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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

Energy efficiency

Our network infrastructure forms the basis of our products and services. At the same time, network operation requires the most energy and therefore results in the largest carbon emissions, which makes achieving greater energy efficiency in network operation a key component of our climate protection target. When it comes to our networks, we engage in activities such as replacing outdated technology with new technology, e.g., the migration of our fixed-line network to IP technology. In addition, we are currently consolidating data traffic into only a few, particularly efficient, data centers.

Operating energy-efficient networks

We operate our own fixed-line and mobile networks in Europe and the U.S. Much of our energy requirements come from operating this network infrastructure. In the interest of our customers, we continue to increase the capacity and performance of our networks so that we can handle growing amounts of data and improve the speed and quality of data transmission. However, this also means higher energy requirements. We pursue three different approaches to reduce our energy needs.

  • We update our network infrastructure, e.g., by migrating to IP img technology, and systematically removing equipment we no longer need.
  • We optimize energy generation and supply with the help of technical innovation.
  • We use more energy-efficient technology for lighting, monitoring and above all cooling our facilities.

Our internal energy service provider, Power & Air Solutions, which buys energy and then makes it available for use by our Group companies in Germany, plays a key role in these activities. Power & Air Solutions' energy management practices have been ISO 50001 certified since 2013.

Measuring and controlling energy consumption
In order to measure our progress across the Group, we introduced two key performance indicators (KPIs). They show our energy consumption (Energy Intensity ESG img KPI) and our carbon footprint (Carbon Intensity ESG KPI ) in proportion to the transmitted data volume. Using data volume as a reference parameter makes it possible to create a direct link to the performance and use of our networks. In the next few years, we are expecting a positive trend in both KPIs.

The PUE img (Power Usage Effectiveness) factor is measured annually and is another important performance indicator for managing our climate protection measures. Our state-of-the-art data centers, e.g. in Munich or Biere, are set up for a PUE value of 1.3 and are therefore much more efficient than the average of German data centers, which lie at about 1.8. We are planning to reduce the PUE factor img of our fixed-line network in Germany to 1.4 by the year 2020. For this value, we also forecast an additional reduction in the coming years. This will allow us in part to compensate for increasing energy requirements due to growing volumes of data and new features.

Andreas Kröhling

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More capacity for our energy-efficient data center

Our data center in Biere (near the city of Magdeburg) was put into operation in 2014 and is one of the world's most efficient data centers. And because demand for cloud services "made in Germany"is on the rise worldwide, we are currently expanding it to increase its server capacity by 150 percent. The foundation for the expansion of the data center has been laid:The new modules are scheduled to commence operation in the second quarter of 2018.

In 2017, a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in Gold was requested for the expansion, just like it was requested for the first construction phase - an award that only very few data centers receive worldwide.

Biere sets new standards

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.

Energy efficiency in buildings

Our facility energy management activities focus on the two areas of heating energy and electricity consumption. We have defined sub-targets for each of these areas to help us attain our climate target in Germany. Twice a year, we measure our progress.

Our contribution to the SDGs

Two approaches help us achieve our sub-targets. We are reducing our office space as part of HR downsizing measures and are optimizing space usage by introducing new office concepts. We also identify needs for reduction in energy consumption by using specific indicators such as "kilowatt hours per square meter," "energy consumption at midnight" or "peak loads" to compare similar facilities. The energy management system of Power & Air Solutions, the provider purchasing energy for the German Group companies, is certified according to the international ISO standard 50001.

Heat and hot water
In 2017, we used approximately 379 GWh of heating energy throughout Germany each year, primarily by using gas and heating oil as well as district heating. The need has decreased continuously in the past years. We regularly assess the need for repairs at our properties and conduct profitability analyses to further reduce consumption. Keeping the available budget in mind, we focus on the most necessary and particularly cost-efficient measures, including:

  • Optimizing heating systems
  • Updating the heating system in line with the German Energy Saving Ordinance
  • Using condensing boiler technology to replace old heating systems and pumps
  • Recovery of waste heat produced by data centers
  • Using CHP plants

In order to reduce the use of heating energy in our exchanges, we have reduced the starting temperature of the heating system to 12 degrees.

Our employee workstations, lighting, and building technology, including pumps, ventilation, cooling and elevators, are responsible for the largest part of electricity consumption in our buildings. We focus our energy conservation measures on the following areas:

  • Using LED lighting and motion sensors
  • Using state-of-the-art pumps and fans
  • Switching off building technology outside working hours

Energy and Climate Change Projects in Greece

Energy Management System according to ISO 50001
The OTE Group has prioritized improvement in all the functions of energy performance and major company installations (office facilities, call centers, data centers and telecommunication networks). This is a response to global efforts directed toward mitigating climate change.

