How is a media company helping communities by protecting rights to information?

Gannett is using fact-based journalism to champion the right to information and provide coverage of some of the world’s leading issues.

An information impasse

Access to information is crucial for enabling citizens around the world to exercise their voice and make informed decisions about leadership. Access to information alongside governmental transparency generates greater levels of accountability and empowers communities. Media freedom has been deteriorating around the world over the past decade. It is the direct impact on democracy that makes this threat particularly dangerous. It is vital that journalists are able to report freely on matters of public interest. This is becoming more important as special powers are limiting access to information and more governments attempt to cover up corruption.

The power of publications

Gannett and the USA TODAY Network work daily against this impasse. They are determined to expose wrongs, uncover threats to fundamental freedoms, and seek solutions to hold governments accountable. By publishing ethical, fact-based journalism, Gannett properties aim to produce data driven articles on the causes and effects of climate change, provide coverage of threats to voting rights, and hold governments and officials accountable. For example, Gannett defended a journalist on trial after their arrest for covering the George Floyd protests in 2020. In doing so, they championed freedom of press.

Fights for freedoms

By fighting for rights and access to public records, as well as leading legislative battles to change public records laws, Gannett demonstrates the importance of media freedom. Free media is vital to ensuring peace and justice. Gannett plans to continue that coverage and publish articles on its fights for public records with the aim of encouraging more people to support the cause.

This story shows how Gannett supports Goal 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, specifically Target 16.10 “Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements”.

About the company

Gannett is a subscription-led and digitally-focused media and marketing solutions company committed to empowering communities to thrive. They aim to support diverse, inclusive, and equitable communities by offering opportunities for growth. They do this through their commitment to ethical reporting and connecting readers through storytelling.

Read Gannett’s 2022 ESG report here.

SGN has partnered with numerous organisations to help combat ill-mental health as a result of the cost of living crisis.

Mental money crash

Studies have shown that 46% of people in debt also have a mental health problem in the UK. What’s more, 4 in 10 people said that their financial situations worsened their mental health problems. With the current cost of living crisis in the UK there is an increasing prevalence of depressive symptoms among adults as people struggle with low wages and increasing prices. Given that money is central to our lifestyles, survival, and sense of self, financial troubles are a leading cause of ill mental health.

Caring for customers

SGN have partnered with Mental Health UK to reach vulnerable customers in Scotland whose mental health is being affected by rising energy costs. The pilot programme will initially run for 6 months, and aims to tailor support to each customer to enable improved mental health and keep them safe and warm in their homes, following referrals from SGN engineers. This project provides resource for MHUKs Mental Health & Money Advice Service, which offers expert advice on how to manage mental health and money, free financial tools and calculators and sample letters and templates to help customers communicate with other services amongst other things.

Counselling for clarity

Counselling and advice has been proven to help people take a deeper and more objective look at earning and spending habits. These sessions can then help people to make better financial choices in the future and take positive steps towards trying to improve financial situations. Being able to talk about worries and gain expert advice tailored to individual situations can help to improve mental health and make terrible situations a little more manageable.

This story shows how SGN supports Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being, specifically Target 3.4 “By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well being.”

About the company

SGN works to look after the gas pipe networks across the south of England and Scotland. By partnering with other organisations, their goal is to help those in vulnerable situations by offering them new opportunities and supporting customers in difficult times.

Find out more about SGN.

Skipton International is highlighting how an international bank can remain involved in local affairs and support community efforts and events.

The need for social connection

Rapid corporate growth includes adjusting goals, targets, and ambitions that involve increasing the scale of operation to a global level. Local communities, consequently, become overlooked and do not feel any positive effects from the growth of a nearby initiative. Growth provides the opportunity to forge new and long lasting partnerships, creating a positive feedback loop that benefits all parties.

