Digital society

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Our approach to digital participation (access, affordability, ability) and digital values

As a provider of digital infrastructure, we run our operations based on the principle of digital responsibility. As society becomes increasingly digital, we at Deutsche Telekom are making strenuous efforts to ensure everyone can participate in the digital world and lead their lives alongside each other on the basis of democratic principles. That is why we are working to facilitate digital participation and promote democratic values in our digital society. To ensure we can achieve these objectives across our Group, we have anchored them as a key topic of our CR strategy

Digital technologies have spread through virtually every aspect of our society and are becoming increasingly important in both our professional and private lives. Even our very participation in society is increasingly being conducted through digital media. In a society based firmly on equality of opportunity, everyone has access to the essential technology and digital products and services. When people decide not to participate in the digital world, that should happen solely as the result of free choice – and not due to a lack of financial means or the requisite know-how, for example. 

If everyone is to have an equal opportunity to participate in the digital society, then the following conditions must be met – everyone must have access to essential technology, products, and services that they can afford under their financial circumstances. What’s more, everyone should be able to, and be prepared to, get involved in society on the internet and to do so in a responsible manner. Based on this vision, we see digital participation as having three dimensions:

We are continuously building out our network to enable technical access. To this end, we also cooperate with partners – especially in more remote areas. Also, we are pressing ahead with the development of equipment and products for various demographics. The “nora” Notruf App img (“nora” emergency-call app), for example, which offers one-tap emergency calling – and is intended especially for people with hearing and speech impairments – is based on a patent of Deutsche Telekom. Making our products and services as accessible as possible is an increasingly important aspect of what we do. We drafted the Design for All guide in the reporting year. This guide is designed to ensure the needs of as many different people as possible are factored into the development of new products and services – in a way that goes beyond the legal obligations related to accessibility.

Our range of rate plans includes plans for just about any budget. We also offer subsidized rates (only available in German), affordable smartphones and tablets, and reduced basic charges – for schools, for example. Through this approach, we are attempting to make access to the digital world affordable for all and are trying to drive forward digitalization in education. Further information can be found here.

We help people to navigate the internet safely, competently, and confidently and offer free, easy-to-understand, and entertaining materials and formats on the many and varied aspects of media literacy.

We promote digital participation based on these three factors by pursuing a wide range of projects and initiatives.

Besides our commitment to digital participation, we also champion democratic values in the digital world. These are more important than ever in uncertain times such as these, dominated as they are by climate change, wars and conflicts in many parts of the world, the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, high inflation even in countries with otherwise stable currencies, and growing and novel cases of cybercrime. Those are just some of the examples of events that create a sense of uncertainty in society. Conspiracy theories, disinformation as a means of manipulating public opinion, and hate speech are all becoming increasingly prevalent. We stand for diversity, tolerance, equal opportunities, social cohesion, and ultimately democratic values in our digital society. We pursue a wide range of projects and initiatives aimed at promoting democratic competence, opinion forming, and media literacy and we take a firm stance against manipulation, marginalization, and hate on the internet. 

We measure the impact of our activities throughout the Group with a set of three ESG img KPIs. Since 2021, we have anchored our focus topics even more firmly in our KPIs:

  • The Community Contribution ESG KPI maps our commitment in terms of financial, human, and material resources.
  • The Reach – Focus Topics ESG KPI shows the number of people and media contacts we have reached with our communication on our focus topics of “digital society” (with the subtopics “digital participation” and “digital values”) and “low-carbon and circular society.”
  • The Beneficiaries – Focus Topics ESG KPI shows the number of people who are benefiting from our commitment to the focal topics of “digital society” and “low-carbon and circular society.”

Our measures are also based on the Sustainable Development Goals img (SDGs) of the United Nations. We have listed the activities with which we are pursuing SDGs in an overview.


Digital participation through Design for All

We want to promote accessible and non-discriminatory access to our products and services so that people have even better, easier, and faster access to them. In this way, we are contributing to the access dimension of digital participation. We are striving to ensure our product development process is shaped by diversity by factoring in differing physical and mental abilities as well as other types of diversity such as age, gender, ethnic origin, and nationality. In adopting this approach, we are going beyond the legal obligations related to accessibility. We believe that Design for All is an opportunity for every one of us to be able to achieve maximum participation in the digital world. 

