Resource efficiency and environmental protection.

  • International Waste Management Framework puts the spotlight on raw materials recycling. 
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We work hard to improve the energy efficiency of our networks. In our view, this is the most effective way to reduce our impact on the climate and environment. We make sure to use scarce resources like metals, rare earths, wood and water sparingly. We also do our best to minimize soil sealing, e.g., for network expansion, and the impact this has on biodiversity.

Management approach.

Deutsche Telekom maintains a Health, Safety and Environmental management system (HSE). By using this system, we have made a commitment to constantly improve our performance in this area. We have also specified a Group-wide framework for waste prevention and recycling. The main objective of this framework is to improve resource efficiency throughout the Group.

Resource efficiency at the workplace.
We use recycled paper and energy-efficient printers to improve resource efficiency at the office. We also purchase green office supplies.

Group-wide framework for waste reduction and recycling.

We specified an "international framework for waste management" during the reporting period, creating a Group-wide, standardized basis for responsible waste management practices. We intend to further reduce the amount of waste we produce, particularly hazardous waste, and improve our raw materials recycling rate. Our national companies will develop their own waste strategies or adjust existing strategies and define appropriate targets on this basis.

Reducing electronic, office and domestic waste.

Throughout the Deutsche Telekom Group there were renewed efforts to reduce electronic, office and domestic waste in the year under review – for example in Spain and Greece.

Sale and reuse of electrical and electronic equipment.
Since 2012 T-Systems Iberia has been selling any electrical and electronic equipment it no longer requires to a supplier. As a result, the amount of electrical and electronic waste has been reduced. During 2013, for example, 335 laptops were donated to this supplier, which resulted in a reduction of 1,340 kg in waste.

In 2012 T-Systems Iberia also began selling redundant electrical and electronic equipment from its data centers to a supplier who is required to use any suitable spares in maintaining the company's equipment. So the supplier is turning redundant equipment into repairable spares and the company is reducing the amount of waste generated annually in data centers by approx. 90 percent in a year-on-year comparison. Cost savings are being achieved in the fields of spare parts, storage and waste management.

Successful internal recycling program.
In June 2013 OTE and Cosmote launched a new recycling program at their central administrative offices (2 buildings) where more than 3,500 employees work. The program, which encourages the recycling of packaging materials, office paper, ink cartridges, light bulbs but also small electric and electronic appliances, portable batteries and phone devices (mobile and landlines) with their accessories, is based on the sorting-at-source principle, with centralized waste collection and management.

For the operation of the program roles and responsibilities were designated, training sessions for OTE / Cosmote employees held and detailed work instructions developed.

The program is expected to generate reliable data on waste generation and recycling in buildings and to enhance the environmental awareness of OTE / Cosmote employees. Plans to expand the implementation of the program in four main buildings are currently in progress.

During the first six months of the implementation of the pro-gram 31.5 tons of paper and packaging materials were collected and recycled in the two buildings. This total was made up of 28.4 tons of paper, 2.2 tons of plastic and 0.9 tons of tetra-pack waste.

11,025 metric tons of copper cable recycled.

In 2013, Telekom removed more than 11,025 metric tons of copper cable from duct systems in Germany alone. The cable was processed in accordance with environmental standards at certified waste disposal facilities and up to 90 percent of the material was recycled.

Environmental education raises awareness among employees and society.

Deutsche Telekom prioritizes environmental education to make its employees and society in general more aware of ecological issues. The measures implemented during the reporting period included an internal environmental campaign, educational projects in schools and idea competitions.

Internal campaign for environmental protection.
From 17 August to 19 October 2013 T-Systems Slovakia ran an internal ecological campaign  to raise environmental awareness among employees, e.g. about recycling.  A total of 30 participants attended seminars to do with the project. At one volunteering day 13 employees and their families helped to build a unique hobbit house to serve as a teahouse in an ECO center. And at another volunteering day in a National Nature Reserve 17 employees painted the boundary fencing.

Solar Sunflowers at elementary schools in Croatia.
In March 2013 Hrvatski Telekom launched and financed the Solar Sunflowers project with a donation of approx. 53,000 EUR (HRK 400,000). The project was implemented in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). As a result, 10 elementary schools throughout Croatia have been equipped with a solar tracker (“solar sunflower”), a freestanding solar system that tracks the sun throughout the day so that solar modules are positioned at an optimal angle to the sun. This increases system efficiency by approx. 30 percent and thus increases the amount of energy produced.

The idea behind the project is to educate children about renewable sources of energy, and in particular solar and wind energy, by enabling them to see how much energy is being produced by each solar sunflower in a given hour, day or year. They also learn about the energy that can be generated from river currents, tides and waves as well as geothermal and biomass energy. 

