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  • Act responsibly. Enable sustainability.
  • 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report
2016 Corporate Responsibility Report

Sustainable products & services

Information and communications technology (ICT img) allows industries, service providers and consumers to be more sustainable. It also offers great market potential. An example: According to the SMARTer2030 study, 20 percent of greenhouse emissions could be saved reduced by 2030 through targeted use of ICT. Sustainability not only involves protecting the environment but also has further relevance when it comes to ICT. Technology can contribute to reduced resource consumption, stabilizing power supply networks, simplifying work processes and continuing to improve medical care.

As a modern technology corporation, we want to help shape this trend. That is why we continuously expand our offer of sustainable products and innovative ICT solutions for private and business customers.

We have been offering service to dematerialize business processes such as online billing , digitizing workflows and cloud computing for several years now. At the same time we want to give as many people as possible the chance to participate in the information society and to use the opportunities it offers. For example, we make it easier for people with age-related or physical limitations to use modern means of communication. We develop products and services that meet their needs and continue to work on improving user friendliness. Throughout the Group, Deutsche Telekom also offers various subsidized rates to provide low-income customers and people with disabilities with an opportunity to place calls and surf the Internet at low cost.

In addition to developing innovative solutions, we also invest in extensive research, e.g. in the field of M2M. The responsibility lies with our central research facility, Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs img). We invested a total of 84.1 million euros in research and development throughout the Group in 2016. We also finance professorships, collaborate with universities and encourage innovative business concepts with our start-up incubator, hub:raum.

Developing sustainable products and services

We wish to systematically use the sustainability potential of ICT. That is why we continue to expand our range of products that contribute to sustainable development. Our primary focus in these efforts is on machine2machine communication, smart home technology and e-health. Sustainable products are an important pillar of our integrated climate strategy.

Managing the issue of sustainable products calls for systematic measures to be implemented throughout the supply chain. As we do not produce our products ourselves but receive them from suppliers, our measures already start with procurement. This is how we make sure that sustainability criteria are complied with along our supply chain. We aim to have our products certified by recognized environmental labels such as the Blue Angel and the TÜV "Certified Green Product“ label. The strict requirements of these labels help us see how we can further improve our products. They also help us inform our customers of the benefits of choosing sustainable products. At the end of a product's life cycle, we contribute to its recycling or proper disposal. For example, we regularly carry out used cell-phone collection campaigns.

When developing new, sustainable ICT img solutions, we cooperate with various partners and exchange ideas with our stakeholders.

Making progress measurable
We measure our progress by means of various indicators. In 2014 we started measuring the share in sales of products and services that are classified as sustainable based on a risk-benefit analysis. 39 percent of our overall sales was generated with such products in 2015. We have defined performance goals, e.g., sales goals, as internal monitoring tools in certain fields such as e-health and Smart Home. We measure the impact of our collection campaigns with our Used Cell-Phone Collection ESG img KPI.

Heinz-Gerd Peters

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Continued analysis of the sustainability benefits of our products

One building block of our integrated climate strategy is to analyze the sustainability benefits of our product portfolio. In 2014 we began analyzing our portfolio together with external experts based on sustainability criteria [see analysis]. The current analysis for 2016 shows that the share of products and services with sustainability benefits is growing. The share was already at 39 percent in 2015, up from 37 percent in 2014 (excluding T-Mobile US).

Examples of sustainability benefits include reduced CO2 emissions thanks to virtual meetings instead of business trips, improved medical care by means of e-health solutions and conserving resources by replacing devices with digital solutions (e.g. phoning via a laptop instead of a fixed-line phone).

Overall, we have carried out in-depth analyses for 17 product groups with regard to their sustainability benefits and the corresponding business potential (as at end of 2016). We have illustrated the benefits of some selected products based on all three pillars of sustainability (ecological, social and economic).

We use the results of these analyses to advance our sustainable product portfolio. Future plans also include keeping our customers better informed of these sustainability benefits, thereby sharpening our competitive edge.

Heinz-Gerd Peters

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Pilot project for analyzing the sustainability of our products

Studies such as GeSI SMARTer2030 show that information and communications technology solutions (ICT img) can make an important contribution to sustainable development. Many of our products offer economic as well as social and ecological benefits.

