Media and Sustainable Development

ESG strategy

Ekspress Grupp is the leading media group in the Baltic countries and therefore plays an important role in the development of the society. The Group’s media publications significantly shape the public information space in all its three home markets, i.e. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. As an employer of a considerable size, the Group has an obligation to manage all Group enterprises in an ethical and responsible manner, and to create independent, professional and reliable media content.
We ensure such activities based on the group-wide ESG (environmental-social-governance) strategy created in 2022.

As a Group we are dedicated to ensuring that all Group companies have a positive impact on people and the environment, contributing to the fulfilment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

We are actively seeking opportunities to create a positive impact on the society through the core activities of Group companies. We are adhering to the international principles of responsible enterprise to ensure that our operations and business strategy do not infringe the rights or wellbeing of any stakeholder groups. In addition, we wish to reduce the impact of the Group’s operations on the environment and to make our contribution to achieving the goal of alleviating the climate change according to the Paris agreement.

The ESG strategy determines important sustainability topics for Ekspress Grupp, establishes the group's main sustainability-related activities and goals.

Leading ethical and responsible media group
• we are an independent and influential media group
• we are a responsible advertising platform
• we ensure the subscribers’ rights and wellbeing
Responsible and attractive employer
• we ensure the personal and professional development of employees
• we contribute to the employees' wellbeing
• we ensure equal treatment, we value diversity and engagement
Responsibly and sustainably managed company
• we manage companies honestly and responsibly
• we reduce of environmental impact
• we ensure a sustainable supply chain

Public impact, role and responsibility

As a leading media group, Ekspress Grupp is well aware of its role in the economic and social development of all its home markets. Our companies have undeniably the biggest impact and possibility to contribute to the society and democracy through their core activities – by creating media content and offering modern digital solutions and services. To ensure that our positive contribution has as great an impact as possible, we conduct our activities in all media segments according to principles of corporate responsibility and sector standards.

Independent and influential media group

The role and responsibility of media is to bring relevant and challenging themes to the public. Coverage of social challenges turns attention to important processes that need to be changed so that they can be positively influenced thereafter.

With its ESG strategy, we have assumed a Group-wide role and accountability for creating real changes to support sustainable development, especially UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Our promise
Ekspress Grupp's goal is to be a leading supporter of the freedom of speech in the Baltics and to foster the society by providing access to fact-based and quality information. We wish to increase our contribution to the development of the media sector in order to preserve and promote the high level of press freedom in the Baltics. Our ambition is to be a leading reporter of sustainability issues in the Baltics.
None of Ekspress Grupp's publications do not publish unethical or irresponsible information.

None of the articles in Ekspress Grupp's media publications contradicts Ekspress Grupp's code of ethics.

We contribute to the development of the media sector through the following activities:

- We actively work to ensure that our journalistic content is independent, ethical and of high quality.

- We contribute to the development of media literacy and information literacy in cooperation with relevant interest stakeholders.

- We connect publications with socially important focus themes and create and develop media platforms focused on sustainability topics.

View for 2023
Article that breach journalism standards in the media publications of Ekspress Grupp
Target for 2025

Our approach to
responsible journalism

Press ethics starts with independence
Journalism needs to be independent and free. The work of journalists and periodicals should not be influenced by business interests, political links, personal relations or gains, bribes or any other benefits. The principles of balanced journalism are followed in all Group companies. Various parties are allowed to express themselves equally and can present counterarguments and, if necessary, corrections. The sources of presented information are always verified. Each journalist is responsible for source and confidentiality protection. In case of sensitive topics, the line of ethics should be perceived.
Standing up for credibility and freedom of expression
The continued and increasingly sharp polarization of the public increases the pressure on media houses to create and present reliable and quality journalistic content in a timely manner.
Comment control by human moderation
Comments are an important part of online publications as they enable the readers to express their views on topics that are important to them. Ekspress Grupp's media publications promote comments by users who are registered and logged in. Inappropriate comments are removed by both human moderators and a machine-learning moderating system.
Our journalistic content strictly adheres to traditional norms, focusing on unbiased reporting, fact-checking and editorial oversight
- Rasa Lukaitytė-Vnarauskienė, editor-in-chief of Delfi Lithuania
Major topics in 2023

