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2018 Corporate Responsibility Report


Corona prediction: Telekom supports RKI

Telekom supplies anonymized mass data from its mobile communications network.

Deutsche Telekom has provided the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) with anonymized mass data from its mobile communications network for research into the spread of the coronavirus.

Scientists can use the information to map movement streams. This data can be used by the RKI to make statistical predictions about the spread of Covid-19.

No conclusions can be drawn about the individual user or infected persons. Statements on whereabouts or movement traces of individual mobile phone users, i.e. the individual tracking of infected persons, are therefore excluded. The data is nationwide and can be broken down to federal states, districts and municipalities.

The data transfer procedure was developed jointly by Telekom and data protection authorities. It was approved by the Federal Data Protection Commissioner in 2015.

Telekom transferred five gigabytes of data to the RKI free of charge. A further data delivery will take place next week.

A reward for our efforts

The bars were set high, but our efforts were recognized: Deutsche Telekom has made the “Climate A-List” of the CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) for the fourth time in a row for its leading effort against climate change. CDP is an important source of information for investors who want to make sure their money is used to support the transformation to a climate-friendly economy.

Tim Höttges on the recognition: „As Deutsche Telekom we are strongly committed to support the Paris Agreement to keep global warming below the critical limit of 1.5 degrees. Therefore, we are proud to have been included in the CDP A-Rating again. Transparency in monitoring, managing and mitigating emissions world-wide is key to tackle the huge challenge mankind is facing today!” Besides Deutsche Telekom, only eight further companies from Germany made the A-List.

What does Deutsche Telekom do to protect the climate? Here you can read more about this.

In its investors' program, CDP, an independent organization (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) evaluates companies' commitment to protecting the climate and the environment every year: more than 8,000 companies took part in 2019; only 179 were selected for the Climate A list. This list singles out those companies that are transparent with regard to climate protection and are aware of their responsibility, adopt and monitor suitable measures, as well as assuming a leading role with regard to this issue.


Children have rights

Study shows Deutsche Telekom leads the way when it comes to protecting children’s rights

Children are the weakest members of our society and are therefore particularly at risk of being exploited and abused. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child came into force in 1989 with the aim of protecting them. This international undertaking is intended to ensure each and every child has the right to a happy, fair, and prosperous future – and also a say in decisions that affect his or her life. The obligation applies equally to governments, civil society, and business.

But are companies actually honoring their responsibility to protect children’s rights? The Stockholm-based Global Child Forum and the Boston Consulting Group looked into this to mark the Convention’s 30th anniversary. Deutsche Telekom was one of the companies assessed, and it achieved an impressive result in the “Telecommunications and Technology” category. It scored 9.4 out of 10, was categorized as a leader in children’s rights, and came second behind Ericsson (which scored 9.5).

A total of 692 companies from nine industries worldwide were scrutinized for the study entitled “The State of Children’s Rights and Business 2019: From Promise to Practice.” The companies’ official commitments were evaluated using 20 indicators relating to three different areas. Workplace investigated the working conditions for young staff, parents, and caregivers, and also the prevention of child labor. Marketplace assessed the way the market approaches children, focusing on aspects such as marketing and product safety. And Community & Environment looked into the education, health, and support infrastructure for children.

The encouraging outcome shows Deutsche Telekom is on the right track with its wide-ranging efforts to protect the rights of children and young people – efforts that it will systematically continue.

You can read all the study results and the full report here.


Deutsche Telekom in the most renowned sustainability indices

This year, Deutsche Telekom has once again made it into the most renowned sustainability indices, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices DJSI World and DJSI Europe Only the top companies in each sector are included in these indices and thus recommended to sustainability-oriented investors and fund managers as top investments. A high overall score in the RobecoSAM corporate rating is a prerequisite for being listed in the DJSI.

With 86 out of 100 points, Deutsche Telekom scored high in the assessment of sustainability performance in the telecommunications sector including mobile and fixed-network providers, earning the company a listing in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World, DJSI Europe). In the core dimension “Environmental”, the Group even achieved the accolade “Best in class”. Deutsche Telekom was also once again awarded top marks in the two other core dimensions “Economic” and “Social”.

