According to the SMARTer 2020 study, around 16.5 percent of all CO2 emissions worldwide could be avoided through use of information and communications technology (ICT). That is seven times the amount that is being caused by the ICT industry itself.
For this reason, we support consumers and business customers who are looking to optimize their energy consumption and energy management. A few examples that show how the carbon footprint of enterprises and consumers can be reduced with ICT are cloud services, smart clients, video conferences, and smart grids. Simultaneously, we are systematically reducing our own CO2 emissions. To this end, we are shifting our network technology away from the traditional telephone network over to the Internet protocol, replacing second generation mobile technology with new technologies and improving the utilization and energy efficiency of our data centers.
Telekom in Germany plans to make a contribution to creating a low carbon society by 2020. Our ambitious goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2020 compared to 2008 levels. That will be the equivalent of more than 40 percent compared to emissions recorded in 1995. It is realistic to say that we can achieve this goal based on the general conditions given in Germany. Unlike emissions in global growth regions, CO2 emissions have decreased in Germany over the last two years. According to measurements conducted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, the amount of CO2 emissions produced in Germany, measured based on CO2 equivalents, decreased from 1,246 million tons in 1990 to 937 million tons in 2010. By introducing more efficient information and communications technology (ICT), Deutsche Telekom contributes significantly to continuing this trend. Even the increasing transmission capacities and telecommunications services resulting from this do not necessarily lead to higher emissions thanks to the use of state-of-the-art technology.
CO2 reductions at Telekom in Germany will primarily result from the transition to the more energy-efficient Internet protocol (All-IP). We can also make a contribution to this development with the implementation of our Green Car Policy, which was introduced in 2010, with savings in the area of facility management and with load-adaptive control of network components. We use the CO2 emissions CR KPI to measure overall emissions trends. In 2012, the entire Telekom Group emitted a total of 3,647,359 tons of CO2. If you also take the emissions saved with RECS (Renewable Energy Certificates System) and other certificates, the Group only produced 2,235,388 tons of CO2. At the end of 2012, the International Energy Agency (IEA) completely revised the emission factors it had published for emissions resulting from electricity consumption. This was taken into account for the 2012 emissions and resulted in a rise in the emissions figure.
We have not yet achieved our interim goal, which was approved in 2011, of expanding our climate protection strategy to 13 European Telekom subsidiaries and 11 European T-Systems branches by May 2012. This can be attributed to uncertain forecast data on emissions-heavy segments such as fixed-line, mobile networks, data centers, IT, car fleet, facility management and business travel. Even the definition of personal climate protection goals for our European subsidiaries depends on this data to a certain extent.
Telekom has also initiated this process at international subsidiaries outside of Europe regardless of the still pending specification of climate protection goals at European units. Reference values from 2008 have been determined for all areas as for the European subsidiaries. The next step is to identify specific measures and create a prognosis for target values in 2020. The climate protection strategy is currently being extended to include eight T-Systems LBUs outside of Europe: Brazil, Malaysia, Singapore, Russia, North America, Mexico, South Africa and China. T-Systems Japan and T-Mobile USA have not yet been included.
By determining their own climate protection goals and relevant implementation measures by 2020, our international subsidiaries outside of Germany are laying the groundwork for being able to implement the climate protection strategy. After this process has been completed, we are planning to conduct regular checks of CO2 emissions and measure implementation to ensure the targets are met. The CR Manager Network is also planning to strengthen collaboration between our international subsidiaries and to encourage them to share their experiences from climate protection efforts. This should further promote internal communication of best practices.
As part of the Climate Change Group (CCG), the expert group CCG@TDG from DT Technology is developing and initiating specific measures in collaboration with Power and Air Solutions in order to reduce CO2 emissions generated by the network infrastructure in Germany between 2008 and 2020. The group meets regularly, analyzes current CO2 values and, if necessary, develops new measures to meet the Group's 2020 target for CO2 emissions.
Here is a list of exemplary projects in the area of climate-friendly network infrastructure solutions that were developed by the expert group in 2012:
- Load-adaptive control
- Analysis of smart grid potential and conducting initial pilot projects
- Highly-efficient network devices
- Increase power usage effectiveness of the control stations
- Dismantling outdated technology
Load-adaptive control of information and communications technology (ICT) is a field of research on how to reduce CO2 emissions in order to make our network infrastructure more climate friendly. Traditional ICT technology always uses the same amount of power regardless of the amount of data that is being transferred or processed. Load-adaptive control systems allow us, to a certain degree, to adjust electricity usage in line with the capacity needed.
