GRI Content Index
The “Bertelsmann GRI Report 2018” was available to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for rendering the GRI Materiality Disclosures Service. The GRI Services team confirmed that the GRI Materiality Disclosures (GRI 102-40–102-49) were correctly located. All GRI standards listed in the following GRI content index were published in 2016.
GRI 101 Foundation
GRI 102 Organizational profile
GRI 102-2 Activities, brands, products, and services
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company had 117,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.7 billion in the 2018 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world
Media: Bertelsmann’s media businesses are based on the production and acquisition of high-quality information and entertainment content – the basis for creating audiovisual formats, books, magazines, music products, and online services. With the exception of books and music, these products contain advertising as well as editorial content – an important source of financing beyond the revenues from sales and distribution. All these products are distributed physically or digitally, directly or through service providers. Because media businesses live by the diversity of the content they produce and distribute, good networks of creative talent and content producers are a key success factor.
Services:Companies from a wide variety of industries rely on Bertelsmann’s portfolio of solutions, including telecommunication providers, energy suppliers, banks and insurance companies, as well as e-commerce, IT and Internet service providers. At the core of this segment are services Bertelsmann delivers to the end customers of its clients (“B2B2C services”). Typical support services include supply chain management solutions, as well as financial, IT, marketing, and customer relationship management services. These services combine a variety of resources: staff resources, technology, and the use of natural resources in the form of energy and materials. While hardware and standard software are sourced from third-party suppliers, software solutions for specialized applications are also developed in-house. In its print operations, Bertelsmann processes materials like paper and ink to produce media and advertising products for business customers – typically advertising flyers, books, catalogs, magazines and brochures – using offset, gravure and digital printing presses by third-party manufacturers. The most important raw material used in the CD, DVD and Blu-ray replication business is polycarbonate.
Education: With its digital education and range of services focusing on the health and technology sectors, Bertelsmann is shaping work-related learning in the 21st century. The business models in the education segment are based first foremost on the combined deployment of highly qualified employees and innovative technology.
Bertelsmann does not offer products that are prohibited by law.
More information on brands: see GRI 102-7.
GRI 102-4 Location of operations
GRI 102-5 Ownership and legal form
Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA is a publicly traded but unlisted partnership limited by shares.
GRI 102-6 Markets served
The geographic core markets are Western Europe – in particular, Germany, France and the United Kingdom – and the United States. In addition, Bertelsmann is strengthening its involvement in growth markets such as Brazil, India and China and is expanding its activities in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.
More information on the core lines of business and the customers: see GRI 102-2.
GRI 102-7 Scale of the organization
The company has 117,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.7 billion in the 2018 financial year.
RTL Group is, based on revenue, one of the leading television groups in the broadcasting, content and digital business with interests in 60 television channels, eight video-on-demand platforms, 30 radio stations and content production throughout the world.
Penguin Random House is, based on revenue, the world’s largest trade book publisher, with nearly 275 imprints across six continents. Each year Penguin Random House publishes about 15,000 new titles and sells around 600 million print books, e-books and audiobooks.
Gruner + Jahr is one of Europe’s leading premium magazine publishers. Its magazine portfolio includes established brands such as “Stern,” “Brigitte” and “Geo”; young brands like “Barbara,” “Guido” and “Chefkoch”; and the French magazine publisher Prisma Media.
BMG is an international music company with 15 offices in twelve music markets, and now represents more than three million songs and recordings.
Arvato develops and implements innovative solutions for customers in a wide range of sectors in over 40 countries for all kinds of business processes. These comprise Customer Relationship Management, Supply Chain Management, Financial Solutions and IT Services.
The Bertelsmann Printing Group unites Bertelsmann’s printing activities. It comprises the German offset printing companies such as Mohn Media, the Prinovis gravure printing operations in Germany and the United Kingdom, and the offset and digital printing plants in the United States.
Bertelsmann Education Group comprises Bertelsmann’s education activities. The digital education and service offerings are primarily in the healthcare and technology sectors, as well as in the field of university education.
