Bertelsmann Submits UN Global Compact Communication On Progress

For the 12th year in a row, Bertelsmann has published its Communication on Progress as part of its commitment to the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest initiative for responsible corporate governance. In it, the Group reports on its commitment to human rights, labor standards, environmental protection, and the prevention of corruption.

Subject: Media & Services, Employees, Environment, Society
Country: International
Category: Project

As part of its commitment to the UN Global Compact, Bertelsmann has now presented its twelfth Communication on Progress (COP), reporting on responsible business conduct in the Group. The COP provides comprehensive information on relevant ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) topics and on the progress made in the 2021 financial year. Lead-managed by the Bertelsmann CR Council and together with more than 70 colleagues from the corporate divisions, a Group-wide Bertelsmann ESG Program (2021–2023) with around 150 measures for the eight Group-wide ESG priorities was developed in a “co-creation” process. “The program is an important milestone for ESG at Bertelsmann,” says Chief HR Officer Immanuel Hermreck. “With this comprehensive package of measures, we fulfill our responsibility to our employees, society, and the environment.”

Progress in the past year

Besides topics such as compliance, learning, fair working conditions, and content responsibility, the report also covers diversity, equity & inclusion, the “Bertelsmann Climate Neutral by 2030” strategy, and the new approach to health & well-being. Regarding gender diversity in the company’s extended management, Bertelsmann was able to further increase the proportion of female executives in top management, according to the report, while the proportion in senior management remained stable year-on-year. It now stands at around 30 percent in both target groups. In addition, all targets for the proportion of women in the top management, senior management, and career development pools were achieved.

Bertelsmann also continues to make progress in matters of environmental and climate protection, with the company aiming to be climate-neutral by 2030. The Group-wide climate strategy is in line with the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Climate Agreement and was confirmed by the independent Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). In the 2021 financial year, the company reduced its CO2 emissions by 15 percent compared to the 2018 baseline, and increased the number of sites sourcing green electricity from 81 to 181. The protection of employees’ health worldwide in connection with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the strategic and organizational further development of the Health & Well-being topic were also addressed.

Commitment to universal principles

Bertelsmann has been a signatory to the UN Global Compact since 2008, along with around 16,000 other companies and organizations from more than 160 countries. The company has thus expressly committed to the Compact’s ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor standards, environmental protection, and the prevention of corruption. In its report, Bertelsmann follows the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which are internationally regarded as the leading framework for ESG reporting. This link  will take you to Bertelsmann’s GRI Report 2021.