As early as 2009, Deutsche Telekom MMS GmbH founded a competence center for accessibility and software ergonomics that is now the biggest in Germany and provides professional consultancy services to companies. To ensure our own products and services contribute toward our aims, the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management decided in July 2022 to roll out the Design for All approach. During the reporting year, we then developed the Design for All guide and published it internally. Furthermore, we have started work on a matching training concept that will help our employees better grasp the principles of Design for All and help build awareness. This training concept is to be made available to all employees in the form of web-based training. In the reporting year, the competence center developed a “Design for All” audit img that takes other diversity dimensions into account in addition to accessibility requirements. This helps companies to optimize their products for the most diverse target groups possible.

To ensure all activities within the scope of Design for All take account of affected individuals and relevant stakeholders img, we also set up a Sounding Board in the reporting year. This panel includes both internal experts and external representatives of organizations that work primarily on aspects of diversity that are relevant to the guide. The Sounding Board met for the first time in September 2023.


Digital participation through media literacy

We view media literacy as the key to safe and competent interactions with digital media and a crucial skill for our work and private lives. It begins with basic skills in using media and extends all the way to safeguarding privacy and dealing with hate and disinformation. Another aspect of media literacy that is important to us is the promotion of more sustainable approaches to technology and efforts to help people utilize digital solutions to protect biodiversity, cut carbon emissions, and economize on resources. In this way, we are contributing to the ability dimension of digital participation.

Our Teachtoday initiative supports children, young people, parents, and grandparents as well as teaching professionals with hands-on tips and materials about safe, proficient media usage. The materials are available at in seven languages (German, English, Croatian, Montenegrin, Polish, Romanian, and Hungarian).

Digital learning plays a particularly important role now that digital schooling and remote learning have become an even bigger part of students’ day-to-day lives. The continually expanding digital toolbox, which was published in 2020 and now comprises over 140 different formats, including product ideas, video tutorials, and fascinating quizzes, is designed for adults who have contact – either in schools, in learning groups, or in their own private lives – with children and young people between the ages of 9 and 16. 

The Teachtoday Academy, meanwhile, is a platform for adults who want to expand their knowledge and skills in various areas of digital education. During the reporting year, we carried forward our successful #TAKEPART stories in the Teachtoday Academy. These stories center on a practical approach to socially relevant aspects of digitalization and were made available to all as new interactive learning formats. 

We take a holistic view of sustainability and therefore utilize Teachtoday not just to promote social cohesion but also to raise awareness of issues such as the climate, biodiversity, and the circular economy. In 2023, Teachtoday called on children and young people to participate in the Europe-wide “Off to the umbels” challenge and heighten their awareness of biodiversity. The initiative aimed to encourage participants to use their smartphones to engage with the environment around them, discover the crucial role played by insects, and play their part in protecting both. 

Teachtoday also has its own YouTube channel (only available in German), on which it presents short, catchy videos about safe, proficient internet use, along with complete workshops on subjects such as how to use the toolbox.

SCROLLER, an online magazine for children aged 9 to 12, teaches media literacy using age-appropriate language. Thanks to its interactive web format, the magazine has a completely up-to-date look and feel, and it is suitable, as a learning and reading tool, both for solitary use and for group exercises. Via the additional SCROLLER EDU+ area, which links directly with the magazine’s features, teachers can access background information and learning resources for classroom and online instruction. The first edition in 2023, “Artificial Intelligence”, focused on a responsible and creative approach to using artificial Intelligence (AI) and provided insights into the opportunities that AI already offers us. This edition also flagged the challenges that AI can bring, such as disinformation, bias in programming, and breaches of privacy and copyright law. The second edition in 2023 “Digital.Nachhaltig.Gestalten.“ (“Digital.Sustainable.Design.”) took sustainability as its main theme.

Both the Teachtoday portal and SCROLLER won multiple awards in the reporting year. 

“AwareNessi – the fantastic security activity book”
“AwareNessi – the fantastic security activity book” from Deutsche Telekom is a magazine aimed primarily at children aged 8 to 14, but its playful and entertaining approach also explains the dangers of the internet to the adults in their lives. AwareNessi aims to highlight how important it is to protect your data and be respectful to each other online. Issues of this magazine on how to safely handle information and data are available in up to 16 languages, which shows that Deutsche Telekom is sharing these vital insights across a variety of countries.

