• Project


The Corporate Responsibility Index (CRI) of the Bertelsmann Foundation is about the development of a method for measuring the impact of corporate responsibility at German companies (with a turnover exceeding 250 million euros).

Initial situation

The multi-year project aimed to analyze the implementation status and success factors of corporate responsibility in German companies with a turnover exceeding 250 million euros. Two comprehensive surveys of individual companies helped to that matter.


The project had the following objectives:

  • Analysis of all existing CR activities at German companies
  • Creation of industry benchmarks
  • Design of a tool for automated creation of individual company reports
  • Summary of the results within the framework of an overall report
  • Establishment of a company network to exchange best practices and connect interested companies
  • The offer of workshops, conferences, and individual consulting for companies


Both waves of the CRI survey showed that many companies underestimated the diversity, complexity, and high relevance of CR topics within the entire CR management process for their corporate success. As a result, they see challenges in some key aspects of their CR management that they want to address in the future:

Currently, the biggest challenge for many companies is the constant development of their existing CR strategy. In second place comes the integration of CR into the value chain. Many companies see challenges in the area of the supply chain. In the future, companies will have to define requirements for suppliers or subcontractors more precisely and control them more strictly to ensure transparency along the entire supply chain. Companies also see CR reporting as a big task, especially the preparation of a sustainability report. That is especially true for companies of specific public interest (e.g., listed companies) with more than 500 employees. Since 2017, the EU directive requires them to disclose certain social and ecological aspects. The fourth major challenge is the definition of quantitative CR goals and their measurement and control as crucial aspects for successful CR implementation.

Overall, the CRI shows that companies are setting themselves demanding tasks in CR to continuously increase their CR performance and, in turn, their satisfaction with their CR activities in the future.

For further information on the CRI as well as the full report please click here.

Your contact:

Dr. Anne Fries
Managing Partner, concern GmbH

Tel +49 (0) 221 – 630 606 300
Mobile +49 (0) 177 3251533

Weitere Informationen:

Competence field Sustainability