CR Facts provides background information on corporate responsibility (CR) and sustainability issues at Deutsche Telekom.
Our current corporate responsibility report is available at
Measurable success: Reduced CO2 generation at data centers
We keep our goal of reducing our carbon footprint in mind when planning and operating our data centers. To achieve this goal, we take a two-step approach. It starts with optimizing energy consumption at each data center site and then continues with improving processes throughout the global data center landscape.
The PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) figure is the key indicator for their energy efficiency. Since 2008, we have succeeded in reducing the average PUE factor at the T-Systems data centers in Germany from 1.85 to 1.56.
|Data Center Energy Usage||2016||2017||2018||2019|
|Total energy used in data centers (MWh)||535,282||837,265||735,800||647,162|
|Percentage of renewable energy (of total energy)||35||41||52||64|
Our aim is to increase the share of renewable energy on a yearly basis. Therefore our reported target is to increase our share in comparison to the previous year.
Our employee survey, which is conducted every two years, is an important tool for obtaining feedback from our employees, discovering weaknesses, and implementing suitable actions to eliminate those weaknesses. The analysis on team level and of other criteria (e.g. function, leader vs. employee, gender) support the derivation of fitting concrete improvement actions on all levels. Around 76% of all employees participated in the last employee survey, the share of men and woman - where gender was specified - complies approximately with gender proportion in the group (participation rate man around 67%, women around 32% and for the first time diverse around 1%). The twice-yearly pulse survey additionally helps us obtain a current snapshot of the mood at the company and verify whether the introduced actions have been successful. This lets us make quick adjustments if necessary.
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
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.)
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: 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.