Over the past few years, Alma Media has made considerable efforts to develop its Sustainable Media programme, both in its own operations and by introducing the theme in public discussion. Alma Media’s activity in this field places the Group in a strong position as a forerunner in corporate responsibility in the Nordic media industry.
Goals and achievements in 2013
In 2013, the focal points of corporate responsibility were the societal impacts of journalism and advertising. Alma Media also continued its own activities and co-operation to mitigate the environmental impacts of the media sector and reduce youth unemployment.
A media company’s most significant impact is created through the content it produces. Each of Alma Media’s media outlets has a responsibility for its journalistic content. Alma Media’s task is to promote discussion on the responsibility associated with freedom of speech and to increase awareness of the brainprint media leaves on audiences and society. In 2013, Alma Media was actively involved in research and discussion on brainprint both in Finland and internationally. In addition to the impacts of journalism, the discussion extended to the impacts of advertising and how advertising can promote not only consumption, but also sustainable development.
A second focal area was work related to the environmental impacts of media and continued partnerships in this field. Alma Media became the first and only Nordic media company to be listed on the CDLI climate index. The index is comprised of 27 Nordic listed companies recognised for having the highest level of transparency with respect to climate issues. The environmental study published by Alma Media in 2012 on the impacts of print and digital media continued to attract a great deal of interest, and the study was used for various purposes including the assessment of the environmental impacts of advertising. In recognition of its environmental efforts, Alma Media received LEED environmental certification in 2013 for its new head office in Töölönlahti and its printing facility in Tampere.
Preventing youth employment was the third focal area in 2013. For the third consecutive year, Alma Media and its online service Monster.fi were involved as main partners in supporting and implementing the Finnish Children and Youth Foundation’s Responsible Summer Job project. The 2013 campaign attracted 174 responsible employers, who offered a total of more than 35,000 summer and seasonal jobs.
The Sustainable Media programme is implemented in Alma Media’s and its employees’ way of working and through the choices employees make on a daily basis. Alma Media’s corporate responsibility objectives are thus implemented by every employee and business unit in their daily operations and the communication of specific corporate responsibility goals is not always possible or even meaningful. Nevertheless, Alma Media has set certain specific corporate responsibility objectives to support responsible actions in daily work. In addition to the objectives described below, goals related to corporate responsibility are also described in the sections on the environment and employees.
|Management and coordination of corporate responsibility||Parallel to the corporate responsibility network, the company ran Sustainable Media workshops open to all Alma Media employees, with the aim of developing competence and business operations||**||Three workshops open to all Alma Media employees were organised during the year.||Increasing the number of participants|
|Developing responsible supply chain management||**||Supply chain development has begun.||Responsible purchasing supplement|
|Improved integration of corporate responsibility into risk management; rising from second place to top position among Nordic media companies in the CDP report.||**||Comprehensive revision of risk management still in progress, highest-placed Nordic media company in the CDP report and inclusion in the CDLI index (92p.)||Development of risk management|
|Developing internal corporate responsibility communications; launching Sustainable Media theme workshops.||***||Sustainable Media tour in one municipality, three Sustainable Media workshops||Increasing the number of workshop participants|
|Developing the Sustainable Media perspective of the business strategy and launching the first solutions||*||Corporate responsibility included in analysing the operating environment||Development of the business benefits of corporate responsibility|
|Stakeholder interaction||Ratkaisun paikka fair||***||Visitor target exceeded by a large margin thanks to active media partnership||Active media partnership at the Ratkaisun paikka 2014 fair|
|Active involvement as main partner in the Responsible Summer Job 2013 campaign and its development||***||The third time as the main partner in the development of the Responsible Summer Job 2013 campaign by the Finnish Children and Youth Foundation, with the campaign’s reach and awareness of the campaign substantially improved from the previous year.||Active involvement as main partner in the Responsible Summer Job 2014 campaign and its development|
|Nordic Media CR Forum||***||Sustainable Media programme developed through cooperation, Mirrors or Movers conference in June 2013||Increasing awareness of the Nordic Media CR Forum in Finland|