In July 2013 the project was additionally advertised with an innovative billboard made with photo sensitive colors where pictures alternated according to the amount of sunlight.

Financially supporting Green Schools in Albania.
In collaboration with UNICEF and other project partners, the Albanian subsidiary AMC supported the Green Schools program with a donation of 5,000 EUR. This environmental initiative, the first of its kind in Albania, aimed at raising awareness of environmental protection and improvement from March to December 2013. The program included green school certifications, more bins placed around schools, the planting of flowers and trees, and the installation of benches.

Environment and sustainability fund at T-Mobile Austria.
In October 2013, T-Mobile Austria called for submissions for its environment and sustainability (TUN) fund. The fund recognizes innovations targeted at solving environmental and sustainability problems with prize money totaling at 50,000 euros.

The winners of the 2012/2013 round were recognized on April 24, 2013. Projects to fight bee extinction, to improve car use efficiency through car sharing and to develop cell-phone cases made out of recycled material were awarded the top three prizes.

Green ideas.
In March 2013 AMC supported Partners Albania in the Green Philanthropy 2013 national competition, which aims to engage local communities and interested parties in mitigating negative environmental effects. The competition was open to all civil society organizations, social enterprises and business ventures that identify, choose, and later implement innovative ideas for a greener environment.

One of the winning ideas in 2013 that will be subsidized to the tune of 3,000 Euro by AMC is "Furniture and recycled objects", a project staffed by retired professionals that aims to make furniture through recycling the wooden pallets and ornamental objects, shades and various lighting fixtures from recycled glass objects. It will give young orphans and pensioners an opportunity to develop their professional skills.

Support for employee environmental projects

As part of its Green Car Policy, Deutsche Telekom provided a total of 150,000 euros in donations for ten environmental projects in 2013. Deutsche Telekom employees in Germany could decide how much money each individual project received: between 5,000 euros and 25,000 euros depending on the ranking. The majority of votes (39 percent) went to the "Investigating water pollution by microplastics" project by One Earth – One Ocean e.V.

In addition, this year, employees could also put forward non-profit environmental projects that they are involved in for support. A jury selected ten projects from those submitted by employees, which received funding totaling 32,500 euros. This included the Natur- und Begegnungs-Bauernhof ("Face to face with nature on the farm" - NaBeBa e.V.) association, which is committed to raising awareness of nature among children and young people.

The Green Car Policy  contains a bonus/penalty system as an incentive to encourage our employees to select fuel-efficient company car models. Employees who choose a car with high CO2 emissions levels have to help cover the higher mobility costs and higher environmental pollution by paying a monetary penalty. The profits from this are used for mobility projects, such as financing and promoting eco-driver courses, promoting electromobility and environmentally-friendly natural gas vehicles, and the use of bicycles and e-bikes. Some of the penalty profits also go toward environmental projects.

Protecting biodiversity.

Our network expansion activities sometimes involve building over natural habitats and interfering with biodiversity. In addition to conducting mandatory compensation measures, we also work to conserve or restore natural habitats that are home to a particularly wide range of biodiversity.

In 2013, we donated money from the nature conservation fund jointly financed by Telekom Deutschland and the Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) environmental organization to protect the biodiversity of the Dellbrücker Heide moorlands. The project was initiated by Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND e.V.). The nature reserve located outside the city of Cologne is actually a man-made landscape created by grazing and deforestation activities over the past few centuries. Today, however, it is home to a number of animal and plant species that have effectively adapted to these conditions, including around 90 kinds of wild bees. Wild bees play a key role in pollinating fruit trees. However, many kinds of bees are threatened with extinction by insecticides and soil sealing.

A pack of donkeys is kept on the Dellbrücker Heide moorlands to maintain the habitat. Donkeys feed off young trees, preventing development of shrubs and forest. They also help spread plant seed. DUH and BUND organized volunteer days in winter 2012/2013 to clear areas of moorland that had been overgrown. The new equipment they used was paid for with donations by Telekom.

In Addition, Telekom supported the Naturschutzbund (Nature Protection Society of Germany, NABU) project “Naturparadies Bärenbusch” for the conservation of ecologically valuable low moors. The funds were made available through a bonus/penalty program established by our Green Car Policy .

Green office supplies.

Around 35,000 orders for office supplies at Telekom in Germany complied with our sustainability criteria in 2013. After making adjustments to purchasing processes, as of 2015 we will be able to transparently track the share of our total order volume that can be attributed to green products. Our central order system, eBest, encourages employees to purchase green office supplies.

Since January 2013, all T-Systems employees in the Netherlands have been using electronic pay slips, which has resulted in a reduction in paper consumption.