Bertelsmann Improves Its Corporate Responsibility Ratings
Subject: Environment, Society, Employees
Bertelsmann has improved its performance in various corporate responsibility ratings. CR ratings let business customers assess how Bertelsmann companies put environmental and social standards into practice. The ratings are of great interest for business activities.
Bertelsmann did well in the recent CDP rating. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) evaluates companies’ management of their greenhouse gas emissions. It is one of several third-party CR ratings that business customers use to assess the implementation of environmental and social standards at Bertelsmann.
Business customers are placing increasing demands on the implementation of such standards at companies – including Bertelsmann. The results of third-party CR ratings, which apply for the whole Group, enable individual Bertelsmann companies to respond to CR-related inquiries from their customers and document their performance in the area of corporate responsibility. “Our customer Intel, for example, requires participation in the CDP Climate Change program and also expects a reduction target,” says Robert Aitken, who is responsible for Intel as Key Account Manager at Arvato SCM. “Bertelsmann’s CDP rating enables us to fulfil this requirement and avoid duplication of effort.” The fact that business customers are increasingly asking for information on dealing with social and ecological topics or standards – such as CO2 emissions, diversity, or working conditions – is also seen in other Bertelsmann divisions.
The increase in customer demands in connection with corporate responsibility reflects developments in the political environment, such as the introduction of non-financial reporting and due diligence requirements in the European Union. Large, capital-market-oriented companies are therefore faced with higher transparency requirements, which they pass on in their supply chains. This trend is being picked up on by rating agencies that specialize in the sustainability rating of companies. Bertelsmann has been rated by CR rating agencies for years – in response to customer requests, among other things. Companies use the results of these ratings to evaluate potential service providers and business partners.
‘Results Are an Incentive For Our Future Commitment’
In CDP’s latest “Climate Change” rating, Bertelsmann improved its rating from C- to C, once again above the industry average. The rating is based on detailed information on greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and risk management. The good result was primarily achieved as a result of Bertelsmann’s environmental targets and the reduction path it has taken. Bertelsmann also received Ecovadis gold status for the first time in 2018. ISS oekom gave Bertelsmann a C+ rating, which earns the Group Prime Status in the media industry. In MSCI’s investor-oriented ESG rating, the company was able to maintain its AA rating in 2018.
“The further development of our corporate responsibility pays directly into our entrepreneurial activities”, says CHRO Immanuel Hermreck, who is directly responsible for the Corporate Responsibility & Diversity Management department. “These results are an incentive for our future commitment in this area.” In order to reduce the effort and costs involved in responding to external rating requests and at the same time ensure the quality and consistency of Group-wide information, ratings are centrally managed by Corporate Responsibility & Diversity Management at the Corporate Center with a view to the Group as a whole. In collaboration with other departments at the Corporate Center and in consultation with representatives from the divisions, relevant information is gathered from existing reporting channels and prepared for the individual ratings.