Bertelsmann Investments bundles Bertelsmann’s global start-up investments. The activities are focused on the strategic growth markets of Brazil, China, India and the United States.
Revenues by division, region and revenue stream: see GRI 201-1.
GRI 102-8 Information on employees and other workers
Employees by division
|Penguin Random House||10,351||10,615|
|Gruner + Jahr||10,079||10,551|
|Bertelsmann Printing Group||8,245||8,261|
|Bertelsmann Education Group||2,033||1,639|
Basis: employees on permanent and temporary contracts, excluding trainees, as of December 31.
Employee distribution worldwide
|Other European countries||41,235||41,912|
|Central & South America||4,493||4,848|
|Australia & New Zealand||772||602|
Basis: employees on permanent and temporary contracts, excluding trainees, as of December 31.
Number of full- and part-time employees Germany
Basis: employees headcount on permanent and temporary contracts, excluding trainees, as of December 31.
Employees by employment period
Basis: employees headcount on permanent and temporary contracts, excluding trainees, as of December 31. Rounding differences may occur.
Employees by employment period and region
|Permanent men||Permanent women||Permanent total||Temporary men||Temporary women||Temporary total|
|Australia and New Zealand||38.3||58.3||96.6||0.3||3.1||3.4|
|Middle- and South America||25.7||54.1||79.8||8.1||12.2||20.3|
|Other European countries||30.2||42.3||72.5||11.3||16.2||27.5|
Basis: employees headcount on permanent and temporary contracts, excluding trainees, as of December 31. Rounding differences may occur.
Information on external employees: see GRI 401.
GRI 102-9 Supply chain
Bertelsmann has a widely ramified supply chain with only a few main suppliers, including paper and energy suppliers. Most of the services it purchases are creative or other services rendered by humans.
More information on value creation: see GRI 102-2.
More information on paper procurement: see GRI 301.
GRI 102-10 Significant changes to the organization and its supply chain
In September 2018, Bertelsmann and the Saham Group in Morocco announced the merger of their global CRM businesses. The merger took effect on January 4, 2019 in the new company Majorel and serves the further development of Arvato’s CRM businesses.
In November 2018, the Bertelsmann Education Group acquired full ownership of the US online education provider OnCourse Learning from the private equity company CIP Capital. The company provides digital corporate and advanced training courses to clients in the healthcare and financial services sectors. The acquisition of OnCourse Learning serves the further expansion of the education business and in particular strengthens the activities of Relias, a company in the Bertelsmann Education Group.
GRI 102-11 Precautionary principle or approach
As a global corporation, Bertelsmann is exposed to a large number of risks, including legal and regulatory risks. The company has set up a risk management system (RMS) for the early identification, evaluation of, and handling of internal and external risks. Its aim is to identify material risks to the Group in good time, so that countermeasures can be taken and the risk can be monitored. Risks are defined as possible future developments or events that could lead to a negative economic forecast or target deviation for Bertelsmann. In addition, risks can negatively affect the achievement of the Group’s strategic, operational, reporting and compliance-related objectives, and its reputation.
The risk management process is based on the internationally accepted frameworks of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO Enterprise Risk Management – Integrated Framework and Internal Control – Integrated Framework, respectively) and is organized in subprocesses of identification, assessment, response, control, communication and monitoring. A major element of risk identification is a risk inventory that lists significant risks year by year, from the profit center level upward. These risks are aggregated step by step at the division and Group levels. This ensures that risks are registered where their impact would be felt. There is also a Group-wide reassessment of critical risks every six months and quarterly reporting in case the risk situation has changed. Ad hoc reporting requirements ensure that significant changes in the risk situation during the course of the year are brought to the attention of the Executive Board. The risks are compared to risk management and control measures to determine the net risk position. Both one- and three-year risk assessment horizons are applied to enable the timely implementation of risk response measures. The basis for determining the main Group risks is the three-year period, similar to medium-term corporate planning. Risk assessment is the product of the estimated negative impact on Group free cash flow should the risk occur and the estimated probability of occurrence. Risk monitoring is conducted by Group management on an ongoing basis. The RMS, along with its component ICS, is constantly undergoing further development and is integrated into ongoing reporting to the Executive Board and Supervisory Board. Corporate Risk Committee meetings are convened at regular intervals to ensure compliance with statutory and internal requirements.
