CR Facts provides background information on corporate responsibility (CR) and sustainability issues at Deutsche Telekom.
Our current corporate responsibility report is available at
Code of Conduct
We consider a Group-wide corporate culture characterized by honesty, ethics and personal responsibility to be a key factor of success. We established the Telekom Code of Conduct in 2006 to strengthen this culture at the Group and give our employees clear guidance. The code specifies the conduct required in daily work activities and applies to all employees of the Telekom Group worldwide. It connects compliance with laws and regulations with our requirements for ethical behavior and the values and convictions laid out in our Guiding Principles.
We regularly update the code to be in line with new requirements. We take changing legislation into account and put general conduct requirements into concrete terms with the help of specific policies. This means that everyone at the Telekom Group gets clear guidance for their conduct when dealing with customers, competitors, suppliers and other stakeholders. The code particularly emphasizes the responsible handling of information, avoidance of conflicts of interest and exemplary behavior on the part of our managers.
CR Manager Network
CR managers from the different business areas and national companies support the operational implementation of the CR strategy. The international CR Manager Network was established in 2008 to intensify Group-wide collaboration. CR managers discuss current topics and best practice examples at regular get-togethers and online meetings. The national companies also work together in working groups focusing on specific topics.
The network is involved in various topics including the further development of strategic approaches such as environmental and resource conservation at the Group. The managers also discuss the organization of social commitment at the national companies and support corporate reporting activities.
CR topic monitoring
We carefully monitor topics which are of high relevance to our stakeholders. This includes constantly keeping tabs on the activities, research projects, publications and statements made by relevant NGOs. We summarize the results every two months in our internal newsletter, the NGO Radar. With this, we comply with a key requirement specified in the AA1000 standard, the internationally recognized standard for assessing sustainability management and CR reporting.
Our employee surveys, which are conducted every two years, form another pillar of our CR topic monitoring activities.
ESG key performance indicators (ESG KPIs)
In order to manage our CR performance, we use seven key performance indicators – the Environment Social and Governance Key Performance Indicators (ESG KPIs) – that apply throughout the Group. These help us systematically and transparently optimize our services on an ongoing basis. Following a comprehensive review in 2014, we changed the term CR KPI to ESG KPI as an indication of their role as a management tool for environmental, social and responsible governance within and outside of our Group. Our ESG KPIs play a role similar to that of financial indicators. They form an important basis for integrating our financial and CR reporting processes, a development that we plan to intensify in the future. Our KPIs show that CR-related aspects are key to Telekom's core business.
All Telekom national companies are required to record the Group-wide KPIs. We work together with the national companies to specify targets and deadlines for each national company's own CR activities within the context of Group-wide project structures. These targets also form the basis for our Group-wide targets. One example is our Group-wide climate protection target, which the Board of Management approved in late 2013.
Here is a list of Telekom's ESG KPIs:
- Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) ESG KPI. This KPI indicates the share of Deutsche Telekom AG stock that is owned by investors who show concern for environmental, social and governance criteria in their investment strategies.
- Employee Satisfaction ESG KPI. This KPI measures employee satisfaction with Telekom's CR activities. It is based on the employee survey, which we conduct every two years for each individual company.
- Sustainable Procurement ESG KPI. We use this KPI to measure the procurement volume with suppliers that are being reviewed for compliance with our social and environmental standards within the group or at one or several group companies. This also includes audits carried out with upstream suppliers. The ESG KPI indicates the share of the total procurement volume that was subject to self-assessments, pre-qualification and/or audits.
- CO2 Emissions ESG KPI. This KPI records reductions in CO2 emissions in relation to the reference year 2008. Our goal is to reduce our CO2 emissions throughout the Group by 20 percent by 2020 compared to the levels recorded in 2008.
- Energy Consumption ESG KPI. This KPI is based on the Monetary Power Efficiency Indicator (MPEI). It shows the amount of electricity consumed compared to net revenue.
- Social Commitment ESG KPI. This KPI reflects public perception of Telekom's CR activities compared to the importance the public places on these activities in general.
- Used Cell Phone Collection ESG KPI. This KPI measures the number of mobile communications devices collected by each Group company in relation to the number of customers that company has.
ICT providers like Deutsche Telekom enable customers to access their computer applications and other ICT solutions, including data storage services, from cloud-based data centers. Cloud services are based on the principle of cloud computing and have been offered by T-Systems worldwide since 2005. Data outsourcing involves many challenges regarding data privacy as well as IT and data security. T-Systems complies with strict German data privacy legislation and also internationally recognized standards.
Cloud computing is more resource and energy efficient than operating ICT processes outside the cloud. Customers can do away with almost all of their hardware and rely on cloud services provided by data centers. Data centers generally use computing capacity more efficiently than customers do. They need significantly less electricity for operation and cooling, for example. Cloud-based solutions can also eliminate emission-heavy activities. One example of this is using cloud-based video conferences instead of business trips.
Our consumers have long since moved into the cloud. Via the Media Center and MyPhonebook applications, they can store their own documents, videos, contact information and more in the cloud and can access these files anywhere at any time. And it all works with any Internet-enabled device, including smartphones, tablet computers, and PCs.
