Gütersloh, 02/17/2020

Climate Protection At Bertelsmann – A Long History

Subject: Environment
Country: International
Category: Project

The idea of protecting the climate and environment has been lifted to a whole new dimension for Bertelsmann with the goal, announced today, of becoming climate-neutral by 2030. And yet Bertelsmann and its divisions and companies around the world have long been committed to protecting the climate and the environment. Here is a list of some milestones.

The idea of protecting the climate and environment has been lifted to a whole new dimension for Bertelsmann with the goal, announced today, of becoming climate-neutral by 2030. And yet Bertelsmann and its divisions and companies around the world have long been committed to protecting the climate and the environment. Here is a list of some milestones – but of course they can show only a small fraction of the many, many actions taken over the years.

1989: ‘Geo schützt den Regenwald’ (Geo Protects the Rainforest)

The non-profit association “Geo schützt den Regenwald”, founded by the G+J magazine “Geo,” realizes projects worldwide for the preservation of tropical and subtropical forests and for the people who live there. It helps people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to preserve and sustainably use their natural forest resources.

1994: Combined heat and power plant at Mohn Media

Since 1994, the printing subsidiary Mohn Media, which at that time was still part of Arvato, has been obtaining the energy required for production from its own combined heat and power plant, which essentially consists of three gas turbines and one steam turbine. By simultaneously supplying electricity and heat – combined heat and power generation – the plant achieves an efficiency of more than 80 percent and therefore emits 52 percent less CO2 compared to the average energy mix in Germany.

2003: Establishment of an Environment Taskforce

Since May 2003, environmental experts from Bertelsmann and all the divisions – such as environmental officers, production managers and paper buyers – have been meeting regularly in the Environment Taskforce, a cross-divisional international working group, to exchange ideas on topics related to ecological commitment.

2004: Group-wide Environmental Policy

One result of the taskforce is that in fall 2004, Bertelsmann adopts a Group-wide Environmental Policy for the first time, followed by a Bertelsmann Paper Policy one year later.

2005: First Environmental Report from Arvato

For the first time, Arvato publishes a globally valid environmental report that comprehensively documents all activities across all its businesses. Prior to this, Arvato had already adopted binding environmental guidelines, appointed an environmental officer, and contractually committed all Managing Directors to environmentally friendly business practices.

2005: FSC paper at Random House

Random House increasingly prints its books on FSC paper, and has developed a set of dedicated environmental guidelines that emphasize the company’s responsibility to protect forests. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international nonprofit organization that operates the first system for the certification of sustainable forestry. Since the end of 2005, all hardcovers from the Group’s publishing houses have been made from FSC paper, and the paperback publishers soon followed suit, so that from the first half of 2006, all paper used by Verlagsgruppe Random House for black and white production is replaced by FSC papers.

2008: Bertelsmann Joins the UN’s Global Compact Initiative

Bertelsmann joins the United Nations (UN) Global Compact. The initiative calls on companies around the world to implement ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor standards, environmental protection, and anti-corruption within their sphere of influence. The Global Compact was initiated in 2000 by the then Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan.

2008: ‘be green’ Strategy for Efficient, Resource-Conserving Business Conduct

Energy and resource efficiency are increasingly becoming important competitive factors for Bertelsmann. This is one of the reasons the Bertelsmann Executive Board initiates the “be green” Group-wide environmental and climate protection strategy in 2008. It implements both the Bertelsmann Environmental Policy and Bertelsmann Paper Policy guidelines, supplements them with a climate protection aspect, and provides a framework for specific environmental protection strategies and activities at the divisions and companies around the world.

2008: ‘Environmind’ at RTL Group

RTL Group wants to achieve the sparing use of natural resources in all work processes and the continuous minimization of adverse environmental effects through activities within the company as well – which is why in 2008, it set up the “Environmind” team in Luxembourg.

2010: Climate-neutral Printing

The Gütersloh-based packaging manufacturer Topac offers its customers the option of offsetting the CO2 emitted during the production of packaging by purchasing emission certificates. The climate-protection consultancy Climate Partner determines the carbon footprint for this purpose.

