Resource scarcity and raw materials sourcing.
Production of electronic devices like smartphones can be harmful to the environment and requires large amounts of water and energy. Because the production facilities of suppliers and manufacturers are often located in regions where water is scarce or the population does not have sufficient access to electricity, the availability of resources plays a more significant role there than it does in countries like Germany.
Moreover, valuable raw materials like metals are used in producing smartphones and other ICT products. Some metals, including tantalum, gold, tin and tungsten, are extracted from ores, some of which are found in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, under conditions that are inhumane and/or associated with civil war. The parties involved in conflict in the region use the profit for purposes such as financing civil wars. Telekom does not produce any of its ICT products itself. The Group purchases these products from international manufacturers and sells them at its stores, offers them in the context of service provision or uses them in its network infrastructure. Telekom requires its suppliers to refrain from using any conflict resources. The Group also supports industry initiatives that promote a more sustainable supply chain.
Telekom requires its suppliers to protect the environment and use resources responsibly. These requirements are documented in our Social Charter . They are also set forth in detail in our CR clause, which was added to our General Terms and Conditions for Purchasing in June 2013. We require our suppliers to provide information on their activities as part of a self-assessment and conduct supplier audits to emphasize the importance of these requirements. In the scope of the audits, we check whether our suppliers use an environmental management system and how they manage their energy and wind consumption, as well as other factors. We also explicitly ask them about their waste management system.
Handling critical raw materials.
Deutsche Telekom collaborates with suppliers and industry initiatives to effect responsible raw materials sourcing. We are particularly forceful in making sure that no conflict resources are used in producing the devices we sell or use in our network technology.
With our Coltan Statement, which was published in 2005, and our Statement on Extractives, which was published in 2009, we want to make sure that both our direct suppliers and their sub-suppliers work to minimize the social risks linked to extracting raw materials. We require our suppliers to consider Deutsche Telekom’s Statement on Extractives . In cooperation with the Global e-Sustainability Initiative and the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition industry associations, we work to advance the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI). This initiative helps companies identify conflict resources and avoid trade and production involving those resources.
Telekom has been supporting the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) since the initiatives founding in 2008. CFSI is the largest business initiative for responsible raw materials sourcing. Its goal is to identify conflict resources and prevent trade and production involving those resources.
CFSI is based on a working group that was founded in 2008 by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative and the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition industry associations (Extractives Working Group) to address sustainable raw materials extraction. This workshop was reformed as the CSFI in 2013. With this change, the working group opened itself up to other industries and currently counts more than 120 companies among its members. The initiative was able to increase the number of smelters engaging in responsible practices, for example, thanks to collaboration with the Responsible Jewellery Council and London Bullion Market Association. A total of 64 smelters were certified for conflict-free raw materials sourcing by the end of 2013 thanks to the initiative’s efforts.