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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report


Our social commitment reflects our responsibility as a company acting in the political, social and business environments. To us, this also means encouraging the volunteer efforts of our employees, which contribute significantly to strengthening the sense of community. Their voluntary community work makes our employees ambassadors of our values. Volunteering is also very beneficial when it comes to internal HR development. It expands each person's horizon and has a positive impact on social skills and teamwork.

That is why we give our employees ample opportunity to volunteer, preferably with a focus on teaching media skills. This is just another way in which we help simplify and enrich the lives of those around us. Supporting our employees ongoing commitment and providing incentives for getting involved are two aspects covered by our corporate citizenship program, Engagement@telekom.

Taking responsibility in our society

We contribute to society in a number of ways with our corporate citizenship program, engagement@telekom. engagement@telekom is based on two pillars:

Our contribution to the SDGs

  • Long-term partnerships with non-profit organizations
  • Corporate volunteering img (supporting our employees in their volunteering activities) and corporate giving (our donation activities)


In times of digital transformation, we want to be a trusted partner to society. We contribute our core expertise and the commitment of our employees to these efforts.

Our social commitment often takes the form of longstanding partnerships like our partnership with Nummer gegen Kummer (youth counseling line), the Telefonseelsorge crisis helpline, the Lebenshilfe aid organization and DKMS, the German Bone Marrow Donor Center. In addition, we promote media literacy among seniors in collaboration with the German National Association of Senior Citizen's Organisations (BAGSO). As a member of Deutschland sicherimNetz e.V. (DsiN), we support the association in its work for IT security and data privacy. Beyond this, we participate in the Civic Involvement Week sponsored by the National Network for Civil Society. We give our employees the opportunity to volunteer for social or, with our partners, for environmental projects, within the scope of our Social Days.

Through corporate volunteering measures, our employees have the opportunity to teach media skills. This can be done, for example, in cooperation with the Teachtoday initiative, where our employees are provided with teaching materials. Another way of getting involved is by joining Deutsche Telekom Foundation in its efforts to introduce children to the subject of programming using the mini-computer Calliope Mini. In addition, we encourage our employees to help integrate refugees into society and support them in learning German online under the e-Start project. Corporate volunteering img is also an important component of our training and development activities. The volunteer efforts of our apprentices are given special recognition in our Group competition, Responsibility wins!

Our corporate giving concept includes donations for aid organizations worldwide, preferably those with which we have longstanding partnerships, and fast disaster relief. Our Group Donation Policy lays out the guidelines for these activities. For example, we have been collaborating with Germany’s Relief Coalition, Aktion Deutschland Hilft, since 2003.

We collaborate closely across country borders when it comes to our involvement and share experiences and best practices. We use a set of KPIs to measure our success:

  • The Social Commitment ESG KPI reflects our performance.
  • The Community Investment ESG KPI reflects our social commitment in terms of financial, human, and material resources.
  • The Beneficiaries ESG KPI measures the huge number of active contributors as well as the broad target group they reach.
  • The Media Literacy ESG KPI highlights the high percentage of projects and activities promoting the competent handling of media. It is highly relevant to us as it correlates closely with our core business.

These KPIs are also the basis for our collaboration with partner organizations that help us to continuously control and evaluate our project measures and goals. These are monitored closely throughout the project year to enable us to adjust our target ranges or goals accordingly.

A study by Beyond Philantrophy and Goetzpartners shows that we are one of currently only five Dax 30 companies analyzing the benefits of their social commitment. According to this study, only two companies' donation activities are clearly related to their core business. In our case, this is the promotion of media skills.

In 2017, we assessed to what extent our Corporate Citizenship Program contributes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The contribution we make to the implementation of the individual SDGs is shown in an overview. Apart from this, our network expansion also contributes significantly to the SDGs as it is the basis for connecting people and helps, for example, to improve access to education.


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Incentives for diversity and equal opportunity: the Deutschlandstiftung Integration and START-Stiftung foundations

We are convinced that cultural diversity enriches our society and offers opportunities for the innovative strength of our country’s industry. This conviction is, for example, reflected in our strategic partnership with the German foundation for integration, Deutschlandstiftung Integration. The foundation supports young people with a migrant background, for example, by helping them to take their first steps into the world of work and offering the support of a large network. The patron of the foundation is German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel. In October 2017, Deutschlandstiftung started a cooperation with START-Stiftung. START-Stiftung has been supporting the integration of young migrants and immigrants for 15 years by issuing educational scholarships. The first joint events are planned for 2018.

