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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report
2017 Corporate Responsibility Report
Act responsibly. Enable sustainability.

What moves us

The year 2017 was full of excitement. We were awarded the German Sustainability Award in December for our comprehensive sustainability management. The World Climate Summit took place in Bonn last November - right in our neck of the woods. And the threat posed by current cyber attacks was at the top of the agenda at the Cyber Security Summit in Tel Aviv last June. These were three of many events that moved us in 2017. We focused on the sustainability goals of Agenda 2030 throughout the year – as well as on the question of how we can increase our contribution to the achievement of these goals.

What we move

Digitalization offers us the opportunity to make our life more sustainable and better. And we are taking full advantage of this opportunity with our products and services – helping conserve energy and water, protect the environment and climate and improve medical care, for example. Our networks provide the foundation for this. We operate Germany's largest fiber-optic network, at 455,000 kilometers. Our task is to ensure digital participation. Our media skills initiatives have already reached more than seven million people.

News

Media, sure! But secure.

The Teachtoday media obstacle course in action

One hundred and fifty highly motivated children, a very active teaching staff, two enthusiastic mayors and one dedicated Deutsche Telekom ambassador – the media obstacle course given by the Deutsche Telekom initiative Teachtoday visited Hesse to talk about the topic of safe and competent media use.

At the am Ried elementary school in Reichelsheim it was evident once again how important it is to discover the digital world together, ask lots of questions and consciously be aware of and reflect on your own media use in an age-appropriate manner. This is exactly why we developed the Teachtoday media obstacle course with five stations on topics such as media time, cyber bullying and chatiquette. We discuss these and other initiatives for promoting media literacy of children and adolescents in our CR Report.

"Green" phone calls? Let's go to the supermarket

New mobile phone rate by Edeka and Deutsche Telekom scores points in terms of sustainability

Be it organic vegetables, fair trade chocolate or certified fish fingers – those who are looking for sustainable consumables are finding an increasingly better selection at the supermarket. Customers can now also buy a more sustainable mobile communications card. That's because the new "Edeka smart" mobile phone rate, developed in a strategic partnership by Deutsche Telekom and Edeka, also offers sustainability advantages. A small card carrier for the SIM card, for example, that saves 50% of material. And climate-neutral packaging printed on grass paper.

This paper is made half from sun-dried grass and recycled paper. Production of this grass packaging – which takes place entirely without process chemicals – saves up to 75 percent in CO2 emissions. What's more, one euro of each start kit sold goes to the WWF's forest conservation program. And those who don't yet have a cell phone can purchase a Fairphone 2 in the "Edeka smart" webshop. If a cell phone breaks later, "Edeka smart" customers can have their device repaired inexpensively. And if a repair is no longer possible, old cell phones and SIM cards that aren't needed anymore can be dropped of at an Edeka Market to be recycled. We have hence created an additional mobile device return option, in addition to our other various drop-off sites and collection campaigns, which we discuss in our CR Report.

Check it out!

New poster campaign against discrimination

An unusual campaign is apt to cause a stir - and sometimes quite a big one. There are new posters hanging on the walls of the Deutsche Telekom buildings. One of them proclaims in large font: "Four out of five people think bullying is OK". Another wall screams "Lesbo", "Old hag" and "Raghead" in black letters. The posters are intentionally provocative, intended to capture the attention – and to call upon Telekom employees to immediately support violations against the Deutsche Telekom Code of Human Rights. That's because Deutsche Telekom stands for diversity and equal opportunity and has zero tolerance for discrimination and insults.

There are a range of options open to employees for reporting discrimination or observed misconduct. In addition to telling your immediate superior, the HR department, a Compliance Manager or the Works Council, Threat Management - made up of a team of experts - offers confidential advice and support when conflicts threaten to degenerate into physical or mental violence. This team is available to all employees through a central phone number and email address. There is also an external consulting firm available to provide confidential advice for a difficult professional or personal situation. Those who wish to anonymously report a violation of laws or DT's regulations can do this using our whistleblower portal Tell me!. This portal is also open to outside parties. Here information can be conveyed in all languages by post, phone, email or an electronic mailbox. Reports regarding human rights violations can also be directly sent to the email address humanrights@telekom.de. In such cases, our central contact point for human rights will be involved, which has been the direct point of contact for human rights interests since 2013.

From R2D2 to EZ10

The children's magazine "Scroller" throws some light on artificial intelligence.

