Foreword by the Chairman of the Board of Management.
René Obermann, Chairman of the Board of Management, Bonn, Germany.
Many decisions in the worlds of politics and business have to be made quickly, and they are aimed at the near future. But we should never lose sight of long-range challenges—such as the transition to renewable sources of energy, as approved by the German government. We still have a long way to go before we meet this goal. Not all of the requirements for a successful turnaround are in place—far from it, in fact, although many German companies are ready with good solutions.
Deutsche Telekom offers an intelligent control system for advanced electrical grids. It connects consumers and producers so that electricity producers can deliver power exactly when and where it is needed. Smart electricity meters help link together large numbers of decentralized energy producers to create a central, virtual power plant. This means it is economically viable for electricity producers to shift to decentralized production and renewable energy sources.
We also need to tackle challenges in society. Let's take demographic change as an example. Major firms like Deutsche Telekom need to have the right mix of employees: proven colleagues with experience and younger workers who move freely and comfortably in the digital world. But to us as a business, demographic change also means developing new products and solutions for the healthcare segment and getting them ready for the market. We are ramping up our commitment to helping patients live independently as long as possible—thanks in part to innovative new Telekom products.
The way we live and work is undergoing huge changes due to increasing networking. For companies, mobile working can increase cost-effectiveness, even as employees enjoy enhanced quality of life. In view of this increasing networking, however, we want to make sure that as many people as possible benefit from it. For that reason, we will continue to promote media skills, the use of filters to protect children and young people surfing on the Internet, and Internet seminars for seniors and immigrants.
Ever since the Global Compact was founded in 2000, we have championed the principles laid out in this United Nations initiative, in areas including human rights, climate protection, and combating corruption. Since January 2011, we have been the only German company active in the LEAD Steering Committee of the UN Global Compact .
Our CR Report provides information on the progress of our corporate commitment and involvement. Our new application "We care" also provides a good overview of our corporate responsibility activities. In a very playful, intuitive way, the application showcases the full breadth of our commitment and involvement.
We hope you enjoy reading it!
Bonn, May 2012
Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom AG
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