Three-pillar approach to protecting children and young people in the media
As an ICT company, Deutsche Telekom wants to ensure the protection of children and young people in the media. In Germany, the company's approach to protecting children and young people in the media is based on three pillars:
- Providing attractive, age-appropriate content for children: Age-appropriate websites, such as the fragFINN.de search engine or our kids portal, which was launched in 2004, offer minors attractive and secure online content.
- Promoting media skills: We promote competent, confident use of the Internet and mobile communications. This is the only way for children and young people to learn how to recognize risks and stay within boundaries. We offer a series of talks under the title "Safer Surfing on the internet."
- Offering customizable protection tools: We offer appropriate protection tools to users. For example, we offer our customers a free-of-charge child protection software that is recognized by the German Commission for the Protection of Minors from Unsuitable Media Content (KJM).
With its Social Charter, Telekom has made a commitment throughout the Group to complying with internationally recognized employee and human rights and sets its own ethical, social and environmental standards for corporate governance. Some of these standards exceed those specified by national law in some countries and explicitly include the activities of Telekom's suppliers. The ethical, social and environmental standards defined in the Social Charter together with our human rights policies are a permanent component of our general terms and conditions. We review compliance with the Social Charter at the relevant units each year and report the findings online. In addition to requiring each of our suppliers to complete a self-assessment, we conduct regular supplier audits to check whether our strategic suppliers, including those that are particularly prone to risk, are in compliance with our requirements.
The Deutsche Telekom Design Principles
Deutsche Telekom introduced its mandatory Design Principles for product development in late 2009. These principles are in line with our Group strategy. They include not only design-related considerations but also sustainability aspects, which were put into more specific terms in our Sustainability Guideline for Product Design. The Design Principles help us to ensure that sustainability factors play a role in how our products are designed. They also form the basis for our Experience Style Guide and make sure that we offer a consistent, Telekom-specific product and service experience to our customers. Of course, they are also in line with Deutsche Telekom's sustainability strategy.
The Deutsche Telekom Design Principles at a glance
- Act responsibly. Think globally.
- Analyze and picture the future to design toward it.
- Create moments for sharing.
- Support throughout the day.
- Start with emotion.
- Focus on core benefit.
- Use learned recognition with a new interpretation.
- Be coherent.
- Design with passion and care for detail.
- Create desire at first glance.
The CR Board meets twice a year. It advises and supports Group Corporate Responsibility and the HR Leadership Team in implementing the CR strategy. It discusses and evaluates current progress when it comes to integrating defined processes and programs into the relevant areas of responsibility. As of January 1, 2014, the CR Board consists of the heads of the following Group units relevant for our company's CR performance:
- Chief Human Resources Officer
- Corporate Communications
- Public and Regulatory Affairs
- Brand Management
- Product & Innovation
- Chairman's Office
- Deutsche Telekom Stiftung
- Group Strategy
- T-Systems International Board Office
- Group Corporate Responsibility
CR's extensive representation in the organization guarantees that CR Board initiatives are always in line with Group and brand strategies as well as Group values.
The HR Leadership Team
The HR Leadership Team (HR LT) was added to the corporate governance structure at the start of 2013. The mandate of this advisory and decision-making body for the Human Resources (HR) Board department includes overarching corporate responsibility issues based on the current distribution of responsibilities. It bears the main responsibility for interactions with the Group Board of Management and determines whether or not a Board of Management resolution is necessary for individual topics. This function does not replace the specified responsibilities of the Group Board of Management but, rather, compliments these. HR LT makes decisions regarding significant aspects of CR positioning and on the strategic orientation of the CR department. It presents Group-wide policies and guidelines to the Board of Management for approval. HR Leadership Team is comprised of executives directly reporting to the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) and meets twice a month. Meetings are chaired by the Chief Human Resources Officer.
Deutsche Telekom feels that it is the company's responsibility to offer disabled people the easiest possible access to Telekom's services. We set up a hotline in Germany for the deaf and hearing impaired as early as 2003. Customers can send an e-mail, fax or letter or use their video phone to talk to our specially trained employees about any problems or questions they may have. Not only are these employees fluent in sign language, they are also familiar with the problems that people with hearing impairments might have with technical equipment or settings on their cell phone.
What's more, in 2002 T-Mobile signed a master agreement with the German association for the deaf, Deutscher Gehörlosen-Bund e.V, regarding special conditions for the association's members. The agreement includes special plans for people who only use their cell phone to send messages.
Group Corporate Responsibility
The Group Corporate Responsibility department is responsible for strategic CR management and CR communication. At the Group level, Group Corporate Responsibility assumes an integrative function in collaboration with the areas relevant for CR and collaborates with other units (such as the Sustainable Procurement working group) as well. The department plans and implements projects and processes dealing with climate and environment, supply chain management, social commitment, sustainable investments and stakeholder involvement. The department's core areas of expertise include the strategic management of CR activities as well as updating, communicating on and implementing policies and guidelines.