One of the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact, which Bertelsmann has supported as a member since 2008, is decisive action against corruption. By reporting in accordance with GRI, Bertelsmann also fulfills its obligation to state, in an annual Communication on Progress, what anti-corruption measures were taken.
More information on Bertelsmann’s precautionary approach: see GRI 102-15, 102-17, 205, 206.
GRI 102-12 External initiatives
Bertelsmann supports the following external initiatives and their principles:
- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Bertelsmann supports the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
- United Nations Global Compact: Bertelsmann has been a member (“signatory” option) of the United Nations Global Compact since 2008.
- OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises: Bertelsmann largely follows the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
- United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights: Bertelsmann is committed to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
- International Labour Organization (ILO): International Labor Organization core labor standards
- Global Reporting Initiative (GRI): Since 2011, Bertelsmann has based its Corporate Responsibility reporting on the currently valid international guidelines issued by the GRI and has been reporting in accordance with the “GRI Standards” since 2017.
- Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO): The risk management process is based on the internationally accepted COSO frameworks.
- European Charter on Freedom of the Press: Gruner + Jahr is an official signatory to the European Charter on Freedom of the Press and supports the European Center for Freedom of the Press and Media, which was founded in Leipzig in 2015.
- European Union (EU) initiatives for promoting media and internet literacy: “CEO Coalition to make the Internet a better place for kids” and “Alliance to better protect minors online” are initiatives that focus on promoting internet literacy among children and young adults. RTL Group was a founding member of the EU’s “CEO Coalition to make the internet a better place for kids” initiative, which developed specific recommendations for handling digital media. These efforts are being continued in the “Alliance to Better Protect Minors Online,” founded in 2017, in which Super RTL and Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland are involved. The EU initiative “klicksafe.de,” for which Super RTL is a cooperation partner, works to promote public awareness of safe Internet use through practical programming and materials.
- German Corporate Governance Code as amended on February 7, 2017,: Bertelsmann largely follows the recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code for good and responsible corporate governance.
- Bertelsmann participates in relevant non-financial ratings and rankings where its management of non-financial matters is evaluated by third parties. In 2018, the company received, among others, a gold rating from ecovadis. achieved “Prime status” in ISS-oekom’s Corporate Rating 2018 for the Media Sector, and scored a C (“Above Sector Average”) in the CDP Climate Change Rating 2018.
GRI 102-13 Membership of associations
Bertelsmann has been a member of econsense, the German business sector’s forum for sustainable development, since 2015. Bertelsmann is also active at the Group and divisional level in the international Responsible Media Forum network.
GRI 102 Strategy
GRI 102-14 Statement from senior decision-maker
See Chairman's foreword .
GRI 102-15 Key impacts, risks, and opportunities
A number of non-financial risks are associated with the CR topics that are relevant for Bertelsmann. These risks can arise from the company’s own business activities or from its business relationships, and can affect the company or its surroundings and stakeholders. As defined in the German CSR Directive Implementation Act, the major non-financial aspects where risks can occur are related to environmental, employee and social issues, respect for human rights, and the fight against corruption and bribery.
For the non-financial matters defined in the German Commercial Code – social and employee matters, anti-corruption and bribery matters, respect for human rights, and environmental matters – no significant risks were identifiable as part of the 2018 reporting (see Combined Non-financial statement in the Combined Management Report for the 2017 Financial Year, p. 41) .
Beyond this, there are also risks associated with the CR topics relevant to Bertelsmann that are connected with the company’s business activities, business relationships, and products and services, but that are not very likely to have serious impacts. The following risk assessment focuses on these CR risks.