Skipton Community Fund

In order to support local organisations, Skipton International set up the Skipton Community Fund, which provides financial aid to not-for-profit organisations carrying out a project in the Channel Islands. In 2020, the Skipton Community Fund provided £40,000 of donations to various projects held that year.

Community importance

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the global population to adapt to an ever-changing situation that posed significant health risks. Families became isolated and social interaction diminished. Skipton International’s role in sponsoring the Skipton Cup, a prestige football tournament which created an event that greatly lifted the mood of the residents of Guernsey and the Isle of Man. It is an example of how something new can be created to bring people together during challenging times. Acknowledging the importance of community and safeguarding it can lead people through hardship and improve difficult situations.

This story shows how Skipton International supports Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, specifically Target 11.4: “Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.”

About the company

Skipton International is a bank established in Guernsey and is a subsidiary of Skipton Building Society, the fourth largest building society in the UK. Its aim is to be the Channel Islands most recommended bank by helping customers achieve their property owning and savings goals, offering quality products and excellent customer service. The range of products includes residential mortgage options for Guernsey & Jersey residents, UK Buy-To-Let products for non UK residents and offshore savings accounts.

Happy Creative is a marketing agency based in Blackpool who aim to put people and their happiness first.

A working health crisis

More now than ever, workers in the UK are facing a mental health crisis. The pressure of the pandemic on both personal and public life has left ¼ of employees feeling like they have hit a psychological breaking point. Only 16% of workers feel that their mental health needs are being supported at work and 40% have said they would look for a new job if it offered better support. Studies have shown that simple initiatives improve the well being of employees.

‘The Happies’

Happy Creative is showing how simple it is. By fostering a positive working environment, the marketing business encourages positivity amongst staff by offering mental health days-off and paid personal time for birthdays and celebrations – their happiness results in equally happy customers. The company recognised that the well being of the business cannot be separated from the well being of their staff and society and are a proud accredited living wage employer.

Creating positivity

Through these positive steps, Happy Creative is choosing to spread happiness by implementing simple values such as putting people first and giving back to others. Their blog recognises the possibilities for negativity in daily life and offers welcoming messages of inspiration to their customers and society. By normalising the priority of mental wellbeing and supporting local charities such as the Samaritans, even smaller companies can be seen to have a big positive impact.

This story shows how Happy Creative supports Goal 3: Good health and wellbeing, specifically Target 3.4: “By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well being.”

About the company

Happy Creative is based in Blackpool, Lancashire. Having worked with companies across the UK, their passion for supporting mental health has led to them being appointed marketing partner for Lancashire Health Matters.

Learn more about Happy Creative.

Smurfit Kappa Group, a paper-based packaging company, is prioritising energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions to tackle the issue of climate change.

Cooling down

In 2015, a legally binding treaty intended to tackle the climate crisis was signed by 106 Parties at the COP21 conference. The agreement, termed the Paris Accord, aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees in comparison to pre-industrial levels. This is a big ask, and a goal that the Smurfit Kappa Group is committed to, with their targets recently approved by the Science Based Targets initiative as in line with well below 2°C, and the Paris Agreement.

Re-energising

Smurfit Kappa is a leading European and Pan-American producer of paper-based packaging. Whilst operating in an industry reliant on energy use, the company aims to make their consumption of energy as efficient as possible. They achieve this through their circular operations, bioenergy strategy and commitment to continually improving. Smurfit Kappa also makes significant investments in projects to reduce their carbon emissions, including upgrading boilers, new power plants, biogas processors and solar panels. Smurfit Kappa is committed to the increasing use of renewable energy and transitioning to fuels such as biomass and natural gas. The Group also continues to create opportunities for new and innovative technologies.

Forward thinking

In terms of their sustainability targets, Smurfit Kappa was the first company in the paper-packaging industry to commit to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 in comparison to its baseline year of 2005. This means that by 2050, they want to achieve a balance between the amount of carbon dioxide they release into the atmosphere with the amount they remove from it. The company’s progress to date has seen them reduce carbon emissions by 37.3% since the end of 2020. Smurfit Kappa has had its emissions reduction targets approved by SBTi as consistent with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and well below 2°C. This third party validation adds to their strong performance according to rating providers such as MSCI, Sustainalytics and ISS ESG.

