Corporate Responsibility

We strive to conduct ourselves responsibly as entrepreneurs in our business environment, toward our employees, in society and in our treatment of the environment. This is an integral part of Bertelsmann’s corporate culture. For decades, social responsibility has been codified in the Bertelsmann Essentials as a goal and core value for all of our Group’s employees, executives and shareholders. In accordance with the diversity of our businesses, we fulfill our responsibility in a decentralized way, depending on location, local relevance and expertise. We practice sustainable action along our value chains, staying close to the media and services business. Our social and environmental efforts have a positive effect on our commercial activities.

Our Economic Responsibility

Growth and continuity form the basis of our corporate responsibility. A prerequisite for this is generating profits in order to achieve a return on capital that can secure the company’s growth and continuity. This is the only way to secure and create jobs and is how our offices and plants contribute to prosperity around the world. Our business conduct follows the principles of good corporate governance and is guided by ethical values.

Our Responsibility Toward Our Employees

The partnership between employees and management guides our thoughts and actions for the benefit of everyone involved. Bertelsmann’s shareholders, management and employee representatives share the following basic understanding: A corporate culture of partnership not only promotes satisfaction and identification with the company’s and individual’s tasks, but also constitutes one of the most important prerequisites for entrepreneurial success. We have therefore always attached particularly high importance to responsibility toward our employees.

Our Responsibility Toward Society

Media content is not just a commodity but also a cultural asset. This notion results in a special mandate: We contribute to a pluralistic media landscape with a wide diversity of creative entertainment, information and education programs. We also systematically address important social issues to raise public awareness about them. Responsible business conduct also guides our dealings as a services company. Our goal is to work with our customers to balance economic, environmental and social concerns in order to design sustainable processes. We actively campaign for and support a livable environment in our various locations. Some examples of our thematically focused efforts are appeals for donations in our media, promotion of reading and media literacy, and training young journalists.

Our Environmental Responsibility

As an internationally successful media and services company, we depend on natural resources. This is true for the printing and publishing of books, magazines and brochures as well as for the production of movies and television, the manufacture of storage media and digital formats, and the provision of numerous outsourcing services. Therefore, protecting the climate and ensuring an efficient use of energy and resources are key goals in our corporate responsibility engagement. Cooperation in the Bertelsmann “be green team,” our international environmental task force with representatives from all divisions, and the regular production of a Group-wide carbon footprint report form the basis for the strategic direction of our environmental efforts.