How do robots assist us today? Is there already such a thing as completely autonomous cars? And how smart are voice assistants really? Will artificial intelligence – AI for short – have a decisive impact on our future? The new edition of "Scroller," Deutsche Telekom's children's magazine, takes children into the digital future and looks in detail at the exciting topic of "artificial intelligence."

Is one Earth enough?

Deutsche Telekom has a new environmental guideline

On August 1, 2018 it was that time again: In terms of figures, the Earth is bankrupt. On this day we had already consumed more wood, plants, food and other resources than forests, pastures, and fields can grow back within a year.

The date of what is known as "Earth Overshoot Day" moves forward year after year. That means that we're consuming the Earth's resources at an ever faster rate. One Earth is by no means enough: Now we would actually need 1.7 planets in order to cover humanity's current need for resources. And yet - we only have this one Earth.

It's high time we put an end to this development. That's why environmental protection measures have been on Deutsche Telekom’s agenda for many years already. In order to lend this initiative more weight, we came out with a new environmental guideline in June 2018. It encapsulates our previous work and adds important issues that we until now hadn't addressed in our internal regulations, such as water and biodiversity. The environmental guideline thus creates an overarching framework for our engagement for the environment. In doing so, we acknowledge our "precautionary approach." In other words: In everything we do, we consider the effects of our behavior on the environment, and make it our goal to reduce the negative effects and increase those that are positive. That's how we make our contribution to protecting our planet's natural resources.

Take a look at our new environmental guideline

In the jungle of truths

New online platform for media literacy

What are facts and what are only opinions? Is the darknet truly evil? What happens to my data on the internet? The digital jungle is full of uncertainties. Only those who know the risks can avoid them and navigate safely. In order to encourage responsible use of digital media, Deutsche Telekom has created the online platform 1001wahrheit.de.

Bee smart!

A stress-free package for stripe-wearers

A modern yet cozy home with all the imaginable creature comforts. If the inside temperature is too warm or too cold or the ambient humidity to high or too low, the landlord immediately comes to the rescue. And if a resident falls ill, help is summoned right away. Sounds like a luxury retirement home or "Hotel Mom"? It's not!

That's because the residents we're talking about here are pretty small, wear a yellow and black striped coat and can fly. They are, in fact, the hard-working bees that have made their home in two beehives at Deutsche Telekom headquarters in Bonn. And these beehives are no regular beehives either: equipped with sensors, they permanently collect information, for example about temperature, ambient humidity, weight (= fill level of the honeycombs) and noises. These data are then transferred directly to the beekeeper over the cloud. Thanks to this smart technology, all the beekeeper needs to do is take a quick look at their app to check whether the bees are healthy. This avoids unnecessary trips to the hives and reduces the number of disturbances for the bees themselves.

In addition, there are two digital beehives at the T-Systems Innovation Center in Munich that transmit their data to Bonn. And a beekeeper in the greater Bonn area has also equipped her beehives with the intelligent sensors. The data of the new Deutsche Telekom beehives can therefore be compared to the values of the various sites. This is how digitalization is making an important contribution to ensuring the survival of the species.

Media, sure! But secure

A competition promoting greater responsibility on the internet

Whether it's classmates gossiping about each other in WhatsApp groups, or making others look bad through embarrassing online photos, rumors and defamation are spreading just as rapidly as useful information in the digital age. So how can we help children and adolescents use digital media responsibly?

Our initiative Teachtoday seeks an answer to this question with the annual competition "Media sure! But secure." Under the motto "Are you digitally involved?" the competition encourages creative project ideas for 2018 that address the topic of responsibility on the internet. Children and adolescents between the ages of 9 and 14 can participate in the competition, as long as they are supervised by an adult. The six best team project ideas were selected via online public voting. Since April we've had our finalists. Included among the chosen ideas are a code of conduct that encourages a respectful coexistence on the internet, a report on cyberbullying and a media skills development plan for use in schools.

Now it's all about implementing the projects. On November 14, 2018 the six finalist teams will then present their projects in Bonn at the event "Summit for Kids."

Award

Proud as Punch

We are among the most sustainable large enterprises in Germany. And that's certainly reason to celebrate. For our comprehensive sustainability management, we won the German Sustainability Prize in the Large Enterprises category in 2017. The award honors excellent performance in sustainability activities and is considered to be Europe's most prestigious prize for ecological and social commitment. The jury had this to say: "Deutsche Telekom AG is setting the bar with its sustainable supplier management, enabling massive energy savings for its customers with its core operations and itself contributing to more energy efficient data transmission with various measures." This praise has given us even more momentum for our continued commitment – because we still have a lot more up our sleeve!