|Active participation in the City of Helsinki Climate Partnership Network||***||Provided content for the network’s annual seminar||Joint seminar between climate partners and Alma Media|
|Developing opportunities for volunteer work for Alma Media employees||**||Some volunteer activities were organised.||Increasing opportunities for volunteering|
|Responsible journalism||Continuing dialogue on brainprint and the Brainprint project through Alma Media’s various media.||***||Active international participation in the discussion, launching the brainprint concept in Finland||Continuing the discussion and extending it beyond Alma Media|
|Organising a workshop on responsible journalism||***||Brainprint workshop in October 2013||Continuing the discussion and extending it beyond Alma Media|
|Responsible advertising and marketing||Analysing the environmental impacts of the full advertising lifecycle and communicating the findings to cooperation partners||**||Responsible marketing workshops and statements with Aegis Media in January 2013|
|Initiating dialogue on sustainable advertising and marketing||**||Responsible marketing workshops and statements with Aegis Media in January 2013||Continuing the dialogue and cooperation|
|Environmental responsibility||Continuing broad-based communication of the environmental study and planning potential follow-up projects||***||Extensive communication of the study was continued, participation in the Shape Media study||Continuing cooperation as part of the Shape Media study|
|Environmental matters in Alma Media’s new office building in Töölönlahti||**||LEED Gold certificate granted to the new head office||Activating employees in environmental work|
|Setting more detailed environmental targets as new facilities are commissioned||*||The process of setting more detailed targets is incomplete due to the development of a calculation process||Setting more detailed environmental targets|
|Developing corporate responsibility reporting||Monitoring the development of reporting and revising company processes accordingly||**||GRI Media Sector Supplement implemented, preparations for G4 have begun||Preparation for G4 reporting|
|Improving data collection on environmental and human resource matters||**||For environmental data, waste and water consumption reporting for the entire Group is not yet available.||Revising the process of collecting environmental data|
|New objective for 2014–2015: Improving supply chain reporting|
|* measures have been started
** significant progress towards the objective, but further developments are planned
*** objective has been achieved
For Alma Media’s employees, 2013 was a year characterised by collaboration and networking across organisational boundaries, the development of managerial work and the improvement of digital competencies. The new office premises in Helsinki and the new printing facility in Tampere also improved working conditions, which had a positive impact on employee well-being. The Töölönlahti office building, which brings Helsinki-based Alma Media employees together under one roof, was a particularly important factor in facilitating collaboration, the sharing of expertise and networking between units in a new way. New cooperation networks established in 2013 included the Young Alma Medians network for the young and young at heart, and a software developers’ network. As part of Alma Media’s corporate responsibility initiatives, three workshops open to all employees were organised to provide employees with opportunities to participate in the development of Sustainable Media operations.
The year concluded with an employee survey. Conducted every two years, the 2013 survey received responses from nearly 2,000 Alma Media employees. The survey was participated by 84 % of the Alma Media employees, excluding the printing and distribution unit Alma Manu. As in previous years, the unit’s response rate was low (under 40 per cent) due to delivery employees being more difficult to reach with an online survey than other employees.
The survey respondents indicated that managerial work, in particular, has improved since the previous survey. This is reflected in a more spirited attitude towards resolving problems as well as improvements in giving feedback and rewards. In addition to managerial work, the survey respondents commended on the company’s development of operating methods and increased flexibility. The responses from Alma Media employees based in Helsinki also highlighted the improvements in the working environment brought about by the new office premises.
The most significant areas of improvement revealed by the survey were related to the transformation of the media sector. Respondents indicated they feel their work is more stressful than before, and the future of the industry is perceived as uncertain. This was also reflected in ambiguity regarding common targets and objectives. Based on the results of the employee survey, improving the digital competence of Alma Media employees was identified as a focal area for development across the organisation.
The results of the survey will be reviewed team by team in spring 2014, led by their respective managers, and these discussions will then be used to prepare concrete development plans with measurable targets and responsible persons. The next comprehensive employee survey will be conducted in autumn 2015.