Deutsche Telekom’s efforts in the following areas have borne particular fruit:

  • Materiality
  • Environmental Reporting
  • Social Reporting
  • Labor Practice Indicators
  • Corporate Citizenship and Philanthropy
  • Occupational Health & Safety

The Group received the highest possible score of 100 points in these, earning the status of “Best in class”. As the best in its sector, Deutsche Telekom also impressed in the overarching core dimension “Environmental”, achieving “Best in class” status.

Besides the DJSI, the T Share is proud to be listed in other key sustainability indices, placing in the top ten in many of these ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) ratings.


Tim Höttges receives Appeal of Conscience Award

The Appeal of Conscience Foundation has presented Tim Höttges with this year's Appeal of Conscience Award, a distinction that was presented to IMF President Lagarde last year.

"Timotheus Höttges is honored for Deutsche Telekom AG's outstanding promotion of education, culture and sustainability, as well as for his commitment to strengthening digital literacy and his high respect for human rights," said Rabbi Arthur Schneier, President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

"I feel highly honored to receive this prestigious award because I share the values of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation with the deepest conviction," said Tim Höttges. "Freedom, democracy and human rights are the core values of humanity. For me, they are also the foundation of good responsible entrepreneurship."

Every year, the prize is awarded to corporate leaders who "take on social responsibility in a special way" and "promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue". The award is intended as a recognition for "innovative and visionary top managers" who "use their resources and cross-border reach to better serve the global community".

The Appeal of Conscience Foundation is committed to religious freedom and the protection of human rights worldwide. Founded in 1965 by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation presents the Appeal of Conscience Award for the 54th time this year.

The Appeal of Conscience Award 2019 will also go to Susan Wojcicki, Chairman of the Board of YouTube, and Stephen M. Ross, President and Founder of Related Companies.


We need to talk

“we care”: our label for more sustainability

As Deutsche Telekom, we take our responsibility for a more sustainable future very seriously. We have provided extensive information on our activities for many years now. To be even more transparent, we launched the “we care” label for Deutsche Telekom products, services, and initiatives in September 2019.

The label is made up of two categories: the “we care” label for “Digital Participation” highlights positive contributions towards solving social challenges in the digital world. The “we care” symbol for “Environment” denotes products, services, and initiatives that contribute to climate protection and the responsible use of resources, among other things.

In the “Digital Participation” category, our “Media, sure! But secure” initiative for trust and opinion forming online was awarded the “we care” label at launch. Our sustainable smartphone recycling scheme has been included in the “Environment” category. Under this scheme, selected used devices are restored so they are as good as new. Customers who need a new device but aren’t necessarily looking for the latest model can purchase these devices from November 2019. It’s good for the wallet and for the environment.

You can find more on the “we care” label in our Netzgeschichten (Network Stories):


to the we care label website

Eliminating white spots with zero carbon footprint

Innovation: zero carbon electricity from a fuel cell

Could this be the solution to mobile communications coverage in rural areas? Deutsche Telekom has started a project in the Bavarian town of Dettelbach that might be the first of its kind worldwide: a mobile base station there is being powered by a fuel cell that is fed with bio-methanol – producing a zero carbon footprint.

Powering mobile base stations is often a problem, particularly in rural areas. Wherever permanent power supplies are unavailable, diesel generators are used. In the Bavarian town of Dettelbach, the electricity is now coming from a fuel cell for the first time, and one that is climate-neutral to boot. The fuel cell also has another advantage compared to a combustion engine: higher efficiency. The solution is also low-maintenance and does not produce any noise or vibrations.

In a fuel cell, hydrogen reacts with the oxygen in the surrounding air. This generates electricity with only water and heat as the exhaust products. At first, a reformer extracts hydrogen (H2) from (bio )methanol (CH3OH). "If the trial run is successful, Dettelbach could go down in mobile communications history," says Walter Goldenits, Chief Technology Officer at Telekom Deutschland. "When it comes to rural locations, power connections are often a problem, as well as a cost driver. In the future, mobile base stations that are powered by fuel cells could help to eliminate white spots in remote locations even faster and better."

The project in Dettelbach is contributing to Deutsche Telekom's climate targets: the company intends to reduce its CO2 emissions by 90 percent by 2030. To achieve this, the company will source all of its electricity worldwide from renewable sources starting in 2021.

Official confirmation!

Deutsche Telekom’s climate protection targets count toward the Paris Agreement

Deutsche Telekom is aiming to achieve a 100 percent use of electricity from renewable energy sources from 2021 onwards. This is one of our climate protection targets and has now been officially recognized as a science-based target.

