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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

Sustainable products & services

We can also use our products, services, and activities to participate in contributing to ecological and social challenges, as was made clear in a comparison with the 17 sustainability goals (SDGs) set forth by the United Nations. That's because information and communications technology (ICT) allows industries, service providers and consumers to be more sustainable. By way of example, according to the GeSI #SMARTer2030 study, greenhouse emissions could be reduced by 20 percent by 2030 through targeted use of ICT. Furthermore, ICT also offers great market potential: The study estimates that $6.5 trillion of additional revenues will flow from ICT-enabled services in 2030. Sustainability not only involves protecting the environment but also has further relevance when it comes to ICT. Technology can contribute to reduced resource consumption, for example. Within the scope of the "Smart City" projects, i.e. the implementation of digital technology in cities, it can help reduce traffic or improve traffic flow, and hence reduce emissions, for example through Parking Apps, or make street lighting more energy-efficient.

But ICT can do even more. It is also the precondition for sustainable economies. In our current consumer model, products are usually discarded after use. This leads to the loss of valuable resources while garbage piles grow.  The idea of a circular economy, where resources return to the production process through recycling, offers a promising solution. The idea of a shared economy goes a step further than this. This is a "share instead of own" concept, which reduces the amount of consumer goods per person. What's more, repairing objects increases their life cycle. Both save valuable resources. Many shared economy concepts like car sharing or city bikes wouldn't even be possible without digital networking.

  • We currently need 1.5 planet Earths to meet our resource requirements. How long can we continue this way?

    That's true: people are living beyond their means and overspending our credit limit, so to speak. Our planet cannot naturally regenerate any of the natural resources that will be consumed as of August. There's no question that things are going to take a turn for the worse. We are all aware of the problems, such as overfishing of the oceans, deforestation, growing mountains of waste, and increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere – and of course of the resulting natural disasters that hit us time and time again.

    As such, our current economic approach is not only detrimental to future generations, but also to people in poorer countries right now. We really have to think of something. If all of us, all of humanity, want to lead good lives, we have to stop being a throwaway society and become a circular economy.

  • What is the circular economy and how can it help?

    In a circular economy, the resources used are fully returned to the production process after the product's life cycle has ended. Well, that's a very theoretical explanation. What does it mean exactly? A circular economy has many different facets. One of them is re-use. That means a product shouldn't simply be thrown away, but instead should be used and reused longer. Recycling is another topic, as well as repair and restoration, or simply longer lifetimes. All of these are important factors of a circular economy.

  • Can you think of any examples?

    Cell phones: Millions of used cell phones lie dormant in drawers in Germany alone. That represents a significant trove of raw materials. The most important materials are gold, silver, and copper, and they can all be recovered from cell phones through professional recycling. Within the recycling process, the other materials are burned to generate energy, a method called "thermal recycling". That means: Old cell phones cannot be disposed of with other domestic waste – that practice was banned more than ten years ago. It's much better for the environment for us to collect them separately, like we do with old batteries. And: All cell phones can be returned at any Telekom Shop in Germany and through our online portals such as "". Around 15 percent of all cell phones that Deutsche Telekom collects in Germany are reintroduced to the market as second-hand phones, after professional data wiping – that's a crucial element, as well. That means we extend the lifetimes of the devices.

    And on the other side, valuable raw materials are returned to the value chain, which are the exact principles and workings of a circular economy.

  • What role does digitalization play in this context?

    Digitalization is really an excellent way to conserve resources. Take your vacation pictures as an example: instead of saving them on your hard drive, put them in the MagentaCLOUD. Then you don't need a hard drive any more. If you don't need a hard drive any more, you won't consume the raw materials for it. Your power consumption is reduced, as is the packaging waste. The key word here is dematerialization.

  • But data needs to be stored somewhere, even in the cloud.

    You're absolutely right. But we can do it much more effectively than our customers. Our energy-efficient high security data centers need less hardware and less energy, thanks to better capacity utilization. Compared to a customer running their own infrastructure, this solution reduces energy consumption by up to 80 percent – another example of conserving resources in a circular economy.

  • What else can we do?

    We only use four out of five things we own once a month on average, or even less often. How often do you use your drill? Not only are drills expensive, they also consume valuable resources and we rarely even use them. It's so much more efficient to share this machine with other people. Sharing platforms, for example, make this possible by making sure that we don't have one or more of these resources just lying around at home, but share them instead and, in doing so, make a major contribution toward conserving resources.

  • What role does Deutsche Telekom have in this?

    Firstly, our networks are what make these platforms possible in the first place. Secondly, many of our products and services – videoconferencing, cloud applications, and smart home solutions – help our customers become sustainable, climate-friendly consumers. We also want to do our part as a company and reduce our own carbon footprint. We do this in a variety of ways, for example, through efficient energy use and conserving electricity. We are investing in efficient network technologies, replacing legacy equipment with new, more energy-efficient technology, and improving energy management in our buildings. Another example: we are reducing our company car fleet where CO2 limits are involved.

    And these are just a few examples. The fact is that we only have one chance together as a society to master the challenges we face. That means we all have to work together: society, business, and politics. Everyone has to contribute, and with this app, we hope to give you an example of the circular economy that is easy to read as well as a few tips on how to live and act more sustainably.

As a telecom company, we are doing our part to decrease resource consumption of ICT products. In our leasing model for routers and media receivers discarded devices are refurbished for reuse. This extends their life cycle. And with our cell phone collection program, we make sure that valuable resources are returned to the value chain. Thanks to solutions like cloud computing our customers can also do without their own servers, thereby conserving resources.

