Our first ESG theme ensures that we provide our customers with trustworthy information and high-quality services. We listen to and engage our customers and help them develop their own business. We follow good marketing practices, invest in customer-oriented technologies and ensure that our customers are treated equally.
We produce and publish trustworthy information
We produce and publish trustworthy and responsible journalistic and commercial content. We offer our readers big and small perspectives and topics of conversation from near and far.
Our journalistic content production is based on conveying accurate and balanced information and source criticism. We bring things out truthfully, fairly, evenly and openly. We support the development of a democratic society. Our media are unaffiliated and independent. On controversial social issues, we strive to give voice to different opinions.
We make sure that our journalistic content creation is not affected by conflicts of interest. Journalistic content is decided on journalistic grounds, and under no circumstances is decision-making power handed over to non-editorial staff.
We adhere to the Journalistic Guidelines of the Council for Mass Media in Finland, Finnish law and good conduct.
In 2021–2022, seven complaints against Ilkka-Pohjalainen were submitted to the Council for Mass Media in Finland. Two of these have been taken up by the Council for review. In both cases, the newspaper was acquitted. In addition, in 2022, one complaint was filed against local newspaper Komiat, which also resulted in an acquittal.
We offer customer-focused services
We build success for business customers. We offer a wide range of marketing and communication services for businesses and technology platforms, both digital and traditional printing services. Through these, we support our customer companies’ growth and profitability.
We measure the results of our marketing activities, report to customers on the impact of marketing and take further steps together to help customers achieve their goals. We also self-evaluate our ability to create high-quality marketing content for customers.
We share weighed, researched and data-driven information about our services. We know what our products and services can achieve and how to offer the best solutions for our customers’ needs. Our data, communication and marketing are relevant and presented in an easily understandable format. In autumn 2022, we designed the new Ilkka.com website, which offers a clear overview of the Group’s wide range of marketing, media, sales and communications services.
We want to be an easily understandable, trustworthy partner and expert for our customers. The main goal of our business is to form long-term customer relationships.
We offer our customers the chance to increase their knowledge of marketing and communication methods. We organise public webinars where our experts share their knowledge and best practices. In 2022, we hosted 19 webinars on topics ranging from impactful marketing to website accessibility, trustworthy advertising environments and search engine optimisation.
Good customer experience behind our partnerships
Our mission is to develop digital solutions that make our customers’ business simpler and more efficient. As marketing experts, we design and create inspiring and innovative solutions together with our customers. Our products and services are tailored to each customer’s needs.
Together, we design measurable, profitable marketing content for our customers and help them manage marketing with data. For example, through data analytics, we can help our customers choose the right solutions to reach their target audience.
Digital products and services know no territorial boundaries. We can offer our content to readers and customers anytime, anywhere. Our marketing, advertising and technology solutions are available locally, nationally and internationally.
We develop and grow with the customer in focus
- Regular customer surveys and feedback ensure that we understand our customers’ needs and expectations. We also use customer feedback in product development. In 2022, for example, we carried out a supplier survey on the transformation in communication culture.
- We test the effectiveness of our solutions with pilot projects. In 2022, wecarried out a proof of concept project in the test environment of a media monitoring service.
- We work closely with our customers and the media.
- We are constantly updating and optimising our solutions
- We put the user first when designing our solutions and invest in user experience and friendliness.
- We process feedback and complaints without delay, actively and as personally as possible.
Ilkka is developing a shared method for measuring the Group’s net promoter score (NPS) in a consistent and comparable manner. For the time being, the Group’s various business segments measure NPS independently. For example, in 2022, Liana Technologies measured customer satisfaction with regular NPS surveys. Liana’s solutions had an NPS of over 40, and the NPS of product training services was as high as over 70.
A high-quality and balanced customer experience is created by embracing the diversity of our customers. We ensure that our customers receive equal treatment when purchasing our products and services. We achieve this by providing accessible services and by scaling our services so that organisations of different sizes can benefit from them.
Our goal is to provide excellent service to all customers, whether they reach us face-to-face, by phone, email or chat.
Our employer promise is “Meaningful work for meaningful people.” We have developed the promise in cooperation with our entire staff. To fulfill the promise, Ilkka invests in the competence of employees, wellbeing at work and employer brand image. By building a meaningful workplace, we invest directly in social responsibility.
Our Group is growing and developing – in 2022, we employed around 570 people. Our goal is to make it easier to find and retain the best employees and take care of our employees’ wellbeing and professional development.
Skilled and adaptive employees behind all work
We believe in lifelong learning. At Ilkka, our employees get to develop as professionals and, where possible, transition between roles within the Group to pursue interesting duties.
In 2022, we systematically invested in the development of employee competence. Our goal is for each employee to attend at least three days of training per year.
