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  • 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report

Devising Corporate Digital Responsibility

In 2018, we and five other companies signed up to the “Corporate Digital Responsibility” initiative launched by Federal Minister for Justice and Consumer Protection Katarina Barley in May of that year. The aim is to steer the digital revolution in a direction that benefits society. This includes ensuring the process of digitalization not only spawns new technical solutions, but also promotes values such as justice, participation, trust, autonomy, transparency and sustainability. In October 2018, we discussed specific plans for the initiative with Katarina Barley and the other partners, drafting preliminary principles and cornerstones for responsible commercial behavior in the digital world. The first step taken by the members of the initiative was to agree a common understanding of “responsibility” in this context. This included tightening the basic terminology used with regard to Corporate Digital Responsibility, drafting initial common guiding principles, identifying specific fields of action, and agreeing the next steps forward. The initiative is due to be broadened to admit other interested parties in the future. In addition to this, we have also been involved in other dialog and stakeholder forums addressing digital responsibility, such as the Charter of Digital Networking and an event run by the Bertelsmann Stiftung foundation entitled “Corporate responsibility in the digital era”, not to mention our own expert groups.