Commendation for our commitment
For its commitment to the UN's goals, the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers honored Deutsche Telekom with the Building Public Trust Award for exemplary reporting practices. The jury selected Deutsche Telekom as best company in the "SDGs" (Sustainable Development Goals) category for its 2016 Annual Report. According to the jury, Deutsche Telekom does the best job of systematically analyzing the contribution that its products, services and activities make to fulfilling global sustainability goals. With this new prize category, the panel of experts takes into account current national and international reporting developments.
We're doing something! - Employee communication
We started a poster campaign in the summer of 2017 to create awareness of the SDGs among out employees. To this end, we first distributed posters at our Bonn headquarters and hung them in high-traffic zones. In addition to illustrating all the SDGs, the posters also show Deutsche Telekom's contribution to achieving the goals. The posters are available for download here.
Stakeholder Involvement Principles
Stakeholder involvement is an important tool for the strategic development as well as the practical implementation of our CR activities. We are open to our stakeholders' concerns and use the results of our stakeholder dialog in our innovation process. We listen to their criticism and address their requests and comments so that we can structure our management processes accordingly.
Deutsche Telekom came up with six principles for working with stakeholders and communicated them internally in 2012 to help our employees better implement our stakeholder involvement strategy. The first principle requires our employees to respect the interests of our stakeholders and make sure these are taken into consideration in decision-making processes. Employees are also required to actively include interest groups using participative formats, to focus on key stakeholder topics and to take a balanced approach to dealing with different stakeholder interests. Moreover, stakeholders are to be provided with extensive information on all activities relevant to them.
The principles were developed during a participative process involving internal and external stakeholders. Based on an assurance engagement, the PricewaterhouseCoopers auditing firm confirmed during the reporting period that there is moderate assurance that our principles are suitable for stakeholder involvement in compliance with AA1000.
In addition to publishing our stakeholder involvement principles, we included a concise commitment in our strategy, which is designed to help our employees implement these principles. It reads:
- Valuing our stakeholders: We listen to our stakeholders and provide them with transparent information about our activities.
- Getting our stakeholders involved: We address relevant topics and engage in dialog and collaborations with our stakeholders.
- Understanding our stakeholders: We take the concerns of stakeholders seriously and take appropriate steps in response to them.
CR action areas
We focus our CR activities on areas in which we are able to make a particularly effective contribution to the sustainable development of society. In this context we defined the following three CR action areas, all of which are directly connected to our core business:
We take responsibility …
...for connected life and work
We are helping shape the change in the increasingly digitized work and living environment. Deutsche Telekom supports cultural change with innovative products and solutions toward greater self-determination and quality of life both in our professional and personal lives. Our goal is to be a driving force for sustainable life and work.
…for connecting the unconnected
Irrespective of their social or economic opportunities, we try to get as many people as possible involved in the development of the society they live in. With this in mind, we promote numerous community initiatives and support projects for media skills development.
… for a low-carbon society
Global warming and its consequences are one of the greatest challenges facing mankind. We have launched large-scale initiatives to reduce our own emissions for the long term. At the same time we are also empowering our customers and partners to make their contribution to climate protection with our solutions.
Our Group-wide corporate values are set forth in our five Guiding Principles, which were published for the first time in January 2009. They are the key to creating and maintaining values for our customers, our employees and our shareholders, as well as for society and the environment. They are firmly integrated in all of our major business units and market segments.
Telekom's five Guiding Principles:
- Customer delight and simplicity drive our action.
- Respect and integrity guide our behavior.
- Team together - Team apart.
- Best place to perform and grow
- I am T - count on me.
Our Guiding Principles are a component of our HR work and are very important when it comes to reliable collaboration and the ability to delight our customers. We conduct regular employee surveys to find out how our employees apply our Guiding Principles in their everyday work. We also assess employee satisfaction and how well they understand our corporate strategy by way of pulse surveys. This feedback is used to embrace our Guiding Principles even stronger at the Group. To achieve this, we spread video messages featuring our Board members, place a focus on special aspects and address the importance of our Guiding Principles for various business processes.
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.
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 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.
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.
Socially responsible investment strategy for Telekom pension funds
Deutsche Telekom is also an investor on the capital market. In managing the funds of our company pension schemes and similar obligations in Germany, we are guided by our sustainability principles. For this purpose, we have defined a socially responsible investment strategy in 2013, which was approved by the Telekom pension fund service providers. It is based on a catalogue of exclusion criteria. They prohibit investments in companies that produce NBC weapons, anti-personnel mines or cluster bombs or that trade in these or have repeatedly violated the UN Global Compact principles. Telekom pension providers are also prohibited from purchasing government securities from governments that are subject to sanctions in accordance with public international law.
Putting this strategy into practice will help improve our financial risk indicators. It helps us avoid high-risk and controversial investments and, instead, invest in long-term, stable assets that comply with our sustainability principles. Furthermore, the perception of Telekom as a socially responsible company is promoted. Our socially responsible investment strategy is reviewed every two to three years and possibly complement our exclusion criteria.
Global Compact LEAD
As a founding member of the UN Global Compact Telekom has been committed to the enforcement of the ten principles of the Global Compact for years now and aligns its own actions with these principles. Many of our international subsidiaries are also members of the Global Compact and have committed themselves to the ten principles:
- Magyar Telekom (Hungary)
- OTE (Greece)
- Cosmote Greece
- T-HT Hrvatski Telekom (Croatia)
- Crnogorski Telekom (Montenegro)
Global Compact LEAD was officially presented in January 2011 as a platform for corporate sustainability leadership. The Global Compact Office invited particularly active members of the UN Global Compact to participate in this new leadership platform. Global Compact LEAD is comprised of around 50 multinational companies from different industries and regions. The aim of the platform is to make further advances in environmental, social and governance issues and to set new standards for CR.
Formats of stakeholder engagement
We place great value on the various ways of stakeholder engagement. You can find an overview of examples of our activities here:
|Stakeholder group||Formats of stakeholder engagement|
|General public / all stakeholders|
|Analysts and investors|
|Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)|