CR Risks for Bertelsmann and its surroundings
CR Risks for Bertelsmann: CR risks that may arise from Bertelsmann as a company include increasing business customer requirements stemming from a range of non-financial topics, the nonfulfillment of which may result in revenue losses. CR issues are increasingly subject to statutory regulations, which can lead to noncompliance penalties linked to loss of trust in various stakeholder groups. Disruption in business processes, such as bottlenecking in the procurement of paper or energy, can arise due to a resource scarcity. In human resources, risks may arise due to inadequate working conditions, with implications such as decreased employee motivation and productivity, inadequate skills due to lack of training, increased illness, or increased staff turnover. Developments in media and social policy, such as in the area of press freedom, also contain potential risks for Bertelsmann’s businesses.
CR Risks for Bertelsmann’s Surroundings: The way in which Bertelsmann fulfills its corporate responsibility also has repercussions for the company’s surroundings, environment and stakeholders, some of which derive from the company’s supply chain. For instance, working conditions have a direct and indirect impact on the well-being of employees, their individual opportunities, and their family environment. Bertelsmann’s business operations also have a reciprocal relationship with the local communities where they operate and with global society. Corruption, for example, can impede economic development, contribute to the continuation and growth of poverty, and reduce the equality of opportunity. With regard to human rights, Bertelsmann’s journalistic conduct, its creative independence, and its treatment of data in particular affect the state of public information, freedom of opinion, self-determination and democracy. In the environment, the use of resources such as paper influences the survival, development and diversity of ecological systems, and with them, sustainable living conditions. The company contributes to global warming through the direct and indirect emission of greenhouse gases.
Finally, all risks caused by Bertelsmann – and the possible negative impacts on its environment – can also cause risks for the company, affecting such factors as reputation, attractiveness as an employer or business partner, litigation, and inclusion in “do not source” lists and indexes.
An overview the CR topics relevant for Bertelsmann: see GRI 102-44, 102-47.
GRI 102 Ethics and integrity
GRI 102-16 Values, principles, standards, and norms of behavior
The Bertelsmann Essentials describe the company’s sense of purpose, common goals and core values. To ensure that they continue to reflect changes in the company and its environment, they are regularly reviewed and adjusted. The new Essentials were further developed in a two-year participatory process and presented at the international Management Meeting in May 2019. The values of Creativity & Entrepreneurship continue to be at the heart of our daily business. Through their interaction, they reinforce each other and thus form the cornerstones of our corporate culture, which relies on participation and partnership. The Essentials are a prerequisite for a corporate culture in which employees, management and shareholders work together successfully, respectfully and trustingly.
The Bertelsmann Code of Conduct is the guideline for legal and ethical conduct. It is binding worldwide and for every employee, within the company and toward business partners and the general public. Everyone in the company – employees, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board – is obliged to adhere to the principles stipulated in it. The Code of Conduct is not only a guide to appropriate decision making, but also provides information about the options for seeking advice in the company, and for confidentially and securely expressing concerns about possible misconduct.
In addition, the Bertelsmann Supplier Code of Conduct obligates business partners that work for, with or on behalf of Bertelsmann to observe minimum compliance and ethics standards that correspond to the Bertelsmann Code of Conduct. Bertelsmann also requires its business partners to pass these minimum requirements along their own value chain to any third parties they may use (subcontractors, etc.) to fulfill their contract with Bertelsmann. In the event of breaches of the Supplier Code of Conduct, Bertelsmann reserves the right to make appropriate responses corresponding to the severity of the breach, which may include contract termination.
The Executive Board Guideline on Anti-corruption & Integrity stipulates an appropriate due diligence process in the selection of business partners and the inclusion of the Bertelsmann Supplier Code of Conduct in contracts with third parties. It also requires an appropriate monitoring of third parties during the term of the contract..
The Executive Board Guideline on Donations, Sponsoring and Memberships ensures that support granted in the form of donations, sponsorship, and memberships comply with the applicable legal and tax requirements and are in line with the company's strategy.
