Climate protection strategy.
Global CO2 emissions continue to increase practically unabated according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its latest assessment report. Consequences for people and the environment include natural disasters, extreme weather conditions, rising sea levels, species extinction and an increasing number of environmental migrants. As the SMARTer 2020 study shows, the ICT industry and, therefore, Deutsche Telekom, can be part of the solution in the fight against climate change. The company helps industries and consumers reduce CO2 emissions by offering intelligent solutions such as smart grid and smart home. By introducing measures to reduce energy consumption and emissions within the Group, Telekom hopes to set a good example of how to create a low-carbon society.
"We take responsibility for a low-carbon society" is one of the key action areas of our CR strategy. We intend to keep this promise with the help of our Group-wide climate protection target of reducing our CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020 compared with 2008. We have developed measures to help us meet this target as well as instruments to gauge our progress.
Gauging our success.
Just like for other sustainability initiatives, we introduced CR key performance indicators (CR KPIs) as a yardstick by which to measure successful implementation. The CO2 Emissions and Energy Consumption CR KPIs, which we have used in the past and still apply, are currently under discussion.
Measuring direct and indirect emissions.
We use the internationally recognized Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol standard to measure our CO2 emissions. The protocol distinguishes between three CO2 emissions categories: GHG Scope 1, 2 and 3.
Over the past few years, we have introduced measurement of GHG Scope 1 and 2 emissions throughout the Group. The process of measuring Scope 3 emissions is considerably more complex because it includes emissions generated by our customers and suppliers. So far, we have only included those Scope 3 emissions that were generated by business trips. In 2013, we have prepared guidelines for the Group-wide inclusion of Scope 3 emissions . The complicated issue of how to deal with emissions from our supply chain was discussed extensively in meetings with our suppliers. All national companies are adopting these guidelines in the coming years.
Collaborating for innovation and climate protection.
Effective climate protection calls for joint efforts on the part of business, politics, science and society. We are involved in a number of domestic and international initiatives to resolutely intervene on behalf of climate protection. The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), an association of leading global ICT companies with the goal of improving sustainability in the industry, deserves particular mention. Our national company T-Mobile USA became an independent member of GeSI in 2013.
Employee involvement in climate protection.
Our employees play a central role in helping us achieve our climate protection target. That's why we actively involve them, for example with an ideas competition, the "My contribution to climate protection" photo campaign or in our corporate volunteering activities.
Telekom in the DACH Region Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index.
Telekom provides transparent information on its climate protection efforts. This was confirmed by the Carbon Disclosure Project. As a result, Telekom was included in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index for the DACH Region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) in 2013. We received 90 out of 100 points for our efforts, putting us among the top ten percent of companies in this region.
Using electricity from renewable energy sources.
Until 2012, all of the electricity used at our facilities and offices in Germany came from 100-percent renewable energy sources via RECS (renewable energy certificate system) certificates. We have stopped using this system due to its lack of direct environmental impact and the controversy surrounding recognition of these certificates. In the context of Telekom's CR strategy, it appears to make more sense both environmentally and economically to instead invest in further reducing our energy consumption and increasing our energy efficiency. In 2013, around 25 percent of the electricity used by Telekom in Germany came from renewable energy sources, reflecting the general energy mix. At some of our international Group units, we will continue to purchase certificates in order to obtain a higher share of our electricity from renewable energy sources than is provided by the general energy mix (e.g., in the Netherlands, Hungary and Greece). Even if we have not been taking the amount of electricity used from renewable energy sources into consideration when gauging our achievement of our Group-wide climate protection target, we continue to monitor changes on the market and analyze future usage options. We have been analyzing the possibility of using electricity from renewable energy sources outside of Germany since 2013 (More green energy at European national companies).
Based on the development work done by a Group-wide team of internal energy and climate experts, the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management approved a strategic climate protection target for the entire Group at the end of 2013. The goal is to reduce total CO2 emissions generated by the Group (not including T-Mobile USA) by 20 percent by the year 2020 compared to 2008. 40 Group units in 29 countries participated in developing the Group-wide climate protection target, including European units in the Netherlands, Austria and Germany as well as units in other countries such as China, Malaysia, Brazil and South Africa.
The climate target was developed based on systematic measurements of Scope 1 and 2 emissions and potential analyses from each company. We also took business trips into account, even though these fall under the Scope 3 emissions category. Making sure that energy needs do not grow despite increasing amounts of data and high investments in modern network technology will pose a significant challenge as one of our aims is to provide our products and services to our customers in ways that are energy-efficient.
The Board of Management's approval of the climate target includes the implementation of tools for central monitoring and management as well as a consistent enhancement of the climate strategy. Identifying further efficiency potential, investing in climate projects (e.g., modeled after the Kyoto Mechanisms), and increased use of electricity from renewable energy sources are all interesting ways to achieve an ongoing reduction of CO2 emissions.
The individual companies will contribute in varying degrees to the achievement of our Group-wide climate protection target. Contributions will be based on country-specific market and business trends and expansion scenarios (e.g., expansion of mobile communications networks, data center consolidation) as well as other climate-related and geographic factors that might have an impact on the energy efficiency measures.
The Board Representative for Climate Protection and Sustainability will be responsible for the achievement and enhancement of our climate protection target. He will also ensure that the Board of Management is updated on target progress in an annual status report.
Scope 3 emissions are generated for instance by our employees on their way to work or by our customers when they use our products. We are already reducing these Scope 3 emissions , for example by issuing our staff with discount season tickets for the use of public transportation. The extent of these emissions is reflected in the fact that, on their way to work alone, our employees in Germany generate a volume of CO2 emissions representing around 12 percent of our entire Scope 1 and 2 emissions.
In 2013 we made progress with the measurement of these Scope 3 emissions . We can now calculate 10 out of 15 categories in the GHG Protocol which we have rated relevant for our company. Our object is to report all our main Scope 3 emissions ; we should achieve this in Germany in 2014 and for the Group overall in 2016.
Our target is to achieve a renewable energy share in each European national company that exceeds the national renewable energy share by 10 percent until 2016 - if permitted by the liberalization of the national energy markets. With this step, we are planning to realize new CO2 reduction potential that will even exceed our Group-wide climate protection target. We launched a project in 2013 to coordinate our energy procurement processes across country borders, optimize procurement models and create synergy effects. Our goal is to learn from each other and, in the medium term, purchase our electricity together instead of individually. However, we can only achieve this if consistent energy procurement regulations have been put in place in as many EU countries as possible by that time.