Our approach to energy-efficient networks

We operate our own fixed-line and mobile networks in Europe and the United States. The majority of our energy requirements come from operating this network infrastructure. To handle growing amounts of data and improve the speed and quality of data transmission, we continuously increase the capacity and performance of our networks. To ensure that our energy consumption grows much less than the amounts of data transmitted, we are pursuing various approaches:

  • We are updating our network infrastructure, e.g., by migrating the fixed network to IP img technology and removing equipment we no longer need, such as 3G img antennas. The 3G network was switched off in Germany on June 30, 2021.
  • We have established specifications and requirements that firmly anchor energy efficiency in the architecture and design phase when selecting new technologies.
  • We use energy-efficient technology for our networks. This also applies to the lighting, monitoring and, above all, cooling of our plants.
  • The energy management practices of our internal energy service provider Power & Air Solutions have been ISO 50001 certified since 2013.
  • We are optimizing energy efficiency throughout the entire supply chain for all locations of Telekom Technik, thereby reducing our carbon footprint.
  • We are expanding our use of photovoltaic systems at Deutsche Telekom locations. In the process, we are emphasizing use of power storage systems and intelligent load management. Power & Air Solutions is testing innovative technologies such as fuel cells; energy generation from waste heat, via gas turbines; and ice-storage systems for support of mechanical cooling systems.
  • Also, in the framework of our energy management in Germany, we work to reduce the energy requirements of our buildings. We continuously monitor consumption values and use this data to identify potential for improving efficiency.
  • In 2020, we published an energy guideline applicable throughout the Group. It helps our national companies implement our Climate Strategy. The guideline compiles selected measures and proposed solutions for better energy efficiency, including operational energy-saving functions, optimized energy management, decommissioning of legacy systems, and/or the use of more energy-efficient technologies. In the year under review, we reviewed how the energy guideline is being implemented in practice, by studying use cases involving individual projects. We found that marked positive effects are already being achieved.

We are also aiming to stabilize our energy consumption by 2024. To achieve this goal, in spite of growing data traffic and our ongoing network expansion, we plan to double our energy efficiency, or the ratio of our network data traffic to the electricity required to move it. In a Group-wide technology-innovation project, we are studying and developing new ways of making our network operations even more energy-efficient and sustainable. In the process, we are looking especially carefully at the areas of energy transport, energy availability, and energy efficiency. For example, we plan to reduce the energy consumed in our mobile-network operations, and to develop solutions for energy-autonomous cellular base stations. The results of these efforts will help us promote energy-efficiency and energy-saving measures in Germany and Europe. In the same vein, some of our European national companies have already been able to reduce their energy consumption via network modernizations.

Solutions from our Group-wide innovation projects also enter into our “PLASMA” (only available in German) project, which was launched in 2018. Its aim is to reduce our electricity consumption – and thereby lower our electricity costs – in a lasting way, throughout Germany. We have been carrying out various optimization measures to this end. For example, we have been gradually replacing the aging rectifier systems at our central offices with systems that are more energy efficient. In 2021, we achieved our project goal in this area, and thereby lowered Telekom Deutschland's energy consumption by 274 GWh per year. That figure is equivalent to the annual consumption of about 68 000 four-person households.

Since 2020, we have been a member of the Solar Impulse Foundation (SIF) 1000+ Solutions Alliance. The aim of the SIF is to identify more than 1 000 solutions that tackle environmental problems – especially as a result of climate change. For Deutsche Telekom, the focus is on developing technologies for the ICT img industry that have a positive impact on reducing CO2 emissions, on energy management and energy efficiency, and on collecting and recycling digital devices. In addition, SIF not only supports the development of solutions like these; it also certifies them. In 2020, it recognized a solution used by Deutsche Telekom in Germany, and its partner Cloud&Heat, to cool servers using an innovative water cooling system.

Heinz-Gerd Peters

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Heinz-Gerd Peters

ESG KPI “Energy Intensity” DT Group KPI

Since 2016, we have reported on the ESG img KPI “Energy Intensity.” In contrast to the existing “Energy Consumption”, the new ESG KPI shows energy consumption in proportion to the transmitted data volumes. Using data volume as a reference parameter makes it possible to create a direct link to the performance of our networks.

Our ambition: decrease KPI

Energy intensity ESG KPI Deutsche Telekom Group

  Data assured by PwC. Data is partly based on estimates, assumptions and projections. 

The ESG KPI also takes into account total energy consumption for all energy sources – fuel, gas, district heating and electricity. The data volume is composed of the transmitted IP img data volumes (including Voice over IP, Internet, IP-TV).

a) The value for 2019 was corrected compared to the information published in the previous year's report. The subsequent correction results from late notifications for natural gas consumption at Magyar Telekom Hungary and T-Mobile Austria.