International acquisitions, organisational restructuring and recruitment for digital business operations brought new competence to Alma Media and improved the Group’s capacity for sharing know-how. The proportion of employees working on digital services and the share of employees stationed outside Finland both increased in 2013. In 2013, Alma Media employed 1965 (1910) full-time employees on average. The distribution personnel amounted to 998 (1006) on average. Alma Media employees are split between 45 different locations in Finland and in seven other European countries. Poland and Hungary were added to the list of operating countries in January 2014 as Alma Career Oy began operations.
Diverse competence development
The digitalisation of the media field means new competence needs and the continuous development of employee competence. Alma Media has improved its capacity for the sharing of know-how through training as well as by carrying out extensive organisational restructuring. Collaboration across former organisational boundaries is now seen as a starting point for operations. New kinds of competence have been obtained in areas such as digital recruitment services through international acquisitions. In digital development, competence has been expanded through new recruitment by the Alma Diverso unit. The shared workspace in Töölönlahti provides a natural setting for bringing different skills together and enabling effective teamwork.
The focal areas of training activities in 2013 were digital competence, change management and a coaching approach to managerial work. The year also saw the launch of Alma flow, a management development programme aimed at developing management culture and supporting employee commitment and motivation through management by coaching. The focal points of the programme include building trust, change management, an innovative atmosphere, management by coaching, digital competence and communication. The Alma flow programme will also involve more mentoring for managers and other development tools to support managerial work.
The first Joker development programme, which began in 2011, was concluded in 2013. The programme was aimed at coaching selected employees for more demanding positions and taking advantage of their expertise in various business development undertakings.
In total, Alma Media organised nearly 1,000 days worth of training for its employees in 2013. In addition to open training days organised by the company, employees complemented their professional development through training provided by external partners. Training provided by external training providers is not included in the reported figure for total training days.
Promotion of equality and non-discrimination
Alma Media's unit-specific equality plans include practical and detailed objectives, actions, schedules, responsible persons and metrics. Equality plans are part of human resource and training planning, and they are updated annually.
Although the differences in salaries between men and women at Alma Media have been in line with the average Finnish pay structure, improving gender equality in pay has been highlighted as an important area of development for the Group. This development has been successful in almost all employee groups, partly by allocating company-specific portions of salary increases in a manner that promotes gender equality in pay. After positive development in 2012, Alma Media’s gender equality in pay remained largely unchanged in 2013. An exception to this was gender equality in pay for upper clerical employees, which declined slightly.
The proportion of women among supervisors, senior management and the Group Executive Team increased in 2013 compared to the previous year. At the end of December 2013, 55 per cent of those in managerial positions were men (2012: 57%) and 45 per cent were women (43%). At present, senior management includes 39 per cent (31%) women, the Group Executive Team 22 per cent (10%) and the Board of Directors of the parent company 13 per cent (14%).
Increasing multiculturalism at Alma Media
Building the future of media requires a diverse group of Alma Media employees. The significance of employee diversity has increased in the ageing and increasingly international society. At Alma Media, distribution operations in particular offer employment opportunities for qualified candidates who have moved to Finland from abroad. Immigrants represent slightly over 17 per cent of all distribution employees, and in Pirkanmaa this figure is as high as approximately 26 per cent. The Group’s printing and distribution unit Alma Manu will focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by employee diversity in 2014: taking multiculturalism into account has been specified as one of the objectives of the operating plan for 2014.
Alma Media has adopted the average retirement age as a metric for monitoring employee well-being and diversity as well as social responsibility. In 2013, the average retirement age was 63 years (2012: 63.2).
As in the previous year, diversity also increased in 2013 due to international acquisitions. Alma Media’s digital recruitment services were brought together to form Alma Career Oy, which will also include the Polish, Hungarian and Czech operations of Monster Worldwide. While increasing internationality will present new management challenges in the coming years, it will also provide significant opportunities in the form of diverse expertise, new working practices and fresh perspectives.
