Strategy and Governance

Digital responsibility has a significant influence in determining the corporate culture, structure, and strategy.

Best Practices


This action field focuses on the operational and technical implementation of CDR within the overall governance structure. The integration of CDR initiatives must follow a holistic approach when considering the adaptation and realignment with existing structures. This course of action ensures the effectiveness of CDR measures and readiness of the governance system towards future changes. A comprehensive integration also grants the advantage of an outset communication on digital ethics, which supports the overall deployment process.

While the scope of action is predefined by national and international regulation, voluntary commitment is scalable.

Internal Stakeholders: Shareholders, employees, managers, suppliers, and business partners

External Stakeholders: Customers, target groups, project participants, and investors

  • Establishment of a holistic strategy that aligns existing approaches on business operations, digitization, and sustainability with CDR objectives
  • Defining and introducing CDR initiatives in all organizational units and processes
  • Implementation of awareness-raising measures and training programs on CDR
  • Definition of roles and delineation of responsibilities
  • Establishment of functional committees and working groups (CDR advisory board)
  • Execution of effective control and monitoring mechanisms
  • Introduction of performance measurement techniques
  • Release of a Code of Conduct that recognizes digital ethics
  • Integration of CDR Initiatives into company reporting (e.g., reports, financial statements)

  • Materiality analysis on scope, area, and involvement of affected parties
  • Sensitization of top management and stakeholders about the importance of CDR
  • Realignment of CDR strategy with existing approaches (e.g., sustainability strategy)
  • Integration into the corporate governance structure
  • Development of a CDR-Roadmap
  • Definition of roles and delineation of responsibilities
  • Establishment of a CDR Advisory Board or CDR Council
  • Coordination and regular exchange with the works council
  • Development of an effective control and monitoring system
  • Internal and external communication on CDR initiatives
  • Development of awareness-raising measures and a training program
  • Provision, documentation and communication of guidelines and instructions on the implementation of CDR measures
  • Development of a reporting system
  • Constitution of a CDR Code of Conduct or handbook on ethical guidelines
  • Establishment of stakeholder dialog, capturing stakeholder’s views
  • Carefully selecting and engaging in partnerships and collaborative work with associations

  • Governance standards (COBIT, EFQM)
  • Sustainability standards (GRI, SDG)
  • Data Ethics Committee
  • IEEE
  • ISO 26000
  • EFQM
  • PDCA

  • Corporate Digital Responsibility Magazine
  • Position Paper Bertelsmann Foundation
  • iRights Lab
  • econsence blueprint for implementing digital responsibility in companies
  • Center for Digitalization
  • Centre for Digital Responsibility
  • Trendradar Digital Ethics of the Centre for Digital Responsibility
  • Position paper pwc, Human-Centered-Design (HCI) approach DIN EN ISO 9241-210
  • CDR practice guide by Saskia Dörr
  • Conference Shift
  • Data Ethics Commission (final opinion, October 2019)
  • Initiative D21
  • BMJV CDR Initiative
  • digital
  • CDR & Digital Ethics Quick Check (PwC, publicly available).
  • PwC position paper Digital Ethics

  • Materiality analysis (business analysis, environment analysis, risk analysis)
  • Classic strategy and operationalization tools (maturity analysis/benchmarking, SWOT, stakeholder analysis, scenario technique, worst-case scenario)
  • Institutional tool: CDR Advisory Board
  • Weleda CDR Project Quick-Check
  • Control matrix (efficiency analysis)


  • Linked In CDR Group


  • HBZ
  • HDM
  • Leuphana
  • HTWG-Konstanz