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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The member states of the United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015. The Agenda's aim is to enable economic development and prosperity – in line with social justice and while taking into account the ecological limits of global economic growth. The Agenda applies equally to all nations of the world. All emerging and developing economies as well as industrial nations should play their part.

The core of the 2030 Agenda comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They officially went into effect in January 2016. The SDGs cover all three dimensions of sustainable development – social, environmental and economic – for the first time. Politicians, civil society and the business community must cooperate closely in order to achieve these ambitious goals. As such, companies are also called upon to make concrete contributions.

Deutsche Telekom has accepted this task and emphatically supports the Sustainable Development Goals. Many of our products, services, and activities that we present in this section already allow us to make such a contribution.


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Our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

Information and communication technology (ICT img) has the potential to help achieve the SDGs. This was the result of a study conducted in July 2017 by the International Telecommunication Union, a special agency of the United Nations. When used correctly, ICT can accelerate innovation and change, thereby supporting sustainable development.

We want to utilize this potential. Our network infrastructure offers the technological foundation for diverse and innovative approaches for solving social and ecological challenges - and hence also for achieving many SDGs. That's why we believe we can make the biggest impact on SDG 9: "Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation."

The following chart illustrates the “enablement-effect” of our business activities: Our network infrastructure as well as our products and services lay the foundation for contributions to further Sustainable Development Goals, in particular to number 2, 3, 4, 7, 11, 12, 13 und 15.

As a responsible employer (SDG 8), we greatly value employee participation and a working environment that is fair and respectful; we encourage diversity and support our employees on their journey toward the digital working world. Furthermore, many of our products, services and activities make a concrete contribution to achieving additional SDGs. Our e-health services, for example, help improve medical care (SDG 3). Our broadband expansion is giving many people access to digital educational media (SDG 4) and is actively involving us in the construction and expansion of high-quality infrastructure and promotion of innovation (SDG 9). Many European cities are able to use our Smart City solutions to reduce traffic, control their street lighting in a needs-based and energy-efficient manner and increase security (SDG 11). Our customers can use our Smart Home solutions to more effectively monitor, control and reduce their energy consumption. These and many other solutions help to reduce emissions and thereby significantly contribute to climate protection (SDG 13). And our cloud solutions make it possible to reduce energy consumption and conserve other resources as well (SDGs 12 and 13).

The following overview illustrates our contribution to the SDGs and refers to specific examples from the current CR report.

Since 2016 we have also been highlighting our contribution to the SDGs in our Annual Report. We indicate passages in our management report (a part of the Annual Report) that are relevant for the SDGs with a corresponding icon. We've decided to use this icon in this CR report as well.

Achieving more together: Cooperation for sustainable development
We cannot overcome global challenges alone. That is why we are committed to many initiatives, both within our own industry and in other sectors. The following institutions have started committees, working groups and initiatives with direct SDG relevance and in which we are involved: UN Global Compact, GSMA (an association representing the interests of mobile operators worldwide), GeSI img (Global e-Sustainability Initiative img) and Econsense.

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We're doing something! - Employee communication

We started a poster campaign in the summer of 2017 to create awareness of the SDGs among out employees. To this end, we first distributed posters at our Bonn headquarters and hung them in high-traffic zones. In addition to illustrating all the SDGs, the posters also show Deutsche Telekom's contribution to achieving the goals. The posters are available for download here.

We’re doing something! Our contribution to the agenda 2030.

Allocating the Sustainable Development Goals to our benchmarks

Our commitment to sustainability also includes making a positive contribution to achieving the SDGs. In particular, we contribute to goals no. 3: Good health and well-being, 4: Quality education, 5: Gender equality, 8: Decent work and economic growth, 9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure, 11: Sustainable cities and communities, 12: Responsible consumption and production and 13: Climate action. We record environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance indicators as part of our CR controlling system. The following overview shows that our KPI img system can be applied to the SDGs and also makes our positive contributions measurable and visible. We have strong control parameters for those SDGs that are very relevant to our business model in particular. The clear SDG relationship that exists today will continue to be refined by means of our control and monitoring activities.

SDG Benchmark
Our network infrastructure, products and services indirectly contribute to the achievement of SDG number 1.

Product innovations for maintaining biodiversity and for improving agriculture through NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things).

Based on our business activities, number 6 is not among the priority SDGs.
Based on our business activities, number 14 is not among the priority SDGs.

Product innovations for maintaining biodiversity and for improving agriculture through NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things)

Commendation for our commitment

For its commitment to the UN's goals, the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers honored Deutsche Telekom with the Building Public Trust Award for exemplary reporting practices. The jury selected Deutsche Telekom as best company in the "SDGs" (Sustainable Development Goals) category for its 2016 Annual Report. According to the jury, Deutsche Telekom does the best job of systematically analyzing the contribution that its products, services and activities make to fulfilling global sustainability goals. With this new prize category, the panel of experts takes into account current national and international reporting developments.