With great reach comes great responsibility.
Last December’s merge of Viacom and CBS not only cemented our status as a global content powerhouse, but it also granted us an enormous platform from which to shape lives around the world. We are keenly aware of the responsibility of having such a platform, and we are working hard to use this position to make the world a better place.
To that end, we’re proud to share key details of our first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report with you. In today’s post, we wanted to discuss what ESG means to ViacomCBS and highlight the most critical parts of our annual report.
The Importance of ESG to ViacomCBS
As a global content producer, ViacomCBS occupies a unique position. We have an unparalleled ability to shape culture, social attitudes, and societal outcomes. It’s critical to use our influence to create a better world for everyone, starting with our employees and partners, and extending to audiences and communities. Dedication to ESG issues is the first step.
ViacomCBS is not alone in this dedication. Companies around the world have begun to publish ESG reports and commit to sustainability for many reasons. Aside from helping to solve social issues, businesses that focus on ESG have strong long-term financial performance and value creation. It’s clear that making strides in ESG and sustainability is essential to success.
Though we’re still in the early phases of our journey, we’re working hard to embed ESG and sustainability in every level of our business. We’re committed to balancing purpose and profit to make a difference, and we’re thrilled to be embarking on this journey with you.
The Three Pillars of the ESG Report
Our first foray into the ESG realm included a company-wide materiality assessment completed earlier this year. We identified the topics most relevant to ViacomCBS based on their environmental, economic, or social impact. We also looked at matters with economic significance, as well as those that could affect our competitive position.
Three main pillars emerged.
Content & Social Impact
As a media company, the content we produce and the social impact it creates is undoubtedly our most critical ESG topic. This content has the ability to shape conversation, influence culture, and change the way we think about issues. Our creations make their way into people’s homes in the most intimate way, which means we must safeguard the trust our viewers place in us.
There are many methods to maintaining the integrity and accuracy of our editorial practices. Some of the topics we will focus on to create a positive social impact include:
- Diverse and inclusive content
- Influence and advocacy on social and environmental issues
- Content accuracy and independence
- Responsible advertising
- Social impact
Workforce & Culture
Creating a safe, positive, and inclusive workplace is nothing new at ViacomCBS. This pillar has always been a priority for us, as feeling secure at work is a prerequisite to producing the creative content fundamental to our jobs.
And because we want the content we create to be a true reflection of our audiences, it must also reflect the diversity in the world—starting with our employees, both our workforce and talent. It must elevate diverse voices at every level of our organization.
There are many ways to develop the diverse workforce and safe workplace we are striving for. Some of the topics we will focus on include:
- Culture and transformation
- Workforce diversity and inclusion
- Harassment and discrimination
- Employee safety and security
- Benefits and compensation
Sustainable Production & Operations
Finally, a commitment to sustainable production and operations is the third pillar of our ESG report. Our activities as a media company have an environmental impact, and it’s our responsibility to measure and manage this impact. We want to reduce the ecological footprint of our productions, consumer products, and facilities as much as possible.
As such, our commitment to sustainable production and operations will include a focus on the following topics:
- Environmental impacts from direct operations
- Supply chain responsibility and product impacts
- Supplier diversity
Reaching Our Goals Together
Though the journey ahead will be long and challenging, we’re confident that we can reach our goals together. We plan to set higher standards for our company and the media industry as a whole. To achieve this goal, we must work together as a team to make ViacomCBS—and the world—a better, fairer place for all.
But we’ve only just scratched the surface in this post. We encourage you to educate yourself by reading our report in its entirety. You can also get involved by contacting the ESG team and learning how the report will impact your work. Similarly, we would love to hear how your team is working towards a more sustainable future, so feel free reach out and let us know