In 2016, OTE and COSMOTE achieved certification of two important buildings in their portfolio and five base stations in the mobile network in conformity with the ISO 50001 standard. The first year for implementation of the Energy Management System saw energy savings of some 3.5% in each building and an average of about 16% in each base station. In 2017, the Energy Management System successfully expanded to seven important new facilities including technology and office buildings, call centers, data centers, and the head office of the OTE Group. The system has also been expanded to seven base stations in the mobile network.  

The strategic aim of the OTE Group for 2018 is to further enrich its portfolio with a significant number of facilities certified according to ISO 50001.

“Green” building with LEED Gold Certification
The OTE Group respects the environment in practice and invests in the rational and sustainable use of energy throughout its operations. OTE Estate is a company of the OTE Group and it is responsible for the management and commercialization of the OTE Group’s real estate portfolio. The company organized and implemented renovation of a building (with total floor space of 10,850 m2) located in the historic center of Athens that houses part of the OTE Group’s Call Center services. The aim was to construct an environmentally sustainable building model capable of offering an ideal workplace for the Group’s employees.

The effectiveness of the building renovation was certified to gold level by the international LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification scheme for environmental and sustainable buildings from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This is one of just few buildings in Greece with Gold level LEED certification and it is the second building in the portfolio of the OTE Estate to achieve this certification.

The building’s GOLD level LEED certification constitutes a significant distinction that was achieved after a very demanding process. The objective is to improve performance for a series of indicators such as energy consumption, water use, CO2 emissions, the quality of the internal environment, and management of resources. Indicatively, the energy and environmental measures implemented in the building include the energy efficiency of the shell, installation of new electrical and mechanical equipment with optimum energy performance, an automation and control system for monitoring and optimizing the operation of electrical and mechanical building installations, and implementation of an extensive commissioning program during construction.

Please refer to this link for further information.

Energy Strategy at T-Mobile USA

The cross-functional energy team at T-Mobile USA representing retail, corporate real estate, critical facilities, network engineering, procurement and sustainability meets several times annually to raise the profile of energy efficiency across the business. T-Mobile submitted its second Carbon Disclosure report in 2017.

Our key energy metrics, energy and carbon intensity both saw strong improvements in 2017:

Our Renewable Energy Commitment: In 2017, T-Mobile made a commitment to move toward 100% renewable energy usage by 2021. Early in the year, we made the largest wind-power investment ever by a U.S. wireless company, buying up to 160 MW of renewable energy credits from the Red Dirt wind power project in Oklahoma. A second investment in the new Solomon Forks Wind Project in Kansas is underway. 

The combined production of the Red Dirt Wind Power and the Solomon Forks Wind Project is a total contracted capacity of 320 MW, the largest amount held by any US wireless company and a landmark holding in the world of wind energy.

These 12 and 15-year clean energy contracts will reduce T-Mobile’s operating CO2 emissions across our US retail stores, call centers, and network operations by 60 percent over the next two years.

Environmentally friendly data centers in Austria

Operating data centers requires a great deal of energy and T-Systems Austria is dedicated to running its data centers in a maximally environmentally friendly approach. Mitigation makes our data centers in Gmünd, Linz and Vienna entirely carbon neutral. Mitigation means that resources are used to absorb the same amount of CO2 as emitted by production of the energy necessary to run them.

We are also actively engaged in initiatives to reduce energy consumption. A “cold/heat technique” is used in server cabinets to regulate the temperature as efficiently as possible with resultant savings in energy. In 2017, we expect to achieve a total energy reduction of 389,522 kWh. This yields a year-on-year reduction of63 percent.

Our fire-extinguishing system has also been designed on environmental principles. Our data center at the T-Center in Vienna has 168 fire extinguishers filled with a mixture of nitrogen, argon and carbon dioxide for emergencies. The extinguishing agent is harmless to humans, leaves no residue, and is100 percent environmentally neutral.

Energy Savings at T-Systems Mexico

Several measures are being implemented to help save energy in our offices. These include replacement of fluorescent lamps with LED lamps, installation of motion sensors, and monitoring of the air conditioning system in all offices. As a result, a 9.5% saving in watts was achieved in 2017 compared with 2016. Moreover, we were able to implement efficient measures in energy consumption, such as photovoltaic cells. This allowed for a saving of 15% of the entire consumption of the facilities.

Progress at Office Buildings and Data Centers at T-Systems Netherlands

Since 2016, our office building in Vianen has been supplied entirely with green energy (100 %). Our offices in Heerlen and The Hague cannot be supplied with green energy due to the fact that there are other tenants in the building and to the strategy of the owner of the building.

In 2017, we focused on improved efficiency for the floor space of our office buildings. A significant decrease in floor space will be achieved as a result:

  • at the end of 2018, a decrease of 50% in The Hague and
  • at the end of 2019 a decrease of 40% in Vianen.

The main focus for our data centers in 2017 was the significant decrease of floor space and energy consumption (28% less energy consumed by comparison with 2016, 13% less energy consumed by comparison with 2015). This was achieved through asset refresh (lifecycle management), decommissioning, and data-center consolidation.