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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report
2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

CO2 emissions

Demand for fast data services with full-coverage availability is growing rapidly. That is why we continue to push the build-out of our infrastructure and increase data transmission rates. Despite constantly growing amounts of data, we are able to remain stable in our energy use due to our efforts to improve energy efficiency - for example in the upgrade of network infrastructure. Other focal points include how we operate our buildings, business trips and our fleet of company and service vehicles in Germany. Our vehicle fleet boasts roughly 24,000 vehicles in Germany and is one of the largest in Europe.

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: to reduce our CO2 emissions by 20 percent (excluding T-Mobile USA) by 2020 compared with 2008. We have specified a variety of measures and developed measurement tools to help us reach this goal.

New method to calculate our climate target
Increasing data traffic and the related network expansion are presenting us with considerable challenges. We need more performance and data centers, but at the same time we want to reduce our carbon emissions and energy use. We are facing this challenge and continue to stand by our ambitious climate goal. We are focusing our activities for the reduction of emissions on areas with especially high energy consumption, such as our networks and data centers. This way, despite increasing data volumes, we have already been able to achieve a moderate reduction in emissions (excluding TMUS) over the past few years. Moreover, we will put a stronger focus on renewable energy. Renewable energy certificates have not yet been taken into consideration in the calculation of our climate target. In the context of our annual climate goal monitoring, we have reviewed and revised the method for the calculation of our climate target. In accordance with the framework of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, we have been calculating our emissions using the market-based method since 2015. We are now applying this calculation method to our climate target. This means that the purchase of electricity from renewable energies through certificates or electricity from low-emission sources can also be taken into account. Consequently, we also adjusted the 2008 baseline to reflect the proportion of renewable energy at that time. The baseline reduced from 2 602 431 metric tons of CO2 to 1 481 400 metric tons of CO2. As a result, the climate target will be reduced to 1 185 120 metric tons of CO2 by 2020, which also represents a reduction of -20% compared to 2008. With this calculation method, we are at the forecasted level for 2017.

This is how we measure our progress
We measure our contribution to climate protection using different key performance indicators (KPIs) and thereby provide transparency to shareholders regarding our progress in realizing our climate strategy. The Carbon Intensity and Energy Intensity KPIs are used to analyze the relationship between our carbon emissions/energy use and the transported data volume. Using data volume as a reference parameter makes it possible to create a direct link to the performance of our networks. The Enablement Factor, PUE and Renewable Energy KPIs also serve the purpose of controlling and providing transparency regarding climate protection.

Energy intensity ESG KPI DT Group in Germany

  Data assured by PwC. Data is partly based on estimates, assumptions and extrapolations. The calculation method was adjusted in 2017. Values cannot be directly compared to the previous year.

Carbon intensity ESG KPI DT Group in Germany

  Data assured by PwC. Data is partly based on estimates, assumptions and extrapolations. The calculation method was adjusted in 2017. Values cannot be directly compared to the previous year.

Direct and indirect emissions
Across the Group, we measure our emissions along the value chain on the basis of the internationally recognized GHG Protocol img. This standard distinguishes between three CO2 emissions categories (Scope 1, 2 and 3). Scope-1 and scope-2 emissions are what we use as the basis for the calculation of ourCarbon Intensity ESG img KPI. We break down all carbon emissions in detail in the indicator section.

Andreas Kröhling

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Recording Scope 3 emissions

Indirect emissions along the value chain, or Scope 3 emissions img, 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.

We have been fully disclosing the Scope 3 emissions generated throughout the Group since 2016. They came to 6,013,202 metric tons of CO2 equivalents in Germany, roughly 23 percent more than in the previous year. The reasons for this increase were more investment in network expansion and positive business growth: increasing client numbers as well as the sale of high-quality services (especially Triple play img) resulted in higher CO emissions during use of our services. T-Systems' emissions were included in the Group number for Germany in 2017.

Use of the consumer products we sold and leased as well as energy consumption of the devices used for our services account for the largest part of the Scope 3 emissions – both in Germany as well as Group-wide. Emissions generated by purchasing technology to expand our networks as well as the purchase of devices and other goods and services were significant as well.

CO2e-Emissionen (Scope 1-3)

Interactive graphics

  • 48%
  • 1%
  • 16%
  • 35%
  • Emissions from upstream activities

    Scope 3

    9.418 kt CO2e

    Transportation services, purchased products and services, capital goods, production waste, upstream energy and fuel supply chains, business travel, and employee commuting.

    Emissions from Deutsche Telekom's own activities

    Scope 1

    284 kt CO2e
    Operating the systems, buildings, and vehicles belonging to Deutsche Telekom.
    Emissions from purchased energy

    Scope 2

    3.114 kt CO2e
    Generation of district electricity and heating purchased by Deutsche Telekom.
    Emissions from downstream activities

    Scope 3

    6.889 kt CO2e
    Transportation of products sold to customers, use of sold and rented products and disposal and recycling of sold products.
Please click on the percent values for further information.

The year 2017 marked the first time that, in addition to the national companies in Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro, we also recorded the Scope 3 emissions of T-Systems units, which also contributed to a 27 percent increase of the Group number compared to 2016. The numbers for the USA as well as for a few of the European countries from 2016 were revised upward due to recalculations regarding the purchase of products and services.

