CR Facts provides background information on corporate responsibility (CR) and sustainability issues at Deutsche Telekom.
Our current corporate responsibility report is available at
Implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation
After being enacted in May 2016, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has had a binding effect since May 25, 2018. Deutsche Telekom implemented the requirements contained therein in a three-stage, EU-wide project:
- Preparation: Group Privacy drew up a set of standardized rules, known as Binding Interpretations, that apply to the entire Group. They were developed in collaboration with the national companies. The Binding Interpretations include specific recommendations and best practice examples to implement the EU regulation.
- Implementation: From January 2017 to May 25, 2018, the new requirements based on the Binding Interpretations were introduced throughout the Group. This involved checking and, where necessary, adjusting all the IT systems. All employees were made aware of the General Data Protection Regulation, and more than 10,000 experts received intensive training.
- Evaluation: The implementation period was followed by a review phase during which all affected Group entities were asked whether they had put all relevant requirements into action. In addition to this, GDPR compliance was randomly inspected at 28 companies.
Everyone needs education – education needs everyone
With the "Everyone needs education – education needs everyone" project, Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Telekom Stiftung support the corporate volunteering efforts of Telekom employees at day care centers and schools since 2010. Employees who engage as volunteer readers or offer workskhops for programming with microcontrollers in schools can apply for sponsorship with Deutsche Telekom Stiftung.
In a joint project Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and German Reading Foundation aim to awaken children´s interest in math and science and improve their language and reading skills by reading aloud to them. Appropriate reading materials (books, apps, e-books) are read aloud by volunteer readers to kids aged three to ten in kindergartens, primary schools and libraries. By late 2019, a total of around 2,700 volunteers engaged as volunteer readers in Germany and abroad– including 100 Deutsche Telekom employees (as of November 2019.)
Collaboration for the protection of minors
We want to create a safe and positive online experience for children and young people. We offer them attractive, exciting content on age-appropriate websites.
Supporting standardized child protection offers
We became a member of the non-profit organization JusProg e.V. in 2016. Its software protects children and young people on the internet by blocking certain content.
This software has been officially recognized as a general child protection program in Germany in accordance with statutory requirements (JMStV). The software was most recently evaluated in March 2017.
We donated the rights to the program codes behind our child protection software (Windows) and our child protection app, Surfgarten, (iPhone/iPad) to JusProg e.V.
Commitment to FSM
We are a founding member and part of the executive board of FSM, the Association for the Voluntary Self-Monitoring for Multimedia Service Providers. The association published the “Index for Youth Media Protection” for the first time in 2017. The 2018 youth media protection report specifically addressed teachers and educational specialists.
Digital health care system: Deutsche Telekom as a project partner
We are helping shape the digital health care system with numerous pilot projects.
• We are involved as a project partner in developing a solution for antibiotic treatment consultation at the St. Georg Hospital in Leipzig. The primary goal is to enable fast, secure data exchange between doctors, patients, and health insurers. The State of Saxony sponsored the project with over 1.2 million euros at the beginning of 2017. It will initially run until mid-2019.
• The main objective of the “Psychological Trauma Telehealth Network for Saxony (Tele-NePS)” project is to sustainably improve the integrated treatment chain for post-traumatic stress disorders. The goal is to enable those affected to access the treatment network, make expertise universally available, and guarantee cross-institution documentation and coordination. The EU and the State of Saxony will be funding the project, which will run until 2020, with 1.4 million euros.
• Under the auspices of a 10-year partnership, we are helping Kliniken Essen-Mitte (KEM) to drive forward the digitalization of its hospitals. By January 1, 2019, we had replaced the existing hospital information system with our iMedOne solution at two of the clinic’s locations.
Digital health care system: Our solutions
In addition to customer projects, we are also developing our own solutions for digital health care.
Our telehealth platform is being used by increasing numbers of participants in Germany. The platform is based on the first Europe-wide open, trans-regional network, East Saxony CCS Telehealth (THOS). It allows patients, doctors, hospitals, nursing staff, pharmacies, and health insurers in a given region to exchange information over a specially encrypted data network. In April 2018, we presented the new “Teleneurologie Parkinson” application at the world’s largest health care IT trade fair ConhIT: In addition to the family doctor or neurologist, the new solution also allows patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease to consult with a teleneurologist.
Our Telekom Healthcare Cloud (THC) provides health professionals with a reliable and simple path toward the digital transformation of their work structures. One of our customers in this area is Gesundheit Nordhessen Holding (GNH). We support the group of hospitals by providing our cloud for its daily work.
“IT remarketing” project
Our “IT remarketing” project involves reconditioning our used IT hardware to make it suitable for further use. We continue to maintain our partnership with “AfB gemeinnützige GmbH”, which offers job opportunities to people with disabilities. Within the scope of this partnership, we will give some of our used IT hardware (e.g. laptops) to the organization in the future for reconditioning and reselling. This will not only help us save resources but also create jobs for people with disabilities as well as extend the life cycle of our used hardware.
Internet access on planes
Together with satellite company Inmarsat, Deutsche Telekom is offering the fastest inflight broadband service for European travelers.