In our Group-wide DIGITAL@School initiative and corporate community, we help children take an active, self-reliant role in shaping the digital age. Some 750 DIGITAL@School volunteers are giving their time to schools, and other educational institutions, in a range of in-person and online assistance formats. With age-appropriate approaches, they are helping to inspire children to take an interest in STEM img (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects and in programming languages. In addition, they teach skills that children need in order to use digital media responsibly. DIGITAL@School also supports Germany’s Girls’Day initiative, which is aimed specifically at girls at secondary school, and stages workshops that are run by employees on this special day.  

In 2023, the corporate volunteers of the DIGITAL@School community held a total of 79 events. These ranged from one-off and regular workshops in regional educational establishments to large-scale events such as the DIGITAL@School Campus in Bonn that attracted up to 3 000 visitors over two days in November. The overarching goal of these events was to offer young people a fun opportunity to find out more about robotics, programming, media literacy, and digital technologies. They also gave participants a chance to try out creative ways of using artificial intelligence (AI). In total, more than 9 000 children, adults, and educators took part in DIGITAL@School events. The efforts of our corporate volunteers in the reporting year were also recognized with the Telekom Team Award in the “Act with respect and integrity” category. 

What’s more, DIGITAL@School has been given the #GoodMagenta label for its social commitment. The initiative was launched in 2017 as IT@School. It then grew throughout the Group, and was renamed DIGITAL@School at the end of 2021.  

Deutsche Telekom Stiftung’s commitment
The educational foundation Deutsche Telekom Stiftung is working, via numerous programs and projects, to help improve education in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). It supports children and young people aged 6 to 18 in learning important skills for life both in and out of school. Along with STEM-related skills, the skills in question include critical thinking, good judgment and discernment, creativity, and communication and teamworking skills. The foundation provides such support out of the conviction that a modern education system must give young people the best possible preparation for meeting global challenges such as digital transformation, climate change, electromobility, and biodiversity.

“Digital Crime – Auf digitaler Spurensuche” podcast
We have been publishing our podcast series “Digital Crime – Auf digitaler Spurensuche” (Digital Crime – On the digital trail) on all well-known podcast channels since 2021. While the first two seasons feature people talking about the hate they have encountered in the digital world, the third and fourth seasons explore all aspects of cybersecurity and cybercrime by focusing on real-life cases. Listeners are also given helpful tips and tricks for dealing with cyberattacks of all types.

Collaboration to promote digital competence
In 2023, Deutsche Telekom once again participated in Digitaltag (Digital Day) with a range of campaigns and as a partner. Digitaltag is part of the Digital für alle (Digital for Everyone) initiative, which focuses on the issue of how everyone in Germany can get a better understanding of digital developments and benefit from them. Digitaltag uses a whole range of formats to explain what digitalization is and really bring it to life for people. The event took digital skills as its main theme in the reporting year and was held under the slogan “Digitalisierung: Entdecken. Verstehen.” (Digitalization: Discover. Understand.). We contributed in a number of ways, such as by staging an interactive Teachtoday online workshop on “AI for all” that highlighted the risks and potential of AI and by organizing a live link-up to the workshops of the Deutsche Telekom Seniors’ Academy, where seniors can take a deeper dive into the digital world. Moreover, we joined the Digital für alle initiative on its search for innovative AI projects in 2023 and presented a public award for digital social cohesion in the special category of AI and Democracy. The award recognized projects that contribute to an inclusive and responsible digital future while also strengthening democratic principles. 

We also cooperate with various universities, with a view to supporting current research and promoting digital literacy. For example, via Telekom Laboratories (T-Labs img), we finance several endowed chairs at TU Berlin which are oriented to the teaching of digital topics. Additional information on research and development is available here.

In addition, we are working, in cooperation with the German National Association of Senior Citizens’ Organisations (BAGSO) and the Deutsche Seniorenliga (German Seniors’ League; only available in German) to promote media literacy among seniors and have lent our support as a partner to the Goldener Internetpreis (Golden Internet Prize; only available in German), which has been presented since 2012. The prize is awarded to committed individuals, initiatives, and municipalities that are working to inspire seniors to go online – and to assist them in doing so. In another effort in this context, we serve on the advisory board of Digital-Kompass (only available in German), a joint project of BAGSO and the association Deutschland sicher im Netz e.V. (DsiN – Germany secure online). Digital-Kompass provides resources and digital “round table” meeting formats for internet guides who help seniors navigate the online world. In addition to our online activities, we also organize offerings locally. Within the framework of the Deutsche Telekom Seniors’ Academy, for example, we hold seminars and workshops on using digital devices. Through these events, we aim to make it easier for interested seniors to start to explore the digital world by showing them empathy, passing on skills, and making the whole process fun. 

