Responsibility & Sustainability

2014-2015 Materiality Assessment


In 2014, Nielsen began a formal non-financial materiality assessment to determine the citizenship and sustainability issues that are most critical to our business and to our stakeholders. Our primary motivation was to review and benchmark our citizenship and sustainability efforts, enhance our reporting, and update our strategies and programs to reflect our stakeholder needs and business priorities. We also wanted to identify any potential risks and opportunities, along with any emerging issues that could affect Nielsen’s business success and stakeholder relationships in the future.

At Nielsen, we broadly define “corporate citizenship and sustainability” across the economic, social, environmental and governance aspects of the company, including but not limited to our Corporate Social Responsibility, Diversity and Inclusion, Environmental Sustainability, Labor Practices, Procurement and Economic Impacts.


The Corporate Social Responsibility team compiled all source documentation and feedback and convened to map the top issues on a matrix with two axes: “Impact on Nielsen” and “Importance to Stakeholders.”

Ranking methodology involved both quantitative and qualitative considerations. Intensity was measured based on evaluation of importance to stakeholders. Qualitative insights were provided by direct or indirect comments. Employee input included feedback from associates both as company representatives but also as individuals with personal concerns. Senior company executive input primarily reflected company-related insights.

A materiality matrix was created by staff that streamlined the larger list and narrowed the top 12 issues ranked by stakeholder importance against the impact on Nielsen’s business. The top 12 issues reflected a compilation of separate issues raised by stakeholders. These areas are defined below to reflect more granular stakeholder feedback and to explain further how Nielsen views its responsibility to address the issues.

Priority was given to issues that Nielsen can take action to address. Any issue on our matrix should be considered important to the company, regardless of its place on the matrix. We have also designated when an issue is rising in prominence due to external market factors.

Top Issues Identified by the Materiality Assessment Process

Citizenship and Sustainability Materiality Matrix

Source: Feedback was solicited from source documentation and more than 200 internal and external stakeholders on a broad range of topics, including our company’s impact on the environment, society and the economy.

How We Did It

What’s Next?

Nielsen plans to continue to use feedback from this assessment to ensure ongoing improvement for our company’s global operations and strategic priorities and programs. Feedback from this assessment is now being used to evaluate how well our current programs are addressing these top issues. We are also meeting with our management team to determine if additional initiatives should be addressed. The results of this evaluation will be presented in our future sustainability reporting.

To learn more about existing programs addressing each of our Top 12 issues, please visit Nielsen’s Year in Review and Citizenship and Sustainability.