Corporate Responsibility in a Decentralized Company

Bertelsmann's Corporate Responsibility is based on a strategic approach that is founded on the principle of delegating responsibility, in accordance with the diversity of the Group’s divisions  and companies. A binding and binding element is our shared values ​​and guidelines, the Bertelsmann Essentials  .

Decentralized Diversity at Our Sites

As an international media, services and education company, Bertelsmann is doing business in more than 50 countries. In the spirit of a decentralized corporate culture that has evolved over decades, Bertelsmann’ local managing directors know their businesses and their ecological and social environment best. Therefore, specific corporate responsibility projects and measures are implemented locally. Bertelsmann’s divisions and companies are responsible for implementing their own structures and processes according to their local needs.

Exchange and Group-Wide Coordination

Since March 2015, high-ranking representatives of the divisions have been meeting regularly in Bertelsmann’s Corporate Responsibility Council under the leadership of the Group’s Chief Human Resources Officer. Together, they advance the strategic development of CR at Bertelsmann and bring an operational perspective from the businesses. In addition, there is regular exchange and interaction on relevant CR topics in international, interdisciplinary CR work groups chaired by the members of the CR Council.

At Group level, the Corporate Responsibility and Diversity Management department coordinates and supports the work of the CR Council, reporting to the Group Chief Human Resources Officer. The department also manages the Group’s corporate responsibility reporting, the stakeholder dialog on sustainability, internal consulting projects, and Group-wide environmental and climate management. Coordination and close collaboration with other corporate functions such as Corporate Reporting, Risk Management, Finance, Ethics & Compliance, Human Resources, Corporate Communications and employee representatives play an important role. In the area of diversity management, the department supports the divisions in promoting workforce diversity, especially with a view to developing division- and company-specific strategies and measures.