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

Added value and materiality

Which sustainability topics are relevant for our revenue development, capacity for innovation and reputation? Which topics matter to our stakeholders, including our shareholders, customers and employees as well as the public? In what areas and in what ways do our business operations impact society and the environment? Being familiar with key economic, environmental and social issues is fundamental to our success in these areas, which is why our materiality process is not solely based on our own perspective but also takes into account the opinions of our stakeholders.  

With more than 156 million mobile customers, 29 million fixed-network and around 18 million broadband lines, we are one of the leading integrated telecommunications companies worldwide. We offer our customers fixed-network/broadband, mobile communications, Internet, and Internet-based TV products and services for consumers, and ICT img solutions for business and corporate customers. We have an international focus and are represented in more than 50 countries. Overall, we employ around 225,200 people (December 31, 2015).

The fixed-network business encompasses all voice and data communications activities based on fixed-network and broadband technology. This includes the sale of terminal equipment and other hardware, as well as the sale of services to resellers. Our mobile communications business offers mobile voice and data services to consumers and business customers. When marketing these services, we also sell mobile handsets and other hardware. In addition, we sell mobile services to resellers and to companies that buy network services and market them independently to third parties (mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs). Drawing on a global infrastructure of data centers and networks, our corporate customer arm, T-Systems, operates information and communication technology (ICT) systems for multinational corporations and public-sector institutions. As illustrated in the diagram, our Group consists of four operating segments. The 2015 Annual Report provides more in-depth data regarding our business development.

The organizational structure at a glance

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GRI indicator G4-18

Every year we identify which topics are the most material in defining Deutsche Telekom's sustainability management and sustainability reporting focus from the perspective of our stakeholders as well as from an internal corporate perspective.

We structured this materiality process in 2015 in accordance with the methods defined by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI). The GeSI img analysis covers 55 topics that are material for the ICT img industry. These can be placed in nine categories: digital inclusion, employee relationships, climate change, circular economy, sourcing and manufacturing, customer relationships, privacy and freedom of expression, governance, and local community and environment impacts. The advantage is that, by switching our materiality process over to the GeSI method, the process is now even more focused on our core business as an ICT service provider.

For internal purposes we included all 55 topics in the weighting process. To map the stakeholder perspective, we first needed to compare the results of the earlier stakeholder survey with the aspects defined by GeSI.

Internal workshop identifies material aspects for the success of our business
At a workshop that we held on November 11, 2015, experts from different Deutsche Telekom departments including Human Resources, Innovation and Communications, looked at 55 topics and identified those that have the largest impact on five main value drivers behind business success from a corporate perspective. These value drivers were also adopted from the GeSI method (a link has been added to examples of material aspects):

Ongoing survey weighs topics from stakeholder perspective
To help us identify which aspects are most material for our stakeholders, we assessed the results of our ongoing online stakeholder survey from the period from December 17, 2014, through December 7, 2015. The survey covered 74 aspects. The assessment was based on evaluations submitted by 312 people:

  • 125 customers
  • 121 employees and potential employees or employee representatives
  • 22 analysts and investors
  • 7 participants from the worlds of science, research and education
  • 5 NGO representatives
  • 5 suppliers
  • 2 representatives from regulatory authorities and political decision-makers
  • 25 participants who associated themselves with none of the groups mentioned

In order to be able to compare the 74 topics from the stakeholder survey, we matched them with the 55 aspects based on the GeSI method as far as possible. For 21 of the GeSI aspects none of the topics from the previous year's survey were an adequate match. In these cases we only took internal weighting into consideration. This can be particularly attributed to the different logic used by the surveys. Our previous surveys were more specifically targeted at assessing the approach, e.g., a distinction was made between different internal and external management tools. The GeSI method, however, primarily differentiates between factual aspects. We recently revised our stakeholder survey in line with the GeSI method. It includes weighting issues, performance assessment and open questions. Feedback from our stakeholders during the reporting period can be found here.

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GRI indicator G4-19
GRI indicator G4-27

Topics were rated as "very relevant," " relevant," "less relevant" and "not relevant" at internal workshops and in the stakeholder survey. We then transferred the weighting over to a 100-point scale. All topics that earned more than 60 points in the materiality process both from a corporate perspective as well as a stakeholder perspective are considered as very relevant and therefore material. These are depicted in the diagram below. You can find the overall results here.

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GRI indicator G4-20
GRI indicator G4-21

Topics that are relevant for Deutsche Telekom were identified in the course of the materiality analysis. The following is a simplified illustration of where we primarily see environmental, social and economic impact – at the Group and national companies as well as in the upstream and downstream supply chain.

#

Material aspects

Impact

 

 

Raw
materials extraction

Manufacturing

Processes
at Deutsche Telekom

Use of services and products

Disposal and recycling

1

Data security

 

 

++

++

 

2

Privacy

 

 

++

++

 

3

ICT img solutions for a low-carbon economy

 

++

++

++

++

4

ICT and child safety

 

 

 

++

 

5

Service quality

 

 

++

++

 

6

Cyber safety

 

 

++

++

 

7

Talent acquisition, retention, development and staff reduction

 

 

++

 

 

8

Climate change mitigation

++

++

++

++

++

9

Transparency and reporting

++

++

++

++

++

10

Network expansion

 

 

++

++

 

11

Socially relevant application of ICT products and services

 

 

 

++

 

12

Ethical business practices and compliance

++

++

++

++

++

13

Employee diversity and anti-discrimination

++

++

++

++

 

14

Employee involvement

 

 

++

 

 

15

Employee health, safety and wellness

++

++

++

 

 

16

Stakeholder engagement

++

++

++

++

++

17

Supply chain labor standards

++

++

++

 

++

18

Business resilience and adaptation

 

 

++

 

 

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GRI indicator G4-19

The following overview indicates which GRI aspects can be matched with the material topics of the stakeholder survey.

Unbenanntes Dokument
# topics GRI aspects

1

Data security

Customer privacy

2

Privacy

3

ICT img solutions for a low-carbon economy

Products and services

4

ICT and child safety

Customer health and safety

5

Service quality

Product and service labeling

6

Cyber safety

Customer health and safety

7

Talent acquisition, retention, development and staff reduction

Training and education

8

Climate change mitigation

Emissions; energy

9

Transparency and reporting

(no matching GRI indicator available)

10

Network expansion

Indirect economic impacts

11

Socially relevant application of ICT products and services

(no matching GRI indicator available, see sustainable products)

12

Ethical business practices and compliance

Compliance; anti-corruption

13

Employee diversity and anti-discrimination

Equal treatment; equal pay for men and women; diversity and equal opportunities

14

Employee involvement

Labor/management relations, freedom of association and right to collective bargaining

15

Employee health, safety and wellness

Occupational health and safety

16

Stakeholder engagement

Stakeholder engagement

17

Supply chain labor standards

Evaluating suppliers in terms of labor practices; evaluating suppliers in terms of human rights

18

Business resilience and adaptation

(no matching GRI indicator, see risk and opportunity management)

Material aspects: overall results

The following illustration shows the valuation of all topics from a stakeholder and company perspective. The company perspective is based on the results of an internal workshop. For the stakeholder perspective we have aligned the results of the previous stakeholder survey with the findings of the GeSI-analysis. New topics, which have not been addressed in the survey so far, are illustrated at the bottom of the x-axis. You can find the revised stakeholder survey here.

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