Corporate Responsibility

We strive to act responsibly and entrepreneurially – in our business environment, with our employees, in society and toward the environment. This is an integral part of the Bertelsmann Essentials “Creativity and Entrepreneurship.”

Bertelsmann continually examines the strategic development of its corporate responsibility (CR). This involves matters of anchoring CR in the organization, cross-divisional coordination and collaboration, and transparency regarding the main topics prioritized for the Group, its divisions and companies. The Bertelsmann Corporate Responsibility Council, headed by the Chief HR Officer, regularly brings together high-ranking representatives of the operating divisions. Together, they advance the strategic development of CR at Bertelsmann. At Group level, the Corporate Responsibility & Diversity Management Department coordinates and supports the CR Council’s work, reporting to the Group’s Chief HR Officer. At Bertelsmann, CR projects and measures are implemented in a decentralized manner by the divisions and companies.

Integrity & Compliance

Bertelsmann has established an extensive Integrity & Compliance program. Based on the Bertelsmann Essentials, the document underlying it is the Bertelsmann Code of Conduct, which codifies mandatory ethical and lawful conduct for all employees. More detailed guidelines have been issued on key issues such as anticorruption, antitrust law, foreign trade and compliance by business partners. Employees are fully trained and advised, and compliance violations are not tolerated. Suspected infringements are promptly investigated, and any infringements are immediately remedied. The effectiveness of the program is ensured by regular evaluations and risk-oriented adjustments.
Further information on corporate responsibility at Bertelsmann, and the annual reporting, can be found online at

Highlights 2019

Bertelsmann Publishes “Action Plan: Inclusion”

Bertelsmann published “Action Plan: Inclusion” in 2019. It will provide the basis for minimizing barriers and maximizing accessibility for all employees with disabilities at Bertelsmann’s German companies by 2024, so they can contribute their full potential to the company’s success.

Record Result for “RTL-Spendenmarathon”

Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland’s telethon “RTL-Spendenmarathon 2019” raised €11,491,418 – the highest sum since the charity show began. The funds will be used, for example, to equip children’s palliative care centers and hospitals in Germany, and to set up centers to guard against child labor in Bangladesh. Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland carries the costs of the charity format, so that all the funds raised can be used in full for the domestic and international children’s relief projects.
Wolfram Kons, presenter of the “RTL-Spendenmarathon.”

Children’s Book Portal for Teachers

Penguin Random House Education has launched a new book portal,, where teachers can now find more than 20,000 children’s books. The website provides title summaries as well as text excerpts and teaching materials to help educators facilitate their lesson planning – all to promote literacy and the joy of reading among schoolchildren. It is one of the first projects launched in the United States based on consultation with the PRH Elementary Education Teacher Advisory Board.