New method to calculate our climate target
In the context of our annual climate goal monitoring, we have reviewed and revised the method for the calculation of our climate target in 2018. In accordance with the framework of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, we have been calculating our emissions using the market-based method since 2015. We are now applying this calculation method to our climate target. This means that the purchase of electricity from renewable energies through certificates or electricity from low-emission sources can also be taken into account. Consequently, we also adjusted the 2008 baseline to reflect the proportion of renewable energy at that time. The baseline reduced from 2 602 431 metric tons of CO2 to 1 481 400 metric tons of CO2. As a result, the climate target will be reduced to 1 185 120 metric tons of CO2 by 2020, which also represents a reduction of -20% compared to 2008. With this calculation method, we are at the forecasted level for 2017.
World Climate Conference: Exciting debates and modern infrastructure
In November 2017, the 23rd World Climate Conference took place under the presidency of the Fiji Islands in Bonn. Diplomats, politicians and representatives of civil society came together at the Conference of the Parties (COP). We contributed to the content of the Conference with an event and provided state-of-the-art infrastructure.
Digitalization for climate protection and sustainability
On November 14, 2017, our headquarters in Bonn were entirely focused on climate protection. The real potential of digitalization for climate protection is still being underrated. In order to change this, we have joined our stakeholders for a dialog about "The impact of ICT on climate change – curse or blessing". Along with our partner, the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), as well as numerous stakeholders and experts from politics, civil society and corporations, we discussed the opportunities and risks of information and communication technology (ICT) for climate protection. In collaboration with partners, we presented products and solutions for connected and therefore sustainable life and work - for example, relating to e-mobility, Smart City and logistics.
Fiber optics for the climate summit
For the 23rd World Climate Conference in Bonn, Deutsche Telekom provided the technical infrastructure. For the supply of the two temporary tent towns alone we laid over 25 kilometers of optical fiber and copper cables each - capacities that would also suffice for the supply of a small town. Antennas that were installed for the event ensured the necessary wireless capacity. In this way, the park in Bonn where the tent towns were located was equipped with modern, broadband communications technology that will also benefit future events.
The sheer amount of infrastructure that an event with over 25,000 visitors requires can be seen in the following “Netzgeschichte” (network story):
Cogeneration plants reduce CO2 emissions
We are using combined heat and power (CHP) plants in addition to the conventional power grid. In the year 2017, we commissioned a new CHP module at the Berlin site. The majority of our 32 units in total (as of late 2017) power our network nodes. The CHP plants convert the energy supplied by gas into electricity and heat. We use the waste heat produced on site to heat our office buildings, which brings overall energy efficiency to a level of up to 90 percent. As a comparison, electricity generated by conventional sources and fed through the general German power grid has an efficiency level of roughly only 40 percent. This is how we can reduce the carbon emissions of our network operation through the use of CHP plants.
Sustainable urban district concept
A local heating pipeline runs from our CHP unit in Berlin to a neighboring school. With the waste heat of the plant, the heating needs of the school and its gym could be covered entirely in 2017. This helps reduce carbon emissions by up to 700 tons a year.
Updated CHPs save additional resources
In October of 2017, we completed the update of two CHP plants. Absorption chillers in both units now convert waste heat into cold air, which will then be used to cool network nodes. Additionally, environmentally friendly dry coolers have also been installed in order to further reduce water consumption during the cooling process. The consequence is that the use of water and chemicals needed for the operation of the CHPs can be reduced considerably in the future.
Recycling initiative „I Love Recycling"
The "I Love Recycling" program Cosmote Romania and the telecom retailer Germanos Romania introduced in 2010 offers mobile users in most of the country the chance to dispose of their mobile electronic waste. Old mobile phones, accessories and batteries are collected in special containers located at stores, and all the waste is taken to recycling facilities.
Green car policy
One of Telekom's objectives is to reduce standard emissions of the new cars in its entire vehicle fleet to an average of 110 g/km by 2015 by purchasing fuel-efficient company and service vehicles. This corresponds to an average consumption of 4.2 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers.
