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Nielsen’s Earth Week 2020: Staying Connected Through COVID-19

4 minute read | May 2020

Nielsen associates came together globally to celebrate our planet for Earth Week once again this year to honor Earth Day. We dedicate a whole week to focus on green efforts, discover new approaches to enhance our positive environmental impact and collaborate on the most relevant actions to raise awareness about the urgency of climate change and environmental justice. 

Given the challenges introduced by the global COVID-19 pandemic, we have adapted how we live and operate to find new ways to engage with ourselves, our neighbors, our community and our environment. Adapting was critical in helping us stay connected in a time when we’ve been forced to stay apart physically. Because of the shelter-in-place orders around the world, we honored Earth Week at home, in our communities and online.

For our seventh annual celebration, Nielsen Green created ‘Earth Week and Me,’a list of ideas for associates to activate wherever they may be. The list included ways to reduce emissions at home, offer a space for creativity and family connections through a global #BlueMarble art challenge, volunteer online, and donate to local nonprofits. Associates also had the option of starting a pro bono project through Nielsen Cares, finding ways to use Nielsen data, skills and information for nonprofit organizations, as part of  Nielsen’s $10 million annual pledge to pro bono work and in-kind giving.

And with that, our associates from all over the world moved forward—undeterred and committed—leading and participating in diverse efforts to recognize Earth Week. We started at-home composting, learned new ways to upcycle in our homes and led online activity sessions to engage others, pledged to ‘vegan Wednesdays’, switched off lights for an hour each day, picked up trash as we ‘social distanced’, planted seeds and saplings, and led green awareness drives through newsletters and online webinars connecting with others to discuss aspects of climate change. 

This Earth Week, many of our efforts also focused on building and preserving community health. We used scrap paper to put #heartsinthewindow to thank all frontliners and cheer up passersby, involved youth to send letters of gratitude to hospitals, ran food drives for local domestic violence prevention agencies and raised funds for nonprofits that focus on global social and environmental relief efforts. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing massive shifts in food production and supply chains, and continuing to have a critical impact on the global environmental footprint, we also strove to initiate discussions with our 40,000+ associates on food security and the need to reduce food waste. We hosted an internal-facing global webinar focused on the evolving food systems in the time of COVID-19, partnering with ReFED, a global non-profit working to advance solutions to reduce food waste. The conversation covered the impact of COVID-19 on food availability and health, and how individual actions and organizational strategies can drive our socio-environmental advocacy. Closing our Earth Week celebration with this discussion added another layer to Nielsen’s ongoing ESG commitment as a responsible corporate citizen and the importance to minimize the impact of climate change on our business and the communities where we live and operate.

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day; truly a time to honor the journey of the many environmental activists, social advocates, and human rights defenders who continue to fight for climate justice despite the pandemic,” said Yamini Dixit, Director, Global Responsibility & Sustainability. “This is a time to temper caution with courage, and fear with compassion. As one company, Nielsen is in it together with our collective power and passion to serve our communities and our world.”