In addition, ICT helps stabilize electricity networks, simplify workflows and further improve medical care.

As a modern technology company, we want to help shape the development of products and services that contribute to sustainability. That is why we continuously expand our offer of sustainable products and innovative ICT solutions for private and business customers.

Developing sustainable products and services

We are committed to systematically using the sustainability potential of ICT. Our primary focus in these efforts is on machine2machine communication, smart home technology and e-health. Sustainable products are also an important pillar of our integrated climate strategy.

Managing the issue of sustainable products calls for systematic measures to be implemented throughout the supply chain. Thus, our measures already start with procurement. This is how we make sure that sustainability criteria are complied with along our supply chain. We aim to have our products certified by recognized environmental labels such as the Blue Angel and the TÜV "Certified Green Product“ label. The strict requirements of these labels help us see how we can further improve our products. They also help us inform our customers of the benefits of choosing sustainable products. At the end of a product's life cycle, we contribute to its reuse or recycling. For example, we regularly carry out used cell phone collection campaigns.

Sustainable solutions for today and tomorrow
Our services contribute to the increasing digitization of workflows and business processes, resulting in decreased consumption of resources. Some examples of this are our cloud computing offers, which eliminate our customers' need for their own servers and storage media. At the same time, we want to give as many people as possible the chance to participate in the information society and to use the opportunities it offers. We facilitate use of modern communication media for people with age-related or physical disabilities, for example. We develop products and services that meet their needs and continue to work on improving user friendliness. Throughout the Group, Deutsche Telekom also offers various subsidized rates to provide low-income customers and people with disabilities with cost-efficient phone and data rate plans.

When developing new, sustainable ICT img solutions, we also cooperate with various partners and communicate with our stakeholders.

We are always thinking one step ahead in everything we do. We aim to develop new solutions primarily through innovation cooperations. In addition, we invest in extensive research, for example in the field of machine2machine communication. We invested a total of 57.7 million euros in research and development throughout the Group in 2017. We also finance professorships, collaborate with universities and encourage innovative business concepts with our start-up incubator, hub:raum.

Making progress measurable
We measure our progress by means of various KPIs. For example, we use the Sustainable Revenue Share ESG KPI img to measure the share in sales of products and services that are classified as sustainable based on a risk-benefit analysis. In 2017, 40 percent of our overall sales in Germany and Europe was generated with such products. We have defined performance goals, e.g., sales goals, as internal monitoring tools in certain fields such as e-health and Smart Home. We measure the impact of our collection campaigns with our Used Cell Phone Collection ESG KPI.

Heinz-Gerd Peters

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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

Pilot project for analyzing the sustainability of our products

Studies such as GeSI #SMARTer2030 show that information and communication technology solutions (ICT img) can make an important contribution to sustainable development. Many of our products offer economic as well as social and ecological benefits. Quantifying this added value and hence making it measurable is a challenge, since many of the social benefits of our products are only indirect. But we are tackling this challenge and testing various approaches. In addition to building a sustainable product portfolio, we have been participating since 2015 in the industry-wide Sustainability Assessment Framework (SASF) pilot project conducted by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative img. The goal of this project is to develop a tool that can be used to evaluate a large variety of ICT products based on their sustainability. The results will also help determine sustainability risks along the value chain. The SASF evaluation criteria are not limited to environmental aspects but also include social criteria such as compliance with human rights and customer requirements such as cost transparency and data protection. With this comprehensive approach, SASF is setting new standards for product evaluation in the ICT sector.

We have been contributing to the development of SASF since the beginning and took part in the pilot study – an initial hands-on test – in 2016. In 2017 we began testing whether and how SASF can be integrated into our management processes. We will be continuing this testing in 2018.In addition, we also examine and evaluate other approaches for assessing the sustainability benefits of our products and services.

Phase 2 M2M communication: Opportunities of digitalization

Machines and products are becoming increasingly intelligent. Cars can communicate with repair shops, containers with logistics service providers. The technology that makes this possible is called machine-to-machine communication, or M2M. By 2020 the number of M2M connections around the world is expected to increase to 2.5 billion. Machine-to-machine communication is an important area of growth for us.

Our contribution to the SDGs

M2M can help ideally coordinate the processes of various devices, vehicles and entire industrial facilities. This helps increase industrial productivity, ensure efficient logistics, reduce energy consumption and conserve resources.

We also support the German federal government's Industry 4.0 img initiative through our involvement in machine-to-machine communication. The initiative's objective is to maintain Germany's competitive edge in the technology sector.

New wireless technology allows for innovative applications
Our networks are the basis for a number of M2M applications, as mobile network technology is the key transmission channel of every M2M connection. In this respect, the NarrowBand Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is gaining significance. As opposed to broadband applications, which enable transmission of large amounts of data, narrowband technology is specifically designed to reliably transfer very small data packages. Benefits of NB-IoT include its low energy requirements, extensive reach and low-cost device networking.  NB-IoT is particularly suitable for use in logistics. When tracing transport containers, all that is needed is for the current position to be transferred about once an hour. Only very small amounts of data need to be transferred in small data packages – and not necessarily in real time. NB-IoT is even used for protecting biodiversity, in a technology that beekeepers can use to protect their bees.

