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Informa aims to get to grips with ‘brain print’ in 21st century CR challenge

Informa PLC’s newly published corporate responsibility report marks out its vast challenge to introduce a ‘brain print’ concept, which is the media industry’s way of understanding its impact from content produced.

Informa’s CR Director Emma Blaney explains: “Our focus on content comes with an aspiration to inspire, challenge and support our many audiences on the most pressing challenges of our time. We refer to this impact as our ‘brain print’. While methods for calculating carbon emissions and other ‘hard’ impacts are fairly established, that cannot be said for ‘brain print’. This is unchartered territory, not just for us, but for the media sector as a whole. We have set ourselves a proper 21st century challenge”.

corporate responsibility report

Generally, Informa’s Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report gives an insight into the company’s diverse activities, global impact, ethos and achievements, as well as its aims for 2012.

Informa’s CR Report highlights how sustained efforts focus around four fundamental elements of the business:

  • Content – Informa brings knowledge to life, so ensuring the highest quality and integrity of its content is fundamental to the company’s business and CR practices. It aims to become the best knowledge provider in the world and impact on society through the knowledge it provides. Understanding the company’s ‘brain print’ is a future priority.
  • Attracting, developing and retaining its 8,000+ employees. For example, Informa’s internal training centre, Informa Academy, has shown strong growth, increasing attendance at courses and webinars by 19 per cent.
  • Minimising the impact of its operations on the environment. This includes tackling waste, running a resource-efficient business and engaging with suppliers to drive improvements.
  • Working in, and interacting with, communities around the globe. This area also saw a significant increase in employee fundraising and company donations.

Informa’s CR report reveals some key examples of how it has overcome difficulties and tackled issues like reducing waste. For instance, the company has opted to switch to biodegradable poly-wrap and 2012 will see over one million of its journals sent out in this more environmentally friendly wrapping. It has also worked together with a leading exhibitions and event services supplier to learn what steps are most effective to take in reducing waste from shows and events.

Informa has overcome the challenge of promoting a unified CR approach, no mean feat when its businesses are so diverse and have such a wide geographical spread. It now incorporates 18 CR leaders across its businesses. Each division has its own relevant CR objectives and responsibilities while sharing best practice on areas which overlap.

There has been a strong focus on creating long-term community partnerships which will be mutually beneficial. In the UK, Informa became patrons of the youth charity, the Prince’s Trust, while in the US, a partnership is being launched with the Boys and Girls Club of America. 

The Group has also continued to look to offer employees a stimulating work environment while understanding that employees need to balance work commitments with life outside of work. A large part of the Group offers flexible working arrangements. This has both helped new mothers return to work (eg. over 80% in Taylor & Francis in 2011) and maintained a good gender balance at managerial level – women represent 47% of Informa’s managers.

Click here to view the whole report.