One important tool in achieving this goal is the Green Car Policy for company cars, which has been in place since April 1, 2010. With the help of this policy we have added environmental requirements to our car purchasing strategy. The policy sets forth a CO2-based selection procedure when purchasing new company cars. These include vehicles provided to employees on account of their position or function that can also be used privately.
The Green Car Policy contains a bonus/penalty system as an incentive to encourage our employees to select fuel-efficient models. Employees who choose a car with high CO2 emissions levels have to help cover the higher mobility costs and higher environmental pollution by paying a monetary penalty. Those who choose a particularly fuel-efficient car, on the other hand, receive a bonus based on their reduced fuel consumption.
Profits from the penalties are used each year to fund environmental projects or to finance our eco-driving training program.
Telekom vehicle fleet rating by Deutsche Umwelthilfe
Since 2010, Telekom has been participating in a survey conducted by the German environmental organization, Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), to assess the vehicle fleets of German companies. DUH has regularly criticized the consumption levels of our manager and chauffeur-driven cars. However, DUH does not take into account the fact that some members of our management board are not using their own company car. In its survey, DUH also fails to recognize that the emissions levels produced by a few cars of board members are rather low compared to a total fleet of some 24,000 cars. The survey also failed to mention the exemplary and effective activities conducted by the company to reduce its CO2 emissions.
European Code of Conduct on Data Centres
The EU Commission published the European Code of Conduct on Data Centres in late 2008. The code of conduct was published in response to increasing energy demands. T-Systems joined the EU Commission's initiative, which focuses on the European Code of Conduct on Data Centres, in 2012. The goal here is to cost-efficiently reduce data center energy consumption and encourage data center operators to share best practices. Companies can become supporters of the code or, if they operate their own data centers, participating members of the code. In order to participate, a company needs to report extensively on the servers it operates and commit itself to specific sustainable principles.
Green business trips
We are working to make employee business trips within Germany as green as possible in cooperation with the German railway company Deutsche Bahn. We have been compensating for the emissions generated by all business trips taken by our employees with Deutsche Bahn AG since February 2010. Based on the annual travel volume calculated each year for Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Bahn purchases the equivalent amount of energy from renewable sources such as water, wind and solar energy. Deutsche Bahn only buys this energy from sources in Germany and then feeds it into its power grid.
Discount season ticket
We offer regional discount season tickets to our employees at many of our German Telekom sites, especially in the large conurbations. The offer encourages our employees to use climate-friendly public transportation and helps them keep their commuting costs down. Around 23,700 employees use public transportation in 30 transport zones with the discount season ticket provided by their employer.
Deutsche Telekom has been testing new, environmentally friendly technologies in a mid-sized German city at T-City Friedrichshafen since 2007. We have provided fast, digital connections to public and private institutions for many residents of the city. In doing so, we have laid the foundation for a globally significant future lab. Thanks to this future lab, we have been testing the connected world of tomorrow on a small scale ever since – under live conditions.
In collaboration with our project partners, we offer the people of Friedrichshafen new ICT solutions on site. These solutions enable new forms of collaboration, mobility and shared goods and services. The findings from these projects are currently being used across Germany, for example in public administration, as well as by energy providers, private enterprise and citizens. We tested De-Mail for six months at T-City Friedrichshafen before it went to market in August 2012. 40 participants from businesses and administrative offices as well as more than 1,000 consumers participated in the pilot test. We have been testing smart grid solutions in 1,600 households in the city since 2009. Participating households were given smart meters for the pilot so they were also equipped to take part in a test of smart home systems. Smart mobility solutions, such as "spontaneous carpooling" are another focal point. This solution connects the driver's Internet-enabled satnav software with the smartphones of potential passengers, making it possible to share a ride on short notice. Thanks to the solution, users save resources and energy.
The city of Friedrichshafen and Deutsche Telekom agreed to extend their collaboration for another three years in December 2011. We conducted another T-City project in the Hungarian city of Szolnok from 2009 through 2012.