We were pioneers in aiding the development of uniform NB-IoT standards and continue to drive it. NB-IoT is now available in more than 600 locations in Germany. More than 200 of our business customers in various sectors use this technology (as of year-end 2017). We are also leaders in the launch of NB-IoT in Europe and North America: we are already active in seven European markets and the USA with the technology. Our narrowband network should be available nationwide in the USA and in many European countries by the end of 2018.

The port of tomorrow
In 2017 we continued our involvement in the smartPORT logistics (SPL) pilot project for the port of Hamburg. The goal of the project is to improve HDV traffic flows at the port of Hamburg and in its vicinity. All relevant traffic and infrastructure data is collected and analyzed in real time for this purpose. Results can be used to inform users about waiting times, alternative routes or parking. The project is increasingly being integrated into commercial operation.

EU project AEOLIX: A platform for more efficient and climate-friendly logistics chains
The port of Hamburg is a part of the EU project AEOLIX. The goal of this project is to build a new ICT img platform that networks numerous, previously isolated individual logistics systems across the EU. At the same time, practical services will be developed and tried out in 11 European test zones. T-Systems is participating in test zone 1: Intermodal Logistics in the Hamburg –  Frankfurt Transportation Corridor. This zone will test a smartphone app that helps truck drivers drive in an ecologically responsible manner. Some 958,230 metric tons of CO2 could be spared in ongoing customer projects MAN Telematics and SchmitzCargoBull Telematics as well as in additional new projects (e.g. AEOLIX) by analyzing driving profiles and ecodrive functions. The project will run until 2019.

AUTOPILOT – autonomous driving services for more efficiency
The goal of the EU project AUTOPILOT is to test autopilot services on the market. This also includes self-driving cars in short-distance traffic, self-parking cars and real-time car sharing. Such solutions are particularly efficient and environmentally friendly, resulting in an estimated 10 percent fewer CO2 emissions as compared to conventional driving practices. The project will run from 2017 to 2019. Thereafter the services will be incorporated into regular operations. T-Systems is the project partner of AUTOPILOT and supports analyses on the feasibility and market launch of the new services.

Connected Car: Preventing traffic jams with connected cars
T-Systems has been developing and operating Daimler's Connected Car platform (Daimler vehicle backend) worldwide since 2013. The platform is the technical basis for the Live Traffic service, which provides drivers with real-time traffic information, thereby helping them avoid traffic jams. Live Traffic prevents about 30% of traffic jams per vehicle. This means that the approximately 5 million vehicles equipped with Live Traffic consumed about 6.2 million liters less fuel. This translates into CO2 savings of about 15,000 metric tons.

Deutsche Telekom and Fraunhofer IML inaugurate the Telekom Open IoT Labs

Deutsche Telekom and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (Fraunhofer IML), based in Dortmund, have founded the "Telekom Open IoT Labs". At the new facility, up to six scientists from Fraunhofer IML, and three IoT experts from Deutsche Telekom, will work together to develop and test Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and bring them to market maturity. The collaboration is aimed at optimizing processes in the manufacturing, logistics and aviation sectors. The Labs will be open to other companies interested in collaborating with Deutsche Telekom and Fraunhofer to develop application-specific IoT prototypes. Telekom Open IoT Labs will thus add an industrial-IoT component to Deutsche Telekom's existing network of R&D facilities.

Prototypes for holistic IoT solutions
In a first step, the two partners will work jointly with interested companies to identify requirements for IoT solutions. They will then design and create relevant applications, developing and producing hardware, software and connectivity prototypes. Efforts will be concentrated on producing solutions that can later be launched for mass-market use. In work carried out to date in cooperation with Würth Industrie Service, for example, a prototype of a service button for the area of C-parts management was developed. This service button will optimize the reordering process for "C parts" such as screws, nuts and washers by applying narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) technology.

Paving the way with NB-IoT
Initially, the Deutsche Telekom / Fraunhofer team plans to concentrate on solutions based on NB-IoT radio technology. That technology is eminently suited for IoT applications in logistics, for example. The logistics sector has been digitalizing especially rapidly, because its companies have numerous business processes for which IoT solutions can provide significant added value in the short term. Logistics companies are using digital technologies to enhance transparency in their supply chains, as well as precision and efficiency in control of ship, rail and truck transports, and of their internal material flows.

Deutsche Telekom is already offering NB-IoT commercially throughout all of Germany. The Group also has a complete-coverage NB-IoT network in place in the Netherlands. In other European markets, such as Austria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, Deutsche Telekom is expanding the existing coverage to additional cities.

Smart cities: Innovative solutions for smart urban spaces

The majority of the worldwide CO2 emissions come from cities – an effect that is being intensified by increasing urbanization. At the same time, cities can also be the driving force behind and the origin of sustainable solutions. Deutsche Telekom wants to use innovative solutions to help bring about sustainable transformation of cities. Some examples of this are intelligent, energy-saving street lights and connected waste containers that measure their fill level and report this to the public utility company. In order to bundle these approaches, we opened a European Smart Solutions Center (ESC) headquartered in Budapest in 2017. The ESC advises cities on the use of EU funding and develops Smart City solutions and platforms. What's more, we participate in numerous international projects on this subject. We have already installed Smart City solutions in 18 cities in 10 European countries.

Our contribution to the SDGs

mySMARTLife in Hamburg
The city of Hamburg, together with the cities of Nantes and Helsinki, were awarded the EU lighthouse project mySMARTLife in 2016. Numerous measures intended to launch the Smart City transformation are slated to be implemented by 2021.