Find out more about our plans and our awards.

  • Welcome! One of our employees, who came to Germany as a refugee himself, introduces Deutsche Telekom to the candidates.
  • Any questions? Deutsche Telekom employees are helping refugees maintain perspective…
  • …and compile the most important information. This is not an easy task when official credentials are missing. That's why getting to know each other was an essential aspect of the recruitment days.
  • Of course, such recruitment days have to be well organized. Many volunteer employees ensured that the events went off without a hitch. The days were also a great opportunity for the refugees to get a few personal tips and establish initial contact with their potential employer.
  • In an unbureaucratic and personal setting, the candidates could score points with their personality and experience when talking to Deutsche Telekom managers - even without submitting the perfect credentials.

    Commitment to refugees

    Remove obstacles – offer opportunities

    How can we integrate people who have fled their homeland into the German labor market? In order to find out what a potential employee is truly capable of, you have to hold a personal interview with them. This is especially the case when the candidate has no credentials to show or their education/degree is not recognized in Germany. That's why we held six recruitment days for internship positions in 2017. This allowed us to not only fill the more than 100 open internship positions but also to help Deutsche Telekom partner companies hire refugees. A total of 340 refugees were working at Deutsche Telekom last year – primarily as interns, apprentices or as part of the "Internship PLUS direct entry" pilot initiative. This is a unique program because it enables people to enter professional life in a gradual manner over the course of two and a half years – hence leaving time for language and integration measures, especially at the start of the process.

    But that's not all. You can find other projects with which we supported refugees in 2017 here.

    Statement by the Chairman of the Board of Management

    "Standing by our convictions has seldom been more important than today."

    Timotheus Höttges, Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom, on sustainability commitment in eventful times.

    UN Sustainable Development Goals

    Systematically fighting hunger

    Ending world hunger by 2030 is one of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, a tremendous challenge. We are helping achieve these and other sustainability goals with our products, solutions and activities. In order to cover the worldwide demand for food, the agricultural industry has to become more efficient and generate higher revenues. Digitalization can help with this because it enables precise cultivation of arable land; for example, with computer-assisted machines that receive weather data or with sensors that measure soil conditions. This way farmers only use exactly as much seed, water, fertilizer and energy as necessary, resulting in more sustainable cultivation and higher yields.

    Find out more about our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Supply chain management

    The Supplier Whisperer

    Deutsche Telekom works together with more than 30,000 suppliers worldwide. How can we ensure that there are no violations against human rights, labor rights or environmental standards in this supply chain? Antonio Veloso had a groundbreaking idea in this regard. He developed a program to promote good working conditions at our suppliers' place of business in developing countries. "Companies that improve their working conditions and implement environmental protection measures are more successful. That's because they increase their productivity and improve the quality of their products. This is something of which I want to convince our suppliers," explains Veloso. Dialog on an equal footing is his program's recipe for success; a recipe that has worked so well that other ICT companies have also adopted it in the meantime.

    Read the interview with Antonio Veloso here, or speak to him directly.

    Infrastructure expansion

    Full throttle for the high-speed Internet

    How can every household get fast Internet? Even in rural areas? The answer is with fiber-optic technology and vectoring. Our goal is for 80 percent of the German population to soon be able to cruise the Internet with 100 Mbits. How will we achieve this? By going full speed ahead with our network expansion. On average, one of the gray boxes on the street curb was connected to the fiber-optic network every three minutes in 2017. We invested more than five million euros in Germany alone, predominantly in our infrastructure, and operated more than 455,000 kilometers of fiber-optic cables – a number that could theoretically encircle the globe eleven times.

    Find out more about how we are developing our network infrastructure.

    • We currently need 1.5 planet Earths to meet our resource requirements. How long can we continue this way?

      That's true: people are living beyond their means and overspending our credit limit, so to speak. Our planet cannot naturally regenerate any of the natural resources that will be consumed as of August. There's no question that things are going to take a turn for the worse. We are all aware of the problems, such as overfishing of the oceans, deforestation, growing mountains of waste, and increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere – and of course of the resulting natural disasters that hit us time and time again.

      As such, our current economic approach is not only detrimental to future generations, but also to people in poorer countries right now. We really have to think of something. If all of us, all of humanity, want to lead good lives, we have to stop being a throwaway society and become a circular economy.

    • What is the circular economy and how can it help?