Reporting against standards

 

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 302-3 (Energy)

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD img)

  • The most important key figures for measuring and managing climate-related opportunities and risks

German Sustainability Code

  • Criterion 12 (Resource Management)

Global Compact

  • Principle 7 (Support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges)

European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS)

  • E01-01 (Energy consumption)

ESG KPI “Energy Intensity” DT Group in Germany KPI

Since 2016, we have reported on the ESG img KPI “Energy Intensity.” In contrast to the existing “Energy Consumption,” the new ESG KPI shows energy consumption in proportion to the transmitted data volumes. Using data volume as a reference parameter makes it possible to create a direct link to the performance of our networks.

Energy intensity ESG KPI DT Group in Germany

   Data assured by PwC. Data is partly based on estimates, assumptions and extrapolations.

The ESG KPI also takes into account total energy consumption for all energy sources – fuel, gas, district heating and electricity. The data volume is composed of the transported IP img data volumes (including IP telephone, internet, IP-TV).

   

Reporting against standards

 

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 302-3 (Energy)

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD img)

  • The most important key figures for measuring and managing climate-related opportunities and risks

German Sustainability Code

  • Criterion 12 (Resource Management)

Global Compact

  • Principle 7 (Support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges)
  • Principle 8 (Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility)

European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS)

  • E01-01 (Energy consumption)

Total energy consumption KPI

Total energy consumption increased by 4 percent year over year. The slight increase resulted from higher electricity consumption due to network expansion and growing data volumes.

Data verified by PwC. Data is partly based on estimates, assumptions and projections. Some of the data originates from external service providers.

Reporting against standards

 

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 302-1 (Energy)

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD img)

  • The most important key figures for measuring and managing climate-related opportunities and risks

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

  • Code TC-TL-130a.1 (Environmental Footprint of Operations)

German Sustainability Code

  • Criterion 11 (Usage of Natural Resources)

European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS)

  • E01-01 (Energy consumption)

ESG KPI “PUE” – lower CO2 consumption in data centers KPI

We are reducing the CO2 emissions of our data centers by optimizing energy consumption and improving processes at the individual data center sites. The Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE img) metric serves as one indicator for energy-efficiency enhancements in our data centers. We determine this metric using the method recommended by the standard EN50600 for data centers, which has to take the total energy consumed by data centers into account – and not only that used to operate the servers. The PUE factor img is calculated using the ratio between the total electrical energy consumed by the data center and the amount of electrical energy consumed by IT.

In 2021, the global PUE score for our T‑Systems data centers was 1.58. For our data centers in Germany, we reduced the PUE from 1.85 in 2008 to 1.49 in 2021; this value is significantly below the average for all data centers in Germany, which is around 1.8. Our most-efficient highly available data center has a PUE of 1.3. This will allow us to compensate, in part, for increases in IT systems' energy requirements as a result of growing volumes of data and of new features.

Data centers are becoming more energy-efficient
As part of the DC11@2018 program, we worked until the end of 2018 to combine data center capacity worldwide in FMO (Future Mode of Operation) data centers with the latest IT technology and hence improved energy efficiency. Physical data center consolidation (reducing data center space and sites) was combined with logical consolidation (virtualizing IT infrastructure). Within the scope of the physical consolidation, we decommissioned several old data centers in Germany.

The follow-up program “Data Center Next” was launched in 2019. Our aim is to further homogenize and virtualize the IT landscape, and to optimize utilization of the data center infrastructure according to IT requirements. The Data Center Next program is making use of efficiency-enhancing options, such as selective cooling of individual areas, and temperature increases within allowed ranges – always in conformance with defined thresholds. With such efforts, we plan to achieve efficiency improvements across the board.

A majority of our high-availability, modern internal FMO twin-core data centers were included in the “EU Code of Conduct on Data Centre Energy Efficiency” (EU CoC) at the end of 2020. We therefore already meet, to a large extent, what is likely to be a future criterion of the new European regulation for sustainable business (EU Taxonomy). At the same time, we are working to further optimize energy efficiency in all data centers.

Data centers are becoming more energy-efficient

Reporting against standards

 

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

  • Code TC-TL-130a.1 (Environmental Footprint of Operations)

Compliance with the EU Code of Conduct on Data Centre Energy Efficiency

The European Union (EU) introduced the “EU Code of Conduct on Data Centre Energy Efficiency” in 2008. Its goal is to motivate operators and owners of data centers to reduce energy consumption and hence its negative impact on the environment, the economy, and energy supply security. Companies can join this voluntary initiative, which T-Systems did in 2014. The related EU Commission page provides transparent, detailed information about the participation of individual data centers.

We currently operate a total of 16 FMO twin-core data centers in Europe at eight FMO twin-core sites – eight internally and six externally – in addition to four local customer-specific data centers. In 2021, six of our eight internal European FMO twin-core data centers, and one external FMO twin-core data center, were included in the “EU Code of Conduct” list. By taking part in the “EU Code of Conduct,” T-Systems meets what is expected to be an important criterion for achievement of Taxonomy-conformity under the new regulatory initiative for sustainable business activities (EU Taxonomy). More information about our commitment in the framework of the EU Taxonomy is available here.

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