The core topics of these lighthouse projects are increased use of renewable energies, climate-friendly living and environmentally friendly mobility. For example, use of electric vehicles will be promoted in the Hamburg-Bergedorf project region. Intelligent street lighting will also be employed. All projects involve active citizen participation. The Hamburg project proposal was backed by a total of 14 partners, including the borough of Bergedorf, HafenCity University, the HAW Hamburg university of applied sciences, electricity grid operator Stromnetz Hamburg, public transport operator Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Schleswig-Holstein and Volkswagen. The project is subsidized as part of the European Union's Horizon2020 research and innovation program. The project results will be compared to other lighthouse projects in the EU. The project will also examine which measures can be implemented in the next mySMARTLife project cities – Varna (Bulgaria), Bydgoszcz (Poland), Rijeka (Croatia) and Palencia (Spain).

Kick-off for Smart City Bonn
Bonn was added to the Smart City project as another partner city during the reporting period. In November 2017, we began connecting street lighting and waste containers with intelligent sensors and measuring air quality.

The street lamps can now be dimmed and, with the help of motion sensors, automatically become brighter  when pedestrians approach. The public utility company is also notified when a bulb is damaged or needs to be replaced. This technology saves up to 60 percent of the street lamps' operating costs. Additionally, we measure the fill level in a number of recycling containers using installed sensors. The municipal garbage service need not come for the container until it is actually full. Another sensor measures the air quality of the inner city. We also provide the associated analysis software.

PARK AND JOY – Digital park management
Preventing traffic jams and reducing CO2 emissions – these goals pose major challenges to cities and communities. Digital applications can be of help here, as they can be used to improve traffic flows and lower harmful emissions with a small amount of administrative effort. One example of this is the PARK AND JOY app, which we launched in Hamburg in October 2017. Some 100 parking spaces have been equipped with sensors there, and the plan is for this figure to increase to 11,000 within the entire inner city area by the end of 2019. This will allow the app to immediately show drivers where there are empty parking spaces and navigate them to the exact spot. What's more, users can directly pay their parking fee using the application. PARK AND JOY can be downloaded for free in app stores. Bonn, Duisburg, Dortmund, Darmstadt and Moers are also planning to introduce PARK AND JOY in 2018.

Hackathon: Idea competition on life in the city
Implementing ideas for a liveable city of the future – that was the topic of Hackathon: Smart Public Life in the fall of 2017 in Bonn. A total of 220 developers, designers and concept developers from 10 countries took part in the competition in small teams, including both professionals and amateurs. Their task was to implement their own program idea within 24 hours by using the potential of the Internet-of-Things to create a liveable, smart city of the future. The Hackathon was a great opportunity to make new contacts and enhance skills. The best teams were given the chance to refine their project idea later on in the Telekom Incubator.

Navigation stick for the visually impaired in Czech Republic
As a socially responsible company, T-Mobile Czech Republic aims to support visually impaired people. We have been cooperating with the Czech Technical University to develop a unique navigation solution for the blind. Connecting up global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and wireless data transfer networks has created one of the most advanced orientation solutions for visually impaired people. T-Mobile Czech Republic has supported the development of this navigation solution by providing connectivity in 3G img and 4G, data SIM cards and modems. The newly developed navigation stick for blind people is connected to a smartphone and the navigation center. Based on a 2G-4G app, the service enables navigation data, voice communication and images to be transferred. It also utilizes a camera for orientation in buildings where GNSS does not work. A testing phase was completed in 2017. After a redesign and various improvements, a complete prototype of a new-generation stick has been completed. This new improved stick is being tested in 2018. We plan to launch the product at the end of the year.

Smart Cities in Croatia
In May 2017, Hrvatski Telekom installed the first smart payphones in the Croatian city of Zadar. The payphones are intended to provide all the local information required by citizens and the increasing number of tourists, while they are simultaneously given a broad range of next-generation innovative ICT img services. The solution provided by the Croatian Postal Bank enables citizens to pay securely using their credit and debit cards.

The City of Rijeka, in partnership with Ericsson Nikola Tesla, Hrvatski Telekom, Smart RI, Autotrolej and Rijeka promet installed two smart bus stops for Rijeka's citizens and numerous tourists. The smart stops offer a range of functionalities for a more efficient and enjoyable experience on city transport. They represent the world's technological breakthrough to the smart cities of the future.

In collaboration with its partner EcoMobile, Hrvatski Telekom kicked-off a pilot-project for a smart electronic record system for municipal waste collection in Velika Gorica. This system will optimize business operations at the Municipal Centre VG Goričanka and bring savings for citizens. 

Smart Cities in Romania
In Bucharest, Romania, Telekom successfully rolled out the first integrated Smart City project in 2016. It combined four technologies: smart parking, WiFi img connectivity, city safety, and smart lighting, all integrated through an Internet of Things platform.

Telekom Romania launched a second Smart City project in Constanța, and a third one in Piatra Neamt, in 2017. The solutions are part of the “Smart Street” concept, and they address urban needs such as efficient lighting, public safety, internet access, efficient parking, and electrical recharging for cars. They also enable the municipalities to provide useful information for citizens in real time, and to monitor environmental factors such as air quality.

A parking lot in Constanta with 50 places was equipped with sensors that allow drivers to track the availability of parking places in real time. In addition, the municipality can monitor the level of occupancy, and based on the statistics generated make an evidence-based decision on where parking lots should be supplemented.

