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Powerbroker for

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  • Overall approach
    4/16
    • Overarching commitment on deforestation
      0/6
    • Signatory to an initiative tackling deforestation
      1/1
      Signatory
      Yes
      1/1
      Bertelsmann is a signatory to the UN Global Compact - "With the 2030 Agenda adopted in 2015, the international community - under the auspices of the United Nations - committed itself to 17 global goals for a better future"
    • Awareness of the value of forests
      1/1
      Awareness
      Yes
      1/1
      "Paper, still the most important resource for the traditional print media business, continues to be a particular priority at Bertelsmann. Even in an increasingly digitized media landscape, printed books, magazines, brochures, and flyers will continue to have their place. Therefore, resource conservation, climate protection and waste avoidance play a major role for Bertelsmann across the entire paper value chain. Bertelsmann is committed to responsible paper sourcing, to protect forests which are valuable for climate and biodiversity." [...] "Bertelsmann and its divisions make every effort to ensure that the papers we use are legally sourced from well-managed and credibly certified forests. Logging and paper production processes must also recognize sustainability issues, social and environmental. "
    • Deforestation as a business risk
      1/1
      Business risk
      Yes
      1/1
      Does the company recognise the risk as financial, operational, competition, reputational, or other? Please detail.: operational and financial
      "Paper, still the most important resource for the traditional print media business, continues to be a particular priority at Bertelsmann. Even in an increasingly digitized media landscape, printed books, magazines, brochures, and flyers will continue to have their place. Therefore, resource conservation, climate protection and waste avoidance play a major role for Bertelsmann across the entire paper value chain. Bertelsmann is committed to responsible paper sourcing, to protect forests which are valuable for climate and biodiversity."
    • High-level management of deforestion
      1/1
      High-level management
      Yes
      1/1
      Which commodities does it apply to?: Pulp & Paper

      How often does the committee or board meet to assess company's progress on addressing deforestation-related issues?: not specified
      "The committee responsible for the strategic development of corporate responsibility at Bertelsmann is the CR Council. The CR Council is composed of the Group’s Chief Human Resources Officer and high-ranking representatives of the divisions. It deals with the strategic development of CR at Bertelsmann and the cross-divisional coordination of CR activities within the Group. [...] At Group level, the Corporate Responsibility & Diversity Management department coordinates and supports the work of the CR Council in close cooperation with other Group functions. Responsibility for putting corporate responsibility into practice through specific CR measures and projects lies with the local management teams. The divisions and companies have implemented their own structures and processes. [...] Bertelsmann regularly conducts CR relevance analyses to identify Group-wide responsibility topics. These range from education and content responsibility to paper procurement and health. Among the strategic focuses of our work are the climate protection and diversity targets adopted by the Executive Board in 2019"
    • Executive compensation linked to deforestation
      Yes for all commodities
      0/0
      Which commodities does the committee focus on?: Pulp & Paper