Quantifying and measuring this added value certainly constitutes a challenge, but we are tackling this challenge and testing various approaches. In addition to establishing a sustainable product portfolio, we participate in the industry-wide Sustainability Assessment Framework (SASF) pilot project conducted by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative img (GeSI img). The goal of this pilot project is to develop a tool that can be used to measure a large variety of ICT products based on sustainability. The results will also help determine risks along the value-added chain. The SASF evaluation criteria are not limited to environmental aspects but also include social criteria such as compliance with human rights and customer requirements such as cost transparency and data protection. With this comprehensive approach, SASF is setting new standards for product evaluation in the ICT sector.

We have been contributing to the development of SASF since 2015 and took part in the pilot study – an initial hands-on test – in 2016. We evaluated one selected product in terms of its sustainability for the test. During the pilot phase, the focus was on sharing information with other participating companies. The goal was to find out whether other companies were facing similar challenges when evaluating product sustainability.

We will evaluate further products in 2017. We will then decide whether SASF can be integrated into our processes as a measurement tool.

M2M communication: Opportunities of digitization

Machines and products are becoming increasingly intelligent. Cars can communicate with repair shops, containers with cargo ships. The technology that makes this possible is called machine-to-machine communication, or M2M. By 2020 the number of M2M connections around the world is expected to increase to 2.5 billion. Machine-to-machine communication is an important area of growth for us.

M2M can help ideally coordinate the processes of various devices, vehicles and entire industrial facilities. This helps increase industrial productivity, ensure efficient logistics, recude energy consumption and conserve resources.

We support the German federal government's Industry 4.0 img initiative through our involvement in machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. The initiative's objective is to maintain Germany's competitive edge in the technology sector.

New wireless technology allows for innovative applications
Our networks are the basis for a number of M2M applications, as mobile network technology is the key transmission channel of every M2M connection. In this respect, the Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is gaining significance. As opposed to broadband applications, which enable transmission of large amounts of data, narrowband technology is specifically designed to reliably transfer very small data packages. Benefits of NB-IoT include its low energy requirements, extensive reach and low-cost device networking. NB-IoT is particularly suitable for use in logistics. When tracing transport containers, all that is needed is for the current position to be transferred about once an hour. Only very small amounts of data need to be transferred in small data packages – and not necessarily in real time. NB-IoT is based on existing standards and can therefore be operated in existing networks. The technology was approved in spring 2016. We played a leading role in the development of a standardized NB-IoT standard.

Example: The port of tomorrow
During the reporting period we continued our smartPORT logistics (SPL) pilot project for the port of Hamburg. The goal of the project is to improve HDV traffic flows at the port of Hamburg and in its vicinity. All relevant traffic and infrastructure data is collected and analyzed in real time for this purpose. Results can be used to inform users about waiting times, alternative routes or parking. The project is increasingly being integrated into commercial operation.

The port of tomorrow

Guiding principles for more data protection
In 2016 we introduced data privacy guidelines for the data collected in M2M communication. Among other things, the six rules define how Deutsche Telekom deals with personal data.

Smart cities: Innovative solutions for smart urban spaces

Cities account for a large share of global CO2 emissions. At the same time they can also be the driving force behind and the origin of sustainable solutions. Deutsche Telekom is dedicated to innovative solutions that help reshape cities into smart urban spaces. We are involved in several smart city projects throughout the world:

mySmartLife in Hamburg
The City of Hamburg was awarded the mySmartLife project. For a period of five years starting in December 2016, various large and small projects are being realized to start transforming Hamburg into a smart city – for example in terms of renewable energy and environmentally and climate-friendly mobility. Smart technical solutions are being used. All projects involve active citizen participation. The project was backed by a total of 14 partners including Deutsche Telekom, HafenCity University, the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, electricity grid operator Stromnetz Hamburg and public transport operator Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein. The project is subsidized as part of the European Union's Horizon2020 research and innovation program. In addition to Hamburg, Nantes and Helsinki have also been chosen as future smart cities.

Smart street lamps save energy
In 2016, the City of Monheim am Rhein installed new street lamps as part of a pilot project. The new lamps require less energy, are dimmable and can be remote-controlled. The pilot project was realized in cooperation with Deutsche Telekom and the municipal utility company MEGA (Monheimer Elektrizitäts- und Gasversorgung GmbH).