The pilot project in Piatra Neamt foresees implementation of several innovative components, including a smart piece of street furniture. The solar-powered park bench will enable visitors at the park to charge their mobile devices and they can connect to the Wi-Fi internet services. As in Constanta, a Smart Lighting solution has been installed that offers the ability to reduce the light output according to predefined scenarios, resulting in lower energy consumption. The project also includes implementation of a station that charges two electric cars simultaneously. 

Innovative sustainable products and services launched in Greece

In 2017, the OTE Group launched and developed several products and services to help customers improve their sustainability performance. The Group also successfully implemented some significant projects with the same objective. A number of examples are listed below: 

Smart City Applications: Smart city applications were enriched by the OTE Group in 2017 so as to offer local communities the benefits of smart technologies. The Smart City portfolio includes applications for Parking, Lighting, Air Quality Monitoring, Waste Management, and Building Energy Management. Over the next two years, the OTE Group is also expanding its Narrowband IoT network which will cover 95% of the population. This will enable it to reinforce the use of smart city applications. 

Chalkida  is the first city in Greece to have a complex of smart pilot systems installed: Smart Parking, Smart Lighting, Air Quality and Waste Management, together with an integrated smart city platform. These applications will facilitate the process of finding parking spaces and contribute to decongesting traffic and reducing the city's energy consumption. It will also provide useful information on air quality and optimize waste collection. The project was conducted in 2017. 

In 2017, COSMOTE was one of the first providers in Europe to implement the technology for the Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) in the city of Patras. This was a first in Greece and the Smart Parking, Smart Lighting and Air Quality solutions were installed at a selected location in the city center of Patras. 

GRNET: The OTE Group provided the Greek Research and Technology Network (GRNET) with ICT solutions (data center and cloud infrastructure) so that 31 interconnected hospitals were able to offer more efficient services to their patients and reduce operational costs. The project also helps the research community by allowing controlled and anonymous access to large volumes of imaging data to meet the needs of medical research. 

Energy Management: The COSMOTE Energy Management service was implemented at several buildings in the Municipalities of Patras and Agios Dimitrios using remote intervention to monitor the energy consumption at these buildings in real time. The service is expected to contribute to protecting the environment, improving the quality of city life, and reducing operational costs. 

After installing the service in five municipal buildings in the Municipality of Agios Dimitrios, the annual energy savings are estimated to be about 66 MWh, and CO2 emissions are projected to be reduced by some 55 metric tons. 

e-Fuel Management Service: The e-Fuel Management service is an integrated solution, launched in 2017 by COSMOTE in order to offer monitoring of fuel consumption in corporate vehicles and hence reduce operating expenses. 

Digital health care: Opportunities for the best medical care

A uniform telehealth platform permits cross-case, standardized data sharing among healthcare providers. Telemedicine assistance systems can support patients and their families in everyday tasks, help bridge long distances to medical personnel and optimize the care process. We are helping shape the digital healthcare system with numerous pilot projects.

Our contribution to the SDGs

  • For example, we are involved in developing a solution for antibiotic treatment consultation at the St. Georg Hospital in Leipzig. The primary goal is to enable fast, secure data exchange between doctors, patients and health insurers. The State of Saxony sponsored the project with over EUR 1.2 million at the beginning of 2017. It will run until mid-2019.
  • The Saxony Psychotraumatology Telemedicine Network is set to sustainably improve the integrated treatment chain for post-traumatic stress disorders and support digital mental health interventions. Telematic communication and interoperability should support consultation and treatment early on and should, above all, be tailored to the circumstances. The goal is to enable straightforward and location-independent access to the treatment network, make expertise universally available and guarantee cross-institution documentation and coordination of the healthcare process. The EU and the State of Saxony will be funding the innovative project, which will run until 2020, with EUR 1.4 million.

Rapid entry into the Smart Home business

We want to make it easy for companies – such as those in the telecommunications or energy sector – to expand their core business with a Smart Home offer. To this end, we developed a special white label portfolio. It combines our open and secure Smart Home platform Qivicon, Smart Home gateways, apps, devices and services, based on which companies can offer Smart Home solutions to their customers. Business customers also have the option of offering our white label app under their own brand and customizing it. Consumers can easily and conveniently control the devices in their connected home using the app.

Our contribution to the SDGs

QIVICON – Our smart home platform
A smart home can make life easier for its occupants in many ways, allowing them to control and monitor various devices remotely – from security systems and home appliances to home electronics. Of course, one big challenge remains, in that a provider's smart home solution is often not compatible with the functions and devices of other manufacturers. That is why we have jointly set up the open, manufacturer-independent smart home platform QIVICON. This platform gives consumers the option to combine devices made by different companies. More than 40 partner companies and brands currently offer their solutions on the platform.

In 2017 we added solutions with Volkswagen and the ERGO Versicherung insurance company, among others. Volkswagen owners can control their smart home directly using their car's infotainment system. And the ERGO emergency service will automatically initiate the necessary measures in case of an emergency, such as a water pipe breaking, if the customer does not respond to the system's notification.

We were also able to further increase the number of devices that are compatible with the platform during the reporting period. Products by the companies Centralite and Sengled will give consumers a better selection of security and illumination options in the future. Even today our customers can choose from among more than 200 different smart home devices.

Security and data protection at QIVICON All communication via the QIVICON Home Base, which is connected to the Internet via servers, is encrypted. Any user data related to QIVICON is stored exclusively on our servers in Germany. All devices made by brands managed via QIVICON employ wireless technology based on state-of-the art security functions.

The Smart Home solution received ISO 9001 certification – the most widespread and most important quality management standard – during the reporting period. In addition, we commissioned the testing institute AV-TEST GmbH to check, for the third time, how secure the Qivicon Smart Home platform and the Magenta Smart Home app are. Once again, the rating was "very good protection".

