During the year under review, we brought many of our CR topics together under the headings #GreenMagenta and #GoodMagenta, with the aim of positioning our commitment to sustainability more strongly in our communication with stakeholder groups such as employees, partners, and customers. As part of this move, we renamed our “we care for our planet” Group program in 2021. The program is now called the “#GreenMagenta Program.” It comprises measures, along our entire value chain, and carried out in cooperation with the relevant specialized staff, for improving resource efficiency and making effective contributions toward the achievement of our climate goals. As part of a handover of specific responsibilities to pertinent departments, the program’s work areas, and the activities they comprise, have been grouped into four focus areas, “Green Customer Experience,” “Zero Waste,” “Green Operations” and “Green Governance.” By grouping our efforts into these four focus areas, we are ensuring that #GreenMagenta activities are efficiently moved forward and controlled, and that they are enshrined in our company's everyday operations.
The Group Corporate Responsibility department (GCR) had responsibility for coordinating the #GreenMagenta Program for Germany in 2021. Activities of the national companies were coordinated by the Board member for Deutsche Telekom’s Europe segment, with the support of GCR. Within the program framework, Deutsche Telekom’s departments in Germany and in the national companies carried out numerous measures under their own responsibility. In 2020, intensive international collaboration within the #GreenMagenta Program framework began, and this continued in the year under review. The aim of such collaboration is to synchronize the program activities in the various countries as effectively as possible and to establish regular exchanges between the departments responsible for the program’s implementation. Our “sustainability ambassadors” are involved in all of the #GreenMagenta Program’s focus areas. In Germany, these ambassadors are known as “Green Pioneers.”Reporting against standards
- GRI 305-5 (Emissions)
- Principle 7 (Support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges)
- Principle 8 (Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility)
- Principle 9 (Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies)
We see ourselves as a responsible company and have made that a core element of our Group strategy. Our Corporate Responsibility Strategy is derived from this. It covers three action areas: “Climate protection & resource efficiency,” “Digital responsibility ,” and “Digital participation.” The climate strategy translates the action area “Climate protection & resource efficiency” into concrete measures. This is how we ensure that climate protection measures are closely connected with our core business.
To support the climate strategy and achieve the ambitious Group targets, the national companies have developed and implemented their own climate protection strategies, concepts and measures. These can be viewed in the relevant profiles.
Our integrated climate strategy is based on four pillars: Emissions from the value chain; renewable energy; energy efficiency; and enablement: positive climate protection effects for our customers. We have defined objectives and/or key performance indicators for each of the four pillars.
The four pillars of our integrated climate strategy
We record all direct and indirect emissions using the globally recognized Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. As of 2021, all of the electricity we use comes from renewable energy. This has enabled us to reduce the pertinent emissions to zero (see “Renewable energy”). Nonetheless, we are continuing to improve efficiency in areas with particularly high energy consumption – such as, especially, our networks and data centers (see “Energy efficiency”). We are also taking measures to reduce emissions tied to use of gas or oil. For example, we are transitioning to low-emissions and zero-emissions vehicles and are carrying out facility-space consolidations. With such efforts, we have achieved considerable emissions reductions over the past few years – even though data traffic continues to grow rapidly, necessitating network expansions.
Indirect emissions from the upstream and downstream value chain (Scope 3 emissions) make up the largest share of our total emissions. We consult closely with our suppliers in order to reduce the emissions generated during production, and to have products manufactured that are energy-efficient in their utilization phases.
In 2021, we drew all of our electricity from renewable sources, having converted the entire Deutsche Telekom network, throughout the spectrum from mobile communications to high-speed DSL, to use of renewables-only power. Now, we are aiming to expand our own production of emissions-free power and to conclude suitable green power purchase agreements (PPAs). In Germany, PPAs already account for over 10 percent of the power we use. As of the end of 2021, 23.1 percent of the power used throughout the Group was obtained via PPAs. In 2020, we published a guide for the Deutsche Telekom Group, the purpose of which is to support the national companies in choosing the ideal solution for their individual needs by providing information on the various options they have available for the purchase of green electricity.