New business premises boost occupational health
Alma Media employees in Helsinki moved under one roof for the first time at the turn of the year 2012–2013 as the Group’s new office building was completed in Töölönlahti. Employees were involved in the design of the new office building from the start: in addition to participating in unit-specific working groups, employees had the opportunity to influence their new working environment through an idea team, the Helmi system for employee suggestions and initiatives, pilot projects and voting on various issues. The shared office building has contributed to progress on a variety of matters that are central to the development of corporate responsibility and operations, such as the sharing of know-how, employee well-being and collaboration across organisational boundaries.
Alma Media paid particular attention to occupational health in the design of its new office building in Töölönlahti, specifically aspects such as indoor air quality, ergonomic workstations and lighting. Employees are encouraged to stay physically active by the provision of loan bicycles, and the menu of the office building’s cafeteria promotes healthy eating. There are also various employee activities and campaigns such as “Stair Days”. Occupational health was also a prominent element at other Alma Media offices during the year. For example, Alma Manu planned a “Manu works out” programme to be implemented starting in 2014. The programme is aimed at promoting and maintaining the occupational health of all employees.
The number of occupational accidents rose slightly in 2013. The majority of occupational accidents and accidents during work-related travel at Alma Media occur in distribution operations, as they are affected by weather conditions. The occupational safety of delivery personnel has been highlighted as a key focal area in distribution operations and specified as a separate target in the unit’s action plan. The goal is to halve the number of accidents in distribution and delivery operations during the period while creating a foundation for continued development work. Responsibility and occupational safety issues such as appropriate clothing, anti-slip solutions and safe walking were integral aspects of the training provided for delivery personnel.
Occupational safety and employee well-being were given a great deal of consideration in the design of Alma Media’s new printing facility in Tampere, which began operations in 2013. The aim is to minimise accidents during printing and distribution.
Read more about Sustainable Media and employees.
One of the most important focal points of Alma Media’s Sustainable Media programme in 2013 was understanding and analysing media’s brainprint, or the impacts media content has on society. Alma Media was involved in the international discussion on brainprint and also introduced the concept in Finland.
In 2013, Alma Media contributed to the Mirrors or Movers report on brainprint and also participated in the seminar in which the report was presented. The report identifies six ways media influences choices and the construction of our reality through the content it publishes. In addition to participating in the international discussion on the topic, Alma Media also organised an internal event on brainprint and the role of the journalist from a societal standpoint. Brainprint will also be one of the main themes of the Sustainable Media programme in 2014, with plans to continue the discussion on the topic at another Mirrors or Movers conference as well as other contexts.
Transparency and interactivity in media as cornerstones of responsibility
The basic values of journalism and their impact on society have become an increasingly prominent subject of international public debate. This is largely due to a number of much-publicised cases in the United Kingdom in which the ethics and transparency of journalism failed to meet the standards for responsible journalism. The public debate has strengthened Alma Media’s newspapers’ and websites’ commitment to open and transparent journalism based on active industry self-regulation as well as media outlets’ own ethical principles that involve stricter standards than the Guidelines for Journalists issued by the Finnish Union of Journalists.
Openness is the foundation of responsible journalism. Corporate responsibility reporting by media companies is one component of open journalism. In spring 2012, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) published a Media Sector Supplement as guidance for the media industry. Alma Media was actively involved in the creation of the guidelines by, for example, commenting on them. In 2013, Alma Media became the first Finnish media company to publish a corporate responsibility report in compliance with the GRI Media Sector Supplement guidelines.
Alma Regional Media has implemented extensive changes to its organisational structure and operating model in recent years. The most recent of these changes is the renewal of Aamulehti. The plans, which include an extensive renewal of content as well as a shift to the tabloid format, were completed in 2013. One of the key objectives of the renewal process was to ensure the conditions for sustainable, open and local journalism in the future as transformational changes in lifestyles and media create an entirely new operating environment where the focus is on diverse content and sharing content across multiple channels.
Promoting and supporting freedom of speech is another key responsibility of Alma Media’s newspapers. On World Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2013, Alma Media and Alma Regional Media together organised the Long Live Freedom of Speech campaign on social media with the aim of helping the Finnish audience understand the value of freedom of speech and to exercise this freedom responsibly – without forgetting the fun side of freedom of speech. The campaign reached nearly 7,500 online users interested in freedom of speech.