      Does it disclose the percentage of pay at risk?: no
      "Divisional Nomination & Compensation Committees decide on the implementation of remuneration and staffing policies in the respective areas of responsibility. In 2017, measures were taken to address the following topics. [...] The Bertelsmann Environmental Policy and the Bertelsmann Paper Policy provide the framework for the responsible use of natural resources throughout the Group, as well as environmentally friendly energy and material procurement. The environmental commitment extends beyond the individual locations to the supply chain, in particular by influencing paper suppliers and energy firms. Operational responsibility for energy and environmental management and for implementing the measures adopted in 2017 is decentralized and rests with the management of the individual companies"
    • Target to reduce emissions from land-use change
      0/3
    • Reporting on emissions from land-use change
      0/3
    • Disclosure of conservation activity
    • Disclosure of reforestation activity
  • Commodity score
    28/84
    • Pulp & Paper
      28/84
      • Commitment Strength
        14/28
        • Commitment to protect priority forests
          8/12
          • Commitment details
            Zero-gross deforestation
            6/8
            Commitment to protect priority forests
            Zero-gross deforestation
            6/8
            Which certification schemes are used?: FSC
            " For 2020, Bertelsmann set the objective to raise the proportion of recycled paper and paper from certified, sustainable forestry in the paper it purchases itself to over 90 percent. This objective was achieved again in 2019. Recycled paper as well as papers of certified origin that meet FSC, PEFC, SFI requirements or comparable standards are regarded as sustainably sourced paper. [...] no wood from primary or protected forests may be used in producing the paper. In addition, Bertelsmann ensures that, in addition to certified wood fiber, the paper used has as high a proportion of recycled material as possible. Above and beyond the Group-wide objective, Penguin Random House aims to switch its paper sourcing to 100 percent sustainable paper by 2025"
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/2
            Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/2
            If no, what is excluded?: Segment
            " For 2020, Bertelsmann set the objective to raise the proportion of recycled paper and paper from certified, sustainable forestry in the paper it purchases itself to over 90 percent. This objective was achieved again in 2019. Recycled paper as well as papers of certified origin that meet FSC®, PEFC™, SFI® requirements or comparable standards are regarded as sustainably sourced paper. [...] no wood from primary or protected forests may be used in producing the paper. In addition, Bertelsmann ensures that, in addition to certified wood fiber, the paper used has as high a proportion of recycled material as possible. Above and beyond the Group-wide objective, Penguin Random House aims to switch its paper sourcing to 100 percent sustainable paper by 2025"
          • Target date
            Current/2020/Pre-2020
            1.3/1.3
            Target date
            Current/2020/Pre-2020
            1.3/1.3
            " For 2020, Bertelsmann set the objective to raise the proportion of recycled paper and paper from certified, sustainable forestry in the paper it purchases itself to over 90 percent. This objective was achieved again in 2019. Recycled paper as well as papers of certified origin that meet FSC®, PEFC™, SFI® requirements or comparable standards are regarded as sustainably sourced paper. [...] no wood from primary or protected forests may be used in producing the paper. In addition, Bertelsmann ensures that, in addition to certified wood fiber, the paper used has as high a proportion of recycled material as possible. Above and beyond the Group-wide objective, Penguin Random House aims to switch its paper sourcing to 100 percent sustainable paper by 2025"
          • Interim target date
            Yes
            0.7/0.7
            Interim target date
            Yes
            0.7/0.7
            " For 2020, Bertelsmann set the objective to raise the proportion of recycled paper and paper from certified, sustainable forestry in the paper it purchases itself to over 90 percent. This objective was achieved again in 2019. Recycled paper as well as papers of certified origin that meet FSC®, PEFC™, SFI® requirements or comparable standards are regarded as sustainably sourced paper. [...] no wood from primary or protected forests may be used in producing the paper. In addition, Bertelsmann ensures that, in addition to certified wood fiber, the paper used has as high a proportion of recycled material as possible. Above and beyond the Group-wide objective, Penguin Random House aims to switch its paper sourcing to 100 percent sustainable paper by 2025"
        • Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
          6/8
          • Commitment details
            Yes
            4/4
            Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            Yes
            4/4
            Type of commitment: Recycled content
            " For 2020, Bertelsmann set the objective to raise the proportion of recycled paper and paper from certified, sustainable forestry in the paper it purchases itself to over 90 percent. This objective was achieved again in 2019. Recycled paper as well as papers of certified origin that meet FSC®, PEFC™, SFI® requirements or comparable standards are regarded as sustainably sourced paper. [...] no wood from primary or protected forests may be used in producing the paper. In addition, Bertelsmann ensures that, in addition to certified wood fiber, the paper used has as high a proportion of recycled material as possible"
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/2
            Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/2
            If no, what is excluded?: Segment
            " For 2020, Bertelsmann set the objective to raise the proportion of recycled paper and paper from certified, sustainable forestry in the paper it purchases itself to over 90 percent. This objective was achieved again in 2019. Recycled paper as well as papers of certified origin that meet FSC®, PEFC™, SFI® requirements or comparable standards are regarded as sustainably sourced paper. [...] no wood from primary or protected forests may be used in producing the paper. In addition, Bertelsmann ensures that, in addition to certified wood fiber, the paper used has as high a proportion of recycled material as possible"
          • Target date
            Current/2020/Pre-2020
            1.3/1.3
            Target date
            Current/2020/Pre-2020
            1.3/1.3
            " For 2020, Bertelsmann set the objective to raise the proportion of recycled paper and paper from certified, sustainable forestry in the paper it purchases itself to over 90 percent. This objective was achieved again in 2019. Recycled paper as well as papers of certified origin that meet FSC®, PEFC™, SFI® requirements or comparable standards are regarded as sustainably sourced paper. [...] no wood from primary or protected forests may be used in producing the paper. In addition, Bertelsmann ensures that, in addition to certified wood fiber, the paper used has as high a proportion of recycled material as possible"
