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

Values and Guiding Principles

Corporate responsibility (CR) is based on shared values. We communicate our fundamental values to our employees within the scope of our binding Guiding Principles  as a way to effectively integrate these values into our corporate culture.  According to our pulse survey in November 2015, 69 percent of employees feel that the Guiding Principles are being applied in day-to-day work (previous year: 70 percent).

The Code of Conduct and our Social Charter provide additional tools that we use to guarantee responsible conduct at the Group and among our partners. Our compliance management system, which makes sure that our business activities are in compliance with laws and regulations, is based on these documents.

Deutsche Telekom held its sixth Group-wide Guiding Principles Day on September 24, 2015. All of our employees were called upon to think about the Guiding Principles and come up with ideas on how to implement them in day-to-day work. The focus was on Guiding Principle no. 4: Best place to perform and grow. Each year on Guiding Principles Day employees at numerous Deutsche Telekom locations worldwide participate in activities revolving around our corporate values.

For example, employees discussed innovative, agile work methods at a shared Guiding Principles Day event, which was held in Bonn and Budapest and broadcast digitally. Under the slogan, "Create the best place to perform and grow," around 400 employees engaged in discussions in workshops and at open-space sessions at Group Headquarters for instance. Chief Human Resources Officer Christian Illek and expert Niels Pfläging set the tone with their presentations. The numerous employees who attended the event contributed 29 papers containing ideas on the topics of agility and corporate culture.

Deutsche Telekom was among the first to sign the German Code of Responsible Conduct for Business, which was presented to the public in November 2010. All of the members of our Board of Management signed the code, making an express commitment to responsible corporate governance in line with the principles of the social market economy, to fair competition, cooperation with employee representatives, business excellence and sustainability. We have incorporated this commitment into our governance principles and have assumed a leading role in putting our commitment into practice.

The code asks that we engage in sustainable business practices and responsible corporate governance for the good of the people. Deutsche Telekom consistently addresses these requirements in its core business and along its supply chain and takes responsibility for its employees and in society. We work to guarantee respect for human rights without exception.

Our products and services connect people and increase the productivity of numerous processes, helping make Germany and Europe effective in international competition and promoting prosperity. Our smart, digital solutions create new ways to effectively address social challenges such as climate change and to simplify our lives for the long term. Our network is the backbone of our efforts: fast, reliable, secure and accessible to everyone. These efforts, just like all of our activities, are focused on people. We provide transparent information on our plans and technologies, engage in fair practices and are always open to dialog.

In line with the code, we also continue to expand our leading position as a sustainable company as well as our ongoing efforts to optimize our value-added processes. We are making our networks, products and services more energy and resource-efficient and reducing the environmental impact and carbon footprint of our business activities. In 2014 our Board of Management approved a Group-wide climate protection target for 2020. Based on this target, we developed an integrated climate strategy in 2015 with the aim of further improving the energy and resource efficiency of our networks, services and products. We also offer our customers sustainable products and services and encourage our over 30,000 suppliers to do business with an equal focus on sustainability. To assist this process, we engage in various activities such as a systematic supplier development program, audits and prequalification measures. In these efforts – just like in everything we do involving our diverse stakeholders – we primarily rely on partnership and dialog.

As a responsible employer we give our employees the opportunity to realize their potential and to contribute their individual strengths and ideas within our Group. In view of the increasing significance of digitization, we promote virtual collaboration and new forms of work. We are increasingly turning to digital learning methods when it comes to training and skills development. A good example is our MagentaONE course offer, which provides information on our new rate plans. Dealing with big data and IT security are two more key topics for which we continue to expand our digital course offers. 30 percent of all formal learning hours in our Group are now in digital format, and the trend is rising. Our Telekom Social Network, for example, offers new forms of collaboration. In the network, we pursue open dialog and productive exchange with our employees. Our Group-wide ideas management activities are a key tool in encouraging employee involvement. Twelve ideas were submitted in 2015 for every 100 employees, the highest participation rate ever recorded.

Our social commitment, however, is not just to our customers, partners and employees. We feel it is our responsibility to support the development of media skills in our community and help young people become more confident. Our efforts in this area include the Teachtoday initiative, which promotes safe media proficiency. In 2015, over 4,900 school students took part in our media obstacle course in Germany, for instance. We have also been involved in the "Yes, I can!" initiative for several years now. Since 2009 this initiative has given more than 75,000 children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to learn key skills for an independent and confident life.

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