GRI 102-17 Mechanisms for advice and concerns about ethics
At Bertelsmann, employees, business partners and third parties always have the opportunity to ask questions; to use confidential and secure channels to express concerns about possible misconduct; and to make suggestions for improving compliance processes. Contact points include the Integrity & Compliance department, an online whistleblowing system at www.reportconcerns.com and external ombudspersons appointed by Bertelsmann. All reports submitted are being investigated to ensure adequate response to compliance violations.
More information on Compliance: see GRI 205.
GRI 102 Governance
GRI 102-18 Governance structure
The pursuit of responsible corporate governance is part of the Bertelsmann identity and an important element of its corporate culture. The German Corporate Governance Code as amended on February 7, 2017, is an accepted standard for good corporate governance. Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA is a capitalmarket-oriented company but is unlisted. The company is therefore not subject to the statutory requirement to issue a formal declaration as per section 161 of the German Stock Corporation Act. Nevertheless, the recommendations and suggestions contained in the German Corporate Governance Code serve as guidelines for Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA.
Statutory Bodies of the Company
The statutory bodies of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA are the General Meeting, the Supervisory Board and Bertelsmann Management SE as a general partner. Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA and Bertelsmann Management SE each have their own Supervisory Boards.
Tasks and Decision-making Processes
The Supervisory Board of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA supervises the management of the business by the Bertelsmann Management SE and uses its extensive information and control rights for this purpose. In addition, the Supervisory Boards advise the Executive Board on strategic matters and significant transactions. The Executive and Supervisory Boards of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA work in close, trusting cooperation and are able to reconcile the demands of effective corporate governance with the need for rapid decision-making processes. Fundamental matters of corporate strategy and their implementation are discussed openly and coordinated in joint sessions. The Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA and Bertelsmann Management SE shareholders exercise their rights and vote at the respective General Meetings.
The Supervisory Board of Bertelsmann Management SE has formed an HR Committee and a Program Committee, and the Supervisory Board of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA has formed an Audit and Finance Committee and a Working Group of Employee and Management Representatives. The Audit and Finance Committee of the Supervisory Board of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA addresses, among other things, the accounting process and the effectiveness of the risk monitoring and risk management system, the internal control system, and the internal auditing system. It also addresses issues relating to compliance, in particular the effectiveness and proper functioning of the compliance organization and the related topic of integrity within the Group, and reviews the non-financial reporting.
GRI 102-20 Executive-level responsibility for economic, environmental, and social topics
The Bertelsmann CR Council, chaired by the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), regularly brings together senior officers from various corporate divisions and functions. Together, they work to advance the strategic development of CR at Bertelsmann, and ensure the perspective of the businesses is considered. The focus is on transparency regarding relevant CR topics, Groupwide CR objectives, dialog with relevant stakeholders, and coordination and collaboration across the Group’s divisions. Subject-specific objectives and measures on particular CR topics are frequently developed by cross-divisional working groups and networks.
At the Group level, the Corporate Responsibility & Diversity Management (CR&DM) department, a central staff function of the HR executive portfolio, coordinates and supports the work of the CR Council. It does so in close cooperation with other Group functions such as Reporting, Risk Management, Investor Relations, Legal, Integrity & Compliance, Communications and employee representations. CR&DM also handles the Group’s CR reporting, its stakeholder dialog on relevant CR topics, and in-house networking and consulting projects on a wide range of CR topics. In the field of Diversity Management, the department works to ensure diversity-friendly framework conditions, and acts as a change agent and support resource for the Group’s divisions in promoting employee diversity
In the spirit of the decentralized company structure that has evolved at Bertelsmann over the decades, the principle of delegating responsibility applies for CR implementation across the Group: Because Bertelsmann’s local Managing Directors know their businesses and the social and ecological environment they operate in best, specific CR measures and projects are locally implemented. Bertelsmann’s corporate divisions and companies have their own structures and processes in place for this, in accordance with local requirements.