          • Interim target date
            Yes
            0.7/0.7
            Interim target date
            Yes
            0.7/0.7
            " For 2020, Bertelsmann set the objective to raise the proportion of recycled paper and paper from certified, sustainable forestry in the paper it purchases itself to over 90 percent. This objective was achieved again in 2019. Recycled paper as well as papers of certified origin that meet FSC®, PEFC™, SFI® requirements or comparable standards are regarded as sustainably sourced paper. [...] no wood from primary or protected forests may be used in producing the paper. In addition, Bertelsmann ensures that, in addition to certified wood fiber, the paper used has as high a proportion of recycled material as possible"
        • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
          0/8
          • Commitment details
            No traceability commitment
            0/4
          • Commitment applies to all regions, suppliers and operation
            No
            0/2
          • Target date
            No target date
            0/1.3
          • Interim target date
            No
            0/0.7
      • Social Considerations
        5/18
        • Labour rights in the supply chain
          Yes
          4/4
          Labour rights in the supply chain
          Yes
          4/4
          Details of commitment: ILO; UNGP; UN Declaration for HR; Discrimination; Forced Labour; Child Labour; Freedom of association
          "Business partners for the purposes of this Supplier Code of Conduct, who we expect to comply with the standards set down herein, shall include all third parties who act for, on behalf of, or together with Bertelsmann. These include, among others, suppliers, sales partners, consultants, agents, subcontractors, minority shareholders, sales representatives and freelance collaborators. [...} discrimination [...] Forced Labor {...] Child Labour [...] Freedom of Association [...] Our business partners support the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Global Compact, the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights and the core labor standards of the ILO"
        • Inclusion of small-scale farmers
          No
          0/4
        • Gender equality in the supply chain
          Discrimination/Gender Rights/Harassment
          1/4
          Gender equality in the supply chain
          Discrimination/Gender Rights/Harassment
          1/4
          "Business partners for the purposes of this Supplier Code of Conduct, who we expect to comply with the standards set down herein, shall include all third parties who act for, on behalf of, or together with Bertelsmann. These include, among others, suppliers, sales partners, consultants, agents, subcontractors, minority shareholders, sales representatives and freelance collaborators. [...] Our business partners do not tolerate discrimination against employees or applicants for employment because of race, national or ethnic origin, gender,"
        • Commitment to remediation
          No
          0/2
        • Commitment to ensure Free, Prior and Informed Consent
          No commitment
          0/4
      • Reporting and Implementation
        9/38
        • Reporting against commitments
          4/6
          • Commitment to protect priority forests
            Yes
            2/2
            Commitment to protect priority forests
            Yes
            2/2
            "In the 2019 financial year, 76 percent of the total amount of paper used was either recycled paper (0.29 metric tons) or certified “virgin” (fresh-fiber) paper (0.99 metric tons). Papers that meet the requirements of FSC®, PEFCTM, SFI® or similar standards are shown under certified quantities. About 95 percent of the paper purchased for Bertelsmann’s own products such as books and magazines comes from certified forestry or recycled fibers. The remaining 29 percent (0.4 metric tons) of the total amount of paper procured does not meet the above criteria and is therefore reported as “Other.” The majority of the quantities in this category are papers supplied by customers outside the Group, which are then used by Bertelsmann printing plants for the printing of books, magazines, catalogs, and brochures (“provisions”)."
          • Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            Yes
            2/2
            Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            Yes
            2/2
            Company reports yearly achievements within their annual reporting and directly on their website - "In the 2019 financial year, 76 percent of the total amount of paper used was either recycled paper (0.29 metric tons) or certified “virgin” (fresh-fiber) paper (0.99 metric tons). Papers that meet the requirements of FSC®, PEFCTM, SFI® or similar standards are shown under certified quantities. About 95 percent of the paper purchased for Bertelsmann’s own products such as books and magazines comes from certified forestry or recycled fibers."
          • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
            No
            0/2
        • Reporting is independently verified
          1/4
          • Commitment to protect priority forests
            Yes: third-party
            1.3/1.3
            Commitment to protect priority forests
            Yes: third-party
            1.3/1.3
            "In the 2019 financial year, 76 percent of the total amount of paper used was either recycled paper (0.29 metric tons) or certified “virgin” (fresh-fiber) paper (0.99 metric tons). Papers that meet the requirements of FSC®, PEFCTM, SFI® or similar standards are shown under certified quantities. About 95 percent of the paper purchased for Bertelsmann’s own products such as books and magazines comes from certified forestry or recycled fibers. The remaining 29 percent (0.4 metric tons) of the total amount of paper procured does not meet the above criteria and is therefore reported as “Other.” The majority of the quantities in this category are papers supplied by customers outside the Group, which are then used by Bertelsmann printing plants for the printing of books, magazines, catalogs, and brochures (“provisions”)."
          • Commitment to reduce use of virgin wood fibre
            No
            0/1.3
          • Commitment to a traceable supply chain
            No
            0/1.3
        • Deforestation cut off date
          No
          0/2
        • Collaborative actions
          No
          0/2
        • Risk assessments for forest risk
          No
          0/2
        • Operations assessed to comply with law
          No
          0/2
        • Accessible grievance mechanism
          No
          0/4
          Accessible grievance mechanism
          No
          0/4
          What is the nature of the grievance mechanism used by the company (own mechanism, that of external company, internationally recognised mechanism, focused on social issues, focused on environmental issues, etc.)?: via a webportal

