Results of the materiality process

Results of the materiality process

GRI-Indicator G-4 18
GRI-Indicator G-4 19
GRI-Indicator G-4 22
GRI-Indicator G-4 27

The purpose of our multi-phase materiality process is to identify topics that are relevant to our sustainability management practices. During the last reporting period, we held an internal workshop and conducted a two-week, external survey (previous year's CR report). We have further refined the process since then.

Materiality process  2014/2015
The first step was to take stock of the most important topics for us and our stakeholders. This was based on the materiality results from the previous years. We included the following sources in our analysis in order to complete this list and incorporate the concerns of stakeholder groups whose participation in our survey has been limited:

  • Our own NGO radar (to include civic organizations)
  • Questionnaires from companies such as RobecoSAM  and Sustainalytics (to more effectively include analysts)
  • The materiality analysis conducted by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI ) in 2014. This materiality analysis, which was conducted for the entire IT industry, is based on expert interviews with stakeholders and online surveys of GeSI  members. It provides guidance for the entire ICT  industry.

We also weighted the topics internally. To do this, we looked at the results of an internal, cross-departmental materiality workshop conducted in 2013 and statements made by topic owners at our Group in 2014 on topics such as human rights, the supply chain and energy and emissions. The purpose of the interviews conducted with these experts was to further accentuate the materiality analysis from Deutsche Telekom's perspective and consolidate the list of topics. Reporting boundaries for the different topics were also included in the discussion for the first time. This is particularly important due to changing stakeholder expectations as companies are increasingly being expected to assume responsibility beyond the scope of their own structures.

We then compared the consolidated topics with the GRI aspects. Since December 2014, we have also been offering our stakeholders the chance to participate in an online survey on our homepage for an unlimited period of time. This gives them the opportunity to give us feedback at any time and helps us identify changing expectations at an early stage.

Results of the stakeholder survey
We changed the structure of this year's stakeholder survey. Instead of sending out standardized questionnaires to all of our stakeholder groups, we decided to let participants decide for themselves which topics they wished to address. The survey also includes numerous opportunities to add comments. Group-specific, open questions invited stakeholders to contribute their own thoughts and suggestions.

By the end of March 2015, 233 people had taken the survey, in particular Deutsche Telekom customers (102) and employees (70). Investors (13), potential employees (13), analysts (5), NGO and business representatives (4 each), employee representatives and suppliers (3 each), media and research (2 each) as well as political representatives (1) also took the survey. An additional nine participants could not be classified into any of these groups.

When asked in which areas they felt Deutsche Telekom should be particularly active, most participants voted for network expansion, customer satisfaction, data privacy, human rights and climate and environment. Weighting within these topic areas showed a focus on our sections "Customers," "Networks" and "Strategy and management."

The results confirm our original findings. On average, participants gave the suggested topics the same ratings we saw in the stock-taking phase, with only a few exceptions. "Employee data privacy" and "investment volume for network expansion," for example, were rated as "somewhat relevant" instead of "less relevant." You will find all of the survey results in the diagrams below. We consider topics that we and our stakeholders rate as "somewhat relevant" or "very relevant" to be material. We regularly analyze this ongoing feedback and incorporate the results into our sustainability management practices.

We want to encourage our stakeholders to get involved with our online survey, which we have made available for an unlimited period of time. As an additional incentive, we donate 3 euros to the "Yes, I can!" initiative for every person who participates. We had donated 699 euros by March 2015.

You can find our materiality survey at

We used the results of our multi-phase materiality process to identify ten topics with particular strategic relevance over all chapters. Our reporting on these topics received external assurance, indicated by a check mark in the report. Of great relevance are:

  • Group-wide climate protection
  • Enabling customers’ sustainability
  • Sustainability in the supply chain
  • Digital inclusion
  • Compliance with human rights
  • Data privacy and data security
  • Responsible network expansion
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Diversity, health and other HR issues
  • Waste and recycling