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Measuring What Matters

3 minute read | May 2016
Mitch Barns, Nielsen CEO
Mitch Barns, CEO

Measurement. It’s the core of our business and the key asset that we provide to our clients—measuring consumer behaviors so that our clients can make thoughtful decisions and improve their business performance. At Nielsen, we also know that measurement can provide value to society as a whole. Independent third-party measurement is fundamental to the transparent and efficient operation of markets. When markets have an independent measurement standard, they perform better and grow faster.

This belief, that transparency and measurement create value, is at the heart of why we are releasing a Global Responsibility Report. We have a responsibility to measure what matters and to answer questions from our stakeholders about our own performance and commitments to making a positive impact on society. We believe that a business needs to care for the markets and communities on which it relies for its business. I’m excited to share Nielsen’s efforts in this space.

We have chosen to produce a Global Responsibility Report following Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI’s) internationally recognized framework that is the standard for sustainability reporting. The framework gives us an opportunity to present, in one document, all of the ways we measure our performance as a corporate citizen—encompassing how we serve our clients, how we treat our associates, how we contribute to our communities and environment, and how we manage our business and supply chain responsibly around the world.

Some of the key achievements we highlight in this report include:

  • Instituting environmental, social, and governance requirements for our top suppliers, growing our supplier diversity program, and adopting a set of global human rights guidelines.
  • Our continuing commitment to privacy as a core part of our business while enhancing the products and services we deliver for our clients, including the appointment of a Chief Privacy Officer and adoption of updated privacy guidelines.
  • Using the power of technology and analytics to enhance our ongoing talent development, retention, and recruitment efforts so that Nielsen is a place where our associates can be themselves, make a difference, and grow with us.
  • Reducing our emissions and energy use at data centers and expanding our ability to measure our environmental footprint.
  • Continuing our commitment to deliver $10 million in pro bono work and in-kind giving each year through Nielsen Cares. In 2015, more than 22,000 associates from around the world made positive impacts through our Nielsen Cares programs, whether through hands-on or skills-based volunteering and the in-kind giving of our products and services to support nonprofit causes where we can make a difference.
  • Championing Data for Good initiatives, including the creation of Project 8 with the UN Foundation, Salesforce and Accenture to help forecast international development needs, building out the Nielsen Datasets at the University of Chicago’s Kilts Center for Marketing, and being a co-founder of the Better Business Bureau’s Digital IQ project.
  • Expanding and growing Employee Resource Groups and appointing a new Chief Diversity Officer to continue supporting a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout Nielsen—critical to our growth, strength, and ability to innovate.
  • Our recognition by the Center for Public Accountability with a 95% rating on transparency.
  • Creating steady and consistent global revenue growth, complemented in 2015 with the acquisition of eXelate.

Nielsen is a 93-year-old company, but we’re really a series of companies that have grown over our lifetime—each one reimagined and emerging out of the one that preceded it. We continue to build on our core values of integrity, honesty, fairness, respect, and reliability while we also evolve and respond to the forces of the future. We can all be proud that our company proves every day that measuring what matters can truly impact our world for the better.


Mitch Barns is Nielsen’s Chief Executive Officer.