As a logical consequence of our network infrastructure's considerable energy requirements, we are seeking to reduce our energy consumption by investing in energy-efficient technology. For instance, we have migrated our entire network infrastructure to IP technology, which is not only more powerful, but also consumes less electricity than existing technologies. In addition, we are working to concentrate data traffic on a small number of data centers that are especially efficient. One indicator we use to keep track of efficiency improvements at our data centers is power usage effectiveness, or PUE. We determine PUE values in keeping with the method specified by the data-center standard EN50600. In order to measure our progress, we use also the key performance indicators (KPIs) “Energy Intensity” and “Carbon Intensity.”
Many of our products and services provide sustainability advantages. They can help reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, improve healthcare and make logistics more efficient. In addition to our own carbon footprint, we also calculate the positive CO2 effects facilitated for our customers through using our products and solutions. We correlate the two factors via the ESG KPI “Enablement Factor”. This helps us evaluate our overall performance in relation to climate protection. We aim to further improve our enablement factor by increasing sales of sustainable products and solutions and reducing our own emissions.
- GRI 305-5 (Emissions)
- The most important key figures for measuring and managing climate-related opportunities and risks
Our approach for a circular economy
As a service provider, we use considerably fewer resources than manufacturing companies. We do use some resources, however – day in and day out, at the workstations in our office facilities, in our Telekom Shops and in our data centers. Office supplies and materials for marketing are one area of resources use, for example. On the other hand, the resource consumption for the manufacturing and use of our products and network infrastructure occurs in both upstream and downstream stages of the value chain – with our suppliers and customers. This is why we are committed to ensuring that resources are used responsibly throughout our entire value chain. In this connection, we are taking a holistic approach to achieving a circular economy. We aim to make products and materials as durable as possible and to ensure they are always recycled at the end of their lifetimes.
Our effort to bring about a circular economy, along with a focus on “climate,” is the second main emphasis of the #GreenMagenta Program. Our approach in this area is holistic, covering the areas “Resource efficiency in operations,” “Green products & services” and “Waste prevention & recycling” (see graphic).
The basis: a certified management system
With our health, safety, and environmental management system (HSE), we have made a commitment to continually improving our performance in these areas. In the year under review, it was successfully recertified, for three more years, in accordance with the international standards ISO 45001 on occupational health and safety, ISO 14001 on environmental management, and ISO 9001 on quality management. Our environmental guideline summarizes all of the current voluntary ecological commitments in effect throughout the Group.
In the year under review, our European national companies (with the exception of our unit in Germany) set targets in the framework of our EU strategy for resource efficiency. Through 2024, the national companies plan to collect one million used mobile devices and keep them in the circular economy by refurbishing or recycling them. In addition, they are striving to ensure that no electronic waste produced by Deutsche Telekom’s national companies, and no returned devices, such as smartphones, routers or laptops, wind up in landfills – and that such waste and devices (where not refurbishable) is properly disposed or recycled as it would be in Germany (target: “Zero Waste for ICT to Landfill”). Furthermore, as of mid-2022 packaging for all Deutsche-Telekom-branded products launched on the market is to be sustainable, in keeping with our “Sustainability Packaging Guideline.” Also, by the end of 2022, packaging for over 90 percent of the smartphones sold by third-party providers is to be sustainable product packaging.
Measurement of progress
We are continually working to improve our performance indicators, with a view to enhancing review of our Group-wide progress. In the year under review, and in the framework of the #GreenMagenta Program, we developed a comprehensive new set of performance indicators. This has enabled us to set clear-cut goals and to report transparently on progress. Since 2021, for example, and in addition to using the ESG KPI “Take Back Mobile Devices,” we have been keeping records of the numbers of CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) we have collected. We measure progress in copper cable recycling with the KPI “Recovered copper cables.”