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Digital values

As we move toward a digital society, we are making strenuous efforts to ensure everyone can participate in that society and live together on the basis of democratic principles. We run a diverse range of campaigns, initiatives, and projects to promote democratic values such as diversity, tolerance, equal opportunities, and social cohesion. We also speak out loud and clear against the manipulation of public opinion, marginalization, and hate speech on the internet. We work closely with non-governmental organizations in these areas and are constantly aware of the special protection that needs to be afforded to children as we shape a digital society that is based on democratic principles.

United against hate speech
Our No Hate Speech initiative, which we launched in Germany in the summer of 2020, continued in 2023. Through this initiative, we aim to raise awareness in society and enable people to put into practice and defend fundamental democratic values online. We are advocating for an internet in which everyone can utilize the opportunities of the digital world – without having to fear marginalization or hate speech.

During the reporting year, this initiative centered on the theme of “No hate speech – we decide!” According to a recent Forsa study, the proportion of users who have encountered hate speech on the internet has stayed at a consistently high level of 76 percent over the last five years. However, only one in four users has ever responded actively and critically to a hateful comment with what is known as counterspeech. In our TV advertisement, which has been broadcast since July 2023, we show what even just one single positive comment against hate speech on the internet can achieve. By making our own contributions and supporting those targeted by hate speech, we can make a clear decision to act against hate speech on the internet. Our TV advertisement was supported by partners including #ichbinhier (I am here), HateAid, Freunde fürs Leben (Friends for life), and Nummer gegen Kummer (a counseling helpline).

We also participated in a joint campaign with FC Bayern München in the reporting year. This included two TV advertisements that depicted realistic hate comments and called for a stronger stance. Also, with our own measures aimed at online civil courage, we call on society to support us in this commitment. 

In 2023, as part of the No Hate Speech campaign, we also worked with the esports player foundation to develop the FIFA Fairplay Guide. This compact guide sets out all the key rules regarding fairness and sporting spirit in the FIFA PC and console game. The objectives and rules of the guide were drawn up by the FIFA community in a process that included three public live streams with various big-name players, content creators, and streamers from the industry. In addition to covering how players should conduct themselves in certain game scenarios, the guide also addresses basic principles for dealing with hate speech and abuse on the internet.

Besides calling on society to take a stand, our initiative also assigns a great deal of importance to supporting those who are affected by these issues. Furthermore, we support other initiatives that specifically oppose marginalization and we cooperate with NGOs that work toward our goal of strengthening democracy and coexistence amid diversity. We showcase a number of these initiatives and organizations in our Topic special

In partnership with the #ichbinhier (I am here; only available in German) association, we run various workshops about online civil courage that are aimed at promoting a more constructive approach to communication on digital platforms. Participation in the workshops is open to everyone. In the reporting year, we placed a special emphasis on  civil courage online in the face of hate targeted specifically at people who are perceived to be female and at climate activists. In addition to these workshops, Deutsche Telekom also commissioned #ichbinhier to provide training during the reporting year to full-time and voluntary communities such as cultural institutions, conservation initiatives, charities, and sports associations.

In 2023, our No Hate Speech initiative generated approximately 865 million media contacts and reached 5.7 million people either directly or through opinion leaders such as parents and educators (for instance, through workshops). The total number of people reached in 2022 was four million. We also once again received multiple awards for No Hate Speech in the reporting year. 

Furthermore, it is important to us that No Hate Speech has a high profile both outside and inside our company. That is why we worked with the Business Council for Democracy (BC4D) in the reporting year to run a training course for 25 opinion leaders from various parts of the Group. Among others, representatives from the Customer Service, Training, and Communications departments, from the Works Council, and from corporate communities such as DIGITAL@School and Green Pioneers took part. Eight training units were staged that dealt with the topics of hate speech, disinformation, and conspiracy theories on the internet. The aim of the training was to enable participants to take an active role themselves and disseminate what they had learned about the issues throughout the company.

