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Compliance & Risk

Thomson Reuters Social Impact Report for 2020: A watershed change in expectations

· 5 minute read

· 5 minute read

Thomson Reuters new Social Impact Report for 2020 shows how the company is progressing in its environmental, social, and corporate governance activities

By any measure, 2020 was an incredibly challenging year. The world experienced a global pandemic, extreme weather events, uprisings against racism, and the continued rise of misinformation. Unfortunately, unless more is done, it’s expected that many of these issues will continue to frame the future for years to come.

Indeed, the challenges the global community faces may be beyond the scope of individual and government action and instead will require all stakeholders to step up and do more.

Into this, Thomson Reuters today released its Social Impact Report for 2020, which highlights the company’s environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) activities and progress in areas of access to justice, transparency, environmental sustainability, community support, and diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI).

Given the events of recent years — and especially of this past year, the expectations of leaders and of companies have changed dramatically. No longer is it sufficient for business leaders to focus on profit alone without considering the role their organizations play as responsible actors addressing deep, underlying societal issues of climate, equity, and human rights.

You can view Thomson Reuters’ full Social Impact Report for 2020 report here.

In fact, ESG has become central to many companies’ decisions about procurement, investment, and employment, as well as to corporate plans to foster an inclusive culture of world-class talent. No longer is this work a desirable option, but rather it’s a must-have and a critical component of many companies’ competitive strategy.

The report outlines several initiatives that Thomson Reuters undertook in 2020 and that continue to have a significant impact in a number of areas, including:

      • launching a global fact-checking initiative in partnership with Facebook;
      • enhancing DEI by setting new goals;
      • using 100% renewable energy for all operations and joining the Science Based Targets initiative;
      • contributing $1 million to the rebuilding efforts in Minneapolis following the killing of George Floyd;
      • supporting the work of its charitable arm, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, in its reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic in the global south; and
      • designing an app for local small businesses in India to help them operate during the pandemic.

In addition, the Thomson Reuters Foundation hosted the Trust Conference last year, welcoming delegates to foment discussion around such crucial issues as inclusive economies, media freedom, and human rights. Since its launch in 2010, the Foundation’s TrustLaw network has enabled 120,000 lawyers from more than 950 firms and companies to provide the equivalent of $172 million worth of pro bono services in more than 175 countries.

Thomson Reuters employees, meanwhile, volunteered more than 84,000 hours and donated more than $1.3 million to charitable organizations last year, even as they continued working from home and balancing work and family responsibilities. Also, following the unrest after the tragic death of George Floyd, Thomson Reuters — which is headquartered in the Minneapolis area — invested $1 million in the community and doubled the number of paid volunteer hours per employee.

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