Protecting the climate
"We assume 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, which was adopted in 2013: We are planning to reduce our CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020 compared with 2008 (excluding T-Mobile USA). We have specified a variety of measures and developed measurement tools to help us reach this goal.
Measurable success in climate protection
We use different key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the effectiveness of our climate protection efforts. KPIs also provide transparency to shareholders regarding our progress in realizing our climate target. We have been recording two new KPIs since 2016: Carbon Intensity and Energy Intensity. These KPIs express the ratio between our CO2 emissions or energy consumption and the data volumes we transport. They will be replacing our Energy Consumption KPI, which creates a correlation between energy consumption and revenue. In contrast, these new KPIs provide a clear depiction of developments in the energy and emissions efficiency of our network, thereby underlining the relationship between these developments and our core business.
Direct and indirect emissions
We use the internationally recognized GHG protocol to measure our CO2 emissions. This standard distinguishes between three CO2 emissions categories (Scope 1, 2 and 3). We use Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions to calculate our CO2 Emissions KPI. We have also been recording all relevant Scope 3 emissions pertaining to our business in Germany since 2013 as well as the emissions generated by various national companies since 2015.
Recording Scope 3 emissions
Indirect emissions along the value chain, or Scope 3 emissions , make up the majority of our total emissions. Recording these emissions helps us design targeted measures to reduce our carbon footprint at a corporate and product level.
CO2e-Emissionen (Scope 1-3)
6.606 kt CO2e
Transportation services, purchased products and services, capital goods, production waste, upstream energy and fuel supply chains, business travel, and employee commuting.
290 kt CO2eOperating the systems, buildings, and vehicles belonging to Deutsche Telekom.
3.130 kt CO2eGeneration of district electricity and heating purchased by Deutsche Telekom.
5.095 kt CO2eTransportation of products sold to customers, use of sold and rented products and disposal and recycling of sold products.
We have been fully disclosing the Scope 3 emissions generated throughout the Group since 2016. They came to 4,879,850 metric tons of CO2 equivalents in Germany, roughly 2.6 percent more than in the previous year. This slight increase can be attributed, among other things, to an increase in the number of devices being leased by our customers and higher investments in network expansion. As in previous years, most of these emissions were generated by the use of end devices sold or leased out by us (roughly 40 percent). Emissions generated by purchasing technology to expand our networks as well as the purchase of end devices and other goods and services were significant as well.
We have been publishing the emissions generated by our key European national companies since 2015, adding U.S. subsidiary T-Mobile US in 2016. Emissions sources at our national companies are similar to those identified in Germany. At national companies without any relevant fixed-line business such as those in Austria, Poland and the Netherlands, however, purchased products and services are the main source of Scope 3 emissions.
|Overview of Scope 3 emissions (t CO2e)|
|National company||2015||2016||Comparison year-on-year|
|Total||6 693 381||6 821 919|
Enablement factor: Customers reducing CO2
Our products and services not only connect people, they also help them reduce their CO2 emissions. That is why, in addition to calculating our own carbon footprint, we also calculate the amount of CO2 our customers can avoid producing by using our products and services. The ratio between these two figures – the "enablement factor" – allows us to assess our overall performance when it comes to climate protection. We began calculating the enablement factor in a pilot project launched in 2014. The calculation methodology was developed further in 2016. This process included specifying statistical methods for reviewing data and information provided by the Group's various departments in order to improve the validity of our data and ensure comparability in years to come. We were able to perform twelve case studies for our products in Germany by the end of the year. One study focused on the savings our customers achieved by using our cloud offers and outsourcing their infrastructure to our highly efficient data centers. In addition, we carried out five case studies for Europe.
Our findings: The savings achieved by our customers in Germany in 2016 were 33 percent higher than our own CO2 emissions (an enablement factor of 1.33 : 1). The reductions potential of our customers throughout Europe (including Germany) in 2016 was not quite as high as our own CO2 emissions, resulting in an enablement factor of 0.95 (see analysis).
We always take a conservative approach in our case studies and the methodology we use. This applies to both the emissions reduction realized by our customers and our own emissions generated throughout the value chain. For example, we incorporate all levels of emissions generation when assessing our carbon footprint, including emissions generated when our customers use our products (e.g., emissions produced by our Entertain customers' TV sets).
