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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

Other environmental topics

We assume responsibility for creating a climate-friendly society – at our company, among our customers and suppliers and through our social commitment. We focus on those areas where we can make the most impact.

Other environmental topics are addressed as well, such as protecting biodiversity and responsible water consumption. Our infrastructure can also be a part of our solution – for example, with the "Bee and Me" project, which helps beekeepers protect their bees.


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Protecting biodiversity

Species extinction is occurring at an alarming rate worldwide, and the consequences are difficult to predict. One major cause of extinction is the fact that more and more space is being taken up by industry, agriculture and transportation. When it comes to our environmental impact, the topic of land usage plays a subordinate role for us. Deutsche Telekom's business operations primarily impact biodiversity at the beginning of the value-added chain. This impact is clearly diminished at later stages.

Nevertheless, we are concerned about protecting biodiversity. To this end, we develop and support ICT img solutions that can help maintain biodiversity. Furthermore, we influence the maintenance and enhancement of biodiverse habitats in the direct surroundings of our various locations. That is why we collaborate with competent partners on nature conservation efforts near us.

Fighting bee mortality with narrowband technology
Deutsche Telekom supports solutions that help maintain biodiversity. One example of this is a solution by start-up company "Bee and Me" from Montenegro. This young company uses narrowband technology NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) for optimizing apiculture. With this technology, data relevant to the beehive, such as temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, weight and bee activity, can be recorded and sent to the beekeeper using an app. This allows the beekeeper to take immediate action if the beehive is in danger.

Renaturation of biodiverse habitats
Since 2003 we have been carrying out comprehensive collection campaigns for used cell phones. The cell phones are then reused or, if they are no longer functional, properly recycled in an environmentally responsible manner. We use the profits from these collection campaigns to support charitable organizations, especially in the fields of resource protection, environmental protection, nature conservation and education. In 2017, we supported two biodiversity protection projects – a gorilla protection project sponsored by the Frankfurt Zoological Society as well as the monkey orphanage J.A.C.K. sponsored by Pro Wildlife e.V. Both organizations have been partners in the cell phone collection center since 2017. You can find more information at

Cooperation with Environmental ActionGermany ended
We supported the nature conservation projects of Environmental Action Germany from 2003. This cooperative venture was terminated at the end of 2017.

Initiatives for resource efficiency at the workplace

We try to use as many green office supplies as possible in order to improve resource efficiency at the workplace. A total of 16% of products are classified as sustainable in our office products catalog in Germany. This includes paper that has been distinguished with the "Blue Angel" eco-label or the "Nordic Swan" certificate. Some of our office products have also been honored with the EU Flower eco-label, the Fairtrade seal, and the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and the PEFC (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) eco-labels. In 2017, the percentage of sustainable products ordered was 96%.

During this year, we repeatedly sold remaining stock, giveaways and corporate clothing to our employees at our Bonn location as well as in the online shop. These activities were very well-received this year as well. The office supplies swap meet has become a fixture in Bonn, an event during which colleagues can pick up discarded office supplies from other departments instead of ordering new products.

We also entered into a cooperative venture with the non-profit organization "Afb social & green IT" in 2017. Within the scope of this venture, we will give some of our used IT hardware (e.g. laptops) to the organization so that it can recondition and resell this. This will not only help us save resources but also create jobs for people with disabilities as well as extend the life cycle of our used hardware. We held a very successful on-site sales promotion at our Bonn location at the end of November 2017 within the framework of this cooperation.

Water consumption

We need water to live and it continues to grow scarcer. The World Health Organization estimated that more than one billion people worldwide do not have access to clean water. As a service provider, our water consumption is comparatively small compared to the agricultural and manufacturing industries. We almost exclusively use water within the scope of our office activities. Water consumption also plays but a minor role along our supply chain. For that reason, water is not a main focal area in our CR management activities. Nevertheless, we use our Water Consumption KPI to record our annual water consumption, which we have been able to consistently reduce since 2012.