Scholarship program "Go your own way"
The scholarship and mentor program "Go your own way" of the German Foundation for Integration places young people with migration backgrounds with mentors from politics, business, the media, culture and science. We have been a partner of the program since it was launched in 2012. Almost 600 mentors support the scholarship recipients in their professional and personal lives. So far, they have contributed over 25,000 hours of volunteer work to this program. The program also offers coaching, workshops on specific topics, internship platforms, and network events. In 2017, "Go your own way" celebrated its five-year anniversary and welcomed over 100 new scholarship recipients, so that the program now supports a total of about 700 young people.

Digital Literacy Partnerships with Schools in the USA

In June of 2017T-Mobile USA launched a new program to provide students across the nation with equal access to learning for academic success and build the digital skill set that will help them compete in today’s digital economy. This new program is called EmpowerED, and it’s a special education offering that provides wireless devices and service to schools in low-income communities. In the first six months of operation, this program provided over13,000 devices and lines of service to help schools and students succeed. 

EmpowerED is a no-cost program for students and their families. All data plans include T-Mobile’s Web Guard CIPA compliant content filter that prevents access to adult content through three usage levels that include child, teen and young adult.  All school systems participating in EmpowerED receive planning, implementation and deployment support.

Corporate Volunteering: Our employees in action

Under our Corporate Volunteering program, employees volunteer for social action activities. We support this kind of social commitment through a variety of projects and events. This enables our employees to make valuable contributions to strengthening our society. At the same time, however, by volunteering on meaningful projects, they are learning new skills, which also has a positive effect on their everyday work. In 2017, we supported the following projects:

eStart – digital language coaching for refugees
Deutsche Telekom actively supports the e-Start program facilitated by the organization Volunteer Vision. At the end of December 2017, 63 Telekom employees were already helping refugees learn German via a video platform. They meet with their students in a video chat once a week for one hour.  With the help of integrated learning materials, they jointly practice homework assignments from a German course.

„Responsibility wins!“
Our "Responsibility wins!" competition gives our apprentices and cooperative degree students the opportunity to get involved for the greater good and develop their skills beyond the scope of their professional training. In 2017, many of them once again participated in a variety of projects across Germany, experiencing social responsibility first hand. The best projects will be recognized at the end of April 2018 in an award ceremony.

STEM img reading mentors
In collaboration with the German Reading Foundation, Deutsche Telekom Stiftung is looking for volunteer reading mentors to get children from the ages of 3 to 10 excited about books with STEM content. So far, 1,450 reading mentors have already registered with the network  – including 73 Deutsche Telekom employees (as of December 2017).

Christmas campaign: Fulfilling children's wishes
In 2017, Deutsche Telekom employees once again volunteered to fulfill the Christmas wishes of children and adolescents who live in group homes. The children and young people write their name, age and wish on a paper star. Each star has a value of €30. Employees take one or several stars, buy the desired present, wrap it in Christmas gift wrap, and hand it in to the organizational team. Once all presents are gathered, they are handed over to the homes.

Donations for "Ein Herz für Kinder"
Almost 900 Deutsche Telekom employees supported the television show in aid of the "Ein Herz für Kinder" children’s charity as volunteers at six locations in December of 2017. They volunteered at call centers collecting donations from TV viewers over the telephone. In total, over €17 million were donated. All the money collected goes to the "Ein Herz für Kinder” children’s charity.

Fundraising for "Aktion Deutschland hilft"
At the 2017 Guiding Principles Day, Deutsche Telekom employees donated a total of 7,500 euros, which were given to Germany's Relief Coalition, "Aktion Deutschland Hilft”. The money goes towards projects by the member organizations "Help", "Handicap International" and "Care".

Moreover, Deutsche Telekom held a Twitter img event with the hashtag #Magentaverbindet (magenta connects) on December 24, in which it donated a base amount of 3,000 euros to "Aktion Deutschland Hilft". For each additional tweet under this hashtag, Deutsche Telekom donated another euro.  At the end of the day, the donation totaled 4,185 euros.