The lights' lampheads were replaced with state-of-the-art, energy-saving LED systems. While the new lamps look just like the old lights they are replacing in the Old Town section, they use only 22 watts of power per hour, for savings of nearly 70 percent (the old lights used 70 watts). What's more, the city is enjoying additional energy savings during late-night hours when traffic has quieted down. This is because the lights are remotely dimmable, thanks to the light-management system Deutsche Telekom has provided. The smart lamps also simplify maintenance for MEGA: Thanks to networking, they can report technical failures themselves.

Kick-off: Croatia's largest Smart City pilot project
In March 2016, Hrvatski Telekom (HT) kicked off Croatia’s largest Smart City pilot project in Dubrovnik worth more than EUR 200,000. The city has officially become the first Smart City center of HT for innovation, testing, development, and sales.

The installation of magnetic parking sensors at 30 parking spaces will enable us to provide drivers with real-time information on vacant parking spaces. City safety will be improved with multisensor video surveillance that records traffic violations, speeding, overtaking and unauthorized use of the left-hand lane. It also monitors illegal parking. We provide high speed WiFi img, free of charge and citywide. Our smart streetlight solution regulates the light intensity and consumption based on pedestrian movement and vehicle traffic, allowing significant energy savings to be achieved. Sensors enable us to monitor air quality and other parameters impacting on the environment.

HT introduced a smart record system for waste collection in Koprivnica. It comprises waste containers with installed chips that transfer information about the amount of waste present in the container in real time. The system then independently plans and provides the most appropriate waste collection schedule.

Telekom Romania announces its first Smart City project in Romania
In 2016, Telekom Romania successfully rolled out the first integrated Smart City project in Romania. We combine four technologies at the Tineretuliu Park in Bucharest: smart parking, WiFi connectivity, city safety and smart lighting. They are all integrated through an internet of things platform. This project ensures a better and safer experience for the users of the park.

The “Tap&Park” app enables car drivers to easily identify whether a parking space is available near the park. The local authorities can also use the data to output reports on parking space occupancy and traffic levels in the area. More areas of Bucharest will be included in the app and notifications will be provided on when parking times expire. 

The WiFi solution enables visitors at the park to enjoy internet access free of charge in a designated area. This can be extended to include data analytics features providing local authorities with a monitoring tool for traffic showing peaks and troughs. The tool allows security services in the area to be managed more efficiently. Other public facilities can also be introduced or rearranged to better serve the needs of the citizens.

The City Safety solution incorporates a video surveillance system and an application that permits identification of specific predefined scenarios that trigger intervention by the authorities. The solution provides alerts for cases of vandalism or trespassing in restricted areas. It also gives an alert if a person is in a situation requiring immediate help.

The Smart Lighting solution was deployed on eight columns equipped with LED lights and controllers with motion sensors and responses to ambient light intensity. They can be controlled remotely or automatically to increase the light intensity whenever an individual is close to them. Implementation of this solution results in a decrease in energy costs by as much as 60% yielding a significant benefit to local authorities.

Award winning Smart City project in Skopje
At the beginning of 2016, Makedonski Telekom launched the first smart city project in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. Our goal is to put smart technology at the center of the modern city. We want to use smart solutions to contribute to improving the quality of life and the safety of citizens. An additional objective is for smart technology to promote economic development. Our first step was to install an advanced integrated automatic vehicle location system and a system of electronic ticketing in public city transport. This has a unique central database which enables real-time monitoring of the traffic network and the movement of passengers. The database also helps to control and regulate the transport service.

The smart technology encourages more widespread use of public transport, allows demand to be managed, and reduces traffic jams and air pollution. The system also facilitates fast, transparent, and easy collection of fares, and has significantly improved the customer experience for residents and tourists. It also marks the launch of the era of the Internet of Things in Macedonia. In October the project received an award in the category Sustainable Growth Solution by the World Information Technology and Services Alliance.

Smart metering img for water conservation
T-System South Africa's products also help to preserve natural resources. In 2016 we launched a Smart Metering Solution that encourages better management of water and resource consumption as well as waste elimination by promoting awareness of water usage efficiency among industrial companies and private households. The solution measures how much raw water is taken from a source, how much water leaves the water treatment plant, how the water is then distributed within the water distribution system and how it is delivered to the individual consumers. The consumption data are saved on a Cloud where they are accessible from anywhere. As a result, we are able to monitor water consumption in real time.

This enables the meter reading company to provide more regular water readings, determine potential water leaks and to make consumption information available to the consumer.


