7th Guiding Principles Day: Best place to perform and grow
On September 29, 2016, we held our seventh Guiding Principles Day across the Group. All of our employees were called upon to think about our Guiding Principles independently and come up with ideas on how to implement them in day-to-day work. Once again this year, many different campaigns and team events were held across the Group such as competitions, workshops, and panel discussions. For example, one group of interns used the day as an opportunity to exchange ideas on both the Guiding Principles and their relationships within the intern group. While previous years each focused on one individual Guiding Principle, in 2016 we focused on all five Guiding Principles under the motto "Managing the Seven-Year Itch." The Guiding Principles were introduced in 2009 – seven years ago – with the objective of defining a common system of values for all Telekom employees worldwide.
At an event at our headquarters, employees in Bonn got to experience the Guiding Principles live: there were a panel discussion, various workshops, and a recognition ceremony for "Guiding Principles Heroes" headed by CHRO Christian Ilek. Employees could nominate colleagues or even whole teams who had shown unique commitment to implementing the Guiding Principles within our company in advance. The event was transmitted digitally, allowing all locations to follow the day. Besides the many different team activities, central international campaigns also took place. For example, in Denmark "Thank you e-cards" were sent to colleagues as symbols of appreciation, while a story competition was held in Slovakia with "success stories" related to implementing the Guiding Principles.
Commitment to the German "Code of Responsible Conduct for Business"
We were among the first to sign the German "Code of Responsible Conduct for Business," which was presented to the public in November 2010. All of the members of our Board of Management signed the code, making an express commitment to responsible corporate governance in line with the principles of the social market economy, to fair competition, cooperation with employee representatives, business excellence and sustainability. We have incorporated this commitment into our actions and have assumed a leading role in putting our commitment into practice.
In the spirit of the code, we feel obligated to engage in sustainable business practices and responsible corporate governance for the good of the people. We are continuously working to ensure that these requirements are implemented in our core business and our supply chain. In addition, we take responsibility for our employees and our social environment. We work to guarantee respect for human rights without exception.
We use our products and services to connect people and to increase the productivity of many processes. In this way, we contribute to ensuring that Germany and Europe can continue to make strides in international competition and that our well-being can continue to grow. Our smart, digital solutions create new ways to effectively address social challenges such as climate change. Our goal: to simplify our lives for the long term. Our network helps us implement this broad social mission by acting as a lifeline: fast, reliable, secure, and easily accessible to everyone. Just like all of our activities, these efforts are focused on people. We provide transparent information on our plans and technologies, engage in fair practices and are always open to dialog.
In line with the code, we continue to expand our leading position as a sustainable company as well as our ongoing efforts to optimize our value-added processes. To do so, for instance, we are increasing the energy and resource efficiency of our networks, services, and products. In this way we are reducing the environmental impact and CO2 emissions produced by our business activities. In 2014 our Board of Management approved a Group-wide climate protection target for 2020. Building on this work, we have been implementing an integrated climate strategy since 2015. We also offer our customers sustainable products and services and encourage our over 30,000 suppliers to do business with an equal focus on sustainability. To assist this process, we engage in various activities such as a systematic supplier development program, and complete audits and training measures. We also train our buyers on sustainability criteria in procurement. In these efforts – just like in everything we do involving our diverse stakeholders – we primarily rely on partnership and dialog.
As a responsible employer we give our employees the opportunity to realize their potential and to contribute their individual strengths and ideas within our Group. In view of the increasing significance of digitization, we promote virtual collaboration and new forms of work. We are increasingly turning to digital learning methods when it comes to training and skills development. In 2016, over 30 percent of all hours of training in our group were digital. The rate was even higher in Germany, at over 35 percent. Modern formats like Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), for which over 3,500 employees from more than 32 countries registered by the end of 2016, have increased acceptance for new formats of collaboration and digital learning methods. Our social network "You and Me" (YAM), which has around 115,000 users Group-wide, replaced our previous "Telekom Social Network" and serves as the central, dialog-based communication platform for our company. As part of our Group-wide ideas management, we give our employees the opportunity to contribute their ideas within our Group. In Germany alone, one out of every eight employees submitted a new idea.
Our social commitment, however, is not just to our customers, partners and employees. We feel it is our responsibility to support the development of media skills in our community and help young people become more confident. Our efforts in this area include the "Teachtoday" initiative, which promotes safe media proficiency. For example, around 150 children discussed the topic of data privacy at our 2016 Summit for Kids. We have also been involved in the "Yes, I can!" initiative for several years now. Since 2009 this initiative has given children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to learn key skills for an independent and confident life through over 1,100 projects.