We have also analyzed and implemented possible energy savings potential in the context of designing smart grids (DESI project). Smart grids allow network operators to control the generation and use of electricity in such a way that supply and demand are coordinated more effectively and the voltage in the grid remains stable. This will make it possible for grids and power plants to work together in a more efficient, climate-friendly way (Smart grids & smart metering).
Additionally, the PUE value was further reduced from 1.8 to 1.48 at around 8,000 operating units between 2005 and 2012. The PUE value compares the total amount of power that is used at a data center with the power consumption of the computers (total facility power/ICT power) and indicates how effective operating units are in terms of securing availability (cooling and powering). The more the value approximates to 1, the higher is the energy efficiency. In 2012, we conducted a number of measures, e.g., increased usage of direct fresh air cooling, waste heat recovery from central cooling and compact systems and rectifier station efficiency improvements. This resulted in further reductions of energy consumption in the network infrastructure.
We also continued to dismantle outdated technology in 2012. Telekom was able to save around 16,900 tons of CO2 emissions in 2012 by shutting down power-intensive network systems, compared with approx. 16,000 tons in 2011. After dismantling outdated systems, we have them recycled so that valuable raw materials such as copper can be reused.
Telekom compensated for the carbon footprint left behind by events, products and services totaling at 12,139 metric tons of CO2 during the reporting period. Our event policy specifies that climate certificates must be purchased to compensate for all events that cause CO2 emissions of more than ten metric tons. CO2 compensation for events with emissions below this limit is voluntary. Project managers responsible for events need to take climate protection-related issues into account even during the planning phase. They can use an emissions calculator to calculate values such as the emissions that will be generated by participant travel to and from the event.
We also compensate for the CO2 emissions produced by some products and services, e.g., phone and web conference systems or software for downloading videos and music by (neutralizing the carbon footprint of our download portals).
Avoiding and reducing greenhouse gas emissions 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. 30 percent of the climate certificates comply with the Gold Standard, the strictest requirements for emission reduction projects worldwide, and 70 percent comply with the Voluntary Carbon Standard, which is recognized internationally as well.
In 2013, we are planning to increase the volume of high-quality climate compensation efforts and get involved in further projects.
In the last few years, Telekom has initiated the measurement of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions at its international units. To do this, we use the data provided by them in the Group-wide CR data collection system, in which each company records the number of kilometers driven, consumption of fossil fuels and electricity consumption. Based on this data we calculate the scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions using coefficients defined by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
We are aware that this only reflects part of our impact on the climate. Additional emissions are generated in particular during the production and transport of the goods that we purchase from our suppliers as well as when customers use our services. So far, we have only been partially recording scope 3 emissions for Telekom in Germany, including emissions produced by our business trips taken by rental car, train or airplane.
In 2012 we developed a concept to record our indirect emissions as defined under GHG Scope 3. At the end of the reporting period, we submitted our draft for review by a verification company of international repute. The results are expected by mid-2013. We continue to participate in industry initiatives to ensure that our data can be compared with that of other companies.
One tricky aspect about recording Scope 3 emissions is evaluation of emissions from the pre-supply chain. In order to obtain the information we need, we hold intensive talks with our suppliers. In 2012, we staged two supplier workshops on this aspect.
With support from Öko-Institut e. V., we also developed a guideline for calculating a product carbon footprint (PCF). To create transparency on greenhouse gas emissions at the customer end, we have tested the first draft of the guideline in practice on the basis of our Entertain product. During the process, we found that the receiver's standby function is a high power consumer. We therefore plan to optimize the product and move it over to the Internet in the medium term. However, the largest single part of the carbon footprint, namely 35 percent, is generated in conjunction with the TV set itself, on which we have no direct influence.
Our calculations of the Scope 3 emissions are based on the internationally recognized Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Standard. Deutsche Telekom is involved in further advancing the protocol, especially for companies in the information and communications industry (ICT). The plan is to pass and publish a sector supplement amendment for the industry in 2013.
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