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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

Material sustainability topics: Systematic process based on recognized methods

We systematically identify which topics are of particular importance in defining Deutsche Telekom's sustainability management and sustainability reporting focus from the perspective of our stakeholders as well as from an internal corporate perspective. The analysis is based on knowledge from previous year's results and assesses these in the light of recent developments.

Since 2015, we implement this materiality process at our company in compliance with the methodology of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI). This methodology covers 55 topics that are material to the ICT img industry. These can be placed into nine categories: digital inclusion, employee relationships, climate change, circular economy, sourcing and manufacturing, customer relationships, freedom of expression and privacy, governance and management, and local community and environment impacts. The advantage of using the GeSI img methodology is that it allows us to focus on our core business as an ICT service provider. The materiality topics have been developed to pertain to a variety of companies and are therefore recognized in the industry.

You can find an assessment of our materiality process here.

Material topics from the stakeholder perspective
In our continuous online survey, our stakeholders can not only rate topics according to their importance but also assess our performance in the respective areas (click here for the online survey). In the survey, stakeholders are asked to rate the topics that have been identified through our internal materiality process. This ongoing, logical process makes it possible to achieve comparable results. To help us identify which aspects are most material for our stakeholders, we assessed the results of the survey for the period from January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2017. The assessment was based on evaluations submitted by 218 people:

  • 93 customers
  • 55 employees and potential employees or employee representatives
  • 17 analysts and investors
  • 15 participants from the worlds of science, research and education
  • 19 NGO representatives
  • 4 suppliers
  • 3 representatives from regulatory authorities and political decision-makers
  • 12 employees who associated themselves with none of the groups mentioned

In addition to giving stakeholders a chance to rate the importance of topics and assess our performance, the survey also includes open-ended questions. You can find our stakeholder feedback from the reporting period here.

Stakeholders img also have the opportunity to assess our performance in different areas. Our stakeholders rate our performance high in the key areas of privacy, data security and cyber safety. In contrast, they see potential for improvement in the topics of open sourcing and conflict materials (as of December 2017).

Material topics from the corporate perspective
New developments that are of importance to our sustainability engagement are also evaluated internally. We hold workshops at the Group when required so that various topics can be weighted internally. Most recently in November 2015, numerous experts from different departments, including Human Resources, Innovation and Communications, participated in one of these workshops. They went through the 55 GeSI topics and identified those that had the most impact on five key value drivers behind our business success from a corporate perspective (see below). These value drivers are also based on the GeSI methodology:

The next workshop on internal weighing of topics is slated for the third quarter of 2018.

Inaluk Schaefer

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Inaluk Schaefer