      In a circular economy, the resources used are fully returned to the production process after the product's life cycle has ended. Well, that's a very theoretical explanation. What does it mean exactly? A circular economy has many different facets. One of them is re-use. That means a product shouldn't simply be thrown away, but instead should be used and reused longer. Recycling is another topic, as well as repair and restoration, or simply longer lifetimes. All of these are important factors of a circular economy.

    • Can you think of any examples?

      Cell phones: Millions of used cell phones lie dormant in drawers in Germany alone. That represents a significant trove of raw materials. The most important materials are gold, silver, and copper, and they can all be recovered from cell phones through professional recycling. Within the recycling process, the other materials are burned to generate energy, a method called "thermal recycling". That means: Old cell phones cannot be disposed of with other domestic waste – that practice was banned more than ten years ago. It's much better for the environment for us to collect them separately, like we do with old batteries. And: All cell phones can be returned at any Telekom Shop in Germany and through our online portals such as "handysammelcenter.de". Around 15 percent of all cell phones that Deutsche Telekom collects in Germany are reintroduced to the market as second-hand phones, after professional data wiping – that's a crucial element, as well. That means we extend the lifetimes of the devices.

      And on the other side, valuable raw materials are returned to the value chain, which are the exact principles and workings of a circular economy.

    • What role does digitalization play in this context?

      Digitalization is really an excellent way to conserve resources. Take your vacation pictures as an example: instead of saving them on your hard drive, put them in the MagentaCLOUD. Then you don't need a hard drive any more. If you don't need a hard drive any more, you won't consume the raw materials for it. Your power consumption is reduced, as is the packaging waste. The key word here is dematerialization.

    • But data needs to be stored somewhere, even in the cloud.

      You're absolutely right. But we can do it much more effectively than our customers. Our energy-efficient high security data centers need less hardware and less energy, thanks to better capacity utilization. Compared to a customer running their own infrastructure, this solution reduces energy consumption by up to 80 percent – another example of conserving resources in a circular economy.

    • What else can we do?

      We only use four out of five things we own once a month on average, or even less often. How often do you use your drill? Not only are drills expensive, they also consume valuable resources and we rarely even use them. It's so much more efficient to share this machine with other people. Sharing platforms, for example, make this possible by making sure that we don't have one or more of these resources just lying around at home, but share them instead and, in doing so, make a major contribution toward conserving resources.

    • What role does Deutsche Telekom have in this?

      Firstly, our networks are what make these platforms possible in the first place. Secondly, many of our products and services – videoconferencing, cloud applications, and smart home solutions – help our customers become sustainable, climate-friendly consumers. We also want to do our part as a company and reduce our own carbon footprint. We do this in a variety of ways, for example, through efficient energy use and conserving electricity. We are investing in efficient network technologies, replacing legacy equipment with new, more energy-efficient technology, and improving energy management in our buildings. Another example: we are reducing our company car fleet where CO2 limits are involved.

      And these are just a few examples. The fact is that we only have one chance together as a society to master the challenges we face. That means we all have to work together: society, business, and politics. Everyone has to contribute, and with this app, we hope to give you an example of the circular economy that is easy to read as well as a few tips on how to live and act more sustainably.

    Circular economy

    „Eliminating the disposable society”

    A privately owned passenger vehicle sits around unused for an average of 23 hours a day. A drill runs for about 13 minutes over the course of its entire life span. The numbers are clear. If we were to purchase fewer products ourselves and share more products with each other, we could save both a lot of money as well as valuable resources. Birgit Klesper, Head of Group Corporate Responsibility, explains what exactly a shared economy is and how each individual can contribute to it.

    You can read about the contribution that a shared economy will make here.

    Biodiversity

    All's clear at Maya the Bee and Friends

    Bees are sensitive creatures. If the temperature is a mere one degree Celsius below the optimal level in the hive, the bee colony becomes sluggish and swarm intelligence comes to a halt. This is one of the reasons why beekeepers always have to keep an eye on their black-and-yellow charges. The new communications standard called "NarrowBand Internet of Things" is helping them do just that. A small sensor in the beehive sends information about temperature, relative humidity and air pressure to the beekeeper's smartphone. This enables the beekeeper to know exactly what the bees need at any given time. The technology hence helps protect the bee population. The technology was developed by the startup Bee & Mee (beeand.me), a company supported by Deutsche Telekom.

    Check out how to protect biodiversity here.