          Details of the mechanism: Social; Environmental
          "Reporting violations Various reporting channels are available both to our employees and our business partners for reporting compliance violations. > Substantial compliance violations, specifically illegal business practices, can be reported via an Internet-based system, which is available in multiple languages. This allows for a confidential and specially encrypted, secure dialogue with the Bertelsmann Integrity & Compliance Department. www.reportconcerns.com"
        • Report volumes of commodity
          Reporting non-certified/non-compliant volume; Reporting certified/compliant volume
          4/4
          Report volumes of commodity
          Reporting non-certified/non-compliant volume; Reporting certified/compliant volume
          4/4
          What is the certified volume?: 991,930 tonnes

          What is the non-certified/non-compliant volume?: 690,060 tonnes

          Which certification schemes are used?: FSC
          Bertelsmann reported a total of 1,681,990 tonnes paper consumption for 2019, 290,980 is recycled, 991,930 is certified
        • Downstream: Publishing supplier lists
          No disclosure
          0/4
        • Downstream: Monitor compliance in supply chain
          No
          0/4
        • Downstream: Engagement with non-compliant suppliers
          No engagement or exclusion
          0/2
        • Downstream: Disclosure of non-compliant suppliers
          No disclosure
          0/2
  • Commitment strength
    14/28
    Avg. score
  • Reporting and Implementation
    9/38
    Avg. score
  • Social considerations
    5/18
    Avg. score

Profile

Bertelsmann is a media and services company operating in 50 countries around the world. Its major operations are in television and radio, publishing and magazines. The most important markets are the US and Europe, but China, Brazil and India are growing markets. The company is one of the largest book publishers in the world and uses a significant amount of paper. Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA is selected as a powerbroker for pulp & paper.

Sector
Industry sector 
Printing & publishing
Segments
Manufacturer, Retailer
HQ
HQ 
Germany
Company Type
Company type 
Private
Collective Commitments
Consumer Goods Forum member
New York Declaration on Forests signatory

Top Brands

Penguin Random House, Gruenr + Jahr, Stern, Geo, Brigitte, Essen & Trinken, Bertelsmann Printing

How we assess the Forest 500

To ensure deforestation free supply chains, companies need to adopt and implement timebound and measurable policies for forest risk commodities.

All assessments use policies published on company websites, some links may have changed or been removed since the time of assessment.

Disclaimer

This assessment has been carried out following the methodology developed for the Forest 500 project, available here. Please see our disclaimer applicable to all information contained within this site and our terms and conditions for use of data presented on this site.

All assessments use policies published on company and financial institution websites, and while we endeavor to keep them updated some links may have changed or been removed since the time of assessment.

Please contact us with any concerns or feedback about this or other assessments included in the Forest 500.