Schibsted’s strategy is closely linked to our mission, vision and values. The foundation for the strategy is defined by how we care about people and the world around us.
In the world around us, corporate social responsibility has evolved from focusing on doing good deeds for society to being an important strategy issue. Milton Friedman’s stated that “the only one social responsibility of business […] is to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits.”
The shift in maturity and society has moved CSR from the backbenches and the agenda of do-gooders into the boardrooms. Where corporations used to build trust (or buy goodwill) through projects that were far removed from their core business activities.
Today conscious and leading companies aim to do good by combining business, environmental and social responsibility. CSR has gone from nice-to-have to must-have and even to natural-to-have. Recent research from Princeton University and University of Texas have even demonstrated that companies that get into trouble with the law are imposed with less costly punishments if they can demonstrate their good character as responsible companies (the so-called halo effect).
At Schibsted, we tend to disagree with Mr. Friedman’s statement. To us, our responsibility as a company is closely linked to our legacy and our vision and mission. Schibsted was started by the young Christian Schibsted. His wife was among the first in Norway to give factory workers paid holidays. The spirit of our founder and his family lives on through the active ownership of the Tinius Trust. Our vision, “Empowering people in their daily life”, is used as a reference when we design our products and processes so we can build the tools and services that people really want. We firmly believe that being a socially and environmentally responsible corporation should be in the core of our business activities.
We define our corporate social responsibility in terms of how we integrate social and environmental concerns within our business operations and interactions with our stakeholders at the same time as we address the expectations of our shareholders.
In our own words, it is how we care about our people and the world around us, including our users and readers, our employees, local communities impacted by our operations, the environment and society at large.
Our ambition is to maximize the creation of shared value for our shareholders, our stakeholders, and society at large while minimizing potentially negative impacts of our operations.
With this site we want to tell the story about our real engagement and present examples from our companies that we find inspiring. We have identified four areas where we believe Schibsted has the possibility of influencing and changing the world around us.:
- Environmental footprint: The sustainable effects and climate benefits of our businesses.
- Societal impact: The positive effects of our platforms both within media, classifies and growth.
- Innovation and entrepreneurship: Develop new tools aiming to solve people’s needs, expand their options and make them more influential.
- How we act: What we do to ensure that we act with integrity and transparency in our operations and in our interactions with each other.
Within these four areas we have described a collection of exciting examples from our different businesses. These will change over time when new efforts are made and new examples become more relevant.
At Schibsted we draw a distinction between our corporate social responsibility – which is a strategic business issue – and charity, sponsorship, and philanthropy. While we acknowledge that charity, sponsorship, and philanthropy represent a valuable contribution towards creating a better world and enhancing our companies’ reputation and brands, we firmly believe that our corporate social responsibility goes beyond that. Whether it is journalism, new technical solutions or innovative products and services, we strive to see to the needs and benefits of our users and readers, the society and our employees. This is how we care about people and the world around us.
“Schibsted Media Group’s history is founded on a long tradition of independent news, information, and transparent marketplaces. Trustworthiness and quality are essential for a media group – our users must be able to trust our news and products. We believe this contributes to empowering people in their daily life and thereby to building more transparent and sustainable societies.”
Rolv Erik Ryssdal, CEO
Schibsted Media Group
 The Economist 27 June 2015