New CHP plants up and running
With our energy management activities, we are planning to reduce our energy use and come a step closer to achieving our climate target.
We are increasingly using combined heat and power (CHP) plants in addition to the conventional power grid. The majority of 32 units in total (as of late 2016) power our network nodes. The CHP plants convert the energy supplied by gas into electricity and heat. We use the waste heat produced on site to heat our office buildings, which brings overall energy efficiency to a level of up to 90 percent. As a comparison, electricity generated by conventional sources and fed through the general German power grid has an efficiency level of roughly 40 percent. By using these plants, we have been able to reduce the CO2 emissions caused by network operation.
We put two new CHP plants in Berlin and one new unit in Frankfurt into operation in November 2016. Around 350 MWh of electricity and 500 MWh of heat was produced at these locations through the end of the year, reflecting a reduction in CO2 emissions of 97 metric tons. For comparison: An average two-person household uses around 3.1 MWh of electricity each year.
Innovative local energy concept
A local heating pipeline runs from our CHP unit in Berlin to a neighboring school. Waste heat from the unit heats the school and its gymnasiums throughout the year. Not only does this reduce costs, it also helps reduce CO2 emissions by up to 800 tons a year. The school was able to get rid of its old gas boiler and pays a reasonable price for the waste heat produced by the CHP unit. We received the Green Buddy Award from the City of Berlin in November 2016 for this innovate local energy concept.
Planned upgrading measures
We are planning to upgrade two other CHP plants in the cities of Ulm and Rottweil. Absorption chillers will be installed in both units to convert waste heat into cold air, which will then be used to cool network nodes. Additional, environmentally friendly dry coolers will also be installed in order to further reduce water consumption during the cooling process. Renovation is scheduled for completion in 2017.
9,924 tons of CO2 compensated
Preventing greenhouse gas emissions is one of our top priorities. Investing in certified climate protection projects is one way to compensate for some of the CO2 emissions that we are unable to avoid generating or reduce.
Telekom Deutschland compensated for 9,924 metric tons of CO2 in the 2016 reporting year. These included emissions associated with our events (participant travel to and from the event, room usage, etc.) and certain products and services (e.g., conference calls or web conferences). Our Event Policy specifies the ways in which we compensate for emissions generated by events.
We set a new target for climate-friendly mobility in 2016: to reduce the average CO2 emissions produced by all new car purchases (company cars and service vehicles) to 95 g CO2/km by 2020. This new target is based on our previous target (110g CO2/km by the end of 2015), which we successfully achieved.
We pursue a three-pillar strategy to ensure a climate-friendly fleet management strategy:
- Rightsize: selecting appropriately sized, energy-efficient, low-emissions cars. By introducing our Green Car Policy we have also created incentives for drivers of company cars to select smaller, more efficient cars.
- Economize: encouraging a fuel-efficient, low-emissions driving style with driver training courses
- Substitute: piloting and testing alternative mobility concepts.
We can further reduce our fleet's carbon footprint by purchasing vehicles with alternative engines and fuel systems. We have been turning to natural gas and electric vehicles for some time now to help us achieve this goal. For us, low-emissions natural gas engines are a good step on the road to climate-friendly mobility in principle. This technology is able to effectively reduce pollutants and CO2 emissions, particularly if renewable resources such as biogas obtained from bi-products and waste are used. However, long-range use of natural gas vehicles is still very limited due to an insufficient number of natural gas filling stations. We find the limited offer of suitable compact cars available from manufacturers particularly restrictive. Nevertheless we continue to use natural gas vehicles as both company cars and service vehicles. We are especially planning to continue to keep tabs on developments in electric mobility and employ electric cars effectively.
Extensive choice of mobility options
We also encourage our commuting employees to actively protect the climate by enabling them to buy discount season tickets for local and regional public transportation. We also rely on other modern forms of mobility including our shuttle service, which we have been offering at a variety of locations for ten years, rental bikes for getting around in the city and rental cars. Our employees benefit from the attractive option of buying bicycles and e-bikes through a salary sacrificing scheme. The offer has been well-received by our employees. More than 1,300 bikes were acquired via the salary sacrificing scheme by the end of 2016.