The European Aviation Network (EAN) has been developed by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom in partnership with leading European companies such as Thales, Nokia, Airbus, Cobham and EAD Aerospace. It marks a paradigm shift in the airline passenger experience, with incomparable speeds, uninterrupted coverage and significantly lower latency than any other inflight Wi-Fi network in the continent.
The award-winning connectivity solution is currently available with three different airlines. Since entering commercial service in March this year, it has been available to over 7.5 million passengers travelling on more than 55,000 flights throughout Europe, covering key destinations such as London, Madrid, Barcelona, Geneva and Rome.
Together against conflict resources
Telekom has been supporting the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) since 2008. The RMI is the largest initiative in the economy for responsible raw material procurement. Its aim is to identify conflict raw materials and to prevent their extraction and trading with them. The RMI goes back to a working group founded in 2008 by the Global enabling Sustainability Initiative and Responsible Business Alliance for the sustainable extraction of raw materials. Since then, the number of metalworking and smelting companies that participate in the RMI has grown steadily.
Conflict-free Sourcing Initiative
ICT products can contain processed minerals, some of which are mined under inhumane, illegal conditions. The proceeds are often used to finance civil wars in Africa. Telekom is committed to ensuring that the devices it trades do not contain any raw materials produced under critical conditions. It supports the efforts of the Responsible Minerals Initiative, which is committed to responsible raw material extraction and procurement. Their central instrument is the Conflict-Free Smelter Program and the corresponding Smelter Database, which is used to control the metalworking and smelting plants (Smelter). Independent auditors check whether the raw materials obtained come from responsible sources and create publicly available audit reports for each processed metal. To make it easier to report abuses, there are contact addresses where whistleblowers can submit their information anonymously.
In 2019 we held 11 workshops with major suppliers in the fields of smartphone and network technology. In the workshops we explored ways in which we can work together on sustainable design and packaging solutions as well as more energy-efficient products. In 2020 we will continue to pursue this path and advance the topic together with our partners. In addition, we continue to develop our technical specifications for greater sustainability of products to send appropriate signals to the ICT industry. We not only make demands, we also actively contribute to the discussion in order to provide impulses for more sustainable products and services. For example, we are in dialogue with the chemical industry to initiate the development of more sustainable materials for end devices such as routers and media receivers.
Demand and promote: industry-wide development program for suppliers
In 2019, we continued our supplier program under the umbrella of the ICT industry association Global enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI). In the reporting period, other ICT companies and their suppliers as well as sub-suppliers joined the program. So far, 23 selected suppliers have participated in the program. In 2020, we will add more suppliers to the program. The program is designed to make global supply chains for ICT products more sustainable. With these, we were not only able to achieve social and ecological improvements, but also economically measurable advantages: better working conditions have a positive effect on their motivation and increase productivity. This also improves the quality of the products, which in turn reduces the number of complaints regarding our products.
“Child and Career” mentoring program
After three very successful runs, the kick-off event of our next “Child and Career” mentoring program took place in October 2019. For a period of 21 months, this program provides for potential junior staff in expert and managerial functions from various business units of the Group in Germany to be mentored by an experienced manager. The mentees who will soon start parental leave, are in parental leave or are planning their re-entrance in the job gain new professional and methodical competences “in the tandem” and benefit from shared experiences with others in the program network. In the fourth “Child and Career” session, 26 tandem teams went to the start. The program is supplemented by web-based tutorials on focus topics and self-organized network meetings. In addition, supplementary coaching services such as parental coaching and professional support coaching will be provided, as required. This was very well appreciated by the last run. More than 80 percent of participating junior employees and almost 70 percent of the managers are female.
The 80/20 model
Since 2017, we have been using the 80/20 model to give our employees the opportunity to spend up to 20 percent of their working time on projects outside of their usual remit. This allows them to work with teams from other departments. In this way, we break up departmental silos and can make better use of the company’s broad spectrum of talent. The model makes employees more visible and motivated, and enhances their network of contacts. Use of the model is voluntary and is tied to a specific Group project.
Rapid entry into Smart Home business: QIVICON
We have set up the open, vendor-neutral smart home platform QIVICON. This platform gives consumers the option of combining devices from different companies simply and individually.
We were able to further increase the number of devices that are compatible with the QIVICON platform during the reporting period. Even today they can choose from among several hundred different smart home appliances.
In 2019, we commissioned the testing institute AV-TEST GmbH for the fifth time to check how secure the QIVICON Smart Home platform and the Magenta Smart Home app are. Once again, the rating was “very good protection”. The next test by AV-Test GmbH is planned for the beginning of 2020.
Succession management ensuring our company is ready for the future
Top-level management plays a key role in the business success of a company. If managers at that level leave the company, their position must be filled in a timely manner, with a qualified candidate. Since 2017, we have a global systematic succession management process, which obligates around 1,800 managers in executive positions to be involved in succession planning. The process helps these managers to decide who could serve as their direct successor and who has the potential to take on their role in the mid-term. A digital platform helps executives with the nomination process, the timing of which is aligned with the start of the annual Global Talent Pool.
In 2019, 4,400 potential candidates (DT internal and external, 25 percent of which were female professionals) were evaluated at special succession meetings. Successors get full transparency about the positions they are nominated to and their readiness to take on the role. This nomination and feedback process means a number of diverse and highly qualified potential successors are available when the need arises and keeps the company in motion.