ICT 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 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):
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.
Machines and products are becoming smarter: cars communicating with repair shops, smartphones becoming the new wallet. The technology that makes this possible is called machine-to-machine communication, or M2M. By 2020 the number of M2M connections around the world is expected to increase to 2.5 billion. Machine-to-machine communication is an important area of growth for Deutsche Telekom, too. Our Connected Car business area reflects this trend and focuses on smart mobility solutions.
We offer our customers numerous benefits by connecting machines digitally. The technology optimally synchronizes the work processes of the various customer devices and cars or even entire industrial plants. This increases industrial productivity, makes transportation more reliable (and more accurate) and helps reduce energy consumption and conserve resources. Our networks serve as the basis for this, because mobile communications is a vital part of the transmission process in any M2M connection.
We also support the German federal government's Industry 4.0 initiative through our involvement in machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. The initiative's objective is to maintain Germany's competitive edge in the technology sector.
M2M solutions for more efficient mobility
M2M communication holds strong potential in the transportation field. Our Connected Car business area is developing custom-fit solutions that tap this potential.
- At the international automobile fair IAA in September 2015 we presented driver- and vehicle-oriented real-time services under the slogan "Secure Auto Cloud." Deutsche Telekom also presented AutoApp at the trade fair. This mobile application allows drivers to receive position-related traffic information and situation-specific tips designed to enhance traffic safety or reduce fuel consumption.
- Daimler has developed a retrofit telematics solution for Mercedes cars in cooperation with T-Systems. The pilot stage was successfully completed in 2015. The European launch of the Mercedes Connect Me adapter is scheduled for early 2016. It allows customers to connect with their cars anywhere and anytime. For example, they can access information such as fuel levels or the position of their vehicle on their smartphones.
- Bicycle maker BULLS, e-bike system vendor Brose, and Deutsche Telekom presented a jointly developed, connected electric bicycle in 2015. People who own one of these bikes can use their smartphone to locate their bicycles at any time. Besides this, a motion sensor detects unusually fast braking activity and extreme tilting which could result in a fall. If the user stops for an unusually long time and does not react to a message on the display, the bike sends a text message with location data to a pre-defined contact person. In the event of an accident, this makes it easier to find the cyclist quickly and to provide assistance. BULLS is planning to launch the bike on the market as a special model in 2017.
The port of tomorrow
During the reporting period we continued our smartPORT Logistics (SPL) pilot project for the port of Hamburg and started to put it into commercial operation. The goal of the project is to improve HDV traffic flows at the Port of Hamburg and in its vicinity. All relevant traffic and infrastructure data is collected and analyzed in real time for this purpose. Results can be used to inform users about waiting times, alternative routes or parking.
In 2016 we defined data privacy guidelines for using data when working with the Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet. Among other things, the six rules define how Deutsche Telekom deals with personal data and how the persons concerned are involved.
Connecting healthcare services has many advantages. Telemedical assistance systems help patients and their families in their everyday lives, make work easier for medical personnel and reduce costs. Deutsche Telekom helps shape the digital healthcare system with numerous pilot projects. The primary goal is to enable the fast, secure exchange of information between doctors, patients and health insurers.
Data collection at the patient's bedside
In 2015, Deutsche Telekom installed a digital information system with 200 iPad minis at Gemeinschaftskrankenhaus Bonn hospital. Around 150 physicians and 450 nurses use the tablets when dealing with medical findings, diagnoses and X-ray images. They can access the information and medical records they need at all times and from anywhere within the hospital; they can even modify this data from the patient's bedside. Patients benefit as well. Digital documentation is more precise and there are no errors because a colleague's handwriting is illegible. Doctors can also carry out online medicine safety checks on the tablets to exclude reactions to other medicines.