Responsibilities at Executive Board level are also presented in the respective management approaches.
GRI 102-22 Composition of the highest governance body and its committees
In the 2018 financial year, women comprised 21 percent (previous year: 21 percent) of the Supervisory Board. The average age of Supervisory Board members was 57 (previous year: 57), and 64 percent (previous year: 64 percent) of the Supervisory Board members were German; 36 percent (previous year: 36 percent) were non-German.
GRI 102-23 Chair of the highest governance body
The respective duties and responsibilities of the General Meeting, the Supervisory Board, and Bertelsmann Management SE are clearly defined and are strictly separated from each other. Simultaneous membership on the Executive Board of Bertelsmann Management SE on the one hand, and on the Supervisory Board of Bertelsmann Management SE or the Supervisory Board of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA on the other, is not permissible.
GRI 102 Stakeholder engagement
GRI 102-40 List of stakeholder groups
Through its business operations and other activities, Bertelsmann is in active and direct contact with people inside and outside the company: employees and their representatives, customers, suppliers, journalists, investors, political decision makers, and representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations and associations.
GRI 102-41 Collective bargaining agreement
GRI 102-42 Identifying and selecting stakeholders
Bertelsmann prioritizes dialog with stakeholders who have a strong influence on the company’s business, social or environmental performance, or on the regulatory framework that governs its activities. The Group also seeks exchange with stakeholders who are significantly affected by its economic, social or ecological performance.
GRI 102-43 Approach to stakeholder engagement
In its day-to-day business, Bertelsmann is in regular contact with journalists, investors and customers through its press offices, investor relations department and service centers. Beyond daily press interaction and the many events Bertelsmann organizes, the Annual Press Conference on year-end results, the communications accompanying the publication of half-year and quarterly figures represent proven formats for contact with media, journalists and investors. Because capital market financing is a major element in the Group’s financing strategy, transparency toward the capital market is of great importance for the company’s financial security and independence.
With the Combined Non-Financial Statement, CR topics are reported in the Combined Management Report in the Annual Report 2018 (Financial Information, pp. 40–44) . In addition, a structured survey of external stakeholders was finalized in early 2018 to advance the strategic development of CR at Bertelsmann. Since 2008, Bertelsmann has sought contact with young talent, especially among students worldwide, through the careers event, Talent Meets Bertelsmann , where senior Bertelsmann representatives discuss entrepreneurial challenges with outstanding students.
With regard to the Group’s internal stakeholder dialog on corporate responsibility, the company identifies relevant stakeholder groups – for example, for helping determine Group-wide CR focus topics – based on the criteria of balance and diversity. Representatives from top management, administrative departments, and the operative businesses are involved, as are employee representatives. Care is taken to ensure diversity regarding management level, internationality, age and gender.
More information on the various dialog formats the company regularly carries out to promote exchange with employees and their representatives: see GRI 402.
GRI 102-44 Key topics and concerns raised
The relevance analysis, which was finalized in early 2018, identified topics that are particularly relevant for Bertelsmann:
- Integrity & Compliance: Promoting behavior consistent with the values and principles stated in the Essentials and the Code of Conduct, and building mutually trusting relationships with all employees, customers, business partners and government agencies, who count on Bertelsmann as a law-abiding partner.
- Antitrust Compliance: Promoting fair competition and preventing anticompetitive behavior.
- Data Protection & Privacy: Ensuring that customers’ confidential and personal information is handled in a secure and legally compliant manner.
- Diversity: Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and providing equal opportunity to all. Creating an inclusive corporate culture. Valuing different perspectives as the basis for creativity and innovation.
- Fair Working Conditions: Ensuring decent working conditions for employees, including job security. Protecting employees’ privacy; fair payment; and promoting a fair share of benefits/appropriate participation in the company’s success.
- Creative/Journalistic Independence: Encouraging creative production and editorial decision making while upholding editorial guidelines and values without interference from media owners; journalistic independence without succumbing to any sort of political or economic influence.
- Paper: Sourcing paper from recycled materials and sustainably managed forests.