    Sustainable products and services

    Say good-bye to nerve-racking parking space searches

    Our Park and Joy app wants to put an end to tiresome parking space searches. Drivers in Hamburg can now use the app to easily and conveniently get their digital parking ticket for connected parking spots and flexibly shorten or extend their parking time. The app shows users in Hamburg where the unoccupied parking spaces are and in the future will also be able to navigate them to the spot using the shortest route. This will decrease parking space search-related traffic and improve utilization of parking spaces, saving both nerves and CO2. Some 11,000 parking spots were already connected at the beginning of 2018, with more to follow over the course of the year. Drivers in Bonn, Duisburg, Dortmund, Darmstadt, Oberhausen, Hagen and Moers can look forward to the launch of Park and Joy in 2018.

    Find out more about our innovative solutions for smart cities here.

    CO2-emissions

    On the climate protection "A-Team"

    It's official: We are one of only 120 companies worldwide that made it onto CDP's "A-Team" in 2017. Only companies that demonstrate excellent commitment to climate protection – and that are particularly transparent and comprehensive in reporting their greenhouse gas emissions – are included on CDP's A list. We have been publishing a balance sheet regarding our CO2 emissions since 2003. We have also been recording and documenting indirect emissions - i.e. emissions generated by our customers or suppliers - for several years now.

    What are we doing to protect our climate? Find out more here.

    WeCare

    "We Care" magazine: Sustainability as a team sport

    Is it really true that cows can write text messages nowadays? What do gorillas have to do with smartphones? And how can a manatee rid the ocean of plastic waste? Our "We Care" online magazine gives you the answers. The publication gets to the heart of topics concerning social responsibility and sustainability in a diverse and comprehensible manner. In addition to background reports and interviews, the magazine also provides tips and tricks for living in a more sustainable manner. New issues of the magazine are regularly published on the We Care website in German and English.

    Go directly to the magazine here.

    Sustainable products and services

    Betting against dementia

    No waste of time – players of our mobile virtual reality game Sea Hero Quest are making an important contribution to dementia research. So how does it work? The game collects anonymous data on player behavior, which are then analyzed by scientists. Some 4 million people have already participated. This is the first time that comprehensive data on spatial navigation abilities are available for men and women of all age groups across the globe. This standard data is seen as a key step in the development of new methods that will make timely dementia diagnosis possible. It could hence be possible to diagnose dementia in patients long before memory problems occur – and to develop new processes for timely diagnosis and treatment of early-stage dementia.

    We present even more smart solutions for social challenges here.

    Media skills

    Secure on the net of 1001 truths

    Everyone can find a platform on social media for quickly distributing information or sharing their opinion. But how are users to determine whether this information is correct or fake? The answer is through media skills.

    Only those who are aware of the dangers on the Internet can truly enjoy its positive side. Deutsche Telekom has started various projects and initiatives to raise awareness of such dangers, for example the www.medienabersicher.de portal. Starting in the summer of 2018, young and old will find comprehensive self-learning materials at that site. We will also provide information for opinion leaders there – for example for teachers, mentors or HR managers. The first topics have already been decided: "Darknet", "Opinion-Making on the Internet" and "Digitalization and Health". The material will be available in both German and English and will be formulated in easy-to-understand language. This will help people with learning disabilities or those who don't speak German fluently understand the information.

    You can find out what it means to be a reliable partner in a digital world here.

    Vocational training

    Hackers from among our ranks

    Gotham City has Batman – the Internet has our data security specialists. And they are combating Internet crime with concentrated expertise. We have been training our own internal hackers since 2014, who don't do any damage but on the contrary, are the good guys. They look for security problems and eliminate them. Deutsche Telekom apprentices and students on cooperative study programs can apply for the two-and-a-half-year part-time training program to become a Cyber Security Professional after completion of their vocational training or course of study. This will turn them into much-in-demand specialists, because even though the topic of data security is very important in our information society, data experts are rare on the labor market.

    Do you want to become a hacker? We'll tell you how.

    Sustainable products and services

    Protection from airborne spies

    Drones allow you to take impressive images from the air and can also perform very practical services, such as deliver packages or pizza or precisely survey entire stretches of land. But the technical opportunities drones provide can also be misused for illegal and criminal objectives. With the Magenta Drone Shield, we offer our business customers an IT solution that protects them from the increasing danger of private drones. In particular companies, data centers, stadiums and authorities can secure their premises from remote controlled flying objects with the shield and thus defend themselves against espionage, smuggling and vandalism. On Drone Detection Day in July 2017, we pointed out the challenges of the ever-growing use of drones together with DFS, the German air traffic control service. The Magenta Drone Shield was also presented to the public. The shield reliably detected various types of drones, which simulated various danger scenarios, and issued warnings about them.

    Find out more here.