Babbel 2022 ESG Report: Commitment to Quality Education and Social Impact

Babbel, the top-selling language learning platform, announces the release of its second voluntary Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report 2022. The heart of Babbel's sustainability efforts lies in its core business – empowering millions of learners worldwide to create mutual understanding through language, contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Fostering Global Impact with Sustainable Practices 

Babbel's commitment to SDG 4 (Quality Education) is demonstrated through its role as a language-learning company, promoting inclusivity by offering lessons open to all learners, irrespective of gender, race, age, or social status, aligning with SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities). Babbel's social impact strategy includes donating free and discounted subscriptions to non-profits and those in need. Emphasizing its contribution to SDG 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions), Babbel believes language learning fosters empathy, reduces prejudice and supports inclusive societies and peace-building. The company not only teaches languages, but also facilitates a deeper understanding of related cultures.

"Our commitment to sustainable business practices goes beyond a corporate strategy – it is at the core of who we are. As a purpose-driven language learning company, we create a positive impact on our learners’ lives every single day. This ESG report serves as a testament to our unwavering commitment to setting a high bar for excellence, not only in what our impact on our learners is, but also in how we do things," says Arne Schepker, CEO of Babbel. "I am grateful to our employees, customers, shareholders, founders and partners who share our vision of building a more responsible, respectful and learning-centric world."

In the environmental section, Babbel details its carbon footprint, reporting emissions and highlighting eco-friendly features in its offices. Shifting to the social aspect, the company prioritizes creating a sense of belonging for employees through internal communities, learning opportunities, and the G.I.V.E. volunteering framework. Within governance, critical aspects such as customer data security, corporate structure, and ethical marketing practices are explained, providing insights into Babbel's governance framework.

Social Initiatives in Focus 

In 2022, Babbel focused on offering free English, German, and Polish language courses to war-displaced Ukrainians. Over 600,000 Ukrainian speakers have now signed up for Babbel, seeking to learn a new language and to make a new home for themselves.

Babbel also supported the Syrian Youth Assembly: the Babbel Language Academy for Refugees by Refugees is a free initiative that employs experienced refugee teachers to teach English to fellow refugees, bridging the language gap with experts fluent in both Arabic and the target languages. Arabic-speaking refugees benefit from professional development through training opportunities, coaching workshops and an online meeting platform. Babbel's offices also ran a mentorship program with the Young Global Citizens Assembly and Careery, pairing employees with young refugees to help them succeed in their careers.

The company has implemented G.I.V.E. (Generating Impact Via Engagement) initiatives, allowing staff to participate in causes that hold significance for them. The first initiative is a new partnership with Sea Watch, which aims to facilitate communication in foreign languages, both within the team and with people in danger.

Sustainability is deeply ingrained in Babbel’s corporate structure, and a dedicated Impact Team provides capacity to impact topics. Susanne Wechsler, Director of Impact at Babbel, says: "I see a real commitment to address every employee, partner and customer issue head-on. Babbel's leadership takes a hands-on approach to integrating sustainability into our daily operations. We don't just talk about ESG, we act and report. It's this commitment to tangible action that sets Babbel apart." 

Achievements and Measuring Impact 

Babbel takes pride in the gender balance achievements, with 55% of the company, 50% of the executive team, and 40% of the Supervisory Board being women. The representation of women in the engineering team stands at 29%, exceeding industry averages.

Babbel is actively working on an impact measurement logic based on the IOOI model (Inputs, Outputs, Outcomes, and Impact) to better track company-wide impact at a societal level. As part of the commitment to transparency, the report discloses the carbon footprint for 2021 and 2022, offering stakeholders a clearer understanding of the emissions. 

The ESG Report emphasizes the company's dedication to being a learning organization, prioritizing learners, embracing diversity, and simplifying solutions. It outlines the company's future plans, including CSRD compliance, performance metrics and initiatives, reinforcing Babbel's commitment to transparency and accountability in all facets of its operations. The full ESG Report 2022 with highlights on page 4 and goals on page 8 can be accessed here.

About Babbel

Babbel develops and operates an ecosystem of interconnected online language learning experiences and is driven by the purpose of creating mutual understanding through language. This means building products that help people connect and communicate across cultures. The Babbel App, Babbel Live, Babbel Podcasts and Babbel for Business products focus on using a new language in the real world, in real situations, with real people. And it works: Studies by linguists from institutions such as Michigan State University, Yale University and the City University of New York demonstrated the efficacy of Babbel’s language learning methods.

The key is a blend of humanity and technology. Babbel offers more than 60,000 lessons across 15 languages, hand-crafted by nearly 200 didactics experts, with user behaviors continuously analyzed to shape and tweak the learner experience. This results in constantly adapting, interactive content with live classes, games, podcasts and videos that make understanding a new language easy, from Spanish to Indonesian.

Because Babbel is for everyone, its team is as diverse as its content. From its headquarters in Berlin and its U.S. office in New York, 1000 people from more than 80 nationalities represent the backgrounds, characteristics and perspectives that make all humans unique. Babbel sold over 15 million subscriptions by creating a true connection with users.

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