing forth any formal or informal grievances. We invite any stakeholders concerned about potential human rights-related risks or impacts to reach out and share any concerns or grievances with us. Please visit www.nielsen.com/helpline to make a report online and to view a full list of country-specific phone numbers. More information about how to submit a claim through the Helpline and other ways to report a concern can be found in the Nielsen Code of Conduct.
See also Nielsen’s Global Commitment to Human Rights.
|Human rights violations and remediation actions||
There have been no human rights incidents requiring remediation actions during the reporting period.
Any and all potential violations of Nielsen’s Code of Conduct, including human rights violations, are taken seriously. All allegations of violations are promptly investigated, and action is taken as appropriate.
|Human rights management system certifications||Given the nature of Nielsen’s business, the greatest risks for potential human rights issues come through our supply chain. To mitigate those risks, Global Procurement staff are trained in SA8000 Auditor and RBA Auditor programs which address human rights risks, among other topics.|
|Employee training on human rights policies or procedures||We focus human rights-related training on our Procurement and Supply Chain Management employees, as the greatest risks for human rights issues occur in our supply chain rather than our direct operations. All members of Nielsen’s Global Procurement team have been trained on Nielsen’s Supplier Code of Conduct, which is aligned with the U.N.’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the ILO’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In addition, all Global Procurement team members have received certificates of completion from the Responsible Business Alliance. Three members of Nielsen’s Global Procurement team have been trained to conduct internal audits against Nielsen’s Supplier Code. Additionally, all employees are required to complete training on our Nielsen Code of Conduct, which also covers human rights issues. In 2019, we began providing optional internal training open to all associates to learn more about how protecting human rights is part of everyone’s job.|
|Freedom of expression||
We recognize that it is a right of everyone to associate freely. We are committed to ensuring an open environment at Nielsen where all views are respected and where dialogue about our business and its operations is encouraged.
See Nielsen’s Global Commitment to Human Rights.
|Stakeholder engagement regarding human rights risks and impacts||
We proactively engage our internal and external stakeholders to better understand their views and recommendations in order to incorporate an informed respect for human rights throughout all aspects of Nielsen’s business. Our approach is aligned with external standards and best practices in a number of specific ways, including respect for the individual; care for our communities; nurturing a diverse and inclusive environment; and safeguarding our meritocracy, among others. For more, see our Global Commitment to Human Rights and our nonfinancial materiality assessment.
Suppliers are a key stakeholder with whom we engage on human rights issues. Our Supplier Code of Conduct explicitly forbids forced labor, child labor, human trafficking and discrimination, and requires suppliers to respect the right to freedom of association. See the Supply Chain Management section above for more on how we engage with suppliers on human rights.
|Commitment to children’s rights||
Nielsen’s Global Commitment to Human Rights is aligned with the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes prohibitions against child labor. The most material aspect of this for Nielsen is in our data collection processes, which we conduct with the full consent of those providing their information. When we collect personal data from children, we do so with parental consent, which can be withdrawn at any time, and we comply with all applicable laws regarding the collection of data about children. For more detail, please refer to our Nielsen Privacy Principles.
We also engage in social commitments and programs that benefit children, such as through our Nielsen Cares volunteer engagement programs.
|Participation in recognized human rights initiatives and collaboration||
To create industry change and impact beyond our own operations and supply chain, we’ve joined our efforts and our purchasing power with like-minded corporate peers in the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Coalition, Responsible Business Alliance, Responsible Labor Initiative, Responsible Minerals Initiative, Global Impact Sourcing Coalition, and International Association of Outsourcing Professionals. We are represented on leadership bodies of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Coalition, Global Impact Sourcing Coalition and International Association of Outsourcing Professionals.
Our Global Commitment to Human Rights and Supplier Code of Conduct were developed in alignment with the U.N.’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the ILO’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.