Smart home emergency call system
We presented a new smart home emergency call system at the geriatric care trade fair in Hanover in 2016. The system works using sensors installed in the home, which are in turn connected to the intelligent software of the emergency call system. The software is able to tell the difference between, say, a person bending down to pick something up and someone who has fallen and requires help. Upon identifying a real emergency situation, the system automatically uses a secure network to alert the control center staffed by an emergency home care service around the clock. The control center establishes contact with the resident via the hands-free function. The system also gives the staff an overview of the situation on-site by creating an image made impersonal and indistinct for reasons of data privacy.
Entertain for Hospitals: entertainment and information for patients
With Entertain for Hospitals, hospitals can offer patients a comprehensive range of entertainment formats and information directly at their bedside. The vendor-independent solution can be integrated into the respective hospital information system. This allows patients to read the information brochures made accessible to them, see their appointments or order meals. Depending on the hospital's offer, patients can also watch TV programs in the time-shift mode, download series, movies and documentaries, surf the Internet, make phone calls and play games. Around 3,000 beds had already been equipped with Entertain for Hospitals throughout Germany by the end of 2015.
Role model project for comprehensive healthcare
We are building an open, accessible, interdisciplinary IT platform for medical care for people living in Eastern Saxony in cooperation with Carus Consilium Sachsen GmbH, a subsidiary of the Dresden University Hospital. The CCS Telehealth Ostsachsen project is expected to help guarantee comprehensive, local medical care in rural regions for patients in the comfort of their own homes. Cardiac patients, for example, can use their tablets to send their vital data to the Dresdner Herzzentrum cardiology center for review. The data is processed by "telenurses" who monitor vital signs and immediately inform a physician in case of any doubt.
The pilot phase was started in 2015 after two years of development work. Initial applications, such as at-home care for congestive heart failure patients and outpatient follow-up care for stroke patients, were launched in July 2015. Introducing CCS Telehealth Ostsachsen involved creating telemedicine workstations, providing patients with tablets and IP telephones and installing high-performing servers, scanners and a central database. This approach makes the project a role model throughout Europe. The EU and the Free State of Saxony support the project, for example, by funding it with almost EUR 10 million.
We see sustainable products as crucial in helping us distinguish ourselves in the ICT market. That is why we require our suppliers to comply with environmental and social requirements and monitor this compliance. We also keep our customers informed about environmental aspects, manufacturing conditions, safe, low-energy and demand-based usage, and resource-conserving disposal options at the end of the product life cycle. We rely on renowned environmental labels for this purpose.
Blue Angel for Deutsche Telekom products
95 percent of Telekom Deutschland's fixed-network devices are certified with the renowned Blue Angel environmental label. All of our Sinus series DECT phones have been awarded the independent environmental label since 2013. We were awarded the Blue Angel award within the context of the German Sustainability Award in November 2015 for our involvement and our role as pioneers and communicators of climate protection.
Our Speedphone series received the Blue Angel certification during the reporting period. The new IP telephones are particularly energy-efficient, low-radiation and come with replaceable batteries. A new feature lets users configure the transmission power individually and thereby save energy. Updates can directly be transferred to the Speedphone, making the devices easy to update, extending their useful lives and reducing their carbon footprint.
TUEV Certified Green Products
In addition to the Blue Angel we are increasingly focusing on the TUEV Certified Green Product environmental label. This label exceeds the Blue Angel criteria in ways such as requiring inspections of working conditions at production sites. Some of our products have already been certified, for example, the Speedphone 10 and the W 724V router.
We also keep our goal of reducing our carbon footprint in mind when planning and operating our data centers. To achieve this goal, T-Systems takes a two-step approach: It starts with optimizing energy consumption at each data center site and then continues with improving processes throughout the global data center landscape.
Between 2008 and 2013 the focus was on optimizing existing data center space. Some examples include updating the cooling systems and installing cold aisle containment to control the flow of cooling air as needed and minimize cold air waste in the IT areas. Advancements in IT technology also made it possible to considerably reduce energy consumption. In addition to these fundamental technical optimization measures, we are always fine-tuning our climate control technology; this in combination with optimum data center capacity utilization enables us to continue to improve efficiency.
