CR Facts provides background information on corporate responsibility (CR) and sustainability issues at Deutsche Telekom.
Our current corporate responsibility report is available at
Principles for donations in the political arena
The Deutsche Telekom Group is subject to special statutory restrictions regarding donations to political parties and holders of offices due to the Federal Republic's stake in the company:
Donations to political parties
- The Deutsche Telekom Group is not permitted to make donations to political parties, as the government's stake in the Deutsche Telekom Group is currently over 25 %. The calculation of the government's stake includes both the stake held by the Federal Republic and the stake held by the Reconstruction Loan Corporation [KfW]. Donations for this purpose include both monetary payments and non-cash benefits.
- So-called genuine sponsoring does not represent a donation, i.e., a donation in return for a demonstrably adequate consideration. The consideration may, for example, be advertising for the company or its products at party conferences. The consideration must be adequate – i.e., at usual market level – in proportion to the benefit. Genuine sponsoring as part of party events does not represent a donation to the party as defined by the Political Parties Act and is thus generally permitted in the Deutsche Telekom Group.
Donations to holders of offices
- The Deutsche Telekom Group is also not permitted to make monetary donations to members of the Bundestag, where the government's (Federal Republic and Reconstruction Loan Corporation [KfW]) stake in the company is over 25 %. Non-cash benefits to members of the Bundestag are also generally not permitted.
Donations to holders of public offices
- Donations shall not be offered, promised or granted to holders of public offices for the performance of the duties of such offices or for specific actions performed while in such offices.
Measures must also be taken to ensure that the Deutsche Telekom Group only makes correct, politically unimpeachable donations in the political arena. Those acting on behalf of the Deutsche Telekom Group therefore observe the applicable legal framework conditions for donations and benefits in the political arena in Germany and abroad. In addition, the Deutsche Telekom Group has defined various additional procedures and processes that must be followed in connection with sponsoring party conventions, event invitations and the procedure in each individual case.
Sponsoring of party conventions
- The Deutsche Telekom Group is only permitted to sponsor a party convention by granting a political party a monetary payment or non-cash benefit if the donation is in return for a demonstrably adequate (i.e., at usual market level) and permitted consideration.
- The consideration may, for example, be that Deutsche Telekom is permitted to carry out valuable advertising activities and PR measures/ sales promotion at the party convention (presentation space, etc.).
- Inquiries regarding the sponsoring of party conventions must be treated in a uniform and politically balanced manner. This requires conduct that is coordinated throughout the Group in addition to the legal review of each individual case. The Deutsche Telekom Group does not support any extremist political parties.
Invitations to events
- Deutsche Telekom is only permitted to issue invitations to events that are subject to charge to political parties in the case of genuine sponsoring. The same applies to members of parliament unless these non-cash benefits are granted “for participation in events to present the position of the Bundestag or that of (one of) the parliamentary groups within the Bundestag“. Invitations to holders of domestic and foreign public offices, foreign members of parliament and holders of offices in international organizations should be refrained.
Information und decisions on individual cases
- Before donations are made in the political arena each individual case must be reviewed. Legal interpretation or issues of doubt (including those reaching beyond the legal aspects discussed above) should be submitted to DT Law & Integrity, and political issues of doubt to DT GPRA for a decision.
Risk/Opportunity Clustering of global categories
We do rate our categories as critical or non-critical based on risk and opportunity clustering (classification).
In this context, we classify products based on risk and opportunity analyses, taking into consideration a wide range of ESG sustainability aspects and risks, such as risks of unfair renumeration and treatment, forced/child labor or environmental pollution, as well as opportunities such as resoure efficiency and the potential to reduce energy consumption.
Spend Analysis 2019
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
Digital Solutions: AUTOPILOT – autonomous driving services to boost efficiency
The EU’s AUTOPILOT project is trialing services of this kind on the market, including self-driving vehicles in local public transportation, self-parking cars, and real-time car sharing. Such solutions are particularly efficient and environmentally friendly, resulting in an estimated 10 percent fewer CO2 emissions compared to conventional driving practices. The project launched in 2017 and will run until 2019. Thereafter the services will be incorporated into regular operations. T-Systems is the project partner of AUTOPILOT and supports analyses on the feasibility and market launch of the new services. The project has successfully been finalized in 2019, a follow-up project has already been won and the work has been started.
Digital Solutions: The EU’s AEOLIX project – a platform for more efficient and climate-friendly logistics chains
The aim of the EU’s AEOLIX project is to establish a new ICT platform for networking the numerous, previously isolated individual logistics systems throughout the EU. At the same time, practical services will be developed and tried out in 11 European test zones. T-Systems is participating in test zone 1: Intermodal Logistics in the Hamburg – Frankfurt Transportation Corridor. This zone will test a smartphone app that helps truck drivers drive in an ecologically responsible manner. Around 958,230 metric tons of CO2 could be spared in ongoing customer projects by analyzing driving profiles and ecodrive functions. The project has successfully been finalized in 2019.
Digital Solutions: Connected Car – preventing traffic jams with connected cars
T-Systems has been developing and operating Daimler’s Connected Car platform (Daimler vehicle backend) worldwide since 2013. The platform is the technical basis for the Live Traffic service, which provides drivers with real-time traffic information, Live Traffic prevents about 30 percent of traffic jams per vehicle. This means the approximately 12 million vehicles equipped with Live Traffic consumed about 13 million liters less fuel. This translates into CO2 savings of around 32,500 metric tons.