Stakeholder Dialog at Bertelsmann
Every day, Bertelsmann reaches more than one billion people worldwide with its content, brands, and formats. This brings the company into contact with a wide range of external stakeholders, such as potential employees or B2B customers. Dialog with stakeholders is an important part of the strategic development of CR at Bertelsmann.
For this reason, the Group regularly conducts relevance analyses. The most recent relevance analysis involved personal interviews with more than 150 people, i.e. representatives of all major external stakeholder groups as well as of Bertelsmann’s executives and works councils were surveyed on their assessment of 21 selected CR topics. The external stakeholders gave their assessment of how Bertelsmann’s business activities impact these CR topics, while the executives and works councils assessed their relevance for the businesses. The validity of the Bertelsmann CR Relevance Matrix was confirmed by the CR Council in 2019.
List of material topics
Relevant CR topics
1. 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.
2. Antitrust Compliance:
Promoting fair competition and preventing anticompetitive behavior.
3. Data Protection & Privacy:
Ensuring that customers’ confidential and personal information is handled in a secure and legally compliant manner.
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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
Sourcing paper from recycled materials and sustainably managed forests.
8. Intellectual Property & Copyright:
Covers topics such as product piracy, copyright, patents, royalty payments, counterfeiting and illegal downloading.
Fostering learning and training to tackle major entrepreneurial challenges with well-trained employees. Strengthening employees’ innovative capacity.
10. 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.
11. Employee Participation:
Involving employees through employee representatives, employee surveys, performance reviews, as well as employee suggestion schemes.
Providing a secure, safe and healthy environment for all employees.
13. Anti-Corruption & Bribery:
Committing to and ensuring processes to prevent all forms of corruption.
Bertelsmann reports on its progress in implementing Corporate Responsibility in accordance with the GRI Standards.