Extinction continues to be a global problem. The consequences are difficult to predict. One major cause of extinction is the fact that more and more space is being taken up for industry, agriculture and transportation. In 2014, we conducted a study on the size of the space used for our business activities in Germany in order to effectively steer our efforts to help protect biodiversity. We also included worldwide upstream value chains in our analysis. The study's findings confirmed that the amount of space we use has relatively little impact on the environment. Our business activities primarily impact biodiversity at the source of our value chain, with impact at other stages being more limited. The study identified use of space along the entire value chain at a total of 1,730 square kilometers per year. That is around twice the size of Berlin. 14 percent of this is space characterized by highly above-average biodiversity according to the criteria specified by the non-profit organization, Conservation International.
Our influence on maintaining and improving habitats with high biodiversity is greater in areas close to our facilities. That is why we collaborate with competent partners on nature conservation efforts near us.
Renaturalizing habitats with high biodiversity
We have been supporting nature conservation projects initiated by the Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) organization since 2000 with the proceeds from our used cell-phone collection activities. In 2016 we supported a project to protect endangered species on an old bed of the Weiße Elster river near Bad Köstritz with the objective of recreating habitats for animals and birds such as the kingfisher, oriole, western marsh harrier and otter. We also supported another nature conservation project - renaturalization of former mining areas in the Lusatia region. You can find more information at www.handysammelcenter.de.
Initiatives for resource-efficiency at the workplace
We try to use as many green office supplies as possible in order to improve resource efficiency at the workplace, including paper bearing recognized environmental labels such as Blue Angel or Nordic Swan. 11 percent of the products contained in our office supplies catalog are classified as sustainable products. In 2016, 31 percent of the orders we placed were for green office supplies.
Different Deutsche Telekom locations in Bonn also launched two initiatives for reusing office supplies sustainably (spring cleaning and an exchange platform) as well as giveaways (sale to employees), all of which were well received by our employees.
Project to reduce plastic waste in oceans
We donated to the "Seekuh" project conducted by One Earth – One Ocean e.V. in 2016. The Seekuh is the world's first waste collection ship and will be used in coastal regions and at river deltas. Using a special net, the ship can fish up to two tons of garbage out of the ocean per trip. The ship can also conduct water analyses. The Seekuh was presented on the 35th German Maritime Shipping Day in Kiel in September 2016. The ship is scheduled to go into production after the testing phase has been completed.
We need water to live and it continues to grow scarcer. The World Health Organization estimated that more than one billion people worldwide do not have access to clean water. As a service provider, our water consumption is comparatively small compared to agriculture and the manufacturing industry. We almost exclusively use water within the scope of our office activities. According to our analyses, water consumption also plays a minor role along our supply chain. This particularly applies to the first stages of our supply chain, where we have the most influence. For that reason, water is not a main focal area in our CR management activities. Nevertheless, we use our Water Consumption KPI to record our annual water consumption, which we have been able to consistently reduce since 2012.