Connected farming

Roughly two billion metric tons of CO2 emissions can be reduced and 250 billion liters of water saved annually in agriculture alone by the year 2030 through the use of ICT img. The SMARTer2030 study published by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative img (GeSI img) confirms these numbers. These amounts are equivalent to around 2.2 times Germany's carbon footprint and the water consumption of around 180 million people. The reduction could be made possible by pushing the digitization of farming, for example. Real-time solutions are already making their way into agriculture. Farming machines send their data to the cloud via satellite; the data is analyzed immediately and important information is sent to the farmer via text message. This lets the farmer optimize their use of fertilizer, seed and machines, save time, reduce costs and conserve resources.

Deutsche Telekom is working hard to encourage digitization in farming. Our goal in particular is to use smart technologies to help farmers become more sustainable and master the varied challenges they face every day.

Service platform for connected farming
We have been involved in the Smart Farming World project since March 2016. The goal of the project is to develop a platform that enables manufacturer-independent networking of farming machinery. Today, smart harvesting machines already provide useful information regarding soil and crop yield quality. Profitable use of data collected, however, remains a challenge. In farming there are many different parties using machinery made by a variety of different manufacturers. The goal is for the service platform to be able to connect all participants throughout the farming process. For this purpose, agricultural land and machines are connected and data sources such as weather and geographical data are integrated. The platform collects and analyzes incoming data, creating a basis for new services such as fertilizing and harvesting strategies. These strategies will contribute to increasing productivity and conserving resources at the same time. Project partners with scientific and industrial backgrounds are involved in the project. Smart Farming World is scheduled to last three years and is being subsidized by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Living with telemedicine 4.0

Networking health services has many advantages. Telemedicine assistance systems can help patients and their families in everyday life and make work easier for medical personnel. In addition, they help lower costs. We are helping shape digital healthcare through numerous pilot projects, such as the antibiotics network and register with the St. Georg Hospital in Leipzig. The primary goal is to enable the fast, secure exchange of information between doctors, patients and health insurers.

Pioneering project "Living with telemedicine 4.0" in Halle
The project "Living with telemedicine 4.0," which is carried out in Halle in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, was presented in November of 2016. The model project is intended to provide new impetus for telemedicine. Deutsche Telekom provides the technical infrastructure. During the project, a residential complex for seniors will be equipped with many different telemedicine applications in 2017. This will spare the residents frequent visits to the doctor: they can independently measure data like their blood pressure, blood glucose, pulse, or weight. If necessary, they receive support from a medical professional. The measurement equipment sends vital signs to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. Then the data is transmitted to the doctor through a secure mobile connection. The doctor can call up this data and take it into account in their treatment. If necessary, the doctor can contact the patient by telephone or video. The patient is invited for treatment to the doctor's office when required, or a home visit is scheduled.

Reiner Haselhoff, the Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt, took over sponsorship of the project. Numerous other partners are involved in the project: from the housing industry, science, technology, hospitals, healthcare service providers, attorneys, financial service providers, the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, and health insurance companies are on board.

National Telemedicine Network on the Aegean islands
On 2016, the OTE Group completed the National Telemedicine Network on behalf of the 2nd Regional Healthcare Administration of Piraeus & the Aegean. This network offers health services to the residents of some of the most remote islands in the Aegean and the tourists visiting these islands. The Network comprises of 43 telemedicine units which interconnect health centers on the Aegean islands with central hospitals in Piraeus and the region. It also offers tele-learning services to facilitate training for medical, nursing, and administrative personnel in real time.

Each telemedicine unit consists of a specially designed booth equipped with a high-definition camera, screen and special medical instruments streaming live images of examinations. Doctors and patients can communicate in real time with consultants based at hospitals in Piraeus with actual size visualization. This means that distance from central hospitals is eliminated as a factor, and air and land transport can be reduced.

Pilot project on digitalization in medical institutions

Hrvatski Telekom collaborated with the IN2 Group to start a pilot project at Zagreb Children’s Hospital and Zabok General Hospital. The objective was to reduce the work load and increase the efficiency of nurses on wards. The “mNurse application” enables ward nurses to enter their observations and designated information in the hospital system while carrying out regular checks on patients. Relevant patient information is available immediately to everyone who needs it. The graphical display of data in the application also ensures better visibility for patient data, and the data records are adjusted to the working process of the ward nurses.

