Corporate Digital Responsibility and Digital Ethics

Your expert for questions

Daniela Hanauer
Partner, Risk Consulting, PwC Germany

Digitization demands value awareness and responsible action

Whether it is virtual assistants, smartphones and smart homes, investments with the Robo Advisor or AI-based cancer diagnostics: The continuous technological change has a great impact on our society while creating a variety of opportunities for companies. Yet, benefiting from those requires trust. 

Clients, employees, investors, and other players demand from businesses that they deal with data, digital technologies, and applications in a responsible and fair manner. All stakeholders are increasingly interested in learning whether a business complies with the legal requirements and addresses ethical conflicts of interest. Therefore, it has become vital to meet those criteria for many organizations. Nowadays, businesses who want to capitalize on digitization need a compass of values as well as embedding these within the organization in order to be sustainably successful.

“Due to the complexity and speed of technological developments, an ethical compass is of utmost importance in the context of digitization. A key success factor is its embeddedness in a functioning management system.”

Daniela Hanauer,Partner, expert for Compliance, Integrity and Digital Ethics at PwC Germany

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Your situation

The digital transformation cannot succeed without trust

Digital and data-driven solutions are the basis for many business models and corporate strategies. Companies that successfully design digital change can gain competitive advantages. 

What are the decisive factors for a successful digital transformation? On the one hand, technical efficiency is key. Yet, on the other hand, it is at least equally important that the stakeholders accept and effectively use digital solutions. And this can only happen if the digital transformation is managed in a responsible manner. This is essential for stakeholders to build the necessary trust in solutions. 

Would you like to benefit from the opportunities of digitization and … 

  • gain your clients‘ trust in old and new business areas? 
  • involve your employees in the change process, educate and enable them to be digitally successful?
  • design the technological change in accordance with sustainability goals?
  • prepare your business for new laws and regulations concerning digitization? 
  • demonstrate internally and externally how you live up to your corporate responsibility? 
  • thereby secure sustainable, long-term success for your company? 

Together with you, we develop custom solutions that start where unintended consequences of digitization – such as rising costs, reputational or competitive risk – both arise and where they can also be fixed concomitantly: the human individual.

Our services

Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR) and Digital Ethics are holistic concepts and perspectives that we use in order to design digitization in a responsible manner – by our interdisciplinary team and together with our clients. Both concepts are closely linked and constitute a key element of managing a business with integrity. 

The core of our consulting approach is embedding digital ethics in your company. We look at the consequences of digital technologies on the environment, society, employees, clients, or investors as well as at the acceptance of digital business models. 

For implementing Corporate Digital Responsibility and Digital Ethics, we recommend an iterative process in which decisions on digitization are continuously re-examined. In doing so, the focus has to remain on the human individual – i.e., on users, customers, or employees.

During the implementation, building on the existing processes and structures in your company has proven successful. Further, it is important to integrate CDR into the strategy for digital transformation and combine this with relevant activities from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the relevant management systems.

Our interdisciplinary team of experts supports your path towards acting digitally responsibly. 

  • We provide you with an overview of tangible opportunities and challenges for your business in the digital world. Together, we define the right levers for responsible and values-oriented corporate management (Integrity-driven Performance).
  • We anchor values orientation in your organization. To this end, we draw on our CDR Building Bloxx approach, a practically oriented framework which was developed by the members of the German Association for the Digital Economy (Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft e.V.). 
  • We support you in consistently putting the human individual at the centre of management systems and all your decisions.

Corporate Digital Responsibility

About the CDR Building Bloxx 

In our consulting, we rely on the CDR Building Bloxx, an approach that considers established standards for sustainability reporting such as the GRI framework and other common (ISO) norms. The CDR Building Bloxx include overarching definitions of CDR activities and delineate areas of activity for specific CDR topics (coloured Building Bloxx). For the holistic implementation of CDR, we recommend building on existing processes and structures in your company and adjusting the individual blocks modularly to your organization. 

Key components of responsible digitization 

  1. Digital well-being & digital health: Using and developing digital technology that has a positive impact on the mental and physical health of the individual.
  2. Digital enablement & digital inclusion: Encouraging the digitally disadvantaged, creating awareness, and offering training for digital responsibility and ethics as well as responsible leadership. 
  3. Ethical design of digital products: Integrating ethics and values in the development of digital services and products. 
  4. Environment & resources: Reducing the negative ecological impact by choosing and using appropriate digital technologies. 
  5. Future of work: Responsible transformation of activities, job descriptions and general conditions due to the digital transformation.
  6. Responsible innovation: Responsible use and development of technologies regarding their impact on environment, society, and economy.
  7. Sustainability & resilience: Reaching the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by using digital applications and technologies.
  8. Responsibility for data, privacy, and security: Responsible handling of data, privacy, and information security.

Our promise

Extensive experience, a holistic view

Our experts will help you confront the digitization process in a responsible, ethical and structured manner that is geared towards lasting success. We not only work with you to develop a suitable strategy, but also identify opportunities and risks and always consider your organisation as a whole. We can draw on successfully completed projects, satisfied clients, interdisciplinary approaches and teams and a global network to ensure your journey is a successful one. Let us work together to establish CDR and digital ethics in practice and embed them permanently in your organisation's DNA.

“A responsible, ethical approach to digitization shapes the reputation of a company and improves both the quality of its products as well as its relations with all stakeholders. The basis is a comprehensive strategy for the responsible and ethical use of technology, while the focus has to be on people.”

Daniela Hanauer,Expert in Corporate Digital Responsibility and Digital Ethics at PwC Germany

Further insights into Corporate Digital Responsibility and Digital Ethics

Digital Ethics – Orientation, Values and Attitudes for a Digital World

Why should companies proactively address Digital Ethics? Because it matters for the strategic and operational success of businesses.

Read more

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Contact us

Daniela Hanauer

Daniela Hanauer

Partner, Sustainability Services, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 1511 1720054

Saskia Becke

Saskia Becke

Managerin, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 175 5653403