Highlights of competence development in 2022
- Our employees’ competence was evaluated through competence matrices and performance reviews. Based on these, a training and development plan is being prepared in each company.
- We have introduced digital learning platforms where employees can attend mandatory course and optional extra training. The learning platforms are also used for employee and supervisor onboarding. With the help of learning platforms, employees receive extensive onboarding and training on the company’s areas of expertise and products.
- A total of 22 of our supervisors are attending a degree programme in direct supervisor work (LEAT). The training supports the skills of supervisors to act as coaching leaders. Participants in the training will receive tools for managing positive change in work communities, building trust between people and solving challenging interpersonal situations. The training programme started in spring 2022 and will continue until October 2023.
We want our employer brand image to tell a clear story about Ilkka as a company, who our employees are what kind of work they do. That’s why in 2022, we’ve invested in our website for job applicants. On the website, we explain what Ilkka is like as an employer and internship company.
On Ilkka’s career pages, applicants can network with our companies and express their interest in working with us.
Besides supporting the training and learning of employees, Ilkka’s competence capital has also grown through acquisitions. In 2022, Myynninmaailma Oy strengthened its content strategy expertise by acquiring Differo Oy and Liana Technologies, meanwhile, has acquired Evermade Oy to strengthen its expertise in WordPress technologies
Ilkka’s new Trainee programme offers opportunities for learning and development
We work closely with educational institutions. Every year, Ilkka offers internships to students who want to grow into experts in marketing, information and technology.
In 2022, we launched Ilkka’s new Trainee programme. Tasks covered by the programme are selected based on the type of skills needed by our teams. Eight trainees from higher education institutions were admitted to the Trainee programme. During the programme, we supported the trainees’ personal development and networking and increasing their business understanding – and also learned a great deal from the trainees.
In addition to the Trainee programme, Ilkka Group’s units had more than 20 interns in 2022.
The Trainee programme starts once a year and lasts for five months. Our goal is that after the programme, trainees can progress to summer jobs or hourly paid work and on to a permanent employment relationship.
Two of the trainees continued working at Ilkka in summer jobs, and one stayed to work on their thesis in the same team. For example, all of MySome’s four interns continued to work for the company after the internship. Many of Liana’s interns have also become permanent employees of the company after the internship.
Healthy and wellbeing employees are a core pillar of meaningful work
We invest in employee benefits because we want to support the wellbeing of our personnel. We offer comprehensive occupational health care, monitor employees’ work flow, offer opportunities for working from home when possible, and host enjoyable employee events.
In addition, we organise annual campaigns and events for our personnel. In 2022, for example, we hosted our traditional annual party and elected Ilkka’s employee of the year. In selecting the employee of the year for 2022, special emphasis was given on our value reforms and chose a person who was innovative and enthusiastic about new things.
The work flow survey gives an overall picture of employees wellbeing
We monitor the wellbeing of our employees with the Pulse Työvire work flor survey conducted every autumn. Each spring, the Group also carries out a broader survey on the work efficiency of work communities, which gives a more comprehensive view of the strengths and areas for development of the work community. Both surveys were answered anonymously.
The results of the surveys offer insight on employees’ wellbeing at work. Based on the results, we can quickly address factors that impair work ability. In addition, the surveys help engage employees in the development of wellbeing at work and encourage an open workplace culture.
We monitor the company’s employee net promoter score (eNPS). In autumn 2022, our eNPS figure was 16. An eNPS above zero can be considered a good result. Our goal is to increase the eNPS rating annually until we reach an excellent level.
Working from home and flexible hours help reconcile work and free time
We support employees’ comfort and coping at work with flexible hours and the possibility to work remotely. Working from home and flexible hours make it easier to reconcile work, family and free time and reduce time and money spent on commuting.
In addition to statutory leave such as study and family leaves, our employees can take advantage of flexible hours, job alternation leave and holiday bonus leave.
The pandemic also pushed us almost entirely to work from home in the spring of 2020. Although such extensive remote work was new to us, we made the change work even beyond expectations. Today, our employees come in to the office 1–2 days a week according to the needs of the team.
Employee benefits to support wellbeing and mobility
- The EPassi Flex benefit can be used for sports, culture and wellness services. In 2022, a total of 441 employees took advantage of the benefit, spending an average of 215 euros per person.
- Employees can opt for a company bike that they can use freely for commuting and on free time. In 2022, 21 new bikes were purchased, bringing the total number of bikes in use to 46. As company bikes, employees can choose between gravel bikes, mountain bikes and e-bikes.
Employee benefits may vary slightly between Group companies.
Occupational healthcare also includes visits to a GP
Ilkka wants to take care of its personnel and offers employees extensive occupational healthcare services. In addition to statutory occupational healthcare, our employees have access to medical care by a GP and, if necessary, specialised medical care, psychologist’s services and work counselling. Some of the Group’s companies employ insurance-based practices.