This story shows how Smurfit Kappa Group supports Goal 13: Climate Action, specifically Target 13.2: “Integrate climate change measures into policies and planning.”

About the company

With headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, Smurfit Kappa Group is re-imagining its energy usage to fulfil the climate change goals established in the Paris Accord. Smurfit Kappa is a FTSE 100 company, a leading provider of paper-based packaging solutions, and has approximately 48,000 employees in over 350 production sites across 36 countries.

Learn more about Smurfit Kappa Group

ADM Computing is helping to improve the quality of life for those under the poverty line in developing countries.

More than money

1.3 billion people in 107 developing countries live in multidimensional poverty. This means that they are not only living below the economic poverty line but are also suffering a poor quality of life, deprived of necessities such as food and clean water, education and healthcare. With 22% of the global population unable to afford electricity, shelter and education, thousands of people are suffering every day of the year.

Improving infrastructure

ADM Computing has recognised these global injustices. By partnering with charities such as Practical Action and Tools With a Mission, the IT company has donated countless PCs, laptops and solar panels as well as two off road vehicles and over £10,000 to help developing villages support their own education systems. What’s more, the company is contributing to the building and maintenance of fences and a well in the village of Lamin Jawara memorial eco-farm in Nema, Gambia, ensuring the continuation of the village’s market garden.

Fostering growth

With one of the main causes of poverty stemming from poor education, the donation of laptops improves quality education and fosters the ideal conditions for the development of cognitive competence. ADM Computing forming close relationships with developing areas encourages the breaking of the poverty cycle and builds resilience allowing them to better withstand hardship, recover, and adapt.

This story shows how ADM Computing supports Goal 1: End Poverty, specifically Target 1.4: “By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services [… and] appropriate new technology”

About the company

Founded in 1984, ADM Computing is Kent’s largest and longest established IT services company specialising in IT support services that help to reduce IT costs as well as improve network efficiency. They also have a long history of charity work and won’t be slowing down any time soon.

Find out more about ADM Computing.

Prime Computer, a Green IT hardware company from Switzerland, develops hardware that offers sustainable solutions to the worldwide IT market.

Second Life Cycle from Prime Computer.

Dealing with the discarded

Almost everyone on Earth currently benefits from, or uses, electronic devices every day. It is unsurprising, then, that e-waste is fast becoming one of the biggest waste streams on the planet, with 50 million tonnes produced each year globally – and counting. Whilst approximately 10% of this waste is recycled, a whopping 90% ends up in landfills or incinerators where it leeches harmful chemicals such as mercury, lead and cadmium into our soil, air, and water. It becomes even more dangerous when e-waste is exported to countries where there are no laws for safe waste disposal and people have to process the waste under working conditions that are exploitative and hazardous to health.

Offsetting emissions

Prime Computer produces long-lasting Green IT hardware from recycled materials and breathes a second life into its devices by reusing components. Using recycled aluminum to manufacture lightweight casing and encouraging partners through credit incentives to return their used hardware for redistribution, Prime Computer aims to conserve resources and protect environments.

Reuse as a green alternative

Many IT hardware components can be remanufactured and reused without sacrificing performance, which makes them extremely valuable components of IT equipment. As a result, Prime Computer products conserve resources through conscious, preemptive action and contribute to a circular vision for electronics where preloved hardware can be redistributed to benefit weaker economies.

This story shows how Prime Computer supports Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production, specifically Target 12.5: “By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, recycling and reuse”.

