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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

Climate protection

Here is a selection of material topics from the 2017 CR-Report. More information can be found in the chapters Customers & productsClimate & environment and Suppliers.

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 (analysis). We measure the result with the Sustainable Revenue Share ESG img KPI. The share of such products was already at 40 percent in 2017 (excluding T-Mobile US).

40% of revenue with products and services that offer sustainability benefits

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 resource conservation by replacing physical 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 of year-end 2017). We have illustrated the benefits of some selected products based on all three pillars of sustainability (ecological, social and economic).

To date, there is no industry-wide established system that provides customers with sustainability information about ICT img products and services. We have started to create just such a system using our product analyses – that is, to find out which sustainability contributions our products can make at all. 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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Heinz-Gerd Peters

Recognition of leadership role in climate protection

Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis 2017: Die Deutsche Telekom AG ist Deutschlands nachhaltigstes Großunternehmen.

German Sustainability Prize 2017: Deutsche Telekom AG is Germany's most sustainable large company.

For our uniform sustainability management, we won the German Sustainability Award in December of 2017. Our commitment to climate protection, for example by operating energy-efficient networks or providing products that help our customers reduce carbon emissions, helped us win the award.
Erneute Aufnahme in das CDP-Ranking

Repeated inclusion in CDP img ranking

We made it onto the CDP Climate A List for the second time in 2017. CDP commends companies that report their CO2 emissions extremely transparently and in detail. Under the CDP, we have reported Group-wide not only Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions img but also Scope 3 emissions img from our business operations in Germany and almost all our international companies since 2014.
Deutscher CSR-Preis 2017 - Finalist

Finalist for the 2017 German CRS Award

The German CSR Award is given out annually by the German CSR Forum and celebrates extraordinary performance in the area of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and therefore the social engagement of corporations. In the year 2017, we made it into the final round in the category "CO2 avoidance as a contribution to climate protection."

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

Measurable success: Reduced CO2 generation at data centers

We also keep our goal of reducing our carbon footprint in mind when planning and operating our data centers. To achieve this goal, we take a two-step approach. It starts with optimizing energy consumption at each data center site and then continues with improving processes throughout the global data center landscape.

The key indicator for increased energy efficiency at our data centers is the PUE img factor. We were able to reduce the average PUE factor img at the T-Systems data centers in Germany from 1.85 to 1.54 between 2008 and 2017. In comparison with the previous year, the figure remained constant in 2017. The reason for this is the ongoing consolidation of the data centers, where applications from less energy-efficient sites are migrated to new, highly efficient data centers. This increases the PUE value of the decommissioned data centers in the short term. Overall, this process lead to a constant PUE value across all data centers in the reporting year.

Data centers are becoming more energy-efficient

The DC11@2018 program for improving processes throughout our global data center landscape has been up and running since 2013. The project combines physical data center consolidation (i.e., reducing data center space and sites) with logical consolidation (i.e., virtualizing data center infrastructure). The objective of the DC11@2018 program is to consolidate global data center capacity at FMO (future mode of operation) data centers using the latest IT technology. In 2017, we continued to remain on schedule with this program. Within the scope of the physical consolidation, we decommissioned three old data centers in Germany. At the same time, we further optimized air conditioning in the existing data centers in Biere and Munich.

The target average PUE factor at all FMO data centers in the Group will be 1.4 once the program has been completed in late 2018/early 2019. At the end of 2017, we were already at a PUE value of 1.51. This requires a homogeneous IT landscape combined with optimum capacity utilization of data center infrastructure, IT hardware and the software running on the systems. For the year 2020, the latest program plans indicate accumulated reductions in CO2 by up to 51 percent compared to 2012.

Our target PUE factor for our highly efficient data center in Biere is 1.3. To achieve this target, it will be necessary to respect a given temperature level and to achieve a capacity utilization of at least 80 percent. We were not yet able to achieve the PUE target value in 2017.

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.

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.

Carbon intensity ESG KPI Deutsche Telekom Group

The Carbon Intensity ESG KPI img was a new addition to the reporting this year. In contrast to the existing CO2 Emissions ESG KPI, the new ESG KPI shows the CO2 emissions in proportion to the transmitted data volumes. Using data volume as a reference parameter makes it possible to create a direct link to the performance of our networks. The KPI is reported for DT Group EU and T-Mobile US.

Carbon intensity ESG KPI Deutsche Telekom Group

  Data assured by PwC. For detailed assurance comments see "DT Group in Germany".

The ESG KPI figure also takes into account total CO2 emissions for all energy sources – fuel, gas, district heating and electricity, The data volume is composed of the transmitted IP img data volumes (including Voice over IP, Internet, IP-TV). 

Reporting against standards

The Carbon Intensity ESG KPI img is relevant for the GRI indicator GRI 305-4 (Greenhouse Gas Emissions Intensity). This information is relevant for EFFAS KPI E02-01 (Greenhouse gas emissions Scope 1-3). It is furthermore relevant for criterion 13 (Climate-relevant emissions and objectives) of the German Sustainability Codex. It is also used for reporting on the Global Compact principles 7 (Precautionary approach) and 8 (Promoting environmental responsibility).