Telekom Albania supports Act Now

Telekom Albania supported the “Act Now” organization and their “Social Glow” project. The aim of this project is to tackle social problems such as unemployment, poverty, and the exploitation of vulnerable groups in the city of Tirana. The project was implemented by setting up a coffee bar employing people with disabilities, economic problems, and divorced women from rural areas. It serves as a social center where workshops, reading nights, and social events are held on a regular basis. The center features a separate space where children with special needs and performance talents can perform in front of an audience. It is open to anyone who needs a space to perform and a potential audience to attend.

Help Measured in Kilometers at T-Mobile Poland

Help Measured in Kilometers is a nationwide campaign launched in 2013 and carried out by T-Mobile Poland since then. It aims to support physically disabled children by providing prostheses and rehabilitation. All smartphone users who run, cycle, rollerblade, walk or take part in wheelchair sports are able to join the campaign. The kilometers covered are added together using the free Endomondo Sports Tracker app installed by all the participants on their smartphones.

The secret of the campaign’s success is a combination of three elements: new technologies, a passion for physical activity and a desire to help kids. Since the beginning of the campaign, we have been able to continuously increase the number of kilometers involved. From gathering 40 million kilometers in 2013, we went to collecting almost 140 million kilometers in 2016. In 2017, close to 1.4 million participants covered almost 140 million kilometers within 92days, burning 6,670 million calories in the process. For the fifth time we have turned the kilometers gatheres into zlotys to help children in need. Another million zloty was donated to the TVN Foundation “You are not alone”.

Disaster Response in the USA

2017’s hurricane season topped records on all fronts as Hurricanes Maria, Harvey and Irma did catastrophic damage to communities in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. To support customers and maximize network availability, T-Mobile USA activated extensive preparation, response, and fundraising efforts.

  • Hurricane Preparation: Before any hurricane forecasted to make landfall in the US or its territories, T-Mobile sets up an engineering command center near the expected area of impact and deployed rapid-response teams to minimize potential interruptions to wireless service. In addition, T-Mobile’s Geo-Redundant Network Operation Centers (NOCs) closely managed network traffic and further coordinate any response to an event.
  • Free Texting & Calling: During the hurricanes and for weeks following, T-Mobile offered customers in affected areas the ability to call or text anywhere in the US for free. Customers in affected areas who were not on the T-Mobile ONE plan were also given unlimited data (T-Mobile ONE customers always have unlimited data). 
  • Text-based Fundraising: T-Mobile promoted ‘Text to Give’ mobile phone fundraising to help those impacted by the hurricanes. To participate, any consumer could donate USD 10 to the American Red Cross for Hurricane disaster relief efforts by texting short codes to 90999. Several other nonprofit hurricane relief text-to-give options were also included.
  • Recovery Efforts: Once recovery efforts began, T-Mobile deployed equipment, supplies and disaster experts to all affected areas in all three disasters. Emergency equipment included portable generators, fuel trucks, Cell On Wheels (COWs), Cells on Light Trucks (CoLTS), fuel and diesel trucks and other vehicles.
  • Puerto Rico Response: Puerto Rico was especially hard hit by Hurricane Maria, and lacked the infrastructure and resources of the US mainland. Our immediate support to the island included a dozen cargo planes and multiple barges packed full of supplies and equipment, trucks, cells-on-wheels, cells-on-light-trucks and hundreds of portable generators. T-Mobile provided the Federal Aviation Administration a large generator to help keep the San Juan airport open allowing for the delivery of life-saving supplies. We sent hundreds of emergency and disaster relief experts specializing in the restoration of communications networks to the island.
  • Innovative Approaches to Service Restoration: T-Mobile also used several innovative technology approaches to restore service. One of the solutions was Project Loon, an experimental system that our engineering experts worked on with the team at X, Alphabet’s Moonshot factory. This balloon-based LTE access allowed us to deliver more limited data and texting services to customers in hard to reach areas. Another example is our partnership with Vanu, which deployed several self-contained portable cellular network units that provide voice, data and text capabilities in some of the hardest hit areas.