Open platform
As a member of the Eclipse Foundation, one of the largest international open source communities, we are opening up the Qivicon platform to developers and start-ups. They will be able to use the platform to develop their own innovative smart home ideas.

Best Smart Home Network
We received the Best Smart Home Network award at the Broadband World Forum 2017. This award honors our smart home end-to-end solution and the hardware integration. Since September some 200,000 customers received a free upgrade for their Speedport smart routers. By integrating the smart home functionalities into the router, they can convert their own four walls into an intelligent home.

Protecting resources with cloud computing

With cloud computing, our customers no longer need to be bothered with their own servers and storage media. In most cases, cloud computing is more resource and energy-efficient than running your own infrastructure outside of the cloud. Our data centers require up to 80 percent less energy thanks to more effective capacity utilization and less hardware. We also continue to work on further improving the efficiency of our data centers.

The cloud for the public sector
For companies that want to convert their systems to cloud solutions, T-Systems offers a program called The Cloudifier. We analyze the customer's IT landscape and identify which applications can be transferred to the cloud. Building on this, we developed the Cloudifier4Public in 2017 – a service with which T-Systems designs and implements customized cloud strategies for the public sector in Germany. Advice is tailored to the objectives and particulars of German public administration. There are clear framework conditions in place for the development of cloud architectures with regard to data protection and information security, safeguarding of statutory tasks and compliance with legal framework conditions.

Don't buy, rent

We want to make sure that used routers and media receivers don't just end up in the trash. That is why we promote the "Don't buy, rent" approach. Our rental services conserve resources, reduce electronic waste and prevent CO2 emissions. Customers return the devices if they cancel their contract. The devices are then either refurbished and rented out again or properly recycled. We have simplified the return process by introducing a returns portal. The online portal enables customers to manage their own returns. We actively and effectively promote the rental service in many ways including at Telekom Shops, online, via customer service and in product flyers. The offer has been well received by our customers; the number of people using the rental service increased to around 9.5 million by the end of 2017.

Number of users of the router and media receiver rental service

Product certifications: demonstrably sustainable

Sustainable products are a key factor in competition for us. In order to inform our customers about the sustainability benefits of our products, we rely on recognized ecolabels, such as the Blue Angel in Germany. The majority of fixed-line phones and some media receivers boast the Blue Angel label. In 2017 the Media Receiver Entry and the Media Receiver 201 also received the Blue Angel. End devices certified with this ecolabel also contain information for customers as to how the products can be used in an energy-efficient manner. In addition to the Blue Angel, we have also increasingly been using the TÜV Green Product Label. This label exceeds the Blue Angel criteria in ways such as requiring inspections of working conditions at production sites. A number of our routers, including the Speedport Neo, have already been certified by the TÜV Green Product Label.In addition to ecological criteria, TÜV Green Product Label also provides for a review of working conditions in production plants.

The labels not only serve as information for our customers, however. Their strict requirements also help us see how we can further improve our products.

Cornelia Szyszkowitz

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Fairphone 2 at T-Mobile Austria

T-Mobile Austria is one of the first mobile network providers in the world and the only provider in Austria to combine a mobile contract with Fairphone 2, the first sustainable and socially responsible smartphone. The company has been offering this product since early 2016 and it gives new and current customers an opportunity to choose a sustainable way of life when it comes to their smartphones. T-Mobile Austria actively supports the Dutch company Fairphone in its efforts to raise awareness of fair electronics and promote responsibility in the industry. Fairphone focuses on four main challenges: to make mining at the beginning of the value chain, design, production and the product life cycle more sustainable and transparent. In order to achieve this goal the company cooperates with initiatives for the extraction of tin and tantalum from conflict-free mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo and sources conflict-free tungsten from Rwanda. It also created the first pilot supply chain for fair-trade gold in smartphones and promotes longevity through the modular product design of the Fairphone 2. In order to facilitate long-term use of the product, spare parts for the Fairphone 2 can also be ordered via T-Mobile Austria.

Used cell-phone collection in Germany

Germany's recycling and reuse rate for small electronic appliances is too low. Too many used cell phones, smartphones and tablets are stuck in drawers or disposed of illegally with the household waste. But these devices should be refurbished and reused or properly recycled to help us conserve valuable resources. We have been offering different ways for people to hand in their devices since 2003. Customers have been able to return their used, high-end cell phones and smartphones to Telekom Shops under a buyback program since 2013. They receive store credit from the Telekom Shop reflecting their old device's current value, which they can use to purchase a new device, or they can choose to have the amount booked to their customer account. Business customers can send in their used cell phones and smartphones through a buyback portal ( for business customers, which we created in 2016. After the device's value has been determined, the amount can be paid out or donated to a charitable organization. Together with company Teqcycle Solutions we also operate the Cell Phone Collection Center online portal. Through this portal, authorities, associations and other organizations have the opportunity to start collection campaigns for donating used cell phones and smartphones. The website provides an overview of these partners and the collection campaigns they conduct. Such campaigns took place in Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia during the reporting period. We also welcomed two new cooperation partners in 2017: the Frankfurt Zoological Society and Pro Wildlife e.V. At the end of the year we donated the proceeds from the devices collected through recycling and reuse to environmental organization Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.