Reporting against standards
- GRI 306-2 (Waste)
Ecological sustainability program at T-Systems
As part of the Deutsche Telekom Group, T-Systems has also committed itself to the Group’s Group-wide climate targets and integrated sustainability into its strategy. T-Systems has set up its own program to these ends. Its fundamental areas and goals are:
Enablement of our customers
To support customers in making purchase decisions, T-Systems determines the ecological impacts of its products and services and provides this information transparently. For example, to determine the carbon footprints of products, T-Systems uses an impact measurement approach in accordance with the Group-wide Impact Measurement Blueprint, that also includes social and economic factors. It looks at the entire value chain. An important factor in impact measurement consists of the positive carbon-footprint impacts our customers realize through the use of T-Systems’ ICT products. To provide orientation for our product developers, T-Systems is currently creating a “Low Product Carbon Footprint Guideline.” The Guideline’s purpose is to assist developers in minimizing the carbon footprints of new and existing products. Such efforts have been paying off: In 2021, a market analysis of the Information Services Group (ISG) found T-Systems to be a “leader” in sustainability and decarbonization services in Germany and the Nordic countries.
In the year under review, T-Systems brought new offerings to the market that have a specific focus on sustainability on the customer side.
- With “Syrah Sustainability” software, for example, companies can monitor the development of their sustainability indicators. The software, which has dashboard functionality, and is oriented to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), assists companies in collecting and evaluating relevant data.
- The “Energy Dashboard”, which T-Systems is developing, is a tool for transparent emissions calculation. It shows customers the carbon footprint, in real time, of the IT infrastructure they are currently using.
- Also, T-Systems now offers “EcoShift”, an app for calculation of the carbon footprints related to employee commutes.
- In addition, in the year under review, Detecon International, a T-Systems subsidiary, further expanded its consulting area “Sustainability Consulting.” It supports companies comprehensively in sustainability-oriented activities, starting from the very early stages of their sustainability development and from the development of an environmental strategy.
Reducing our own ecological footprint
With a view to reducing its CO2 emissions in an effective way, T-Systems has determined a baseline figure for the base year 2019 and identified its largest emissions sources. In addition, it has initiated a range of further analyses, including impact assessments taking account of product-related emissions during products’ service lives, and including emissions generated on the customer side. These will identify areas that present particular potential for reducing the ecological footprint. In 2021, T-Systems intensified its interactions with hardware suppliers, with a view to reducing the carbon footprints of supplied components and to contributing to achievement of the Group’s climate goals.
CO2-emissions reductions in operations
The Group-wide conversion of all of the Group’s own buildings to renewable energy by the end of 2021 also extends to T-Systems’ data centers. The centers use electricity from renewable energies, and one data center in Spain is fitted with its own photovoltaic system. We are also gradually making the data centers more energy-efficient, with the aid of innovative technologies and artificial intelligence. For example, the well-water cooling system at the data center in Munich has been optimized with the help of an AI system. In 2021, T-Systems joined the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact. With this move, it has committed to making all of its own data centers, and the externally operated data centers within its sphere, climate neutral by 2030. Also, in the year under review, it launched a research initiative in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF, with the aim of developing measures to make its data-center operations more sustainable. This effort also extends to the overall aim of enabling data centers to become energy self-sufficient, via intelligent interaction between renewable energy generation, power storage and flexible management of current loads.
Raising employee awareness
Employees also play an important role in reducing our carbon footprint at T-Systems. To this end, T-Systems is reducing business travel and relying on videoconferencing for meetings. In addition, the company’s employees, at all of its production sites, and in all countries in which it is located, are being made more aware of the need to think and act with an orientation to sustainability (the company is doing this, for example, by promoting alternative mobility solutions, participating in “action days” focused on sustainability, participating in sustainability-oriented workshops, and providing information about ways to reduce power and resources consumption). These efforts are being supported by employee initiatives focused on sustainability, such as the “Green Team” in Brazil and a sustainability program in Hungary that has over 80 “green volunteers.”
T-Systems is aiming to make its fleet of vehicles more sustainable – with the help, in particular, of greater reliance on e-mobility. In February 2022, it published a revised “e-car-only car policy” that defines additional steps toward greener mobility.