• Act responsibly. Enable sustainability.
  • 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report
2015 Corporate Responsibility Report

Climate protection strategy

Content verified by PwCicon_check

195 countries made a commitment to meeting mandatory climate protection goals at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015. As a telecommunications company, we want to contribute to achieving the 2-degree target that was set in Paris. We have been working toward a low-carbon, sustainable future for years. Our products and services help our customers reduce their carbon footprint. The flow of traffic at the Port of Hamburg, for example, can be controlled more efficiently in real time and farmers can prevent redundant trips when tending their fields. We continue to systematically expand our offers for these types of solutions. Our climate protection targets also include reducing our own CO2 emissions by 20 percent by the year 2020 compared to 2008 levels. To do this, we are investing in efficient network technology, improving energy management at our buildings and setting clear CO2 limits for our service vehicle fleet.


  • Reducing CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020 (absolute emissions)


  • Modernizing and optimizing network infrastructure and buildings
  • Optimizing and virtualizing data centers
  • Reducing fuel consumption by optimizing and reducing our fleet


  • Energy Consumption KPI
  • CO2 Emissions KPI
Content verified by PwCicon_check

"We assume responsibility for a low-carbon society" is one of the key action areas of our CR strategy. We intend to keep this promise with the help of our Group-wide climate protection target, which was adopted in 2013 to reduce our CO2 emissions by 20 percent (excluding T-Mobile USA) by 2020 compared with 2008. We have developed measures to help us meet this target as well as instruments to gauge our progress.

Measurable success in climate protection
We record the direct impact of our climate protection measures with our Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions key performance indicators (KPIs) in order to assess the effectiveness of those measures. These KPIs also help us keep our stakeholders informed regarding the progress we have made in achieving our climate target. In 2015, we also worked on new KPIs that can be used to analyze the relationship between energy consumption/CO2 emissions and transported data volumes. We are planning to introduce these KPIs in 2016.

Measuring direct and indirect emissions
We measure our CO2 emissions on the basis of standards such as the internationally recognized Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, which distinguishes between three CO2 emissions categories: GHG Scope 1, 2 and 3. Over the past few years, we have introduced measurement of GHG Scope 1 and 2 emissions throughout the Group. Our CO2 Emissions KPI img is based on this data. Since 2013 we have been recording all relevant Scope 3 emissions generated by our business in Germany. We also recorded the Scope 3 emissions generated by other national companies for the first time in 2015 and plan to measure them throughout the entire Group by the end of 2016.

Collaborating for innovation and climate protection
Effective climate protection calls for joint efforts on the part of business, politics, science and society. We are involved in a number of German initiatives (2° foundation in Germany) and international associations to help us effectively work to protect the climate. One of these is the Global e-Sustainability Initiative img (GeSI img). As an industry association, GeSI's vision is to help make society greener and more climate-friendly with the help of ICT img solutions.

Using electricity from renewable energy sources
Measures to improve the energy efficiency of our networks and infrastructures are at the heart of our climate protection strategy. To date, we have not included renewable energy in our calculations regarding our Group-wide climate protection target. Renewable energy, however, can help avoid CO2 emissions. That is why we attach great value to the use of renewable energy, which will play an important role in our integrated climate strategy in the future.

Content verified by PwCicon_check

Our integrated climate strategy supports Deutsche Telekom in pursuing its Group strategy to become the leading European telecommunications provider.

The four pillars of the integrated climate protection stratgey

In 2015, we were able to make substantial improvements in the four pillars of our integrated climate strategy - CO2 emissions, renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable products - and measure these achievements on the basis of specific targets and indicators.

CO2 emissions
As regards the first pillar, reducing CO2 emissions, we finished the roll-out of our monitoring process in 2015, which had been launched the year before. We were also able to record Scope 3 emissions img for all of our national companies in 2015 as planned. These efforts have made it possible for us to publish all of our CO2 emissions in compliance with the GHG Protocol img for the first time in 2016. And we continue to work toward our climate target in 2016 in order to reduce our emissions by 20 percent by the year 2020 compared to the base year 2008 (excluding T-Mobile US).

Renewable energy
We continue our efforts to increase our reliance on renewable energy throughout the Group. Some of our national companies are already setting a good example; Magyar Telekom in Hungary has been getting 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources since 2015. We have also set parameters for assessing the sustainability of purchased electricity in collaboration with our colleagues responsible for procuring electricity for our offices and facilities in Europe. These parameters help us increase the transparency of our energy mix and improve it as a result.

Energy efficiency
We are always working to improve the capacity and performance of our fixed-line and mobile communications networks. Because these require the most energy throughout the Group, we continue to modernize them and enhance their energy efficiency. In 2015 we developed two new KPIs to measure our progress, one that establishes a relationship between our energy consumption and transported data volume and the other between our carbon footprint and transported data volume. We are planning to introduce these KPIs in 2016.