On the go and green: e-bikes, shuttles, rental bikes
Since 2015, we have offered our employees the chance to purchase a bicycle or e-bike as a green and healthy alternative, through deferred compensation schemes. With the support of Telekom MobilitySolutions, employees can lease a bicycle through their employer for three years. The monthly payments are subtracted from the employee's gross salary. The new offer has met with tremendous response right from the off. Roughly 1,300 employees are already taking advantage of the offer.
We provide shuttle service between different locations, e.g., to the Cologne/Bonn airport or the Siegburg ICE train station to reduce the carbon footprint of business trips. Roughly 130,000 passengers used this service in 2016. The offer was expanded in 2016 to include additional routes in order to meet increasing demand. Employees can use an app or visit the intranet to conveniently book a shuttle.
Our employees can also use bicycles available at more than 30 Deutsche Telekom locations to get to their business appointments within the city.
More electric cars in use
There are still several hurdles to overcome before electric cars can be widely employed. Limited range, insufficient charging infrastructure and high procurement costs make the cars unattractive in many usage scenarios. It is particularly difficult to find suitable service vehicle models. There is a bright side, however. Thanks to the government environmental bonus, we were able to somewhat reduce the costs for electric vehicles in our fleet.
Nevertheless, our electric car projects have only been possible because project partners have supported the set-up of charging stations at our locations. We participate intensively in selected electric mobility pilot projects in order to take advantage of the medium-term potential of electric mobility.
- At our Bonn offices, for example, we offer four next-generation electric and plug-in hybrid rental cars. Employees can use these cars for business trips free of charge. Thanks to incentives such as the budget from our Green Car Policy penalty program, we were able to purchase two new cars in 2016 in addition to the two existing ones.
- We have been participating in an e-mobility funding project ("Wirtschaft am Strom") in Hamburg together with Deutsche Telekom Technischer Service since April 2014. Ten electric service vehicles were employed until October 2016. Based on the experience gained in this project, we will be procuring additional electric service vehicles in 2017.
- We have two electric chauffeured cars in our management fleet for trips in the Greater Cologne/Bonn area and in Berlin. Charging stations for the car were set up on-site.
- A few selected hybrid cars have been available in our company car segment since summer 2014. We also offer electric cars as company cars in selected regions.
Fostering the use of electric cars
In May 2014, T-Systems Netherlands introduced electric cars for lease drivers in order to help reduce the CO2 emissions of the company’s cars. Charging stations have now been installed in parking area(s) to facilitate charging sessions during office hours.
Pure electric and hybrid cars help to reduce CO2 emissions as shown in the table below. The reduction in CO2 emissions is good for the environment and the lower tax rates additionally provide a big advantage for drivers. These two advantages promote the popularity of these types of car in the Netherlands. This is illustrated by the 22.6% share of cars designed to reduce CO2 in the company’s fleet at the end of 2016.
|Car type||CO2 emissions||%|
|CNG (natural gas)||88 g CO2||3.0|
|Conventional hybrid||86-88 g CO2||12.8|
|Plug-in hybrid||36-49 g CO2||5.1|
|Pure electric||0 g CO2||1.7|
Recognition of leadership role in climate protection
Inclusion in CDPWe made it on the A list in the most significant international climate protection ranking, the CDP ranking, for the first time in ranking 2016. CDP commends companies that report their CO2 emissions extremely transparently and in detail. Within CDP, we have reported not only Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions but also Scope 3 emissions from our business operations in Germany and almost all our international companies since 2014.
| German Awards for Excellence 2016 |
We received an award in the Carbon Footprint category at the 3rd Sustainability Conference held by DQS, The Audit Company, in June 2016. This honor was presented in recognition of our accomplishments in recording our emissions along the entire value chain, including involvement of our suppliers. The award is presented to organizations with exemplary sustainability management practices.
Good practice competition on Scope 3 emissionsWe received an award in 2016 in a competition entitled "Good practice of corporate climate management along the value chain." The competition was held by WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and CDP in cooperation with consultancy firm Ecofys. The German Global Compact network sponsored the competition as a partner. Fifteen companies received awards in the competition. Deutsche Telekom impressed the jury in category 13 (rented and leased equipment) with our rental plan for modems and routers and our router virtualization approach. This was featured as good practice in a publication put out especially for the competition.