In 2023, when it ran its ShareWithCare campaign, Deutsche Telekom joined an international debate about sharing photographs of children online. The campaign generated more than 250 million media contacts with its fictitious story about Ella, which portrayed a very real problem known as “sharenting.” This term (a mix of “sharing” and “parenting”) refers to the posting of photos and videos of children in social networks. Internet users who do this could unintentionally expose children to the risk of profiling by data brokers, hacking, facial recognition, pedophile crimes, and other privacy and security threats. However, only very few people are aware of these dangers. This was illustrated in a recent survey with parents of children aged between 0 and 14 carried out on behalf of Deutsche Telekom. Through ShareWithCare, we aim to raise awareness of the need to protect photographs of children and their personal data on the internet and to provide assistance in doing just that. We support parents by providing further information through Teachtoday and with the aid of our partner DsiN (Germany secure online). In the reporting year, we published a guide entitled “Kinder sicher im Netz” (Keeping children safe on the internet) in collaboration with DsiN to provide information about digital rights for children, risks, and how to stay safe online. Find out more about digital youth protection here

During the reporting year, we also continued our commitment to promoting civil courage and constructive dialog on gaming platforms. Together with the esports organization SK Gaming and the esports player foundation, we launched the initiative #equalesports in 2021 to promote greater diversity in esports and gaming. The initiative aims to support the participation of women and non-binary people, who are particularly frequent targets of hostility, in professional and amateur sports. In September 2023, we also worked with both partners to stage the third Equal eSports Festival, once again as part of the DIGITAL X trade fair in Cologne. Held over two days, the festival addressed diversity, esports, and digital education in workshops, panel discussions, and other event formats. The highlight of our #equalesports activities in the reporting year was the Equal eSports Cup. This tournament took place over a number of months, with the final being staged at the festival. It was aimed at all female and non-binary players.


United States segment: digital equity

T-Mobile US fundamentally believes that access to connectivity and the digital skills to navigate our world have become two of the most important differentiators of societal equity today. That’s why the segment is empowering people with the essential connections, tools, and skills needed to succeed in today’s digital world. Digital empowerment is also a key focus area of the ESG img approach at T-Mobile US.

Access and affordability
T-Mobile US built its network to deliver the best 5G experience while providing affordable options to families in order to support a more connected, equitable future. In today’s digital world, being disconnected presents unfair hurdles and roadblocks to everyday life. T-Mobile US has addressed this critical issue by making significant investments in programs and initiatives that make connectivity more accessible and affordable. It also invests in essential digital equity and literacy programs with various communities and organizations. 

Project 10Million
Project 10Million is a USD 10.7 billion commitment by T-Mobile US to help end the digital divide in education. This program was launched in 2020 and provides free Internet service and free mobile hotspots to under-connected households with school-aged children. The aim is to offer up to 10 million eligible households. In 2023, T-Mobile US once again worked with school districts, extracurricular programs, and local communities to offer free and affordable Internet access to connect schools and students nationwide. As a result of its education initiatives, T-Mobile US had connected over 5.8 million students through the end of 2023.

T-Mobile US works to leverage local and national partnerships with organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, to promote awareness of the program and to simplify registration.

5G access for all
Developed in partnership with Google, the T-Mobile US REVVL line provides customers with affordable and feature-packed 5G smartphones. In 2023, the company also introduced a tablet to its REVVL lineup for the first time. The devices provide a budget option to help make 5G accessible on a broad scale.

Connecting our Heroes
The 10-year commitment by T-Mobile US provides free service and 5G access to first responder agencies – all public and non-profit state and local fire, 911, police and EMS departments – creating huge savings for participating agencies.

Extending a welcome to refugees with Welcome.US
In early 2022, T-Mobile US’ Mike Sievert joined 35 other CEOs to form the Welcome.US CEO Council. This public/private partnership provides refugees being resettled in the US with products, services, job training, and employment opportunities. As a part of this partnership, T-Mobile US pledged to contribute up to 200 000 lines of free, unlimited talk, text, and data for one year to incoming refugees, from a growing number of countries, including Afghanistan and Ukraine.


Europe segment: initiatives for digital participation and digital values

The Europe segment comprises a variety of national companies, only some of which are mentioned here as examples. Together, they reach a number of different target groups with a diverse range of initiatives aimed at contributing to a digital society that everyone can participate in based on democratic principles. 

As part of the Netrevalok (be now generation) program, our Hungarian company Magyar Telekom organizes digital education courses at a total of 24 libraries. At these sessions, middle-grade students help people from older generations come to grips with digital tools. 

