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2022 Corporate Responsibility Report

EU taxonomy: compliance

The EU Taxonomy img Regulation is the outcome of a European regulatory initiative. The goal of the Regulation is to promote investment in companies that are managed responsibly and that are involved in sustainable economic activities. The EU taxonomy aims to create a uniform understanding of which activities and investments are sustainable. For this, the European Commission has defined clear criteria with exact metrics. This is intended to help investors to assess whether a company in which they want to invest operates sustainably. Since 2021, the businesses affected have had an obligation to report on how much of their turnover comes from the economic activities covered by the EU taxonomy. In addition, companies must disclose the extent to which they invest in these economic activities, and what level of operating expenditure is associated with these activities.

Six environmental objectives 
The first criteria regarding which economic activities are to be classed as environmentally sustainable in accordance with the EU taxonomy were agreed in 2021. They apply to the taxonomy environmental objectives “climate change mitigation” and “climate change adaptation.” The taxonomy includes further environmental objectives in the areas of “the sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources,” “the transition to a circular economy,” “pollution prevention and control,” and “the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.” The European Commission has not yet published any criteria for these objectives, however.

The EU taxonomy distinguishes between economic activities that are “taxonomy-eligible” and “taxonomy-aligned”:

  • “Taxonomy-eligible” economic activities are those activities for which concrete sustainability criteria are listed in the taxonomy (Annexes I and II of the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/2139). 
  • “Taxonomy-aligned” economic activities meet these criteria in full. To be taxonomy-aligned, an economic activity must make a substantial contribution to one of these six environmental objectives while at the same time avoiding any negative impact on other objectives (the principle of “do no significant harm” or DNSH). In addition, the company must meet the minimum social standards defined in the Taxonomy Regulation. The diagram below provides a summary of the taxonomy requirements:

Requirements of the EU taxonomy = Taxonomy-eligible economic activities

Taxonomy-aligned economic activities

Substantial contribution
Do no
significant harm
Compliance with
minimum safeguards

Substantial contribution
to at least one of the six environmental objectives of the EU taxonomy:

  1. Climate change mitigation
  2. Climate change adaptation
  3. The sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources
  4. The transition to a circular economy
  5. Pollution prevention and control
  6. The protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems

Do no significant harm
An activity can only be considered to contribute to one of the six objectives if it has no other significant negative environmental impact (DNSH principle).

Compliance with minimum safeguards
The minimum safeguards are social requirements in accordance with

  • the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises,
  • the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,
  • the Core Labour Standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO),
  • and other requirements of European legislation.
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Implementation at Deutsche Telekom 
The following economic activities carried out by Deutsche Telekom are currently taxonomy-eligible (the activity numbers refer to Annex I of the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/2139, which lists the criteria for the taxonomy environmental objective “climate change mitigation”):

A complete overview of the economic activities that are currently part of the EU taxonomy is available using the EU Taxonomy Compass.

All activities identified as taxonomy-eligible were checked for their taxonomy alignment. A taxonomy criterion that applies to all activities is the climate risk analysis. This was carried out at Group level and no significant climate risks were identified in association with the taxonomy-eligible activities. However, the management of climate risks is still under development in the United States operating segment and in the national companies in Greece and Hungary and does not yet meet the taxonomy requirements in full. Therefore taxonomy-eligible activities that are allocable to the United States operating segment and our national companies in Greece and Hungary are reported as non-taxonomy-aligned for the reporting year. We ensure compliance with minimum social standards for all taxonomy-eligible activities through a Group-wide management system. The standards refer to the OECD img Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, including the ILO img Core Conventions and the International Bill of Human Rights. We perform our human-rights-related due diligence obligations using a risk-based management system encompassing both the Group and our supply chain. We also maintain a process of trust-based dialog with employees’ representatives and trade unions.

You will find comprehensive information on checking for taxonomy alignment in the relevant sections of the CR Report and the non-financial statement in our Annual Report

The following table provides an overview of our taxonomy-aligned economic activities for the reporting year. It breaks the figures down into both absolute values and the applicable percentage of Group turnover, capital expenditure, and operating expenditure. 

EU taxonomy KPIs – taxonomy-eligibility and -alignment of the economic activities of the Deutsche Telekom Group  

Deutsche Telekom Group in 2022
  Turnover Capital expenditure Operating expenditure
  millions of € % millions of € % millions of € %
Relevant total figures for the Group 114 197 100.0 38 486 100.0 404 100.0
Of which: taxonomy-eligible 2 063 1.8 310 0.8 135 33.5
  Of which: taxonomy-aligned activites 565 0.5 0 0.0 2 0.4
  8.2 Data-driven solutions for GHG emissions reductions 565 0.5 0 0.0 2 0.4
  Of which: non-taxonomy-aligned activities 1 498 1.3 310 0.8 134 33.1
  8.1 Data processing and hosting 1 124 1.0 171 0.4 77 19.0
  8.2 Data-driven solutions for GHG emissions reductions 364 0.3 3 0.0 57 14.1
  6.15 Infrastructure enabling low carbon road transport and public transport 10 0.0 5 0.0 0 0.0
  6.5 Transport by motorbikes, passenger cars, and light commercial vehicles 0 0.0 130 0.3 0 0.0
Of which: non-taxonomy-eligible activities 112 134 98.2 38 176 99.2 269 66.5

The total Group figures used as the basis for calculation in accordance with the EU taxonomy in the reporting year amounted to EUR 114.2 billion (turnover), EUR 38.5 billion (capital expenditure), and EUR 0.4 billion (operating expenditure). The turnover and capital expenditure were determined on the basis of the consolidated financial statements. In line with the EU taxonomy regulations, the disclosures on capital expenditure do not form part of a capital expenditure (capex img) plan that is part of a plan to expand taxonomy-eligible economic activities. Operating expenditure relevant to the EU taxonomy represents only a small proportion of total operating expenditure. This includes costs that relate to research and development; building remediation measures; short-term leases; maintenance and repair; and any other direct expenditures relating to the day-to-day maintenance of property, plant and equipment. You will find more information on the reporting principles and KPIs for the EU taxonomy in the non-financial statement in our Annual Report.

As Deutsche Telekom’s core business is not yet adequately covered by the criteria in the EU taxonomy, an aggregate view of the taxonomy eligibility of all economic activities results again in 2022 in very low proportions of taxonomy-eligible turnover (1.8 percent), capital expenditure (0.8 percent), and operating expenditure (33 percent) for the Deutsche Telekom Group.

In the 2022 financial year, the taxonomy-aligned proportion of all economic activities of the Deutsche Telekom Group was 0.5 percent of turnover, 0.0 percent of capital expenditure, and 0.4 percent of operating expenditure. The taxonomy-aligned proportion is attributable to economic activity 8.2 Data-driven solutions for GHG emissions reductions.

For the Systems Solutions operating segment (T-Systems) the taxonomy-aligned proportion of turnover was 12.3 percent, 0.1 percent of capital expenditure, and 0.8 percent of operating expenditure. We plan to increase the taxonomy alignment of our economic activities on a continual basis. You will find further information in the sections on taxonomy activity 8.1 and taxonomy activity 8.2

Silke Thomas

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Silke Thomas