Press Releases | Gütersloh, 02/17/2020

Bertelsmann to Be Climate Neutral by 2030

  • 50-percent reduction in greenhouse gases
  • Avoid more than 500,000 tons of CO2
  • Switch to 100 percent green electricity
  • Offset remaining emissions

Bertelsmann has set itself an ambitious environmental goal: By 2030, the international media, services, and education company intends to be climate neutral. By then, Bertelsmann aims to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated at its locations, by its employees’ mobility, and the manufacture of its own products by 50 percent compared with 2018. At that time, these emissions amounted to one million tons of CO2. The remaining emissions will be offset. Bertelsmann will also support its business customers in reducing product-related emissions.

Thomas Rabe, Chairman & CEO of Bertelsmann, says: “Protecting the environment is part of our corporate values, the Bertelsmann Essentials. With our decision to achieve climate neutrality by 2030, we are taking responsibility in the battle against climate change and global warming. In this connection, Bertelsmann has become one of around 800 companies worldwide to join the Science Based Target Initiative. The initiative supports companies in setting scientifically sound climate targets.

Bertelsmann’s site- and employee-related emissions are to be reduced worldwide through measures such as switching to 100 percent green electricity, installing additional solar systems, improving energy efficiency, and using alternative mobility concepts. In addition, other emissions from the print and digital products’ supply chains are to be reduced in cooperation with business partners.

In this way, Bertelsmann will eliminate more than half a million tons of CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 2018. This is more than the total amount that Bertelsmann emitted at its sites worldwide in 2018. Bertelsmann will the offset remaining emissions associated with its own business activities and products through in-house climate protection projects and by purchasing carbon credits.

With the decision to become climate neutral by 2030, Bertelsmann is systematically continuing its decades of commitment to environmental protection. Back in 2003, Bertelsmann launched its Group-wide environmental initiative “be green” and set up an international working group. This team of experts advances the development of Bertelsmann’s environmental efforts. Since 2009, the Group has regularly published Group-wide carbon footprints and documented its progress in reducing emissions.

Bertelsmann’s individual divisions, which operate in different industries and therefore have different carbon footprints, will take the path to climate neutrality at different paces.

Thomas Rabe: “Bertelsmann is a diversified company. This is reflected in our goal, because the diversity of Bertelsmann’s businesses requires different, bespoke solutions. In our planning, we assume that individual divisions will achieve the goal of climate neutrality more quickly than others. The first few units, such as the Corporate Center in Gütersloh, will already achieve climate neutrality this year, others in the following years. In 2030, Bertelsmann will be a climate neutral company.”

About Bertelsmann

Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 117,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.7 billion in the 2018 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world. Bertelsmann aspires to achieve climate neutrality by 2030.