In Austria, the Magenta Telekom project ConnectedKids has been bringing the topic of the digital future into the classroom for 10 years. Over a period of six weeks, participating schools are given free tablets, educational apps, mobile internet, and support staff. Since early 2013, a total of 290 schools have registered for the scheme and 30 000 students from 1 500 classes have taken part.

Children and young people are also being trained in the use of digital tools in Croatia, thanks to the Generation NOW program. The aim of this program is to introduce young people to new types of education so they can develop their creativity and innovation with state-of-the-art technology. As part of the Generation NOW project, Hrvatski Telekom and IRIM, an institute for youth development and innovation, have established the country’s biggest educational project for the Internet of Things img. So far, more than 500 mentors have been trained who will share their know-how with new generations of school-age children year after year.

Our Montenegrin company is providing free 1 Gbit/s internet access to the University of Montenegro. This means that staff and students from all faculties, institutes, and university departments can share data and information effortlessly as part of a larger academic network. 

As part of the ENTER digital education program, Slovak Telekom has launched a support program called “Ready for the digital age” that focuses on developing digital literacy among senior citizens. It covers subjects like using smartphones and computers, digital communications, and teaching of programming skills.

A similar initiative in the Czech Republic is also aimed at seniors. In collaboration with partner NGOs, digital education is being brought to people at roadshows staged all across the country in businesses, public buildings, and community centers. Telekom Shop assistants from our national company are helping out as coaches. A website designed especially for seniors has also been created.

In Greece, the non-profit organization for educational robotics and science, WRO Hellas, entered a strategic collaboration with COSMOTE to stage the National STEM img & Educational Robotics 2023 competition in the first half of 2023. At the final, more than 1 200 elementary and secondary-school students showcased automation and technology solutions for an environmentally friendly and people-friendly smart city. It was the ninth time in a row that the national competition had been staged, and it was held under the patronage of the Greek President.

Various national companies in the Europe segment implemented their own activities as part of the Group-wide No Hate Speech initiative.

For example, the foundation Telekom for Macedonia joined with UNICEF to run the “Together for a hate-free internet” (No hate speech youth) campaign. Its aim is to encourage young people to be respectful and friendly to each other in online communities by staging workshops that teach participants how to deal with problems. The young people also created a campaign to raise awareness among their peers and the general public. Events were led by specialists in media literacy and technology experts among others.

Online hate is also becoming an ever-greater problem in Poland, and is having a negative impact on mental health, particularly among Generation Z. Our national company therefore launched an education campaign with the foundation The aim is to give Generation Z the tools and knowledge they need to counteract hate, and to show that it pays to share positive feedback, both in life in general and online. 

T-Mobile Czech Republic is providing financial support for schemes designed to support those affected by hate speech. In 2023, it started working with In IUSTITIA, a non-profit organization that provides legal and social aid to those affected by hate crimes. T-Mobile CZ has provided financial support for the victim advice unit run by In IUSTITIA, and both partners are promoting a campaign entitled “Flaw in the law” that is highlighting the lack of legal protection for people who have been the target of hate crimes. In November 2023, T-Mobile CZ also announced a funding procedure to provide access to funds worth a total of 1.5 million Czech koruna to organizations that support groups threatened by violence due to prejudice. Applications for funding can be submitted by non-profit and aid organizations, but informal groups and universities are also welcome to apply.


ESG KPIs: Community Contribution, Reach - Focus Topics, and Beneficiaries – Focus topics KPI

And to measure the effectiveness of our commitment in relation to the focus topics of “digital society” and “low-carbon and circular society” we report a set of three ESG img KPIs: Community Contribution, Reach – Focus Topics, and Beneficiaries – Focus Topics. In using these KPIs, we rely on methods employed by the organization Business for Societal Impact (B4SI), which incorporate the aspects “input,” “output,” and “impact.” In 2021, we anchored our focus topics even more firmly in our KPIs. Initiatives from the “voluntary and financial commitment” category also come under the ESG Social KPIs.

Community Contribution
The Community Contribution ESG KPI encompasses activities in which Deutsche Telekom was involved in the community either financially, through its employees, or through the donation of materials. Between 2017 and 2020, this input was termed “Community Investment.” In 2021, the KPI was modified and its focus tightened.

Our ambition in this connection: Increase the KPI

In 2023, we dedicated around 98 percent of our commitment to the focus topic of “digital society.” Around 2 percent was put toward other issues such as our focus topics “low-carbon and circular society” and “disaster management.”