The PUE factor serves as an indicator for improvements in energy efficiency. We were able to reduce the average PUE factor at the T-Systems data centers from 1.85 to 1.63 between 2008 and 2015. Despite these favorable overall results, we recorded fluctuations in the PUE factor during the reporting period compared to the previous year. This is due to the fact that, while the energy required for non-ICT components remained unchanged, computer energy consumption fluctuated in the wake of the consolidation process.
The second phase has been ongoing since 2013. This phase combines physical data center consolidation (i.e., reducing data center space and sites) with logical consolidation (i.e., virtualizing data center infrastructure). The DC11@2018 program is working to globally consolidate data center sites with the latest IT technology to a few FMO (future mode of operation) data centers. The target average PUE factor at the FMO data centers will be 1.4 once the program has been completed. This requires a homogeneous IT landscape combined with optimum capacity utilization of data center infrastructure, IT hardware and the software running on the systems. We expect these measures to bring about another massive reduction in CO2 emissions. Current program plans estimate a cumulated CO2 reduction of up to 51 percent by 2020 based on the 2012 figures.
By using our products, our customers can help conserve resources and reduce electronic waste and CO2 emissions. In this context we are focusing on two models: rental services for routers and media receivers and used cell-phone collection programs.
We want to make sure that old routers and media receivers do not just end up in the trash. That is why we promote the "Don't buy, rent" approach. Introducing a twelve-month minimum contract term for routers and media receivers helps to extend the average usage time and reduces returns during the minimum lease period. When a contract is canceled, the customer returns the devices and the devices are then either reused or professionally recycled. We also introduced a return portal to simplify the return process, which cuts back on paper receipts and also allows customers to process their returns via the online return portal as needed.
We actively and effectively promote the rental service in many ways including at Telekom Shops, online, via customer service and in product flyers. The offer has met with great customer response. The number of people using our rental service had increased to some 8.2 million by the end of 2015.
Too many used cell phones and smartphones are stuck in drawers or disposed of illegally with the household waste. Germany's recycling and reuse rate for small electronic appliances is much too low. Which is why used cell phones, smartphones and tablets need to either be repaired and reused or recycled properly. We have been offering different ways for people to hand in their devices since 2003.
Customers have been able to return their used, high-end cell phones and smartphones to Telekom Shops under a buyback program since 2013. They then receive a voucher equivalent to the monetary value of their devices that they can use to make purchases at a Telekom Shop. In 2014 we introduced the online collection portal Handysammelcenter in cooperation with Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH). Companies can use the portal to properly and safely dispose of their used cell phones and smartphones free of charge and receive a certificate as confirmation. Devices in good condition are generally reused. Public authorities, associations and other organizations can use the portal to initiate their own collection campaigns. The entire collection process has been certified by DEKRA. Any profit generated in this way is donated to nature conservation and environmental protection projects run by DUH.
During the reporting period we collaborated with DUH to support the cell-phone collection campaign run by the churches of the state of Baden-Württemberg. The goal is to collect 100,000 used phones. The campaign is scheduled to run for two years and end in May 2017. The members of the German Bundestag also continue to support our cell-phone collection efforts. Just like in 2014, they collected used cell phones at their offices and from their constituencies in 2015. They ended up collecting 2,500 used phones, more than twice as many as the year before.
The collection campaign at schools in the state of Saarland, in which we have been participating since the 2014/2015 school year, was extended due to the great response. The campaign is under the patronage of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Minister President of Saarland, and includes special course offers on cell-phone collection and resource efficiency. The campaign is now open to associations and communities in addition to educational institutions. The collection campaign has been honored as a “WerkstattN-project” from the German Council for Sustainable Development and therefore belongs to one of the 100 most innovative sustainability projects in Germany.
In 2015, we collected 230,751 used cell phones and smartphones throughout Germany and either reused them or had them properly recycled. The whole process is DEKRA certified and fulfills high data protection requirements. The joint cell-phone collection system run by Telekom Deutschland and DUH entered its twelfth year in 2015. More than 2 million used cell phones have been collected so far.
To read our statement on the MagentaMobil Happy petition, click here.