2012: Climate-neutral Bertelsmann and Arvato Websites

A lot of electricity is needed to operate a web server that makes content available for numerous websites – electricity whose production involves creating the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2). And so, in 2012, Arvato and Bertelsmann render their websites hosted by various service providers climate-neutral by supporting a certified environmental project that helps cut CO2.

2014: The ‘UFA Green Team’

The “UFA Green Team” is an employee initiative that has been committed to sustainable television production and green office design at UFA since 2014. To date, the team has carried out many measures, especially in long-running UFA productions, but also at its Potsdam headquarters, that serve to prevent waste or improve the company’s own carbon footprint through more efficient use of energy and resources.

2015: First Book Made from Apple Paper

In October 2015, Verlagsgruppe Random House’s Mosaik imprint publishes the world’s first book made of paper produced made from apple residues. The cookbook “A Modern Way To Eat” is printed on paper made by Frumat, which uses cellulose-containing apple residues.

2015: Building Efficiency in Logistics

In 2015, Arvato SCM Solutions started a site efficiency project to record and improve the building efficiency of the German logistics sites. Almost at the very same time, a law obliging companies to perform energy efficiency audits comes into force in Germany.

2017: Electricity Savings at Data Centers

Arvato Systems’ data centers in Gütersloh save around 1,200 megawatt hours of electricity in 2017 compared to the previous year. This saving, which roughly corresponds to the consumption of 240 four-person households, is achieved by commissioning a new absorption chiller. Additional energy savings are achieved by introducing energy-efficient IT at Arvato CRM’s locations in Berlin and Tallinn.

2017: Energy-saving Lamps at Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House replaces more than 7,000 incandescent bulbs in the ceiling lighting at its Broadway offices in New York with LED lamps in 2017. Not only do they use less electricity; they are also more durable, made of non-toxic materials, and are recyclable.

2017: More and More Green Electricity

More and more Bertelsmann companies are purchasing “green” electricity. Among other things, GGP Media’s printing site and Arvato SCM’s logistics site in Landsberg, Germany, have switched their power supply to 100-percent green electricity. A super-efficient combined heat and power plant supplies electricity and heat to “RTL City.” Cooling is provided by thermo-active concrete and natural ventilation.

2018: Arvato Develops New Cardboard Packaging for E-commerce Businesses

Arvato SCM Solutions and the fashion retailer C&A jointly develop a new packaging solution for shipping fashion items in the online retail business. In the past, boxes were already automatically cut to the actual size required, which saves on material costs and optimizes shipping because less air is transported. Now the lid, which is fixed to the back and front side of the carton, has been redesigned. The punched tear strip on the front lid enables easy opening and re-closing, in case the package is returned.

2019: Prinovis UK Invests in Solar Power

Prinovis UK has installed a 1.1-megawatt photovoltaic system on the roof of its production facility in Liverpool. This will enable the company to reduce its CO2 emissions by an average of 500 tons a year. Prinovis invested around £700,000 (approximately €800,000) in the system, which comprises more than 4,000 solar panels

2019: Using Energy More Efficiently with Arvato Systems

Arvato Systems’ cloud solutions and IT and infrastructure services help customers increase their energy efficiency and contribute to the energy transformation. The company supports modern utility companies with strategy and process consulting, cloud solutions, IT, and infrastructure services.

2019: Bertelsmann Content Alliance Declares September Climate Month

The companies in the Bertelsmann Content Alliance pool their media power and reach in order to tackle one of today’s most important issues: climate change and its consequences. Under the slogan “Packen wir’s an!” (“Let’s Tackle It!”). The Audio Alliance, Gruner + Jahr, Mediengruppe RTL, RTL Radio Deutschland, UFA, and Verlagsgruppe Random House are putting various aspects of environmental and climate protection at the top of the agenda for the entire month of September under the slogan “Packen wir’s an!” – “Let’s Tackle It!”