Promoting Media Literacy
Media literacy is a key skill. It has a major impact on the opportunities for education and development of children, teens and adults in our society. Bertelsmann and its divisions therefore deliberately promote reading and media literacy according to the principle of “helping people to help themselves.” In 2013, our company was involved in numerous “World Book Day” and “Reading Day” events in Germany. In Gütersloh, the site of our headquarters, we continued the “Lesespaß” (Reading [is] Fun) initiative to promote reading among children and teens in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut and the Stiftung Lesen reading foundation. Bertelsmann employees in the divisions also participated in a variety of projects and initiatives to promote media literacy among children.
Climate change and environmental protection are key challenges for our businesses. Bertelsmann is therefore working intensively on the ongoing development of its “be green” environmental and climate protection strategy. One important component in this is the Bertelsmann carbon footprint report, which has been drawn up in cooperation with all divisions and externally audited since 2008. In 2013, the company completed its third carbon footprint report. Thanks to structural changes and energy savings, the Group’s greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 18 percent compared to 2010 to 1.1 million tons of CO2 equivalents. Use of recycled paper rose by 13 percent between 2010 and 2012 to 526,000 tons – almost 25 percent of the company’s total paper consumption. The Group held its fourth worldwide “be green Day” on June 5, 2013, the United Nations’ “World Environment Day,” with the participation of staff at around 40 locations in 13 countries.
Our Commitment: Ethics & Compliance
Bertelsmann’s Ethics & Compliance program represents the logical continuation of a form of corporate governance that has evolved and proven itself over decades and assigns great importance to abiding by the law and taking social responsibility. This program is primarily based on a compliance organization, the monitoring of compliance risks, a code of conduct as a binding guideline for lawful behavior, training and communications measures tying into this and mechanisms to monitor compliance with these standards.
Progress Through Diversity
As part of the Group-wide transformation process, diversity management is closely connected with Bertelsmann’s strategic goals. In 2013, the Group-wide diversity strategy adopted by the GMC in 2012 was systematically pursued with targeted measures such as another Diversity Conference, the Bertelsmann Sponsorship Project to promote young managers, the establishment of diversity as a topic on Bertelsmann’s website, and the implementation of an in-house survey on coping with demographic change in Germany.
Employees Actively Help Shape the Future of Our Company
The Employee Survey is an expression of Bertelsmann’s corporate culture of partnership and an important tool for active employee participation. It is carried out at regular intervals, most recently in 2013. Worldwide, around 85,000 employees were asked to give their opinions about their daily work and thereby initiate major processes of change. Around 74,500 employees in 49 countries took this opportunity and participated in the survey. Of the 6,600 executives who received a team report, 82 percent have worked with their teams to derive measures based on the report. The results are also worked with over the longer term at company, divisional and Group level.
My Annual Report
The Bertelsmann corporate website contains comprehensive information on how Bertelsmann puts its corporate responsibility into action: for employees, for the quality of our media and services, and for the impact of our business on society and the environment. The information offered is enhanced with interesting compliance facts as well as a variety of projects, facts and figures in connection with Bertelsmann’s corporate responsibility, divisions and companies around the world.