We installed the necessary WiFi img infrastructure in the hospitals and provided tablets for the ward nurses. These comply with the technical and safety standards for secure exchange of sensitive personal data about patients.

QIVICON – Our smart home platform

A smart home can simplify life for its residents in many ways. It allows them to control and monitor various household and security devices as well as consumer electronics. The challenge: If customers buy a smart-home solution offered by one particular provider, they can only use those functions and devices and not those offered by other providers. That is why we have set up the open, manufacturer-independent smart home platform QIVICON together with leading companies. Companies of various industries can offer their own solutions on this platform. This platform gives consumers the option to customize their own combination of offers. More than 40 partner companies and brands currently offer their solutions on the platform.

During the reporting period, Smappee, Plugwise, E WIE EINFACH, Stadtwerke Bonn, KPN and Slovak Telekom joined the platform. Energy provider E WIE EINFACH's smart home offer has been available on the platform for end customers since November 2016. Users can use the platform to optimize their energy costs with solutions like smart heating thermostats.  

End-to-end solution for companies
Businesses in Germany and abroad can use the QIVICON smart home platform and Deutsche Telekom's white label app as an end-to-end solution, making ti possible for them to offer the app under their own brand and modify it to fit the needs of their company. E WIE EINFACH, KPN and Slovak Telekom all use Deutsche Telekom's end-to-end white label solution, selling the products via their own sales channels. Slovak Telekom is the third company after Austrian company eww and Dutch company KPN to market its international smart home offer on the basis of the QIVICON platform.

Security and data privacy at QIVICON
All communication via the QIVICON Home Base, which is connected to the Internet via servers, is encrypted. Any user data related to QIVICON is stored exclusively on Deutsche Telekom servers in Germany. All devices made by brands managed via QIVICON employ wireless technology based on state-of-the art security functions. AV-TEST GmbH, an independent institute for IT security, has confirmed that QIVICON provides excellent protection. The security test conducted in 2016 again showed that the QIVICON platform is well-protected against third-party manipulation.

Honored as most-innovative smart home solution
International consultancy Frost & Sullivan once again presented QIVICON with the European Connected Home New Product Innovation Award in 2016. According to Frost & Sullivan, the QIVICON smart home platform is currently the leading smart home ecosystem thanks to its open, manufacturer-independent approach.

Protecting resources with cloud computing

With cloud computing, our customers no longer need to be bothered with their own servers and storage media. In most cases, cloud computing is more resource and energy-efficient than running your own infrastructure outside of the cloud. Our data centers require up to 80 percent less energy thanks to more effective capacity utilization and less hardware. We also continue to work on further improving the efficiency of our data centers.

First steps into the cloud
We have been offering our The Cloudifier program to companies looking to switch to cloud solutions since 2016. We analyze the customer's IT landscape and identify which applications can be transferred to the cloud. We also offer the T-Systems integration platform, Data Orchestration as a Service, to help integrate the new cloud services into the company's IT infrastructure as seamlessly as possible. The service enables a seamless interplay between information in the cloud and traditional on-site systems at customer offices, giving our customers faster access to new, optimized cloud services.

Secure access control
We offer customers secure infrastructure solutions (Infrastructure-as-a-Service – IaaS) with our Open Telekom Cloud. This gives them access to our servers and storage, where they can manage their data. The OneLogin identity management solution has been available on the Open Telekom Cloud since 2016. The service guarantees secure, convenient access to cloud applications. Users who have been assigned access rights can sign up with multiple services all at once using their preferred device. The solution manages user profiles centrally across all applications and guarantees the highest security standards.

Don't buy, rent

We want to make sure that used routers and media receivers don't just end up in the trash. That is why we promote the "Don't buy, rent" approach. Our rental services conserve resources, reduce electronic waste and prevent CO2 emissions. Customers return the devices if they cancel their contract. The devices are then either refurbished and rented out again or properly recycled. We have simplified the return process by introducing a returns portal. The online returns portal enables customers to manage their own returns. A twelve-month minimum contract term extends the devices' average usage space while also reducing returns before the minimum rental period is over. We actively and effectively promote the rental service in many ways including at Telekom Shops, online, via customer service and in product flyers. The offer has been well received by our customers; the number of people using the rental service increased to around 8.7 million by the end of 2016.