Besides the longer-term commitment to our focus topics of “digital society” and “low-carbon and circular society” (social investments), we also contribute through donations to charity and social sponsorships (e.g., for cultural events).



To calculate our commitment in terms of our staff, we look at the volunteering hours that our employees have contributed during their working hours as part of our Corporate Volunteering scheme. In 2021, we adjusted the basis for calculation and now include both volunteering hours contributed during working hours and volunteering hours that we support in other ways (e.g., by providing venues, insurance policies, or donations). For example, during the reporting year, our employees volunteered at the Special Olympics World Games 2023 in Berlin. Throughout the Group, our employees contributed 179 463 volunteering hours in 2023.

Also, efforts we make in the context of the Community Contribution ESG KPI contribute significantly toward achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals img. In 2023, approximately 1 470 million euros of our Group-wide Community Contributions went toward promoting the digital society and therefore helped deliver SDG 4 (Quality Education) (2022: 2 331 million euros). A particular effect in 2022 was our support for Ukrainian refugees in the form of free or heavily discounted telecommunications services (550 million euros in Germany). We continued to offer telecommunications services at lower-cost rates in 2023, albeit to a lesser extent (24 million euros in Germany).

Reach – Focus topics
The Reach – Focus Topics ESG KPI indicates the number of people reached and media contacts generated through our messaging on our focus topics of “digital society” and “low-carbon and circular society.” It therefore shows how many people have been made aware of the topics and our activities. At the end of 2023, we recorded a total of approximately 1 734 million people and media contacts, which represents a reduction compared to the previous year (2022: 2 070 million). This was primarily due to the fact that fewer initiatives contributed to the ESG KPI Reach - Focus Topics in the reporting year and therefore projects with a particularly large reach in the previous year were not included in 2023.

Our ambition in this connection: Increase the KPI

Beneficiaries – Focus topics
The Beneficiaries – Focus Topics ESG KPI shows the number of people who have benefited from our commitment to promoting a digital society and low-carbon and circular society (e.g. media-literacy training, broadband access for schools, and supporting counseling hotlines). In 2023, approximately 51 million people benefited from our activities (2022: 41 million). In contrast to the period from 2017 to 2020, only beneficiaries of the “digital society” and “low-carbon and circular society” focus topics have been taken into account since 2021. In addition to recording direct beneficiaries, we also take into account indirect beneficiaries in line with a set key, such as when an opinion-leader concept is being applied or when a discounted connection is being used by several people.

Our ambition in this connection: Increase the KPI

Our aim is to grow the ESG KPI Beneficiaries – Focus Topics. The following graphic maps out the historical development of this KPI and our international target level.

Our investments in network expansion are making an important contribution to facilitating broadband access for large sections of the public. Further information on our approach to infrastructure expansion can be found here.

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  • Highlights

    We are working on behalf

    of an online world in which all people

    can participate and coexist in

    keeping with democratic principles

    We are working on behalf of an online world in which all people can participate and coexist in keeping with democratic principles

    Via our “No hate speech” initiative, we once again reached a great many people (about 865 million media contacts), including the many opinion leaders and educators (about 5.7 million people) we contacted directly.

    Our “ShareWithCare” campaign also reached a great many people – and it has played an important role, worldwide, in discussion about online sharing of photos of children. With over 250 million media contacts, ShareWithCare has successfully raised awareness about issues surrounding online sharing of children’s photos and data.

    Also, via programs such as Teachtoday and Scroller, we have continued working to promote media literacy in people of all ages, always with the aim of helping people navigate cyberspace safely, securely and with confidence.

    More than 200 000 people work at Deutsche Telekom – and every one of them is unique. This diversity is our strength. In keeping with our understanding of diversity, we offer our employees many ways to keep developing and growing professionally and personally. Thanks to such efforts, our employees’ satisfaction levels remain high: In 2023, our “engagement score,” which is calculated on the basis of responses in subject areas such as mood, employer attractiveness, brand identity, and inspiration, totaled 76 percent.

    Detailed examples of our progress in 2023, described from the perspectives of both the Group and our segments, are presented in the subsections.

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    Progress of selected KPIs in  2023

    • 2022 2023

    • Community Contribution 2 346m. € 1 504m. €

    • Beneficiaries – Focus Topics 41m. 51m.

    • Reach – Focus Topics 2 070m. 1 734m.

    • Employee satisfaction 78% 76%

    • Proportion of women in middle and upper management 28.1% 27.9%

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