Warner Music Group has released its inaugural Environment Social Governance (ESG) report – a vehicle to communicate to key stakeholders and a baseline to measure progress in areas such as employee wellbeing, diversity, equality, inclusion, social impact and climate change.
Spearheaded by Samantha Sims (vice president, ESG) and WMG’s ESG executive oversight committee, the report was created with the input of more than 70 employees. Sims joined WMG as its first head of ESG in August 2021.
The report reveals that Warner Music is launching a legacy unrecouped advances programme for eligible artists and songwriters who signed with WMG before 2000, and didn’t receive an advance during or after 2000. The programme will also benefit other artist royalty participants such as producers, engineers, mixers, and remixers, according to the report. It goes into effect for royalty periods starting July 2022.
It follows Sony Music's Unrecouped Balances initiaitive for legacy acts last year.
Steve Cooper (CEO, WMG) said: “Becoming a more equitable and sustainable company is a moral, commercial, and creative imperative. WMG operates in more than 70 countries around the world, each with distinct customs, cultures, needs, and regulations. So, our sustained, global approach to ESG requires us to have a sophisticated local, individualised line of action. We’re exploring what creating positive change should look like for our company, our artists and songwriters, and the broader community. We’ve made some great strides so far, but this report isn’t just a snapshot of what we’ve done to date – it’s a long-term commitment to action and accountability.”
Sims added: “The increased focus on global social and environmental challenges has prompted all stakeholders – from our people to investors – to expect businesses to more proactively address ESG risks and opportunities. I’m incredibly proud to have worked with teams across our global footprint to produce WMG’s first annual ESG report. This report signifies our dedication to creating an ESG platform with measurable targets to catalyse positive societal change and engage more of our stakeholders along the way.”
Dr Maurice A Stinnett (WMG’s global head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) said: “The past two years particularly have highlighted the global fights for social justice, anti-racism, and equitable healthcare, and the needs for ethical workplaces and creative solutions. We’ve set out in the report our company-wide diversity, equity and inclusion commitments to help create a cultural shift, and we’re excited to translate these commitments to the needs of our teams in all our locations. Reflecting on where we come from and what we’ve done will enable us to move forward, together, in the most informed and effective way possible.”
Click here to read the report.