Our contribution to the SDGs

In 2017 we joined together with radio station Antenne Unna to hold a cell phone collection competition between the communities of the region. The station followed the various collection campaigns and crowned one of the communities the victor. The objective of the competition was to increase listeners' awareness of environmentally friendly resource consumption. The proceeds from the sales and recycling activities were donated to the Lichtblicke e.V. charity.

In 2017 we collected exactly 148,888 used cell phones and smartphones throughout Germany and either reused them or had them properly recycled. During the cell phone collection campaign we use a data deletion process that is DEKRA certified and complies with strict data protection requirements. Defective cell phones or devices where certified data deletion would be too costly are properly recycled using state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly processes at the Telekom Recycling Center in Goslar. Up to 100 percent of the materials can then be reused – as recycled metals or for energy generation.

We depict the relationship between commercially sold and collected mobile phones with our Cell Phone Collection ESG KPI.

We map the relationship between mobile devices brought onto the market and taken back with our ESG KPI "Take-back mobile devices". In 2017, approximately 317,000 mobile devices (excluding T-Mobile US, AMC, Maktel, Crnogorski) were taken back throughout the Group.

Support of various collection campaigns As in previous years, we supported the Die Handyaktion campaign conducted by different church-affiliated groups in the state of Baden-Württemberg in 2017 as well. This time the partners reinforced the campaign, together with the German Mineral Resources Agency and the Ministry of the Environment of Baden-Württemberg, with various educational measures. For example, they redesigned the "cell phone raw materials kit" for school classes. The kit contains various minerals that are used in cell phones. Using accompanying teaching materials, teachers can explain the significance of the raw materials in smartphones to their students.

The Responsibility and Sustainability. Join in! collection campaign in the state of Saarland, which we have been supporting since 2014, was extended until the end of 2018 due to ongoing interest. We are still a cooperation partner to the campaign, which focuses on projects such as providing special course material on the topics of cell phone collection and resource efficiency. Mutual cell phone collection campaigns with Saarland companies and institutions are a further focus.

Cornelia Szyszkowitz

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Handset recycling at T-Mobile USA

T-Mobile USA’s device recycling program mobilizes customers to help reduce environmental and human health impacts from improper recycling. This program also increases access to quality reusable and refurbished equipment for those who need it, while conserving our limited natural resources. 

Any wireless consumer can bring any make, model or carrier phone, battery, accessory, tablet or netbook into any T-Mobile USA location to be recycled for free. Through the JUMP! and Mobilize programs, T-Mobile USA incentivizes its customers to trade in their used devices and accessories for great deals on the latest technology. Those trade-ins are all reused, refurbished or recycled. 

In 2017, T-Mobile sponsored a special holiday recycling campaign to encourage customers to bring in their used devices to T-Mobile. T-Mobile matched the recycled value of each device, and donated USD 1,000,000 from the campaign to Feeding America and Team Rubicon to support their hunger relief and disaster response initiatives. 

T-Mobile USA launched the recycling program for its customers in 2008, resulting in over 14.4 million devices being reused or resold since then. 87% of the devices that are taken back are reused or resold, with the rest being responsibly recycled by providers selected on the basis of their leading industry environmental certification. 

In 2017, T-Mobile USA collected 4,130,582 used cell phones. 

Handset Recycling Project with Primary School Pupils in Croatia

For many years, the international eco primary school in Sisak has been a beacon in its local community for collecting and dealing properly with old mobile phones. Hrvatski Telekom (HT) has a long tradition of proactive collaboration with Croatian schools and helps to teach pupils from an early age about adopting good habits for separate collection of waste, appropriate recovery and recycling. HT has been teaching pupils how to deal effectively with electronic waste, in particular the electronic waste from mobile phones and their accessories. This is an inspiring project within the company since it enables pupils to develop a responsible attitude toward environmental protection and waste management.

In 2017, HT continued its cooperation with the eco primary school in Sisak and celebrated the World Environment Protection Day by awarding all pupils who participated in the project for collecting old handsets. This year the pupils collected 180 obsolete mobile phones, which HT handed over to authorized companies for environment-friendly treatment. Over a period of more than ten years, HT has used this project and other similar environmental projects and initiatives to collect a total of 137,000 old mobile phones and dispose of them in an eco-friendly way.

Accessible products and services

Deutsche Telekom wants to make it easier for people with disabilities to have access to the knowledge and information society. Not only do we offer subsidized rates to people from low-income households, we also offer them to people with hearing and vision impairments. We also support them with products and solutions especially designed to meet their needs.

Our contribution to the SDGs

Services for the hearing impaired
We set up a hotline (Deaf Hotline) for deaf and hearing-impaired customers in 2003. Up to 50 people currently call the hotline every day to get help with connections to their DSL img routers or to find out more about special cell-phone rate plans, for example. The employees of the Deaf Hotline are equipped with live consultant workplaces that have HD cameras, among other things. Customers and live consultants can see each other using a video-based live chat and can communicate with each other in sign language. Since 2017 the Deaf Hotline has also explicitly offered the option of making appointments with technicians.

For deaf customers and members of the German association for the deaf, Deutscher Gehörlosen-Bund e.V., we operate a special online distribution site ( There we offer a discounted mobile communications and fixed-line portfolio that is tailored to the exact needs of deaf people. Customers can order their desired plans directly on the website, can contact the employees of the Deaf Hotline or be forwarded to the new information exchange platform DEAF-Café in the Telekom Hilft community. The DEAF-Café provides a safe space to discuss or clarify questions about telecom offers together with other deaf people in groups and forums.