Deutsche Telekom is only the third DAX-listed company that has been officially confirmed by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as making a contribution towards compliance with the Paris Agreement. As an independent organization, the SBTi examines whether companies’ climate protection targets are enough to restrict global warming to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius based on the current state of research.


In addition to our target of only procuring electricity from renewable sources of energy from 2021 onwards, Deutsche Telekom also wants to reduce its CO2 emissions by 90 percent by 2030 (based on 2017 figures). A further objective is to reduce emissions generated by the production and use of Deutsche Telekom products and customer solutions by 25 percent by 2030.

My vote counts!

We can’t afford to take democracy for granted!

It’s clear that “the sovereignty of the people” only works as long as the people are ready to play their part – and that’s just what the citizens of Athens did over 2,500 years ago. Democracy was to last for almost 200 years in Athens. This was followed by more than 2,000 years in which emperors, kings, and feudal lords controlled our destinies. It was in modern times that democracy was first rediscovered. Democracy was only to see its definitive victory after the Second World War. But it is still far from being a given.

Stopping massive bee death, introducing a speed limit of 130 km/h on German freeways, blocking plans for the intended upload filters – more and more people are regaining the sense that they can actively take part in politics and effectively influence their own lives – at home on the sofa, at the bus stop, or even from their hospital bed – and a click on the internet makes that possible. In the new edition of “We Care”, “My vote counts”, you will learn about the possibilities offered by digital democracy, what dangers are hiding around the corner, why the smartest way to protest is by voting, and what might happen if Europe were to break up.

Would you like to learn more about the subject together with friends? 1001 Truth tells true stories of our digital world – in German, English, and simple language – and provides suggestions on how to master the topics together. “Digital Democracy” includes subjects such as the difference between forming opinions and spin, as well as what each and every one of us can do to strengthen democracy in the age of the internet.

On the site, Deutsche Telekom puts together resources to help people deal with the digital revolution safely and competently. Our Teachtoday initiative is aimed primarily at children, teens, parents, and grandparents, and promotes the safe use of media from an early age. The current feature dossier, “Co-determination,” provides information on democratic participation and co-determination online, scrutinizing its pros and cons, and risks and opportunities. Only those who know how the digital world works, the forces present within it, and the goals pursued by those forces are equipped to protect themselves effectively and use the opportunities that the internet offers for the benefit of our democracy and our freedom.

Time to act – new Group-wide climate target

Deutsche Telekom to switch to electricity from renewables

Schoolchildren across the globe are giving it their all for the environment. They have a question for politicians – and businesses, too: “Are you building the future, or wrecking it?” We have listened. We have set ourselves a new, ambitious climate target to use only electricity (Scope 2) from 100-percent renewable energy sources across the entire Group from 2021. By 2030, emissions from gas, oil and other energy sources (Scope 1) are also to drop so we can reduce our CO2 emissions (Scope 1 & 2) by 90 percent compared to 2017 levels.

We are also focusing on CO2 emissions from our supply chain and that our customers generate when using our products and solutions (Scope 3). By 2030, we aim to reduce CO2 emissions per customer by 25 percent compared to 2017. In the future, T-Mobile US will also be included in the Group climate protection target. Our previous climate target of decreasing Group-wide CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020 compared to 2008 will continue to apply until 2020. We are currently on track to achieve this target.

Climate protection from 2020 onward – new climate goal and revised climate protection strategy

Pioneers wanted

Turning employees into sustainability ambassadors

Cycling more often, creating less waste, lowering energy consumption – the list of ideas for improving sustainability at Deutsche Telekom is long. There are many employees who want to get involved and inspire others to do the same. In January 2019, CEO Tim Höttges invited the first Green Pioneers to a meeting in Bonn.

83 employees from 25 cities and countless green ideas: The results from the first meeting are impressive. “I want to be a pioneer and encourage my colleagues,” says one colleague about her motivation for being there. As part of the “Stop Wasting – Start Caring” initiative, the Green Pioneers movement is bringing together everyone who shares the same idea.

Workshops, discussion sessions and lectures gave participants the opportunity to learn more about Smart Home, artificial intelligence and design thinking. The Group Corporate Responsibility (GCR) unit provided insight into the sustainability work of Deutsche Telekom. And Tim Höttges made clear what is important to him: Rethinking your own pattern of behavior and reaching out to colleagues with emotional, interesting projects to raise awareness and enthusiasm for sustainability.

