Sanoma has today published its Annual Report 2023. The Annual Report includes the Report of the Board of Directors, Financial Statements, Sustainability Report, Corporate Governance Statement and Remuneration Report. This article summarises our 2023 sustainability highlights.

Our learning materials support reaching of curriculum objectives 

Sanoma Learning is a leading European K12 learning company, serving about 25 million students throughout Europe. To follow up on our impact, we annually conduct a European Teacher Survey. In 2023, 84% (2022: 84%) of the teachers agree, for example, that Sanoma’s learning materials help students reach curriculum objectives. In 2023, the survey was carried out in eight (2022: 8) of our operating countries and the teachers evaluated the impacts of learning materials from three aspects: student engagement, learning outcomes, and teacher efficiency. 

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Media Finland reaches 97% of Finns weekly

Sanoma Media Finland is Finland’s leading cross-media company. Sanoma’s strong network with 53 media brands, of which 18 are in news media, ensures independent journalism reaching 97% of Finns every week.

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Implementing Science Based Targets for climate: Significant emission reductions in both own operations and value chain 

In 2023, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) validated Sanoma’s near-term science-based emission reduction targets for our own operations (Scope 1 and 2) and value chain (Scope 3). This validation confirms that Sanoma’s climate strategy and business model are compatible with the transition to a sustainable economy and the limiting of global warming to 1.5°C in line with the Paris Agreement. By the end of 2023, our own operations’ emissions have declined by 31% (2022: 7%) and value chain emissions by 29% (2022: 8%) compared to base year 2021.

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New ethical AI principles support secure use of artificial intelligence

When using AI, we apply privacy and personal data protection principles and practices defined in Sanoma’s  Privacy and Data Protection Policy as well as the new Principles of Ethical Use of AI. The principles include 1) fairness with aim for positive impact, 2) accountability by humans, 3) explainability, 4) transparency, 5) risk and impact assessment and 6) oversight to monitor the implementation. 

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Important steps in advancing employee Diversity, Equality & Inclusion (DE&I)

Our strategic ambition is an inclusive culture where everyone is welcomed, respected and supported as their own true selves. To ensure that our 5,500+ employees in 12 countries feel that we provide equal opportunities, we track the Equal opportunities rating in our annual Employee Engagement Survey. In 2023, the rating improved further to 8.2 (2022: 7.7). 

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Gender-balanced management

Our ambition is a culture where gender plays no role, while we do follow and report the number of women and men in managerial roles. In 2023, the share of women who were team managers increased to 47% (2022: 44%) and directors or senior management to 45% (2022: 41%). Although our gender diversity ratio is on a good level, we recognise that we need to focus on enhancing it in certain teams, such as technology. Our target is that by 2030, we have a 50/50 gender balance in our managerial positions.

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First Human Rights Statement published

Sanoma’s Human Rights Statement summarises our human rights impacts and describes our impact management. The statement was conducted as part of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) Business and Human Rights Accelerator programme in Finland in 2023. It was conducted following the due diligence process defined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. In addition to voluntary international standards, we comply with human rights due diligence legislation in our operating countries, such as the Transparency Act in Norway, where Sanoma’s subsidiary itslearning published its first Human Rights Statement in 2023.

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Sustainability-linked KPIs added to 300m€ Syndicated Revolving Credit Facility 

In March 2023, Sanoma signed a Sustainability Side Letter to add sustainability-linked KPIs to its EUR 300 million Revolving Credit Facility with ten banks, maturing in November 2026. With the addition, a minor part of the pricing of the loan will be linked to our sustainability performance in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the commitment to science-based targets and developing inclusive learning solutions, more specifically accessibility of digital learning content and platforms.

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ESG performance among the leading in the industry

Sanoma is one of the leading companies in the media and learning industry in managing ESG risks and opportunities. Sanoma was, for example, awarded with the leadership level score of A- in the global CDP Climate Change rating for the second consecutive year. CDP scoring is considered the gold standard of corporate environmental transparency and varies in a scale from A to D-. In addition, Sanoma maintained a solid CDP Forest rating of B. 

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Sanoma’s Sustainability Report 2023 was published on 5 March 2024 as a part of the Annual Report 2023. It has been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainability Accounting Standard Board’s (SASB) standards, and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework. Sanoma’s Report of the Board of Directors includes non-financial information corresponding with the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) and EU taxonomy. The Sustainability Report has been assured by an independent third party on limited-assurance level.

See our Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2023 in full here.