Council for Mass Media monitors media
Council for Mass Media (CMM) decisions, reader feedback, reader panels and requests for corrections are all metrics for reliability and responsible journalism. Alma Media papers discuss CMM decisions at newspaper level, led by the Editor-in-Chief, and develop their operations accordingly.
In 2013, the Council for Mass Media issued a total of 113 decisions on matters such as corrections and surreptitious advertising. Of the 113 decisions, 19 pertained to Alma Media’s various media. Of the decisions pertaining to Alma Media, 32 per cent were condemnatory, compared to the overall rate of 35 per cent for CMM decisions in 2013. The total number of CMM decisions increased substantially compared to 2012, but the number of decisions pertaining to Alma Media declined. The proportion of condemnatory decisions of all decisions pertaining to Alma Media decreased slightly.
Read more about Sustainable Media and the brainprint.
In 2013, Alma Media took significant steps forward in environmental responsibility with the completion of its new Helsinki office and the printing facility in Tampere. Both buildings were awarded LEED environmental certification upon completion. Another important activity in the area of environmental responsibility, Alma Media’s environmental study on the environmental impacts of print and online media, was completed in 2013. Alma Media also received international recognition for its climate work in 2013: the company was ranked as the best Nordic media company in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a global initiative on climate impacts, with a score that improved compared to the previous year. This improvement saw Alma Media achieve a position in the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index, which is comprised of the top 27 Nordic listed companies in the area of climate work.
Environmental responsibility as a strong element in construction projects
The most significant environmental impacts of Alma Media’s and its business units’ operations are related to printing and distribution, properties, purchasing and travel. Alma Media’s new Helsinki office in Töölönlahti and the new printing facility in Tampere, which began operations in spring 2013, reduce the Group’s direct enviromental impacts in the operations in which they are the highest. Environmental impacts during construction as well as use were minimised in both projects. Both of the buildings received LEED environmental certification in 2013. The Helsinki office building achieved LEED Gold certification in recognition of environmental aspects having been taken into account at an excellent level. The Tampere printing facility is the world’s first LEED certified printing facility.
Environmental matters were taken into consideration in many ways in the design of the Töölönlahti office building and selecting its location, including the following:
- Energy-efficient building technology
- Underground parking with charging stations for electric cars
- Waste management during construction and use, with extensive recycling
- Excellent public transport links
Material and energy efficiency
Alma Media develops its environmental responsibility by improving its material and energy efficiency. Information on opportunities for potential improvement in efficiency was obtained through the environmental study carried out in 2012. The new printing facility and office building significantly improve the energy efficiency of Alma Media’s properties. For instance, the printing facility in Tampere has a heat recovery system that captures over 80 per cent of exhaust air. The new printing press also has an improved production efficiency and it has resulted in lower use of solvent based detergents and water.
The new printing facility will lead to a substantial decrease in the amount of materials wasted. However, in the first year of operations the maculature percentage* of the new printing facility was not lower than that of its predecessor, as test runs and problems in the breaking-in phase resulted in more wasted material than normal. The objective for 2014 is to establish comparable data for the maculature percentage in order to measure and develop the environmental efficiency of the new printing facility.
Another key aspect of material efficiency is the recovery of waste: almost all waste created by the printing facility is used as a raw material by another business. The efficiency of waste sorting improved further in 2013, with all waste generated at the printing facility now recovered for recycling or reuse and no waste ending up at landfill sites.
Harmful VOC emissions (volatile organic compounds) from printing operations were kept very low in 2013. The chemicals used for cleaning the printing machine have been VOC-free for some time, and since 2012 the company has also minimised the VOC content of the dampening solution used in the printing process. Alma Media’s printing facility in Tampere was one of the first printing facilities internationally to begin using a dampening solution that is almost entirely free of VOC emissions.