The first joint campaign: an internal collection drive for old cell phones. Used devices lying forgotten in drawers will be collected and properly disposed of or professionally recycled. The location that collects the most cell phones in relation to the number of employees will win an evening barbecue with Tim Höttges.

The Green Pioneers are also pursuing their ideas individually or in small teams, because even the smallest effort makes a valuable contribution. The movement is set to grow every quarter: Every three months, new company employees have the opportunity to join in.

#TAKEPART – that’s what matters

Deutsche Telekom launches campaign on digital participation

According to the latest D21-Digital-Index study, some 13 million people in Germany are in digital no man’s land. They feel overwhelmed and even left behind by the pace of digitalization. Deutsche Telekom sees it as its responsibility to give everyone the opportunity to have a stake in the increasingly “digital” society. To underline the importance of its aspiration, Deutsche Telekom is launching a new campaign called #TAKEPART on March 1, 2019.

An emotional, fast-cut TV commercial shows a range of people in different everyday situations. It homes in on their feelings and affections. It’s about community and taking part. The message: “You are whatever you #TAKEPART in. You show responsibility for yourselves, for many, for everyone. For everything that you #TAKEPART in. You are one country, one community. You are whatever you #TAKEPART in. And we, Deutsche Telekom, are only happy when everyone, without exception, can #TAKEPART.”

“We enable people to have a stake in the digital world via our products and services. And the best network is the basis,” says Michael Schuld, Head of Communications and Sales Marketing at Telekom Deutschland. Over the course of the year, special offerings will be advertised as part of the campaign that open up access to the digital world.

Ethical principles honored

Deutsche Telekom among the “World’s Most Ethical Companies 2019”

We are very proud: For the second time in a row, the Ethisphere Institute has honored Deutsche Telekom as one of the world’s most ethical companies. Only four companies in the telecommunications industry were included in the list. In addition, Deutsche Telekom is the only company from Germany to make it into the group of most ethical companies. A total of 128 companies from 21 countries were honored.

The Ethisphere Institute evaluates companies using a comprehensive rating system developed together with international experts from business and science. Factors taken into account are “compliance program” (35%), “responsibility and sustainability” (20%), “corporate culture” (20%), “governance” (15%) and “leadership, innovation and reputation” (10%). The companies have to answer more than 350 questions and provide supporting documentation as verification.

“Our customers, shareholders and politicians expect us to stand by our responsibility as an international, listed company and live out an ethical value culture,” says Manuela Mackert, Chief Compliance Officer at Deutsche Telekom.

From a blessing to a curse

Plastic - once a useful product became a threat to our health and our planet.

Our sustainability magazine We Care provides information on current challenges. The new issue "plastic" shows, how a useful product became a threat to our environment in just a few decades.

You may also find tips on how each of us can contribute to change the situation. You have further tips? Then share them in the article “Bye-bye, plastic”.

A place on the podium

Deutsche Telekom Sustainability Report among the best

In the 10th ranking of the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) and the business association future e.V., Deutsche Telekom won a place on the podium: It achieved third place in the large companies’ category with its 2017 Sustainability Report.

We impressed, among other things, by precisely quantifying the sustainability benefits of products and services and, in combination with the HR Factbook, in reporting especially comprehensively on the topic of employee responsibility. Compared with the previous ranking, Deutsche Telekom once again improved significantly: Last time it took 8th place.

In the ranking, IÖW and future analyzed a total of 69 reports published by large companies and 40 by small and medium-sized enterprises using a predetermined set of criteria.


Special merit

Study rates Deutsche Telekom as the most valuable European telecommunications brand

It’s not only movies, but also brands that can be awarded special merit. In both cases it takes a high degree of quality. According to a recent study by “Brand Finance Global 500”, Deutsche Telekom achieved the highest brand value in its history in 2018, making it once again the most valuable European telecommunications brand.

Deutsche Telekom’s brand value in 2018 stood at 46.26 billion U.S. dollars. That’s an increase of 15.2 percent over the previous year. Since the realignment of the brand in 2008, Deutsche Telekom has steadily increased its value by a total of 420 percent.