- Intellectual Property & Copyright: Covers topics such as product piracy, copyright, patents, royalty payments, counterfeiting and illegal downloading.
- Learning: Fostering learning and training to tackle major entrepreneurial challenges with well-trained employees. Strengthening employees’ innovative capacity.
- Content Responsibility: Producing and delivering an output that is fair and protects the right and interests of readers, viewers, listeners and users, including minors and other vulnerable groups.
- Employee Participation: Involving employees through employee representatives, employee surveys, performance reviews, as well as employee suggestion schemes.
- Health: Providing a secure, safe and healthy environment for all employees.
- Anti-Corruption & Bribery: Committing to and ensuring processes to prevent all forms of corruption.
Corporate responsibility topics, including non-financial performance indicators, are not directly relevant to business, and are accordingly not part of Bertelsmann’s value-oriented management system. Due to currently only limited measurability, no directly quantifiable statements can be made regarding relevant interdependencies and value increases for the Group. For this reason, the non-financial performance indicators are not used for the management of the Group.
GRI 102 Reporting practice
GRI 102-45 Entities included in the consolidated financial statements
All fully consolidated subsidiaries were included in this report. Deviations from the scope of this report are indicated in the text.
GRI 102-46 Defining report content and topic boundaries
The Relevance Analysis, which was finalized in early 2018, involved personal interviews asking more than 150 representatives from all relevant external stakeholder groups, as well as executives across the Group, for their assessments of 21 pre-selected CR topics. The external stakeholders evaluated the impact of Bertelsmann’s business activities on the topics, while the internal stakeholders assessed the business relevance. All external participants were interviewed personally using guided interviews. The Corporate Responsibility & Diversity Management department summarized the results in a Relevance Matrix, which was then adopted by the CR Council.
More information on the 13 CR topics which were identified in this way: see GRI 102-44.
GRI 102-47 List of material topics
|CR Topic at Bertelsmann||GRI aspects
Basis: GRI Standards 2016 and GRI Media Sector Disclosures
Cf. GRI Standards Glossary 2016, p.17
|Antitrust Compliance||Anti-competitive Behavior||Inside the company|
|Data Protection & Privacy||Customer Privacy||Inside the company|
|Diversity||Diversity and Equal Opportunities||Inside the company|
|Non-discrimination||Inside the company, outside the company|
|Fair Working Conditions||Employment||Inside the company|
|Labor/Management||Inside the company|
|Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining||Inside the company, outside the company|
|Child Labor||Outside the company|
|Forced or Compulsory Labor||Outside the company|
|Creative/Journalistic Independence||Freedom of Expression and Opinion||Inside the company, outside the company|
|Content Production||Inside the company, outside the company|
|Paper||Materials||Outside the company|
|Intellectual Property & Copyright||Protection of Intellectual Property||Inside the company|
|Learning||Training & Education||Inside the company|
|Content Responsibility||Marketing and Product Labelling||Inside the company, outside the company|
|Content Dissemination||Inside the company|
|Media Literacy||Inside the company, outside the company|
|Health||Occupational Health and Safety||Inside the company|
|Anti-corruption & Bribery||Anti-corruption||Inside the company, outside the company|
|Further Topics||Energy||Inside the company, outside the company|
|Water||Inside the company, outside the company|
|Emissions||Inside the company, outside the company|
|Effluents and Waste||Inside the company, outside the company|
|Economic Performance||Inside the company, outside the company|
|Local Communities||Inside the company|
|Public Policy||Inside the company|
GRI 102-51 Date of most recent report
The last Bertelsmann GRI Content Index was published in June 2018. In addition, CR information is continuously updated on the Bertelsmann Corporate Website .
GRI 102-53 Contact point for questions regarding the report
GRI 102-54 Claims of reporting in accordance with the GRI Standards
GRI 102-53 External assurance
The economic indicators in this GRI report were taken from the Bertelsmann Annual Report 2018, which was audited by the PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH audit firm.