About Prime Computer

Prime Computer is an international climate neutral tech company offering sustainable hardware and services. The Swiss IT developer helps companies worldwide achieve their digitalisation and environmental goals whilst reducing businesses’ operating costs. Prime Computer is dedicated to reducing e-waste, carbon emission and energy consumption in ICT.

Learn more about Prime Computer

The Woodland Burial Company provides a service to respect the living and the dead. The company ethos is to lay a person to rest in a way that allows families to remember their lives, whilst also protecting a thriving ecosystem in British woodland. This is an example of ethical, sustainable practice.

Preserving forests after our passing

By incorporating Return to Nature (RTN) Soil into their practice, The Woodland Burial Company removes harmful effects arising from funerals. Above all, these are the side effects of ash burial into a soil ecosystem which create toxic sodium levels and increase pH.

Soil is a really important platform that allows forests and other life to take root in unique ways. As a side effect of all burials, soil destruction affects the growth of plants and other life. This consequently impacts wildlife habitats and animal species. Through their products, The Woodland Burial Company reduces the destruction of soil; one of Earth’s most precious resources.

Life on Land is supported by those below

The Woodland Burial Company vows to protect Granville’s Wood for 199 years. This promise is uniquely combined with families’ wishes to bury their dead without compromising natural areas. In order to return Granville’s Wood to its natural state, management and removal of non-native species are key. This allows native species to flourish, and the forest to be ecologically restored. For this, rhododendrons are removed, but not wasted. For instance, the Woodland Burial Company creates ‘super highways’ for wildlife with this foliage, to encourage growth and practice sustainability.

This story shows how The Woodland Burial Company supports Goal 15 – Life on Land, specifically Target 15.8: “By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species.”

Offsetting emissions

Planting trees to create forests is one of the most popular methods to counter climate change. The reason for this is effectiveness. Woodland soil and woodland biomass tend to store more carbon than simple grassland. Additionally, tree planting and preserving forests protects settlements on floodplains from the consequences of flooding.

The Woodland Burial Company supports afforestation by offering a tree planting service in memory of a loved one. They also partner with the Woodland Burial Trust to ensure that their forests will not be built on in the future.

About the company

The Woodland Burial Company provides families with a private and natural area to lay their beloved relatives to rest. Providing a green, protected setting that aims for privacy and respect whilst restoring British forests. They are committed to protecting Granville’s Wood for a minimum of 199 years, leaving a legacy for generations to come.

Learn more about The Woodland Burial Company

Acacia Training Limited offers fully funded courses to young people and adults across the UK to boost employability and support wellbeing.

Struggling youth

Government reports have shown that, post-pandemic, the number of young people in employment has fallen by 4%. There has also been a 32% increase in the number of young people claiming unemployment benefits. School and college graduates from economically disadvantaged areas are particularly susceptible to falling into unemployment or missing out on vital training and further education opportunities.

Making learning accessible

Acacia Training Ltd offers a range of employability training opportunities including traineeships to young people who are most at risk of falling into unemployment. Fully funded courses for 16-18 year olds across the health and wellbeing sectors including Maths, English and ICT help to build confidence and skills, whilst their support of partner organisations such as Business for Good has supported over 100 days of education for special needs children and 21,200 days of access to fun learning environments.

Benefitting all

By offering early intervention training for teens and children, projects such as the ones Acacia Training Ltd. supports, helps to encourage employability and self-confidence in kids otherwise disadvantaged by the education system. It demonstrates how close links between businesses and organisations are seen to actively promote and support health, well-being, and equality on a much more substantial level and commitments to the sustainable development goals are more often achieved and on a wider scale.

This story shows how Acacia Training Ltd. supports Goal 4: Quality Education, specifically Target 4.4 “By 2030, substantially increase the number of youths and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.”

About the company

Founded 21 years ago, the experienced training course provider believes in improving lives through quality education and empowerment. Their vision is to make education accessible to everyone by ensuring opportunities for all and encourage learners to make positive contributions to society.

Find out more about Acacia Training Ltd.