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

Sustainable products and services

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Technological progress offers new ways to address the challenges posed by climate change, scarcity of resources, and nationwide healthcare. Information and communications technology (ICT img) plays a key role in this context. Among other things, our products and services make climate-friendly consumption possible for our customers and enable new ways to provide healthcare.


  • Increasing share of sustainable products and services


  • Creating a sustainable product portfolio
  • Product certification (e.g., Blue Angel)
  • Promoting innovation
  • Implementing design principles


  • Used Cell-Phone Collection ESG KPI
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ICT img helps industry, service providers, and consumers pursue a more sustainable approach and holds tremendous market potential for all those involved. For example, according to the SMARTer2030 study 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide could be eliminated by 2030 through targeted use of information and communications technologies. However, sustainability means more than just climate protection when it comes to ICT. Technology could do many things such as contributing to reduced resource consumption, stabilizing power supply networks, simplifying work processes and continuing to improve medical care.

We are committed to systematically leveraging the vast sustainability potential of ICT, which is why we continuously work on innovative and future-oriented solutions. Among others, we focus on the Industrial Internet and e-health growth segments. We also started a project in 2014 to identify the sustainability potential of the products and services featured in our current product portfolio as well as business opportunities. In order to develop new ICT solutions, we are also cooperating with partners, e.g., in the field of M2M communication and are active members of international networks.

Achievements made measurable
We use key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the ESG KPI img Used Cell-Phone Collection to make our achievements measurable. We have defined performance goals, e.g., sales goals, as internal monitoring tools in certain fields such as e-health and Smart Home.

Managing sustainable products calls for systematic measures to be implemented throughout the supply chain, which is why we have already established comprehensive procurement processes in order to ensure that sustainability criteria are met. We use our Design Principles as a guideline when developing new products and use recognized environmental labels such as the Blue Angel and the TÜV environmental label "Certified Green Product." Their requirements show us how to further optimize our products. These seals also help us inform our customers of the benefits of choosing sustainable products. We also provide our customers with a variety of offers and opportunities to ensure that our products are recycled or disposed of properly at the end of their life cycle.

Our integrated climate strategy includes identifying sustainable aspects of products and services in our portfolio. We began this analysis process in collaboration with external experts in 2014. The results show that 37 percent of total revenues generated in Europe in 2014 involved products and services with sustainability benefits (click here for the analysis). Our products help improve medical care, enable people to participate in the knowledge society and conserve resources by replacing physical devices with digital solutions, to mention just a few of these benefits. We continued the project for identifying sustainability aspects in 2015. The broadband network, cloud computing and the virtual set-top box were the pilot products tested for their contribution to sustainability and the resulting business potential they hold. We identified their benefits in view of all three sustainability categories (environmental, social, and economic):

Broadband Internet
Between 2012 and 2020, our broadband networks have the potential to help reduce more than 19 million metric tons of CO2 emissions in Germany alone. Employees and students can work from home and cut out their daily trip to the office or university. The economy benefits as well. Between 2015 and 2020, the gross domestic product of Germany alone is expected to grow by 47 billion euros thanks to broadband technology. This high-speed network enables new business models and has created 162,000 jobs, generating additional tax revenues of 10.6 million euros. The use of broadband technology also has the potential to prevent 3.8 million sick days.

B2B cloud solutions
With our business-to-business (B2B) cloud solutions an SME with more than 100 employees can cut more than 21 metric tons of CO2 emissions and decrease its electricity costs by 7,000 euros annually. That means SMEs in Germany can cut back 300,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions each year between 2015 and 2020.

Virtual set-top box
Set-top boxes (STBs) add a wide range of special functions to TV sets and enable access to our Entertain offer, for example. By replacing these devices with virtual STBs, each customer can save 63 euros annually typically due to device energy consumption and rental fees. This amounts to total savings of 146 million euros for German TV users and reduced CO2 emissions of 47,000 metric tons. This virtual solution also conserves resources, potentially saving 4,200 metric tons of material.

We use the results of these analyses to advance our sustainable product portfolio. Future plans also include keeping our customers informed of these sustainability benefits, thereby sharpening our competitive edge. 

State-of-the-art information and communications technology (ICT img) makes life easier and encourages sustainable development. These were the findings of the SMARTer2030 study published by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative img (GeSI img). The study essentially shows that ICT products and services can provide extensive environmental, economic and social benefits.

In many industries, ICT makes it possible to develop innovative business models that are more resource- and cost-efficient, improve services and tap new sources of financial success. According to GeSI, not only could global CO2 emissions be reduced by up to 20 percent by 2030, macroeconomic profits of up to 11 billion euros could be generated as well. The study also predicts an increase in crop yields thanks to ICT.

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