Overview of Scope 3 emissions (t CO2e)
National company 2016 2017  Comparison year-on-year
Germany (incl. T-Systems) 4,879,850 6,013,202
Hungary  572,533 672,046
Croatia  320,386 363,383
Slovakia  265,095 327,906
Greece  1,243,149 1,049,535
Romania  500,539 660,381
Austria  116,802 141,762
Czech Republic  185,787 226,466
Netherlands  190,656 211,694
Poland  362,078 572,403
Albania   7,507 Documented for the first time in 2017
Macedonia   33,028 Documented for the first time in 2017
Montenegro   20,535 Documented for the first time in 2017
United States 4,217,941 5,768,480
T-Systems (without Germany)   239,195 Documented for the first time in 2017
Total 12,854,817 16,307,523

Enablement factor: Customers saving on CO2 emissions

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 positive CO2 effects facilitated for our customers through the use of 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. We were able to conduct fifteen case studies for our products in Germany in 2017. 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 positive CO2 effects facilitated for our customers in Germany in 2017 were 71 percent higher than our own CO2 emissions (an enablement factor of 1.71:1).

ESG KPI enablement factor:  CO2 emission reductions enabled by the use of DT products and services

In all of Europe (incl. Germany), the savings potential for our customers was higher in 2017 than in the preceding year, with the factor having a value of 1.21 (2016: 0.95).

ESG KPI enablement factor: potential CO2 emissions savings through the use of DT products and services 

We always employ a conservative approach with our case studies and in our methodology. 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 from our own energy consumption (Scope 1 and 2) and also Scope 3 emissions img generated by our suppliers and customers. The latter includes even the emissions produced by electricity consumption of our Entertain customers' TV sets.

Cogeneration plants reduce CO2 emissions

We are using combined heat and power (CHP) plants in addition to the conventional power grid. In the year 2017, we commissioned a new CHP module at the Berlin site. The majority of our 32 units in total (as of late 2017) 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 only 40 percent. This is how we can reduce the carbon emissions of our network operation through the use of CHP plants.

Sustainable urban district concept
A local heating pipeline runs from our CHP unit in Berlin to a neighboring school. With the waste heat of the plant, the heating needs of the school and its gym could be covered entirely in 2017. This helps reduce carbon emissions by up to 700 tons a year.

Updated CHPs save additional resources
In October of 2017, we completed the update of two CHP plants. Absorption chillers in both units now convert waste heat into cold air, which will then be used to cool network nodes. Additionally, environmentally friendly dry coolers have also been installed in order to further reduce water consumption during the cooling process. The consequence is that the use of water and chemicals needed for the operation of the CHPs can be reduced considerably in the future.

Roughly 9,000 metric 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, our increased commitment to purchasing renewable energy is another.

Telekom Deutschland compensated for further 8,971 metric tons of CO2 in the 2017 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.

Our strategy for climate-friendly mobility

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 plan to keep average CO2 emissions levels of all of the new cars we purchase (company and service vehicles) below 95 g CO2/km by the end of 2020 in Germany.

Alternative engines
We can further reduce our fleet's carbon footprint by purchasing vehicles with alternative engines and fuel systems. For a while now, we have been using a certain number of vehicles powered by natural gas and electricity. In the short and mid-term, we will considerably increase the share of alternative engines in our fleet. In the context of the regular renewal of the fleet, we will work together with the units and use gas or electricity driven cars where the use and circumstances allow it.

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 transport. 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, loaner 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.

On the go and green: e-bikes, shuttles, rental bikes

Since 2015, we have offered our employees in Germany 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 a tremendous response right from the off. By the end of 2017, roughly400 colleagues were already making use of this option - a considerable increase of 160 percent as opposed to the previous year.

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 120,000 passengers used this service in 2017. 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 in Germany to get to their business appointments within the city.

Get to your customer faster with e-bikes
In 2017, we have started a pilot for our field service. Instead of using a car, some of our service technicians have been on the road with delivery e-bikes as a test. We have the hope to get to the customer faster in large cities and to improve our ‘on-time’ promise. Currently, six delivery e-bikes are in use in Hannover, Düsseldorf and Duisburg. We have also started a similar project in Stuttgart, where we are testing the use of scooters for field service staff.

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 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 rental cars. Employees can use these cars for business trips free of charge.
  • Deutsche Telekom Technischer Service is currently using three electric service vehicles. Further electric service cars are used in Stuttgart and Munich.
  • 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.
  • Since the summer of 2014, we have been gradually offering selected hybrid vehicles and, in certain regions, electric vehicles as company cars.

Magyar Telekom stays Carbon Neutral

The Magyar Telekom Group stayed completely carbon neutral in 2017 and repeated its success from the previous 2 years. This achievement has put the company ahead of the largest telecommunication companies around the world. Our success is based on the purchase of 100% renewable energy, enhancing energy efficiency, implementing carbon offset, and saving energy. The Group has defined an average emission value for our company cars and we reward compliance with the emission value. Users of cars with emissions above the reference values attracted penalty payments that were used for carbon offset. In 2017, we purchased CO2 certificates that offset 25,000 mt of CO2

Fostering the use of electric cars in the Netherlands

In May 2014, T-Systems Netherlands introduced electric cars for lease drivers in order to help reduce the CO2 emissions discharged from the company’s cars. Charging stations have now been installed in parking areas to facilitate charging during office hours.

All-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 provide a further major big advantage for drivers. These two benefits promote the popularity of these types of car in the Netherlands. This appeal is illustrated by the 24.5% share of cars designed to reduce CO2 in the company’s fleet at the end of 2017.

Car type CO2 emissions %
CNG (natural gas) 88 g CO2 3.4
Hybrid 36-88 g CO2 19.8
Pure electric 0 g CO2 1.3
Total   24.5