Sustainable products
Our products and services help our customers reduce energy consumption or have other favorable effects in different parts of society. Our products help reduce CO2 emissions and costs significantly, for example in the areas of healthcare, business, mobility and logistics. Dynamic Workplace, for example, makes it possible for many of our business customers' employees to work from home. That means they produce less CO2 and save time usually spent commuting to work. The time they save can also improve their work-life balance and have a positive impact on employee health. We intend to integrate this potential step by step into our portfolio, thus contributing to our fourth pillar, sustainable products. Products and services that provide sustainable benefits accounted for 37 percent of total revenues in 2014. In 2014, products of Deutsche Telekom allowed greenhouse gas savings of nine million metric tons (click here for the analysis). Due to this, we were able to compensate more than our own CO2 emissions.

Indirect emissions along the value chain, or Scope 3 emissions img, make up the majority of our total emissions. Recording these emissions helps us design targeted measures to reduce our carbon footprint at a corporate and product level.

We have been recording Scope 3 emissions at Deutsche Telekom in Germany since 2013. Our Scope 3 emissions for 2015 were down 1.1 percent year on year at 4,217,367 metric tons of CO2 equivalents. As in previous years, most emissions were generated through the use of end devices bought from or leased through us as well as by end devices bought from other providers to use our telecommunications services. These emissions constitute roughly two-thirds of our total Scope 3 emissions. Emissions generated by purchasing goods and services are significant as well; these make up around one-fourth of total Scope 3 emissions. Our employees commuting to work caused the highest increase in emissions; this is due to the use of an increased emission factor. With a year-on-year increase of 60 percent, these emissions currently make up 8 percent of our total Scope 3 emissions.

Scope-3-Emissionen in Deutschland
* Subsequent adjustment by adding scope 3 category 3 „Fuel- and energy-related activities (not included in scope 1 or scope 2)“

We fully disclose the data on the emissions generated by other national companies for the first time for 2015. Emissions sources there are similar to those identified in Germany. At national companies without any relevant fixed-line business such as those in Austria, Poland and the Netherlands, however, purchased products and services are the main source of Scope 3 emissions.

Overview of Scope 3 emissions (t CO2e)
National company   2014 2015   Annual comparison  
Hungary   320,374 430,490  
Croatia   219,105 208,154  
Slovakia   94,080 102,068  
Greece   601,674 713,184  
Romania   437,739 456,712  
Austria   31,510 32,886  
Czech Republic   82,915 74,941  
Netherlands   48,881 52,468  
Poland   152,892 138,201  
Total   1,989,170 2,209,103  


We are planning to fully record Scope 3 emissions throughout the Group by the end of 2016.

In September 2015 the first annual energy planning meeting took place with groups from across the business representing retail, corporate real estate, critical facilities, network engineering, procurement and sustainability.

This team is focused on raising the visibility of energy efficiency as an opportunity for many divisions across the company by working with each business unit to set goals and track progress. The team is also focused on short-term projects like using a consistent vendor for LED lighting retrofits and piloting analytics software. Ultimately, the team will be improving T-Mobile USA’s use of analytics and metrics to manage the company’s energy performance and identify opportunities to reduce consumption.

All of Deutsche Telekom's national companies in Europe are expected to make sure that the share of renewable energy they use for their power supply is at least 10 percent above that of the respective national energy mix by 2016, to the extent permitted by the liberalization of the energy market. To this end they can also purchase renewable energy certificates if needed, a practice already in place in the Netherlands and Greece. In addition to T-Mobile Austria, T-Mobile Netherlands and T-Mobile Czech Republic, the Hungarian Magyar Telekom also managed to obtain 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources for the first time in 2015.

We rely increasingly on renewable energy sources throughout the Group. Our goal is to tap new potential for reducing CO2 emissions beyond achieving our climate protection target. That is why the Group started to develop sustainability criteria for procuring its electricity in 2015. We had already analyzed the situation at every national company and identified further possible uses for renewable energy in 2014. Based on the findings, our plan is to develop measures to increase the share of renewable energy sources used throughout the Group.

Our Hungarian national company, Magyar Telekom, has been fully climate-neutral since 2015. In order to reduce energy consumption, the company has been conducting several measures such as updating its networks and data centers and increasing the number of alternative drive vehicles in the company fleet. Additionally, Magyar Telekom procures 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources. Part of the company's electricity procurement is based on RECS img certificates.

In early 2015 T-Mobile Austria became Austria's first CO2-neutral mobile communications provider. Not only does the company ensure CO2-neutral operation of its network like other providers do, it also guarantees that all other parts of the company such as offices, shops and vehicle fleets are CO2 neutral. This is mainly made possible through using CO2-free energy from renewable sources. Emissions that cannot be avoided at this point are compensated for through certificates in compliance with internationally accepted standards. In an effort to assess and further reduce inevitable emissions, the company is measuring its CO2 emissions according to the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Standard (Scope 1-3). This includes direct and indirect emissions such as those generated by employee travel.

Preventing greenhouse gas emissions has top priority at our company. Reducing such emissions is the second-best option. Investing in certified climate protection projects is one way to compensate for some of the CO2 emissions that we are unable to avoid generating or reduce.

From early March 2015 to late February 2016, Telekom Deutschland compensated for 10,362 metric tons of CO2 emissions. These included emissions associated with our events (participant travel to and from the event, room usage, etc.) and certain products and services (e.g., conference calls or web conferences). Our Event Policy specifies the ways in which we compensate for emissions generated by events.

I'm interested in learning more about Deutsche Telekom's activities in the area of...