How we transformed the society through raising important topics

How Russia has attempted to influence elections in Estonia
Before the general elections, Eesti Päevaleht published a journalistic investigation on how Russia has attempted to influence elections in Estonia.
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Mental health professionals in a difficult situation
Katariina Libe, journalist of the magazine Pere ja Kodu, provided a comprehensive insight into how therapists without evidence-based training overload the healthcare system.
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How Slava Ukraini's charity turned into a business
Eesti Ekspress published an investigative article on the activities and background of Estonian and Ukrainian partners of Johanna-Maria Lehtme who is suspected of misuse of donations given to Slava Ukraini.
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The challenges facing the Estonian healthcare system
In the Specialist series of articles, Eesti Päevaleht wrote about the challenges facing the Estonian healthcare system. The same problem was covered in detail also by Õhtuleht.
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The limbo of the defunct Eurora employees
The problems with the closure of the work-related support system
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Sexual harassment in youth camps
Delfi Latvia published a story about the inappropriate behaviour of basketball couch Andris Steļmahs with his underaged student. Together with the Latvian public radio station Latvijas radio 1, Delfi journalists published a series of articles on sexual harassment in youth camps.
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Problematic pricing policy of grocery retail chains
In cooperation with the Baltic Centre for Investigative Journalism, Delfi Latvia published a series of articles on the pricing policy of grocery chains. Cost of living was also the focus in the series of analytical articles published by Delfi which also discussed housing conditions in Latvia’s rural areas.
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Declarations of consent for organ donation
Delfi Latvia published a story about the death of a young woman and about her decision to donate her organs. After the publication of the article, the number of Latvians who signed up for organ donation went up notably.
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Exposed cases of paedophilia in Lithuania
Special correspondent of Delfi Lithuania, Dainius Sinkevičius, wrote a story on the criminal background of one of the most well-known priests of the Vilnius Cathedral. The journalistic investigation that started from a petty theft exposed a priest who engaged in child pornography and sexual harassment. Moreover, during court proceedings it was found out that the prosecutor who was on the case had attempted to sexually abuse the same victim. Both the priest and the prosecutor resigned after the publication of the article. The same author has also exposed other cases of paedophilia. The public debate triggered by Delfi forced the courts to start disclosing full names of people charged of paedophilia also in closed trials.
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Unauthorised activities of the Lithuanian business elite
Delfi Lithuania published investigative stories on the Lake Gulbinai development that exposed unauthorised activities of the Lithuanian business elite. After the publication of the article the prosecutor’s office, the environmental agency and the state forest service started an investigation into the matter. Violations were identified and fines and correctional measures were imposed on offenders. After the interference of the Vilnius City Government, also access to the public lake and forest was restored.
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Debate on the issues of national and international securit
The interview of ELTA with Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis fuelled a broad-based political and social debate on the issues of national and international security.
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Development of the media sector and media competence

As a leading media group, we have assumed the role of the voice of the media sector with a view of contributing to the development of the sector. We actively support the development of media competence and fact-based knowledge.

The media publications of the Group are active partners of educational establishments in all three countries: Tartu University and Tallinn University in Estonia, Vilnius University and from 2023, also Vytaytas Magnus University in Lithuania, Latvian University, Stockholm School of Economics, Riga Stradin University and Vidzeme University in Latvia. The goal of this partnership is first and foremost to improve the awareness of young people about career choices and possibilities in journalism. 81 trainees worked in Ekspress Grupp companies in 2023.

Media sector’s competence

For promoting media competence, Delfi Meedia organised in 2023 a project on youth and elections whose goal was to engage and educate the younger target group on issues of elections and the functioning of the society.

For the fourth year in a row, Delfi Latvia and the Baltic Centre for Media Excellence organised a joint training course #Storygram where experienced journalists taught upper secondary school students practical skills in journalism and multimedia.

Delfi Latvia and the Baltic Centre for Media Excellence organised a joint project “Digitally Together” where young people assisted the elderly in issues like media and digital literacy.

Jointly with the Vytautas Magnus University, Delfi Lithuania founded in Lithuania the Baltic Research Foundation for Digital Excellence or DIGIRES that specialises in the detection, analysis, exposure and prevention of fake information in Lithuania and elsewhere.

Coverage of sustainable development

In 2020, Eesti Päevaleht was the first media outlet in Estonia to launch a climate section in 2020. In 2021, it was expanded into a more general Green Portal. In 2023, in addition to consistently covering topics such as car tax, nuclear energy and the climate crisis, an interview series “Kohepööre” ("Turn green now") was published during the general elections in which representatives of all major political parties presented their plans for mitigating environmental and climate problems. The current selection of topics has also increased the number of readers – while in 2022, the Green Portal had an average of 94 300 unique users per month, it increased to 129 259 in 2023.

Since our product and topic portfolio is extensive, we try to find angles and topics related to sustainability everywhere. This is how we handle topics and projects, and it is becoming a daily part in the validation of journalistic topics. A good example is sports and entertainment where we also covered the aspect of sustainability in 2023.
- Urmo Soonvald, editor-in-chief of Delfi and Eesti Päevaleht

Grynas, a news portal devoted to environmental issues, has been operating under Delfi Lithuania continuously for ten years. In addition to this, environmental challenges covered within the special project Tvari Lietuva, based on the UN sustainable development goals where in addition to a continuous news stream, longer analytical articles on topics such as energy, consumer behaviour, education, gender equality, sustainable innovation and environmental protection are published once a month. In addition, video stories are made and brainstorming sessions are conducted to improve public environmental awareness. In 2024, Delfi plans to launch a podcast in the same portal. In 2023, Delfi Latvia launched its green portal Mēs darām, and the Lithuanian publication Lrytas started the sustainability project Tvarumo kodas, mapping the journey of businesses towards sustainability both in text and in video, and also hoping to inspire others. The Lithuanian news agency ELTA has also created a separate section dedicated to sustainability.

