CR Management in a Decentralized Company

As an international media, services, and education company, Bertelsmann does business in more than 50 countries worldwide. In the spirit of a decentralized corporate culture that has evolved over decades, Bertelsmann’s 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 in line with their local requirements.

Decentralized action does not mean forgoing a planned and systematic approach. The Bertelsmann Corporate Responsibility Council is composed of high-ranking representatives from the divisions under the leadership of the Group’s Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) and holds regular meetings. Together, the Council members advance the strategic development of CR at Bertelsmann, contributing the operations-side perspective from the businesses. At Group level, the Corporate Responsibility department coordinates and supports the work of the CR Council as a department reporting to the CHRO. Beyond this, regular exchange and interaction on relevant CR topics takes place in international, cross-divisional working groups and networks.