Number of users of the router and media receiver rental service

Product certification: Blue Angel for speedphones

Sustainable products are a key factor in competition at our company. We keep our customers informed regarding environmental aspects and manufacturer specifications and give tips on how to use their devices in a way that is secure, energy-efficient and appropriate. We also tell them about ways to dispose of their devices that help conserve resources. We use well-known environmental labels when communicating with our customers.

Blue Angel for Deutsche Telekom products
95 percent of Telekom Deutschland's fixed-network devices are certified with the renowned Blue Angel environmental label. All of our DECT phones in our Sinus series and all phones in our Speedphone series bear this familiar symbol. Our speedphones are particularly energy-efficient, low-radiation and come with replaceable batteries. A new feature lets users configure the transmission power individually and thereby save energy. Updates can directly be transferred to the Speedphone, making the devices easy to update, extending their useful lives and reducing their carbon footprint.

In 2016, our Fairphone 2 became the first smartphone in our offer in Austria to bear the Blue Angel label. It is available at T-Mobile Austria.

TÜV Certified Green Products
In addition to the Blue Angel we are increasingly focusing on the TÜV Certified Green Product environmental label. This label exceeds the Blue Angel criteria in ways such as requiring inspections of working conditions at production sites. A number of our routers, including the Speedport Neo, have already been certified by this environmental label.

Cornelia Szyszkowitz

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Used cell-phone collection

Too many used cell phones and smartphones are stuck in drawers or disposed of illegally with the household waste. Germany's recycling and reuse rate for small electronic appliances is much too low. Used cell phones, smartphones and tablets should be refurbished and reused or properly recycled to help us conserve valuable resources. We have been offering different ways for people to hand in their devices since 2003.

Customers have been able to return their used, high-end cell phones and smartphones to Telekom Shops under a buyback program since 2013. They receive store credit from the Telekom Shop reflecting their old device's current value, which they can use to purchase a new device, or they can choose to have the amount booked to their customer account. In collaboration with Teqcycle Solutions and Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), we also operate the Handysammelcenter (cell-phone collection center) online portal, which was redone in 2016. The new website provides an overview of our partners and collection campaigns. Companies can use the portal to properly and safely dispose of their used cell phones and smartphones free of charge and receive a certificate as confirmation. Authorities, associations and other organizations can use the portal to launch their own collection campaigns.

In 2016, we collected 273 079 used cell phones and smartphones throughout Germany and either reused them or had them properly recycled. The entire cell-phone collection process is DEKRA certified and complies with strict data privacy standards. The joint cell-phone collection system run by Telekom Deutschland and DUH entered its thirteenth year in 2016. More than 2 million used cell phones have been collected so far.

Support for different collection campaigns
As in previous years, we supported the Die Handyaktion campaign conducted by different church-affiliated groups in the state of Baden-Württemberg in 2016. The campiagn is going to be expanded in collaboration with the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Environment.

The "Responsibility and sustainability. Join in!" collection campaign in Saarland, which we have been supporting since 2014, was extended due to ongoing interest. The Netzwerk Entwicklungspolitik im Saarland e.V. (NES) network took over the project's office activities in 2016. We are still a cooperation partner to the campaign, which focuses on projects such as providing special course material on the topics of cell-phone collection and resource efficiency. The campaign was acknowledged as a Werkstatt N project by the federal government's Council for Sustainable Development in 2016. That makes it one of Germany's 100 most innovative sustainable projects.

Woche der Umwelt expert forum
In 2016 Telekom Deutschland organized an expert forum in collaboration with DUH at the Woche der Umwelt (Environment Week) trade fair held on the park grounds at Bellevue Palace, the official residence of the president of Germany. Guests had the opportunity to ask questions about cell-phone collection and recycling processes. Woche der Umwelt is a trade fair for innovative environmental protection technologies and products. Around 13,000 people attended the event at the invitation of the German President and the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU).

Cornelia Szyszkowitz

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Cornelia Szyszkowitz

Handset recycling at T-Mobile USA

T-Mobile USA’s device recycling program mobilizes customers to help reduce environmental and human health impacts from improper recycling. The company is also increasing access to quality reusable and refurbished equipment for those who need it, while conserving our limited natural resources.

Any wireless consumer can bring any make, model or carrier phone, battery, accessory, tablet or netbook into any T-Mobile USA location to be recycled for free. Through the JUMP! and Mobilize programs, T-Mobile USA incentivizes its customers to trade in their used devices and accessories for great deals on the latest technology. Those trade-ins are all reused, refurbished or recycled.