*The maculature percentage expresses the proportion of waste material to total material used in printing operations
Environmental aspects an increasingly important factor in ICT purchases
Alma Media can also influence its environmental impact through its purchasing. At present, environmental considerations are particularly taken into account in newsprint purchases, as paper production has wide-ranging impacts on climate change and resource depletion as well as biodiversity. In 2013, 75 per cent of the newsprint used by Alma Media contained recycled fibre. The share of recycled fibre in all newsprint pulp used by Alma Media was 38 per cent. Environmental issues are also a key factor in purchasing chemicals and printing plates.
The Sustainable Media programme includes the objective of integrating ecological considerations increasingly into ICT purchases. The environmental study indicated that ICT equipment and infrastructure have significant environmental impacts. Careful analysis and mitigation of these impacts is of great importance as digital media consumption grows. In 2013, Alma Media began to evaluate its ICT supply chain in even greater detail than before from the perspectives of environmental as well as social responsibility. The supply chain was evaluated as far back as possible in collaboration with the partners with whom Alma Media has the highest purchasing volume, also ensuring that the partners have the required certification. The aim is to continue this work in 2014 to identify the most significant risks in the supply chain and to begin corrective action as necessary.
The average carbon dioxide emissions of the Group’s leased car fleet are also regularly monitored. The target is to reduce average emissions by 8 per cent from 2013 to 2016. In 2013, the average CO2 emissions of the Group’s motor vehicles were 141g of CO2 equivalent per kilometre.
Increasing awareness through open communication on corporate responsibility
Increasing awareness of environmental issues among stakeholders is one of Alma Media’s most important ways of influencing its environmental impacts. In 2013, environmental themes were communicated internally on the Sustainable Media tour in Tampere, as well as through customised training and coaching for target groups including media sales, delivery personnel, editorial offices and members of the Group’s corporate responsibility network.
Activities in 2013 also included the second Ratkaisun paikka corporate responsibility event, with Alma Media as the main media partner. Alma Media’s role in the event was to provide greater exposure, arrange presenters and deliver a talk. The aim of Alma Media’s participation in the event was to promote corporate responsibility thinking in Finland. This goal was reached as the event, with some 700 visitors and highly positive feedback, exceeded all expectations. Alma Media will again be the main media partner of the next Ratkaisun paikka fair in May 2014.
Alma Media is actively involved in industry-wide environmental initiatives such as the Shape study carried out by the Federation of the Finnish Media Industry and VTT Technical Research Centre, which investigates media consumption from the perspective of its environmental impacts. On the international stage, Alma Media took a prominent role in the discussion of the environmental impacts of print and digital media with the research it has commissioned and engages in active communications on.
Alma Media also continued to actively communicate its environmental impacts to readers and users of services in 2013. Sustainable Media communications, which include environmental fact adverts published by newspapers, are aimed at communicating the environmental impacts of media and giving readers information on what they can do to reduce the environmental impacts of their own media consumption.
In 2012, Alma Media became one of the first businesses to join the City of Helsinki Climate Partners network aimed at promoting cooperation to reduce climate emissions and boost the competitiveness of the participating companies. Alma Media also published its own climate covenant, with specific climate targets, in conjunction with joining the initiative. Alma Media continued its active partnership in 2013 by, for example, participating in the facilitation of a network workshop and planning a Climate Partners network event of its own for January 2014.
Read more about Sustainable Media and the environment.
Climate change mitigation targets
to base year
|Reduction of CO2 emissions of electricity consumed in own operations||20%||2011||3240t CO2||2017||33%||17%|
|Reduction of CO2 emissions caused by operations in Helsinki||10%||2011||270t CO2||2017||33%||100%||Target achieved.|
|Reduction of CO2 emissions of the Tampere (and Pori) printing facility||10%||2011||2400t CO2||2017||33%||100%||Target achieved.|
|Reduction of the average CO2 emissions of the Group’s car fleet||8% (130g CO2e/km)||2013||141g CO2e/km||2017||n/a||n/a||New target.|
Environmental key indicators
|Materials used for printing, consumption|
|*Figures not available|
|Other indirect sources||Air travel||tCO2eq.**||190||280||355||415||290|
|Hotel stays (Finland)||tCO2eq.***||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||11|
|Other significant emissions||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013|
|*For fuels, total greenhouse gas emissions are reported converted to carbon dioxide
**From 2011 on, air travel emissions are reported in carbon dioxide equivalent. For 2010 and 2009, only carbon dioxide emissions are reported.
