Climate protection initiatives.

  • SMARTer2020 study shows reduction potential resulting from ICT solutions.
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  • First convention of the E-waste Academy in Ghana.
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Fighting global warming will be one of the main issues in our future. Close collaboration between the worlds of business, politics and society is very important in developing effective approaches to climate protection. That is why Telekom is involved in numerous initiatives to protect the climate and the environment within the scope of its "low carbon society" focus.

We also made efforts to drive the topic during our participation in the United Nations' COP  18 climate protection conference, which was held in Doha, Qatar in December 2012, together with the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI). At the conference, we emphasized the central role of the ICT industry in realizing CO2 reduction targets as well as the necessity of developing specific, mandatory objectives.

2° – German CEOs for Climate Protection initiative.

Deutsche Telekom supports the German federal government at a national and international level in creating an effective policy to protect the global climate as a member of the 2° – German CEOs for Climate Protection foundation. On the occasion of the United Nations' climate change conference (COP  18) in Doha, Qatar in December 2012, the CEOs of the companies supporting the foundation made an appeal to the German federal government. They demanded that Germany help develop a common position for the EU member states in which they commit to raising their CO2 reduction targets for 2020 from 20 to 30 percent. At the beginning of the climate change conference on November 26, 2012, the CEOs paid German Minister for the Environment, Peter Altmaier, a visit. They discussed topics such as the contributions being made to climate protection by the energy turnaround in Germany and efforts to make buildings more energy-efficient.

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The goal of the 2° – German CEOs for Climate Protection foundation is to limit global warming in the long term to a maximum of 2° compared to the preindustrial level. The initiative considers its most important contribution to German climate protection policy to be the development of technologies, procedures and services that can be used worldwide to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Involvement in the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.

Telekom is a founding member of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI). Our Board Representative for Climate Protection and Sustainability has been chairing this initiative since 2006. Telekom representatives were involved in all five current working groups during the reporting period: Here is a summary of their activities:

  • Climate change: The main focus of this working group in 2012 was to carry out the SMARTer2020 study. The original plan for 2012 was to identify the potential for reducing water consumption in processes used to manufacture network infrastructure systems and end devices. However, this project could not be implemented because of the SMARTer2020 study. No decisions as to when the project would be initiated had been made by the end of the reporting period.
  • Supply chain: Standards for a transparent raw materials supply chain, e.g., within the scope of the Conflict-Free Smelter Program conducted by EICC (Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition) – GeSI Extractives Working Group - were developed further during the reporting period.
  • Energy efficiency: In 2011, we participated in a benchmark study on the energy efficiency of fixed-line network providers. The results were published in 2012. British Telecom, KPN, Telecom Italia and Telefonica also participated in the study. The results showed that there are many differences between the network providers. Some of the differences include outside air temperature at the sites where technical systems are installed. That leads to a strong variation in the amount of energy needed to cool network nodes. Population density as well as the access technology being used also lead to significant deviations in energy consumption values. One key factor in improving energy efficiency is switching digital legacy systems over to state-of-the-art IP-based systems. All parameters analyzed in the study showed increasing efficiency in the period between 2008 and 2010. Deutsche Telekom's values were above average. However, only a limited comparison of the data can be made due to the differing general conditions, which must also be taken into consideration when factoring in successful improvement programs.
  • E-waste: In order to establish capacities for the international management of electronic waste in developing countries, the working group initiated the E-Waste Academy in 2012 in collaboration with Solving the E-waste Problem (StEP) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The focal point of the conference was sharing experiences and examining effective waste management and regulatory systems for e-waste. The first convention of the E-waste Academy took place in Accra, Ghana, from June 25-29, 2012. The convention was co-financed by GeSI, the Netherlands Association for the Disposal of Metal and Electrotechnical Products (NVMP Association) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). An interactive online toolkit for e-waste management was developed in the context of the convention. It is available to any parties interested in the e-waste sector and provides tools for creating guidelines and business models as well as system solutions. The final version of the toolkit is scheduled to be completed in spring 2013. Participants responded to the event very positively and it was reported on extensively by the media. You can find more information on the E-Waste Academy on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Public policy: GeSI used the United Nation's COP  18 climate conference in Doha, Qatar, as an opportunity to initiate a number of activities in which Telekom participated as a member of GeSI. One highlight was the press conference presentation of the SMARTer2020 study, which we helped develop as part of our commitment to GeSI. The study focuses on the potential of ICT (information and communications technology) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A video of the event is available on YouTube.

Participants at the ninth GeSI general meeting in Shenzhen, China, in October 2012, approved a new organizational structure. The new structure focuses on project-based collaboration instead of permanent working groups. GeSI plans to focus on three areas: climate protection, human rights and the supply chain. Under these topics, participants will develop content on areas such as energy efficiency (climate protection) and conflict minerals (supply chain). Deutsche Telekom will be participating in all of the new project groups.

ICT as a solution engine.
The SMARTer2020 study is an update to the SMART2020 study that was published in 2008. The potential reduction of 16.5 percent of all CO2 emissions by 2020 indicated by the study exceeds the results of the earlier study by far. 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.

Broadband's potential to reduce CO2 emissions in the U.S. and Europe.
In 2012, GeSI commissioned the Yankee Group to conduct a study on the current energy savings potential of online activities. The study looked at eight areas: telework, the Internet as a primary news source, online banking, e-commerce, media downloads and streaming, e-learning, digital photography and e-mail. The results showed that using these applications can help reduce total energy consumption by around 2 percent in the U.S. as well as in Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain. To sum up the results, the annual energy savings potential in the five EU countries is the equivalent of 123 million barrels of crude oil and as much as 205 million barrels in the US (1 barrel = 158.9873 liters). This correlates with CO2 emission totaling around 39 and 79 million tons respectively. Telework solutions were rated as being particularly effective. Telekom supported the study financially and provided information.

Last year's CR report

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Telekom has been involved in the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) since 2001 as a founding member. This industry initiative is dedicated to fully exploiting the global CO2 reduction potential that state-of-the-art information technology offers society. GeSI also works to make the extraction of raw materials more transparent and to improve social and environmental conditions in raw material extraction.

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