T-Mobile USA launched the recycling program for its customers in 2008, resulting in over 13.3 million devices being reused or resold since then. 87% of the devices that are taken back are reused or resold, with the rest being responsibly recycled by providers selected on the basis of their leading industry environmental certification. Since 2013, T-Mobile has sold over 1.4 million cell phones refurbished to its high standards directly to its customers through the Certified Pre-Owned program.

In 2016, T-Mobile USA collected 3,803,691 used cell phones.

Accessible products and services

Deutsche Telekom wants to make it easier for people with disabilities to have access to the knowledge and information society. Not only do we offer subsidized rates to people from low-income households, we also offer them to people with hearing and vision impairments. We also support them with products and solutions especially designed to meet their needs.

Services for the hearing impaired
We set up a hotline (Deaf Hotline) for deaf and hearing-impaired customers in 2003. Customers can send an e-mail, fax message or letter, or use their video phone to communicate with our specially trained employees for any requests they may have. Up to 50 people currently call the hotline every day to get help with issues involving their DSL img routers or find out more about special cell-phone rate plans, for example.

In summer 2016 we equipped Deaf-Hotline employees with what we refer to as LiveBerater workstations, which feature HD cameras and much more. The customer and consultant see each other in a video-based live chat, making it possible to advise the customer in sign language. The LiveBerater solution is easy for customers to use. All they have to do is click on a link and the connection is established after a brief system test. LiveBerater also allows the display, joint editing and sharing of documents. The solution is run at a Deutsche Telekom data center, giving customers end-to-end security.

Family Assistant for the elderly and chronically ill
Slovak Telekom worked together with Falck Healthcare to launch an innovative product entitled Family Assistant in 2015. The product helps the elderly and chronically ill by offering continuous remote monitoring, assistance services and special communications equipment with their own SIM card. Two devices are supplied to automatically detect risk situations and call for help fast: the GT300, a small and simplified mobile phone designed for carrying in a pocket or around the neck, and the smart watch Navigil. The devices are connected to a surveillance center with professionally trained personnel provided for Telekom by Falck Healthcare. Since 2016, the Family Assistant has been available as a social service in compliance with the relevant legislation in several cities across Slovakia. This makes it more affordable especially for senior citizens.

The service has received very positive feedback from customers and the media. In February 2016, it was presented at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the service was nominated for the Global Mobile Award in the category “The Connected Life Awards – Best Mobile Innovation for Health”. 

E-book reader that helps people with dyslexia
In 2016, Slovak Telekom launched the e-book reader “Dibuk Saga”. It provides significant benefits for dyslexic users in particular. The reader has a special font and enables people with dyslexia to read more easily and with less effort. The dyslexic font optimizes the distance between words and the thickness of specific characters.

Supporting start-ups: creating space for ideas

The hub:raum start-up incubator
We have been running our own start-up incubator in Berlin, Cracow and Tel Aviv since 2012 under the name hub:raum. The objective of hub:raum is to get direct insight into the innovative ideas that start-ups are working on. In return, we offer start-ups access to our technological expertise and our customers and help them set up their company.  Experienced entrepreneurs and Deutsche Telekom experts act as mentors to the start-ups in a variety of programs. hub:raum also provides selected start-ups seed financing of up to 300,000 euros. Interested start-ups can go to the hub:raum website and apply for collaboration or seed financing. We collaborated with around 75 start-ups in 2016 in a variety of programs. We also established the independent hub:raum investment fund, which will make our decisions regarding investments in start-ups more flexible. The first investments made under this investment concept will be announced in 2017.

Start-up programs with external partners
In 2016 we conducted the second round of the Challenge Up! program, this time on the Internet of Things, in collaboration with Intel and Cisco. We collaborated with twelve start-ups and more than 25 mentors for over seven months on a variety of applications including remote maintenance of industrial facilities. We also launched our first joint program with telecommunications companies Telefonica, Orange and SingTel.

Cyber Security Boot Camp
hub:raum introduced a new, topic-based event format referred to as boot camps in 2014. We invite start-ups to present their solutions at the boot camps. With this format we hope to help start-ups advance their ideas and tap business opportunities within the Deutsche Telekom Group. The second Cyber Security Boot Camp was held in Berlin in February 2016. Twelve start-ups participated in the event and presented their most innovative ideas and solutions on cyber security.

