Q&A with Jørgen Madsen Lindemann

What does Corporate Responsibility (CR) mean to you?

Corporate responsibility is a big part of my life every day. I have responsibilities in my personal and professional life, and we at MTG have our corporate responsibility. I live in Copenhagen, one of the most diverse and social cities in the world. It is also set to become the world's first CO2 neutral capital by 2025. Organic food is big here and so is recycling and composting. And we love our bikes in Denmark! There are more bikes than people in Copenhagen and people use them to get to and from work all year round. Only about 30% of people in Copenhagen have a car. No wonder Copenhagen has just been voted the happiest city in the world.

How important is CR for MTG?

It is vital, and part of everything that we do. Our focus on CR also helps us to develop how we think about long-term value creation. It has to be simple, strong and sustainable and enable us to deal with short, medium and long-term risks and opportunities.

What were your key CR developments and failures in 2015?

We have achieved a lot of good things during 2015, while the organisation also went through major changes as we accelerated our strategic transformation from a traditional territorial broadcaster into a global digital entertainment company.

After a successful first year of the Game Changers campaign, during which we launched the initiative in ten countries, we have continued our search for smart, bold and passionate social entrepreneurs in Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Denmark, Norway and Lithuania. MTG’s audiences were engaged again in 2015 through successful campaigns in which they were called upon to submit their ideas about how to make the world better for children, or asked to vote for their favourite Game Changers. In the meantime, the Game Changers selected in 2014 have developed their ideas, grown their organisations and, with the support of Reach for Change and MTG, increased their positive impacts on children’s lives across ten territories. I was also very proud of a fundraising special aired in Sweden that raised an incredible 3.5 million SEK for victims of the European refugee crisis in association with the UN Refugee Agency.

Our inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability index, as well as a great CDP scores, indicate the progress that we have made. We also aim to deal with the issue of our increased carbon emissions in 2015 and have already started improving our video conferencing tools and facilities, in order to decrease the amount of travelling and improve our employees’ work life balance.

What are your goals regarding employee diversity and gender equality?

The United Nations launched the global goals in September 2015. These are great and we have chosen to work with global goal number 5 because we believe in promoting gender equality at all levels. In the spirit of this, we have pledged to achieve a 50/50 gender split in management by 2020. MTG is a company that operates globally and has a diverse workforce, which we welcome and encourage as a key contributing factor to our success.

How do you ensure that everyone at MTG does business in a responsible way?

MTG is all about doing business honestly and with integrity. We expect all staff to maintain the high standards of behaviour that are set out in MTG’s code of conduct. For example, we have implemented a supplier code of conduct during 2015, setting out the standards that suppliers who work with, or for, MTG are expected to have. We also have an ongoing due diligence process for higher risk partners and during 2015, 96% of our new employees mandatorily signed our code of conduct, whistleblower, and anti-bribery and corruption policies. Additionally to the signing of our policies, we invite new employees to our e-learning courses on our code of conduct, anti-bribery and corruption and green thinking. We also rolled out the anti-bribery and corruption training and updated that policy for all staff, including a video presentation by our corporate counsel. Finally, we are rolling out a new e-learning app within Hive (our social intranet) from Q2 2016, in order to improve training participation and completion rates.

What challenges and opportunities do you see for MTG in 2016?

We are involved in an ongoing transformation from a traditional broadcaster to a digital entertainer. We want to be the number 1 choice for digital video consumers in all of our markets. We have changed our management and organisational structure, bought new companies and sold non-core assets. People are consuming more and more video, and we have more content and more products than ever before, so we have a huge opportunity. It is now about engaging with viewers in as many relevant ways as possible. We still need to bed down the new structures, and still aim to grow our profits at the same time as we accelerate our top line growth, and that is quite an exercise. Our growth and expansion must create sustainable value for all of our stakeholders – that is our ambition and our responsibility.

What is the size of the digital opportunity for MTG?

Big! Millennials are already online – the eyeballs have moved. But the wallet has not moved yet. Everyone is trying to figure out how to monetise these traffic flows and community relationships, and we are right at the forefront of this change with our digital services. And we will expand further. Just look at eSports, where we are the largest company in the world in a sport that is already bigger than ice hockey, in terms of global audience, and expected to be bigger than American football soon. It is early days, but our pro forma eSports sales nearly doubled last year and we have now expanded into the US. The eSports industry already generates hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue, and we operate the leading leagues and events. On the social media entertainment side, the opportunity is even larger with our Zoomin and Splay brands attracting billions of monthly views for vloggers and webstars. And don’t forget our biggest digital business today - Viaplay, our premium online video subscription service, offering movies, sports, TV series and kids content on all devices and platforms in the Nordics!

What is your vision for the future of MTG as a responsible digital entertainer?

Our vision is of a company that delivers the very best entertainment experiences. We want to be the number one choice of each consumer in each of our markets. Our content needs to be everywhere on every platform and network – fixed and mobile. We will continue to set ourselves high standards in terms of the quality of the entertainment that we produce and provide, and how we engage with our stakeholders and with broader society. A number of our products are already available globally – Zoomin.TV, ESL and Trace and there will be many more. We can only do all of this by having the very best people on the team so this is where it all starts – we have a responsibility to each other to be the best that we can be, and that is what gets me up each day!