The focus areas of the occupational healthcare action plan for 2020–2025 include:
- Early intervention in sickness absences by improving cooperation and early support between the employer and occupational healthcare.
- Managing psychosocial workload by providing tools for coping with work-related stress and demanding interpersonal situations as well as self-management.
- Prevention of issues related to sedentary work and age-related health problems.
Equality and diversity in the work community – a valuable focus area of our work
Equality, non-discrimination and diversity of personnel are important values for our Group. Enforcing equality and non-discrimination is the responsibility of members of the Change Advisory Board and Occupational Safety and Health Committee, as well as of supervisors in their own organisations. We adhere to gender equality in all contexts, including recruitment, career goals, training, remuneration and management.
We support the equality and non-discrimination in Group companies and units with a unified management system and operating methods. With good supervisor work, we ensure that workload and tasks are distributed evenly and that our working conditions are suitable for everyone. We do not tolerate bullying, harassment or discrimination in any form.
Ilkka invests in equality
- Our hiring decisions are always made based on applicants’ experience, education and suitability. Equality targets are taken into account where possible.
- Everyone has an equal opportunity and duty to develop themselves and their work.
- Remuneration is based on either a collective or local agreement as well as the employee’s skills and performance.
- The realisation of equal pay is monitored through pay surveys. The next pay survey will be carried out in 2023.
- The Group maintains an atmosphere and operating methods that support the equal use of family leave.
- Gender and sexual harassment and bullying are strictly prohibited in the workplace. The Group has guidelines for addressing inappropriate behaviour and harassment.
We comply with laws, regulations, good corporate governance and our Code of Conduct in all our companies and governance. This way, we ensure that we are a reliable and open partner whose operations implement social, economic and environmental responsibility.
Transparency in reporting increases trust
We report on our operations and finances reliably, comprehensively and transparently.
- In addition to reports by the Board of Directors and financial statements, we publish reports on our corporate governance and the remunerations of the Board of Directors, Supervisory Board and CEO. They are available as part of our annual report.
- We make sure that conflicts of interest do not affect our decisions and journalistic content. We have guidelines for identifying and preventing conflicts of interest.
- The misuse of inside information is strictly prohibited in the Group.
- We do not condone bribery or corruption in any form.
- Our employees, customers and other stakeholders can confidentially report possible serious misconducts and violations of laws and guidelines through our whistleblowing channel. Reports received in the channel are transferred to the supervisory authorities.
Our whistleblowing channel has not received any reports of serious misconduct.
We ensure data security and data protection through training and audits
Secure processing of personal data is central to our operations. We comply with data protection legislation and good data management and processing practice. The technologies we use and offer are highly secure, as demonstrated by the necessary audits and certificates.
We process data only to the extent necessary for the performance of work duties. Data is used and stored appropriately throughout its life cycle. The data we collect about our customers helps us provide better customer service.
We train all employees on data protection and data security issues annually. Data protection and security trainings are updated every two years. As a rule, we do not transfer data outside the EU or EEA. In individual cases where it is necessary to transfer data outside the EU and EEA, we ensure that personal data is sufficiently safeguarded and processed confidentially in the manner required by law
80% of employees had completed our mandatory data security training. 64% had completed data protection training, which is mandatory for many employees.
(in year 2022)
A common approach to responsible sales work
All our employees are bound by our guidelines for ethical and responsible sales work.
- Always be honest and transparent when communicating with customers or coworkers.
- Treat all customers and coworkers with respect and professionalism.
- Handle customer and company data confidentially.
- Avoid conflicts of interest. Always tell your supervisor about any conflicts.
- Do not discriminate or harass customers or coworkers.
- Do not provide misleading information about our services or products.
- Always act in the best interests of the company and its customers.
- Complete the necessary training so that you always know what is needed about our products, services, industry and the market.
- Always try to understand the customer’s needs and offer solutions that serve them in the best possible way.
- Maintain a positive attitude and strive to provide the best possible customer service.
- Always treat all customers and coworkers fairly and equally.
Ilkka’s environmental responsibility in a nutshell
- We take environmental impacts into account in all our operations and decision-making.
- We monitor and reduce our electricity and energy consumption.
- We have reduced business travel by attending training and meetings remotely. Meeting are held remotely whenever attendance and travel are not necessary.
- We strive to reduce waste and improve correct waste sorting both at our offices and production: for example, waste paper and printing plates generated in the printing process are recycled and reused.
- I-print favours paper products with an EU Ecolabel. Paper and cardboard we purchase are PEFC and/or FSC certified. Our printing partner also uses FSC-certified paper in the printing of Ilkka Group’s newspapers.