In addition to the green portal of Eesti Päevaleht, other media platforms of Delfi Meedia have developed more extensive social themes which have been in the focus of the largest brands for several years.

In 2023, Õhtuleht focused on reporting how the more vulnerable members of our society manage to cope, for example changes in the regulation of long-term protected work and the reasons why medical doctors are leaving Estonia. In 2023, Delfi Latvia shifted its focus to covering the problems of abuse, domestic violence, poverty, alcoholism and the rising cost of living.
In 2023, we gave voice to many victims of abuse so that they could tell their stories. As a media outlet, we were able to create a safe and reliable place to tell one’s story even when it was emotionally difficult.
- Filips Lastovskis, editor-in-chief of Delfi Latvia

Events and cooperation projects

We contribute more broadly to the development of the society through various cooperation projects. As a Group, we have expanded our business into event management, and also focus on sustainability issues, as part of our goal to be advocates for sustainable development issues.

In 2023, Delfi Meedia started cooperation with the Tartu University’s Institute of Social Studies in the specialisation of journalism and communication (BA) as a result of which a new subject will be launched in 2024 on the development of digital media, communication processes in the media organisation, journalistic ethics and workshops on practical journalism. Journalists of Delfi Meedia will be mainly responsible for the mandatory topic of reporting.
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In 2023 Delfi Meedia organised the energy sector conference with a focus on green energy and cleaner environment. In 2024 the same event will focus in more detail on the future of the Estonian energy sector.
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In 2023 Geenius Meedia led on two occasions a public debate group Evening with Geenius, where executives of start-up companies openly talked about their failures, mental health and the impact of business on private life. At least two events are planned to be held in the spring 2024.
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In 2022 and 2023, Delfi Lithuania organised a sustainability conference targeted at enterprises. This will continue in 2024. In the conferences, Lithuania and foreign experts shared their experience and knowledge in the integrated management of ESG, including the measuring of environmental impact and setting reduction targets. Most significant debates were broadcast also in Estonia and Latvia and were accessed by an estimated 87 000 persons per day of the broadcast.
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Delfi Lithuania participated in a research project DIACOMET which began in the summer 2023, is supported by the EU research and innovation framework programme “European Horizon” and whose cooperation partners are European universities and thinktanks. In the course of the project that will last until 2026, the partners will develop a framework to combine media accountability and civic accountability in digital communication with the purpose of fighting both the negative consequences of hate speech and distribution of fake information.
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Responsible advertising platform

As a media group, our activities are not limited to journalistic content. Advertising sales on our media platforms and on digital outdoor displays play a significant part in our commercial success. Therefore, we also have a responsibility to ensure that the marketing messages we deliver are aligned with our own values, and national and international marketing regulations.

To achieve our targets, we have focused on the following activities:

- We ensure that marketing messages delivered on our platforms comply with the law, are honest, sincere and truthful.

- We ensure a clear line between content marketing and journalistic content.

Our promise
Our goal is to be recognised and trusted by our customers and readers as an ethical and responsible advertising platform. We want to take a leading role in the Baltics in promoting the principles of responsible advertising in the media sector.
Zero cases where advertising or content marketing displayed on our platforms breaches our internal rules.
View for 2023
Violations of content marketing rules
Target for 2025

Our approach to responsible advertising

Content marketing
The Group is convinced that the journalistic content must not be influenced by the interest of advertising clients, content marketing or the organisation of the group's own commercial events. The Group's periodicals have drawn a clear line between advertising and editorial work. Content marketing and other content shown for a fee – ​​such as special projects – are visually recognizable and labeled accordingly. Our customers and readers also expect it.
Advertising sales
All our companies adhere to the obligations and restrictions arising from the law in advertising sales.
For us, responsible data use in advertising sales is part of our responsibility to our customers, as well as a business opportunity to stand out as a reliable, ethical and transparent advertising platform.
Digital outdoor advertising
For Ekspress Grupp's digital outdoor advertising companies, part of their social responsibility is related to light pollution from advertising screens, which can affect both city residents and road users. Companies take into account the requirements arising from the law and the agreements of good practice of outdoor advertising.
We have in place a strict policy that the relationship between the advertising team and the news department is like the relationship between the state and the church.
- Filips Lastovskis, editor-in-chief of Delfi Latvia