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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

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.