- I-print has been awarded the Nordic Swan Ecolabel as an indication of environmentally friendly materials and logistics solutions. In 2022, the Group launched the certification of the EcoCompass environmental management system.
- We use energy from renewable sources in Liana’s data centre in Finland. Our waste heat is delivered for use in the local district heating network. The data centre has CEEDA and LEED certifications.
- We support green transport by offering electric commuter bicycles for our employees and by favouring trains and buses over air travel and private cars.
- We started the process for defining the principles for calculating our carbon footprint in 2022. Our goal is to determine the Group’s carbon footprint in 2023 and set targets for environmental sustainability.
- In accordance with the EU taxonomy, we reviewed and defined scenario-based climate risks in 2022. Risks that apply to us include the price and availability of energy, power outages and the availability of paper.
In addition to our own operations, we want to influence the climate awareness and environmental sustainability of consumers and companies. We ensure that climate change and efforts to stop it receive the media coverage they need.
Our biggest emissions load comes from indirect emissions from the media business operations supply chain, including the transport and distribution of newspapers and magazines and energy used in the production of paper and ink. The growth of our digital business provides us with an excellent opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint.
In the future, we will measure the Group’s carbon footprint and set targets for reducing it.
Taxonomy-eligible activities under the EU Taxonomy Regulation
The EU taxonomy is the European Union’s sustainable finance regulation designed to support the EU’s climate and environmental goals. The EU taxonomy sets criteria for projects that can be used to identify climate-friendly and environmentally sustainable targets for financing and investment. The taxonomy applies to all listed companies with more than 500 employees and therefore also to Ilkka from 2022 onwards.
In the EU taxonomy, companies’ operations are assessed through six environmental objectives
- Climate change mitigation
- Climate change adaptation
- Sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources
- Transition to a circular economy
- Pollution prevention and control
- Protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems
At the moment, a set of criteria has been established for the first two objectives of the taxonomy. The criteria for the other objectives will be published by the EU at a later date.
A company meets the criteria of the taxonomy when its activities contribute to the realisation of at least one objective and do not cause significant harm to the realisation of other objectives.
We assessed Ilkka’s taxonomy eligibility separately for each business segment and subsidiary in 2022. We identified businesses that meet the taxonomy criteria and gathered evidence of the significance of the impact of activities. In addition, we assessed the minimum social safeguards for human rights, corruption and bribery, fair competition and taxation.
Some of our businesses are taxonomy-eligible and fall within the scope of the EU taxonomy. Ilkka’s taxonomy-eligible activities can relate to either climate change mitigation (activity 8.1 Data processing, hosting and related activities and 8.2 Data-driven solutions for GHG emissions reductions) or adaptation (activity 8.1 Data processing, hosting and related activities and 8.2 Software, consulting and related activities). Ilkka’s taxonomy-eligible operations include, among others, domestic software for marketing automation, newsletter subscriptions, website and online store administration, as well as for the distribution of press releases and media monitoring.
We have investigated the taxonomy-eligibility of our activities using the technical screening criteria for climate change mitigation and adaptation (TSC). Ilkka will continue to assess the criteria in terms of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Ilkka is not reporting on taxonomy-eligible net sales for 2022. In terms of net sales, in accordance with the draft notice by the European Commission on 19 December 2022, the net sales from activities contributing to climate change adaptation in categories 8.1 and 8.2 cannot be reported in accordance with the taxonomy unless the technical screening criteria for climate change mitigation in the corresponding categories are met.
Ilkka’s taxonomy eligible and taxonomy aligned economic activities
Our work creates value to stakeholders
Part of our social and economic responsibility is to improve the wellbeing of communities, both regionally and nationally. We are a long-term supporter of culture, sports and education in communities. Our responsible business benefits and rewards customers, employees, partners, owners, financiers and the public sector. In addition, we help develop the economy together with regional chambers of commerce and communities of business owners.
Economic added value comes from our business result. This result is transferred to stakeholders in the form of both wages and dividends as well as through the taxes we pay
In 2022, we supported universities and higher education institutions with donations, partnership agreements and internships.
We have supported education, research and entrepreneurship for several years through Etelä-Pohjanmaan Korkeakouluyhdistys, the association of higher education institutions in South Ostrobothnia. We are involved in funding the professorship project on the business development of small and medium-sized enterprises. The project develops the business of SMEs with a research-oriented approach. The goal of the project is to produce new data to support the business development of SMEs to benefit companies in the region. Between 2017 and 2022, we supported the professorship with 55,000 euros in donations.
In 2022, the research group’s key projects and research themes included the development of digital competence and future-oriented strategy work in SMEs in the South Ostrobothnia region.
We donate annually to charity. In 2022, our donations included 20,000 euros to victims of the war in Ukraine through the Finnish Red Cross.