***A new reporting category in 2013: hotels stays in Finland
*Carbon dioxide equivalent is a measure used to compare the total climate effect, or Global Warming Potential, of emissions from greenhouses gases produced by human activity. The carbon dioxide equivalent is calculated by converting the global warming potential of other greenhouse gases to that of carbon dioxide.
Alma Media has various direct and indirect cultural, economic and social impacts on the communities it operates in. Communities range from small municipalities in which Alma Media publishes a local paper to online communities formed around Alma Media’s services.
Renewal and events in collaboration with local communities
In order for media to support the well-being of its community, it must respond to the challenges of a changing world, maintain its own vitality and renew itself with the support of the local community. The year 2013 for Alma Media’s newspapers and digital services was characterised by strong renewal based on a dialogue with their respective communities.
The most substantial community-oriented renewal projects were the Aamulehti tabloid renewal and the Lapin Kansa tablet device pilot. Aamulehti listened to the wishes and opinions of its readers regarding the newspaper’s format and content on a road tour across Pirkanmaa, in various workshops, and via an online platform. The readers’ wishes will be put into practice in the implementation of Aamulehti’s renewal in early 2014. Lapin Kansa readers in the villages of Äkäslompolo and Lisma participated in the development of new distribution channels in a pilot project that involved readers located outside the reach of early morning deliveries being provided tablet devices and the digital edition of the newspaper on a trial basis. More information on renewal on the terms of communities is available in the Renewal of journalism story.
Digital services were also renewed in collaboration with their user communities. Examples of online services renewed on the basis of user experiences included Telkku.com, Kotikokki.net and Etuovi.com. Alma Media also developed new services to better serve its user communities, such as Sisustusovi.com, an online service focused on interior decoration that was launched during the year.
The significance of diversity and the multi-channel approach growing as media consumption changes
The multi-channel approach is a key aspect of Alma Media’s services. In 2013, the company invested in developing both traditional and new channels. To provide even better service to the readers of print media, Alma Manu opened the world’s most modern printing facility in Tampere. Users of tablet devices and smartphones were offered substantially more content than in the previous year.
The diversity of content is ensured by listening and providing services to diverse audiences. Finland’s growing senior age group is taken into consideration and provided many opportunities for participation in various reader surveys and workshops aimed at developing media services for older users. Young people are also offered customised content, for instance through projects associated with the annual Newspaper Week and the Fiidi.fi service launched by Iltalehti in 2013. Young readers also participated in planning and designing the tabloid renewal of Aamulehti in a workshop organised by editorial staff. For its part, Lapin Kansa has included supporting Finland's only indigenous population group, the Sami, in its agenda. The newspaper offers the Sami news that interests them in their own language.
Economic well-being through the Responsible Summer Job campaign
In addition to the direct and indirect impacts of its business operations, Alma Media supports economically and socially sustainable development through partnerships. One example of this is the youth employment campaign organised in partnership with the Finnish Children and Youth Foundation (FCYF), which was implemented for the third time in 2013. The Responsible Summer Job 2013 campaign challenged companies to create good summer jobs for young people. The goal of the campaign was to take an action-oriented approach to youth employment. A total of 174 employers joined the campaign to offer over 35,000 responsible jobs. As a new dimension, the 2013 campaign featured Summer Job Coach training in three municipalities to prepare employers for meeting young people, as well as a mentoring and recruitment event for young people at the Alma House in Helsinki. The campaign will continue in 2014 with an aim to have 300 employers participate. The campaign themes for 2014 are the career wishes and employment of young people with disabilities.
Read more about Sustainable Media and communities.
In the Sustainable Media programme, responsible business operations refer to ethical choices in operations as well as responsibility as a part of Alma Media’s products and services. In 2013, the significance of privacy protection was highlighted as a key issue in business operations. Alma Media also continued its work to develop responsible marketing and advertising both in its own organisation and in the industry as a whole.