2020 Energy Concept
For Deutsche Telekom, reducing our energy consumption is the most important approach to limiting the Group's CO2 emissions and attaining our climate target. We have introduced comprehensive measures to achieve this goal with our 2020 Telekom Energy Concept. These include:
- Using energy-efficient technologies in the network infrastructure
- Using highly efficient fresh air cooling systems for smaller network nodes
- Using waste heat generated by telecommunications technology to heat buildings
- Generating electricity, heat and cooling locally
- Using low-energy lighting in offices
Power & Air Solutions, Deutsche Funkturm GmbH, Deutsche Telekom Technik GmbH and Group Facility Management all collaborated to develop the concept.
Power & Air Solutions also conducted extensive analyses of our energy use and procurement channels in terms of efficiency, environmental impact and supply security. They assessed different factors and potential components of the power management approach including energy consumption by the all-IP network, the "green power privilege" under the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz - EEG) and introducing a Group-wide smart grid.
Best Power project
The high-speed VDSL network is based on fiber-optic cables. Individual network components are connected with each other in multi-functional cabinets, recognizable as the gray boxes found throughout our cities. In order to further increase the energy efficiency of the systems contained in the cabinets and to minimize performance loss, we initiated the Best Power project in 2011. The project is scheduled to run until early 2015.
The focal point of the pilot project is selecting the most effective network equipment and increasing the energy efficiency of our systems. We plan to reduce our CO2 emissions and our operating costs thanks to the reductions in energy consumption that the project is expected to generate.
The project also focuses on assessing the sustainability, safety and efficiency of lithium ion batteries. These batteries are currently used in everything from cell phones to electric cars thanks to their high capacity and are also suited for providing uninterruptible power supply to our network components. As a smart grid component, lithium ion batteries could also help stabilize grids affected by fluctuations from renewable energy sources.
SMARTer 2020 study
As a dedicated proponent of climate protection, we also participate in research projects that study the impact of business activities on climate change. One of these is the SMARTer 2020 study, which was published in 2012. The CO2 emission reduction potential indicated in the study considerably exceeds even the results of its predecessor. According to the study, information and communications technologies (ICT) in 2020 could prevent the emission of around 9.1 billion metric tons of CO2 or around 16.5 percent of all global CO2 emissions. That is around ten times more than the total greenhouse gas emissions produced in Germany and seven times more than the emissions caused by ICT worldwide. Deutsche Telekom was heavily involved in developing the study. In Germany, one of the study's focal countries, the study examined greenhouse gas reduction potential particularly in the energy generation and industrial production sectors. The study also identified an important reduction source through ICT in the topic of smart agriculture, an area which had been previously underestimated.
Green office supplies
Telekom wants to raise employee awareness in Germany regarding green consumption and make it possible for employees to engage in suitable practices. Our central order system, eBest, is an effective tool in these efforts. The system offers a selection of around 1,000 green items. These include recycled products and refillable pens and pencils made from recycled material. Our criteria require the use of recycled or repurposed material, biodegradable material or paper that has been certified by the FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) or PEFC (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification).
We also use internal media such as the Telekom Social Network (TSN) and the intranet to encourage our employees to take a green approach at the office. Employees in Germany can use the Green Office Supplies intranet-training tool to learn more about protecting the environment at the office and can also get a certificate confirming that they have completed the training.
Avoiding and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to protect the climate has top priority at our company. We are investing more and more in certified climate protection projects – for example, a biogas project in India – to compensate for CO2 emissions that cannot be avoided. With this in mind, the Deutsche Telekom Event Policy specifies that climate certificates must be purchased to compensate for CO2 emissions generated at events in excess of 10 tons. CO2 compensation for events with emissions below this limit is voluntary. The project managers responsible for events need to take climate-relevant aspects like participant travel to and from the event and use of space into account even during the planning phase. An emissions calculator is available for this purpose.
Using recycled paper
Telekom has been using almost 100 percent recycled paper to cover demand for white office paper at its offices in Germany since January 2012. This is the result of our modified paper procurement process, which we introduced in 2011. The new process requires individual approval for purchasing fresh-fiber paper.