Fashion Fusion competition: technology meets fashion
For the first time, Deutsche Telekom has selected the winners of the Fashion Fusion competition as part of the Berlin Fashion Week. We invited creative talents from the fields of fashion and technology to submit their ideas for combining high-tech and couture in our international ideas competition. People who submitted the most promising ideas got the chance to realize them at the Berlin Fashion Fusion Lab where they were supported by experts from industry, fashion and the start-up scene. From among the more than 120 applicants from 25 countries, twelve teams qualified for the final round. The jury presented a total of 35,000 euros in prize money to three winning teams at the awards ceremony in Berlin. First place went to the Trainwear team whose idea was to develop smart athletic wear with an integrated personal trainer.

Support for internal "start-ups"
Since 2011 we have been helping our employees develop their own concepts for new services and business areas at Deutsche Telekom within the context of our UQBATE internal innovation program. Employees can present their ideas to interested colleagues on the UQBATE platform, create teams and then work together to turn their ideas step by step into products that are ready to go to market. The "start-ups" even receive assistance from external trainers if needed.

We focus our sponsorship on promising concepts, whether they involve marketplaces, gaming platforms or e-commerce solutions. We release the project teams from their job responsibilities for three months and give them a budget so that they can effectively implement their ideas. 2016 was another year for exciting ideas. Four teams ultimately qualified for sponsorship.

Take-offs program supports regional start-ups
2016 saw the sixth round of the Take-offs program. The T-Mobile Czech Republic program provides financial support, long-term professional advice, and expertise to regional start-ups. The overall aim is to help potential entrepreneurs, who often belong to vulnerable groups (people in regions of high unemployment, women on maternity leave, senior or handicapped citizens, students without work experience).

Out of the 409 registered projects this year, 41 regional winners were chosen and announced by an expert jury at 10 regional workshops run for all interested participants free of charge and attended by more than 500 people. The regional winners all receive a helping hand from experts in marketing, communication and finance, as well as tangible, financial support worth EUR 3,700.

Members of the general public are invited to select the overall winner from among 41 regional winners. More than 12,000 people took part in the online voting and selected David Richtr and his project entitled the Mulier porcelánové zásuvky a vypínače (Mulier porcelain sockets and switches) as the overall public winner to receive an award worth EUR 5,500.
A professional jury also selected a national winner. This year Václav Staněk and his project called Vasky (manufacture of footwear based on regional tradition and values) was selected as the national winner and received prizes worth EUR 25,900.

The Take-offs again enjoyed significant media coverage. The winners were invited to present their projects on TV and radio, and in various print and online media.



hello holnap! – the sustainability mobile app from Magyar Telekom

Our hello holnap! mobile phone app is part of the hello holnap! sustainability initiative. It has been downloaded 9,300 times from AppleStore, GooglePlay and Windows Store. The app enables users to earn points for performing tasks supporting sustainable development that are organized by the operator and its partners. The points can then be redeemed in Forints and spent on donations. Users can earn points for various tasks including the following:

  • Donations to organizations through achievements
  • Partnership with enterprises in the sharing economy to collect points (e.g. car-pooling or food from local farmers)
  • Donation partnerships with NGOs
  • Planting trees in the hello holnap!  park that was launched in 2016 and uploading the photo to the online park map. 570 trees have been planted so far.

Points can also be earned by buying a sustainability-related mobile phone from the Magyar Telekom portfolio. Magyar Telekom defines a sustainability-related phone as one that either has an international certificate (e.g. TCO), an environmental sustainability declaration or social attributes (e.g. for elderly people or the disabled).

OTE Group provides Fire Service

In 2016, the OTE Group implemented an IT project that is expected to make a significant contribution to preventing fires and controlling them at an early stage in a conflagration. This project was carried out in cooperation with Byte and Satways on behalf of the Fire Service. Installation of advanced IT systems at their Operations Center enables fire-fighting units to be coordinated before and after an incident. Immediate and continuous information is also provided to citizens in emergencies.

The system is designed to collect and analyze geographic data received by the vehicles and the fire command centers, or even drones. This gives units in the Fire Service access at all times to critical data on fires in progress and to the means which could help the work of extinguishing. Information can be viewed on smartphones, tablets PNDs (Personal Navigation Devices).