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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

Climate strategy

One of our goals is to reduce the negative environmental impact of our business activities. One important milestone is our climate target. By the year 2020, we are planning to reduce the absolute amount of CO2 emissions we produce by 20 percent compared to base year 2008 (excluding T-Mobile USA). One step in this process is investing in energy-efficient network technology.

And we are concerned with more than just reducing our own carbon footprint. We want to help our customers reduce their CO2 emissions as well. The GeSI SMARTer2030 study shows that information and communications technology may be part of the solution in the fight against climate change. Products such as our cloud and mobility solutions help reduce the amount of CO2 emissions our customers produce.

Our integrated climate strategy

Our contribution to the SDGs

We designed our integrated climate strategy following our Group strategy "Leading European Telco". This is how we ensure that our climate protection measures are closely connected with our core business. Our integrated climate strategy includes four aspects of climate protection: CO2 emissions, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable products. For each one of these aspects, we have defined goals and key figures.

The four pillars of our integrated climate strategy

To help us achieve this goal, we record all direct and indirect emissions using the globally recognized GHG protocol. The goal is to reduce our emissions by 20 percent by the year 2020 compared to the base year 2008 (excluding T-Mobile US). We uphold this ambitious climate goal despite the challenges arising from fast growing data traffic and the consequent ongoing network expansion. In order to achieve this, we are focusing on areas with especially high energy consumption, such as our networks and data centers. We have already achieved a moderate reduction in emissions (excluding TMUS) over the past few years. To achieve our goal, we also want to increase the share of renewable energy.

CO2 emissions

We are evaluating various options to increase our share in green energy. This includes purchasing energy certificates from renewable sources, generating our own renewable energy such as through the use of cogeneration (“CHP”) plants. Some national companies are setting a great example: T-Mobile Austria and OTE in Greece obtained 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources in 2017. We have introduced parameters throughout the Group that can be used to assess electricity procurement in terms of sustainability. These parameters help us make our energy mix more transparent and increase the share of energy obtained from renewable sources at our company.

Renewable energy

Because the operation of our network infrastructure calls for a considerable amount of energy, we are investing in modernization and energy-efficient technology. For instance, we are migrating our network infrastructure to IP technology, which is not only more powerful, but also consumes less electricity than existing technologies. In addition, we are working to process data traffic from no more than a few, particularly efficient data centers. In order to measure our progress, we use two key performance indicators (KPIs). They show the relationship between our energy consumption or carbon footprint and transported data volume.

Energy efficiency

Many of our products and services provide sustainability advantages. They can help reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, improve healthcare and make logistics more efficient. Since 2016 we have been measuring the amount of CO2 emissions that our customers can reduce by using our products and services. With our Enablement Factor ESG KPI, we set our emissions in relation to potential savings for our customers in order to evaluate our overall performance in climate protection. Moreover, we use the Sustainable Revenue Share ESG KPI to measure the share of sustainable products. These are products that provide sustainability advantages and that do not entail any significant sustainability risks.

Sustainable products

Collaborating for climate protection 
Effective climate protection calls for joint efforts on the part of business, politics, science and society. That is why we are involved in a number of German initiatives, such as the 2° Foundation, and international associations. One of these is the Global e-Sustainability Initiative img (GeSI img). As an industry association, GeSI's vision is to help make society greener and more climate-friendly with the help of ICT img solutions.

World Climate Conference: Exciting debates and modern infrastructure

In November 2017, the 23rd World Climate Conference took place under the presidency of the Fiji Islands in Bonn. Diplomats, politicians and representatives of civil society came together at the Conference of the Parties (COP img). We contributed to the content of the Conference with an event and provided state-of-the-art infrastructure.

Digitalization for climate protection and sustainability
On November 14, 2017, our headquarters in Bonn were entirely focused on climate protection. The real potential of digitalization for climate protection is still being underrated. In order to change this, we have joined our stakeholders for a dialog about "The impact of ICT img on climate change – curse or blessing". Along with our partner, the Global e-Sustainability Initiative img (GeSI img), as well as numerous stakeholders and experts from politics, civil society and corporations, we discussed the opportunities and risks of information and communication technology (ICT) for climate protection. In collaboration with partners, we presented products and solutions for connected and therefore sustainable life and work - for example, relating to e-mobility, Smart City and logistics.

Fiber optics img for the climate summit
For the 23rd World Climate Conference in Bonn, Deutsche Telekom provided the technical infrastructure. For the supply of the two temporary tent towns alone we laid over 25 kilometers of optical fiber and copper cables each - capacities that would also suffice for the supply of a small town. Antennas that were installed for the event ensured the necessary wireless capacity. In this way, the park in Bonn where the tent towns were located was equipped with modern, broadband communications technology that will also benefit future events.

The sheer amount of infrastructure that an event with over 25,000 visitors requires can be seen in the following “Netzgeschichte” (network story):

Addressing climate risks

In the context of our integrated climate strategy, we address the environmental impact of our business and determine potential opportunities and risks that exist for us as well as for our stakeholders.

For example, extreme weather conditions as a consequence of climate change can have a negative impact on our business processes and lead to incidents or even network outages. A very real example for this was the storm Friederike, which lead to an outage of more than 600 cross-connect cabinets and over 200 mobile base stations in early 2018. Such failures can massively impact the managementl of rescue operations, if not render them entirely impossible. In order to be able to react appropriately in these cases, our internal "Group Policy on Continuity and Situation Management" defines responsibilities, processes and measures. It also outlines how to handle emergency and crisis situations like floods. In addition, possible consequences of climate change are also taken into account when planning our future business activities. For instance, our network infrastructure is set up to be protected from storm conditions, changes in temperature and high winds.

Climate change also carries financial risks, whether from the introduction of a levy on CO2 emissions or an increase in energy costs. Our contribution to the mitigation of these risks is that we measure our own energy efficiency and develop measures for improvement. We also work on the reduction of our own and our customers' and suppliers' CO2 emissions.

We report to the Board of Management quarterly on current climate risks within the context of our Group Risk Report. You willYou will find more information on risk management in the "Risks and Opportunities” section of our Annual Report.

With innovative solutions, we support our customers in mitigating their carbon footprint or in better adapting to the negative consequences of climate change. Some examples for this are innovative projects in the area of sustainable urban development and mobility, or real-time solutions for agriculture. These do not only help reduce emissions, but also optimize the use of fertilizer, seed and machinery. An increase in crops can also contribute to preventing agricultural areas from expanding, which helps retain valuable rain forest areas.

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."