Initiatives and cooperations for the protection of children and young people in the media
Close cooperation of all parties involved is crucial to pushing forward the protection of children and young people in the media. That is why Telekom collaborates closely in this area with partners from the worlds of business, politics and society and supports numerous initiatives on protecting children and young people in the media on its markets.
We have been an active participant in the federal and state administrations' multi-stakeholder dialog on developing a system for protecting children and young people since 2009 and have already conducted various projects within this context. The goal of the dialog is to establish uniform standards and policies for the protection of children and young people in the media as well as to initiate measures to communicate and raise people's awareness of the topic.
We are working toward improving the protection of children and young people both in Germany and abroad within the scope of numerous initiatives and partnerships:
At a glance:
|Deutschland sicher im Netz e. V. (Making Germany safe on the Net)|
|Jugend und Handy (Youth and cell phones)|
T-Mobile Czech Republic
“Contact reduction,” “Complaint management 2.0” and “K1 – Customer first”
By launching projects at different levels, Telekom has been improving complaint management processes for a couple of years in order to make lasting improvements in customer loyalty and satisfaction. In 2008, we launched the “Contact reduction” project. By systematically identifying complaints and reducing the causes of complaints, we managed to significantly lower the number of inquiries and complaints in the consumer, mobile communications and business customer segments - during the five years of the project, we were able to lower the number of complaints by around 20 percent on average. All organizational units dealing with product and process complaints were included in the project - from Sales and Marketing departments via Accounting, Product and Process Management to Technology.
With the launch of the “K1 – Customer first” initiative in 2012, we took the concepts of our “Contact reduction” project and advanced them further. The goal of K1 is to permanently improve customer experience and continuously increase customer satisfaction. We use market research to assess how our customers perceive the methods and processes used by Telekom. Then, we come up with improvement measures based on the assessment results. Within the scope of the project, we also consistently monitor key business processes via process tracking. We use standardized performance indicators in order to evaluate process performance. For this purpose, we ask customers one to two weeks after completion of our internal processes to give us their opinion about service quality, their satisfaction with the service we provided and if they would recommend our service to others. We also conduct after call customer interviews (ACCIs) with representative customer groups, usually 36 hours after the customer was in contact with the service staff. Combining these two processes gives us a comprehensive picture of customer perception throughout the entire process chain.
For the fixed-line consumer segment, we launched the “Complaint management 2.0” project in 2012 within the scope of our “K1 – Customer first” initiative for customers who need extensive consulting, further improving our complaint processes. If customers make repeated calls within a certain period of time, a trained case manager takes over the service process. The case manager handles the case and provides the customer with regular progress updates, e.g., via a short phone call. “Complaint management 2.0” has already had tangible positive effects on the ACCI and process tracking results. For example, the number of complaints registered in 2012 was reduced by 30 percent compared to the previous year.
Used cell phone collection
More than 105 million used cell phones are stowed away in drawers in Germany. They no longer work or have been replaced with newer models. These cell phones contain hazardous substances, which should not be disposed of in your regular waste bin, and valuable metals. Up to 100 percent of the materials used in cell phones can be recycled. Valuable materials such as gold, silver and copper can be reused. Other materials can be used to generate energy.
Since 2003 Telekom Deutschland has been involved in the collection and reuse, or green recycling, of used cell phones in cooperation with the Deutsche Umwelthilfe environmental organization. Deutsche Telekom has reused and recycled more than 1.6 million used cell phones to save resources. The Used Cell Phone Collection CR KPI is used to evaluate the success of our initiatives and is published in the CR Report under KPIs.
The collection process
The used cell phone collection process was designed in cooperation with the Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V. environmental organization. All collected devices are transported safely to our Telekom recycling center. Each device is recorded and labeled for reuse or recycling. Around 10 percent of the devices collected are fully functional and can be reused. We make sure that all previous owner data is deleted from these cell phones or smartphones. They are then resold in Europe and Asia and reused. Most collected cell phones, however, are defective or data deletion would be too involved. We recycle these devices at our Telekom recycling center in Europe using state-of-the-art and environmentally sound recycling methods.
Telekom Deutschland donates the proceeds from the used cell phone collection initiative to Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.. We have been partnering with the environmental organization for over a decade now. Deutsche Umwelthilfe has used our donations to sponsor more than 770 environmental protection and nature conservation projects.
Child protection software
Telekom Deutschland's child protection software enables parents to control their children's use of the Internet, e.g., by limiting the time they can be online or setting age-appropriate filters for page content. Parents have control over which downloads and services, including chat programs and online market places, their children have access to.
Telekom Deutschland offers fixed-line customers (Telekom customers and non-Telekom customers alike) its child protection software as a free download. Since 2008 we have also been offering a service forum for this software, which can be found on our website under "Sicherheit im Netz" (security in the Internet). The site offers a discussion forum, moderated by the Telekom team, dealing with current issues and improvement measures. In 2012 Telekom's child protection software became one of the first two initiatives for the protection of minors in Germany to be recognized by the Commission for the Protection of Minors from Unsuitable Media Content (KJM). Similar tools that allow parents to control their children's use of the Internet are also offered by our national companies, including Magyar Telekom and Slovak Telekom.