Once a year, the British consulting firm Brand Finance determines the most valuable brands worldwide. Brand Finance attributes Deutsche Telekom’s position in the list to the successful implementation of its international brand strategy. In addition, the Group scored points through its positive economic development and sustainable investments in network quality, innovations and customer service.

Among the best

Deutsche Telekom is among the leading companies in the fight against climate change

The independent organization CDP annually recognizes companies that assume a leading role with regard to climate protection. Deutsche Telekom is part of the “A-Team” for the third time in a row.

More than 7,000 companies worldwide took part in the CDP investor program in 2018. 127 of them made it onto the climate A list. The criteria that determine admission to the top group: appropriate climate protection measures, efficient monitoring, transparent reporting and a dedicated commitment to more climate protection that goes beyond the company’s borders. As CDP is a leading ranking organization in the area of climate protection, its rankings are also incorporated into other important sustainability ratings.

The award is no reason for Deutsche Telekom to rest on its laurels. In 2019, among other things, we will approve a new and ambitious climate protection target. More on this in the next CR Report, to be published at the end of March.


Deutsche Telekom CEO starts new employee initiative

In view of the growing mountains of waste, Deutsche Telekom is taking responsibility with a new initiative. "We simply need a more sustainability-oriented way of thinking in everything we do," said DT CEO Tim Höttges at an employee meeting in September. That's why I started the 'Stop Wasting - Start Caring!' initiative." The goal is to systematically and permanently reduce plastic, packaging and scrap metal at the Group.

But how? By employees presenting existing as well as new innovative projects in Deutsche Telekom's social network and sharing experiences, thus learning from each other. And there are plenty of good ideas. For example, one team is targeting customers who are still receiving paper invoices by mail in order to convince them to switch to online invoices. In another area, quick reference guides are only printed for customers on a per order basis by means of "print-on-demand" – thereby omitting pre-production as well as temporary storage. Thanks to the new initiative, ideas such as these will be disseminated throughout the company more quickly and are sure to find copycats.

Furthermore, 20 dedicated colleagues have banded together in the "Stop Wasting - Start Caring!" core team. Together they are examining existing approaches so as to identify the greatest leverage for more resource efficiency: for example, how cafeteria catering can become more sustainable and plastic and packaging waste can be reduced. But – true to its name – the core team is also looking at the company's current core processes: from product design to device management. Here too, Deutsche Telekom is on the right track. For example, the internal part of the current Speedport PRO router is made from post-consumer plastic – that is, from recycled plastic. PaperFoam is used for the inside of the packaging. This is sustainable material that can go into the paper bin or compost heap.


T-Systems wins prize for smart beehives

The beehive of today is more than just a nesting hole: It is a fully-networked smart home. Fitted with sensors, it constantly collects information, such as the temperature or air moisture level, and transmits it digitally to the beekeeper. This helps to protect the insects, which are very sensitive to their environment.

T-Systems' design for the smart bee hotels was recently honored at the 2018 ISG Paragon Awards™. With these prizes, the marketing research and advisory firm ISG recognizes the achievements of industry leaders. The prizes are awarded for innovative approaches in diverse categories that seize upon the latest developments related to nature, technology and economy. This year the prizes, which are offered to candidates from all over Europe, received nearly 100 nominations. A committee of independent industry experts chose the winners of the individual prize categories.

Industry example

Once again the "Industry Leader" in the oekom sustainability rating

ISS-oekom has rated Deutsche Telekom the most sustainable company in the telecommunications sector again this year. We have already repeatedly been chosen the "Industry Leader" among telecommunications companies.

This result means that we continue to boast "prime status" in the oekom rating. We did particularly well this year in the "Eco-Efficiency," "Environmental Management" and "Employees and Suppliers" categories. ISS-oekom is among the leading agencies for sustainability ratings internationally. This year 121 companies from across the globe were rated in the "Telecommunications" category. They were analyzed using a standardized procedure and on the basis of an extensive list of around 100 individual criteria.

And the winner is…

1st place in the Good Company Ranking 2018

It is a race revolving around corporate responsibility rather than speed. All set and ready to go: The 30 largest German companies listed on the stock exchange.

Whoever has an edge over the others at the end is decided by a six-person jury of experts. They rate the candidates based on the four subject categories of "Employee," "Environment", "Society" and "Financial Integrity." This year, with 65.2 out of a possible 100 points, Deutsche Telekom was able to assert itself in competition with the other companies, and as a result achieved a 1st place in the Good Company Ranking.