Engagement for hearing impaired people in Slovakia
About 1% of the population in Slovakia is hearing impaired, and Slovak Telekom is very active in developing comprehensive programs and activities to support them in ordinary everyday living situations. We also help families with hearing-impaired children to master their everyday lives. Another aim is to raise public awareness about the challenges they face. 

Since 2015, Slovak Telekom has hosted a community portal where parents with hearing-impaired children can communicate with each other and find out important information. This portal supports hearing parents with hearing-impaired children in showing them how to properly stimulate and develop their children. In 2017, a lot of new content was added to the portal which was visited by thousands of individual visitors. A community of hundreds of returning visitors has started to form. 

Engagement for the hearing-impaired

As a carrier, we provide significant support for the hearing impaired and offer them an advantageous mobile data package. In 2017, Telekom began to offer a preferential “Mobile Internet L” plan with a discount of more than 95 percent. In order to be eligible for the Mobile Internet L program for the deaf, the customer needs to be recognized as hearing impaired by the relevant Labor, Social Affairs and Family Office.

Since 2013, Telekom has also been offering a special mobile plan for hearing-impaired people that includes unlimited SMS and 2GB of internet data on the mobile phone, along with 20 free minutes to all networks at a price of € 12 per month.

Engagement for the hearing-impaired

Supporting start-ups: creating space for ideas

hub:raum start-up incubator We have been running our own start-up incubator in Berlin, Cracow and Tel Aviv since 2012 under the name hub:raum. This gives us direct insight into the innovative ideas of start-ups. In return, we offer access to our technological expertise and our customers. We also provide support with company development. Experienced entrepreneurs and Deutsche Telekom experts act as mentors to the start-ups in a variety of programs. In addition, hub:raum also provides selected start-ups seed funding of up to 300,000 euros. We made six investments in start-up companies in the reporting period. Interested start-ups can go to the hub:raum website and apply for collaboration or seed funding. Since April, hub:raum has been collaborating intensively with Partnering and Business Development at Deutsche Telekom, which is responsible for business collaborations. We also promote lots of new ideas for more sustainability with hub:raum.

Our contribution to the SDGs

hub.raum program for lightning-fast data transmission with 5G
The up-and-coming 5G mobile communications standard promises to provide more than just faster Internet speeds. This technology is creating entirely new possibilities for many sectors. So-called low latency interactions are a significant advantage. They enable very fast data transmission times. This could facilitate the tasks of first responders at accident sites, for example, by allowing them to exchange real-time data with doctors in hospitals. In 2017 hub:raum started a prototype program to promote the development of such innovative 5G-capable use cases in Europe. Companies have been able to sign up as partners for this project since October 2017. hub:raum has also been supporting good ideas for the use of the new mobile communications standard with test environments in Cracow and Berlin.

App img in the gap: The eParkomat
In 2017 hub:raum invested in the eParkomat start-up company, which operates an app for digital parking space searches. Using an algorithm, the app calculates the number of available street parking spaces in real time. The app shows the empty parking spaces on a map and navigates the user directly to the respective space. The app also has benefits for the environment, since finding a parking space faster reduces the amount of CO2 emissions in cities. In 2017 eParkomat successfully completed a pilot project in Prague with more than 25,000 public parking spaces. Thanks to hub:raum's investment, the company is slated to expand to other cities in 2018.

Mobile cell phone repair with ReparandoYou need fast help if your cell phone or smartphone breaks down. Start-up company Reparando does the necessary repairs directly at their customers' home or office. Founded in mid-2015, the Stuttgart-based start-up already has 10,000 repair jobs under its belt and offers its services in 20 German cities. hub:raum has supported the company since 2017. Repair services such as those offered by Reparando extend the life cycle of smartphones, thereby helping save resources.

Start-up support for internal "founders"  Since 2011 we have been helping our employees develop their own concepts for new services and business areas at Deutsche Telekom within the context of the „UQBATE“ internal innovation program. Employees can present their ideas to interested colleagues on the UQBATE platform, create teams and then work together to gradually turn their ideas into products that are ready to go to market. 2017 was another year for exciting ideas. One of these ideas was BeOn Track, a particularly durable device for localizing people. BeOn Track does not use the GPS img signal to locate people, but rather a new technology with a much longer battery life. This device could be used to quickly track down missing dementia patients, for example. The tracking device can be installed in a necklace or armband and works for up to 10 years.

Take-offs Program Supports Regional Start-ups in Czech Republic

2017 saw the seventh round of the Take-offs program. The T-Mobile Czech Republic program provides financial support, long-term professional advice, and expertise to regional start-ups. The overall aim is to help potential entrepreneurs, who often come from vulnerable backgrounds (people in regions of high unemployment, women on maternity leave, senior or handicapped citizens, students without work experience).

Out of the 437 registered projects this year, 40 regional winners were chosen and announced by an expert jury at 9 regional workshops run for all interested participants free of charge and attended by 550 people. The regional winners all receive a helping hand from experts in marketing, communication, and finance, as well as tangible, financial support worth EUR 3,700.

Members of the general public are invited to select the overall winner from among 40 regional winners. More than 14,000 people took part in the online voting and selected Petr Šmíd and his project called Hoblhome (kitchen products made of wood) as the overall public winner to receive an award worth EUR 5,500. A professional jury also selected a national winner. This year Dagmar Dušková and her project called Damilk (production of homemade cheese) was selected as the national winner and received prizes worth a total of EUR 25,900.

The Take-offs again enjoyed significant media coverage. The winners were invited to present their projects on TV and radio, and in various print and online media.