Code of Conduct as a guideline for operations
The ethical principles that govern Alma Media’s operations are described in the Code of Conduct, which contains the company’s key policies and principles for responsible management. Alma Media is a signatory of the UN Global Compact initiative, and its Code of Conduct is in line with the ten Global Compact principles. The Code of Conduct describes how responsibility is reflected in the day-to-day activity of everyone at Alma Media. In 2013, Alma Media promoted the Global Compact principles in many ways, such as by participating in the ICC Finland corporate responsibility monitoring group and delivering a presentation at the Global Compact Nordic Network conference in Helsinki in October. Alma Media’s Annual Review 2013 also serves as the company’s Global Compact Communication on Progress report.
Privacy protection developed as part of responsible thinking
The importance of reliability will grow as commerce moves to the online realm and fraud becomes increasingly frequent. Reliability is a common feature for Alma Media's various digital online services. The significance of privacy protection grew further in 2013, and this trend is expected to continue in the future. Regulation of the media sector is also expected to increase due to currently pending EU regulation on privacy protection.
Alma Media Group is committed to protecting the privacy of the users of its services, and it strives to provide a safe and secure user experience to all visitors to its online services. The use of customer registers specific to particular newspapers and services is governed by, among other regulations, the Personal Data Act and the Data Protection Act. Transparency is a high priority in operations: the Group’s privacy protection process is described in detail on its Privacy Protection page. In 2013, Alma Media carried out a review of privacy protection and developed certain key areas identified during the course of that review.
Customer data is protected through various measures. The server rooms for all online services have been protected against physical and digital attacks. Maintaining a high level of service availability* helps ensure that the services offered are reliable and available to potential buyers or tenants. Etuovi.com, Vuokraovi.com and Autotalli.com, for instance, have nearly 100% availability.
The customer service communications of Alma Media’s online services have been analysed and all customer service employees have been provided with a personal development plan intended to improve the quality and reliability of the service experience further.
*Service availability expresses the percentage of time a service is available to customers. Service availability is influenced by factors such as technical problems and system downtime due to maintenance operations.
Demand for sustainably produced media space
Alma Media’s advertisers are increasingly interested in how Alma Media supports their communications on sustainable development through its own responsibility. Alma Media has taken an active approach to responsibility in advertising. In 2013, it collaborated with an international media company to study the environmental effects of the advertising value chain as a whole. The study had a special focus on new ways of integrating corporate responsibility into media sales. The aim is to continue the pilot project in 2014.
The goal was to not only provide new information on the ecological footprint of advertising, but also to evoke discussion on responsible advertising. In 2013, Alma Media organised an employee discussion event related to responsible advertising and marketing and also took an active role in talking about the topic in various forums. The main theme in responsible advertising in 2013 was goodvertising, which refers to advertising that contains messages on sustainable development. Goodvertising is aimed at promoting sustainable development via the brainprint of advertising.
Responsibility is an integral part of product and service development
Strengthening the Sustainable Media perspective is a key consideration in business development and the creation of new business. Journalism in itself already supports this objective, but there are also interesting perspectives in the context of the development of digital services. In 2013, the Sustainable Media perspective was introduced to development efforts through a Responsible Business workshop organised in June to allow Alma Media employees to brainstorm and generate ideas on new, responsibility-related businesses with the help of an external expert. The Sustainable Media perspective was also incorporated into the monitoring of the operating environment, which is a key aspect of research and development.
Alma Media’s digital online services in Finland and elsewhere in Europe have already integrated responsibility into their services. One example of this is the Monster.fi working life guide designed to support young people in seeking employment. A Monster eJob Coach visited various forums to help young people, especially those at risk of social exclusion, with the job search process. Monster was also active in promoting youth employment through the Vamos, Living Library and Responsible Summer Job projects. LMC, a recruitment service provider under Alma Career Oy, has established a dedicated recruitment service for people who are offering and searching for volunteer work opportunities.
Read more about Sustainable Media and business.