A Tradition of Responsibility
Corporate responsibility is a tradition at Bertelsmann, and inseparably bound up with the company’s history. While the company’s original founder Carl Bertelsmann still interpreted this responsibility largely in religious terms, following the company’s new beginning in 1945 Reinhard Mohn determined responsibility based on people’s interests and needs: those of our employees and our customers, but also the societies we do business in. So our contemporary understanding of corporate responsibility may have its roots in the 19th century, but with all the accumulated experience of more than 180 years, we are deliberately tackling the challenges and megatrends of the 21st century – from digitization to demographic change and globalization. In particular, the diversity of the international markets we operate in challenges us to balance our tradition with the demands and issues of the present. This is shown in the areas where we focus our corporate responsibility efforts. We take responsibility for our employees, the media content and services we provide, and the impact our operations have on society and the environment.
Fixed Values, Flexible Structures
Our efforts are not chosen at random. In accordance with the diversity of our businesses, we can be flexible in putting our corporate responsibility into action, as we share firm convictions that guide these actions. Bertelsmann’s structure reflects this willingness to take responsibility, because we don’t see corporate responsibility as an abstract term. Instead, it is translated into transparent structures and specific rules and is regularly documented in verifiable facts and figures. Our culture of leadership through partnership obliges everyone in the company to do their part. At the same time, it gives each individual the freedom to take responsibility within the scope of their own possibilities. We believe that this leads to a sustainable, enduring result that is more than merely the sum of its parts.