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  • 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report
2018 Corporate Responsibility Report

CO2 emissions

Demand for faster data services with full-coverage availability is growing rapidly. That is why we continue to drive forward the build-out of our infrastructure and increase data transmission rates. Despite ever-increasing data volumes and continuous network expansion, our efforts to improve energy efficiency – e.g., when converting our network infrastructure – allow us to largely compensate for the associated emissions or keep them at a steady level. As a result of these increasing data volumes, network capacity utilization is increasing, too, resulting in improved energy efficiency. The main way we are able to reduce emissions is through the use of low-carbon electricity and guarantees of origin. Other focal points include improving energy efficiency with regard to how we operate our buildings, business trips, and our fleet of company and service vehicles in Germany, which boasts roughly 23,500 vehicles and is one of the largest in Europe.

Protecting the climate

“We assume responsibility for a low-carbon society” is one of the key action areas of our CR strategy. We intend to keep this promise with the help of our Group-wide climate protection target, which was adopted in 2013: to reduce our CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020 compared with 2008. We use the market-based method of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol to calculate emissions for our climate goal. We have specified a variety of measures and developed measurement tools to help us reach our goal. Progress is in line with the forecast for 2018. 

We have also devised a new science-based climate target for the period beyond 2020. 

Measuring our progress
We ensure transparency for our stakeholders regarding the progress in implementing our climate strategy by using a number of key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure our contribution to climate protection. The Carbon Intensity and Energy Intensity KPIs are used to analyze the relationship between our carbon emissions/energy use and the transported data volume. Using data volume as a reference parameter makes it possible to create a direct link to the performance of our networks. The Enablement Factor, PUE, and Renewable Energy KPIs also improve the management and transparency of climate protection issues.

Energy intensity ESG KPI DT Group in Germany

  Data audited by PwC. Data based in part on estimates, assumptions, and projections. This KPI img is down 22 percent from the 2017 figure of 142 kWh/terabyte.

Carbon Intensity ESG KPI DT Group in Germany

  Data audited by PwC. Data based in part on estimates, assumptions, and projections. In 2017, this KPI was 56 kg of CO2/terabyte and is now down by 54 percent.

Direct and indirect emissions
Across the Group, we measure our emissions along the value chain on the basis of the internationally recognized GHG Protocol img. This standard distinguishes between three CO2 emissions categories (Scope 1, 2, and 3). Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions img are what we use as the basis for the calculation of our Carbon Intensity ESG img KPI. We break down all carbon emissions in detail in the Indicators section.

Scope 3 emissions DT Group in Germany

Andreas Kröhling

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Andreas Kröhling

Scope 3 emissions - a building block for a new climate target

Indirect emissions along our value chain, or Scope 3 emissions img, make up the majority of our total emissions. For climate protection to be credible, these emissions must be recorded so that targeted measures can be implemented at company and product level to reduce our carbon footprint.

CO2e-Emissionen (Scope 1-3)

Interactive graphics

  • 52 %
  • 2 %
  • 12 %
  • 34 %
  • Emissions from upstream activities

    Scope 3

    8,776 kt CO2e

    Transportation services, purchased products and services, capital goods, production waste, upstream energy and fuel supply chains, business travel, and employee commuting.

    Emissions from Deutsche Telekom's own activities

    Scope 1

    277 kt CO2e
    Operating the systems, buildings, and vehicles belonging to Deutsche Telekom.
    Emissions from purchased energy

    Scope 2

    2,077 kt CO2e
    Generation of district electricity and heating purchased by Deutsche Telekom.
    Emissions from downstream activities

    Scope 3

    5,695 kt CO2e
    Transportation of products sold to customers, use of sold and rented products and disposal and recycling of sold products.
Please click on the percent values for further information.

  Data assured by PwC. For detailed assurance comments see „DT Group in Germany“ and „T-Mobile USA“. Values for 2016 have been adjusted retrospectively.

We have been disclosing the Scope 3 emissions generated throughout the Group since 2016. In 2018, these emissions amounted to around 14.4 million metric tons of CO2e, which is roughly equivalent to the level recorded for the previous year. At around 5.7 million metric tons of CO2e, emissions in Germany were also at the same level as the previous year. The majority of emissions can be attributed to procurement (in particular of devices and network technology) and the use of our products and services (for sold or rented) fixed-line and cell phones, routers, and media receivers, and for products such as laptops or television sets that our customers use so they can make the most of our services. Of equal importance are the emissions resulting from the manufacture and transportation of technology for establishing our networks.

In 2018, we modified the method for calculating Scope 3 emissions. To ensure comparisons can be made with the previous year’s values, we have recalculated the data for 2017 using this method.

Overview of Scope 3 emissions (t CO2e)
National Company 20161) 20172) 2018 Annual comparison (2017/2018)

Germany (incl. T-Systems)



































Czech Republic
















 only recorded since 2017 





 only recorded since 2017





 only recorded since 2017




United States





T-Systems (without Germany)

only recorded since 2017 








1)Corrections for 2016 led to some changes being made compared to the previous year’s report.

2)The 2017 rise resulted from the national companies in Albania, Macedonia, and Montenegro, and T-Systems units being recorded for the first time, which contributed to the 27-percent increase of the Group value compared to 2016.

Due to the large proportion of emissions in our supply chain, we have a responsibility to reward our suppliers for eco-friendly activities and thus also to reduce our Scope 3 emissions. Since as early as 2016, we have been disclosing our activities to bring on board suppliers under the auspices of the supplier engagement rating of the CDP img (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project). This rating assesses how well companies have been able to integrate the topic of climate protection into their supply chain. In 2018, we once again improved on the previous year and achieved an “A”, as we did in 2016. This has secured our place on the Supplier Engagement Leader Board. An important step in achieving this was calculating the supplier-specific emission intensities based on supplier responses to the CDP Supply Chain Program. This involves calculating the ratio between a supplier’s overall emissions (Scope 1 and 2 and Scope 3 from the upstream supply chain) in grams and the supplier’s overall sales. As we know the procurement volume attributable to a given supplier, we can also calculate our proportion of the supplier’s emissions based on emissions intensity. Our calculations do, however, depend on our suppliers providing complete and correct information.

Employee commuting
In the reporting year, we carried out a Group-wide survey on commuting and more than 71,000 employees took part. In the year under review, we recorded a reduction in emissions arising from commuter traffic, with levels dropping from 762,000 in 2017 to 538,000 metric tons of CO2e. A more detailed analysis and a comparison with other companies will help us in 2019 to understand how we can reduce these emissions in the future while taking into account the mobility needs of our workforce.

Andreas Kröhling

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Andreas Kröhling

Enablement factor: customers saving on CO2 emissions

Our products and services not only connect people, they also help them reduce their CO2 emissions. In addition to our own carbon footprint, we also calculate the positive CO2 effects facilitated for our customers through using our products and solutions. The ratio between these two figures – the “enablement factor” – allows us to assess our overall performance when it comes to climate protection. We began calculating the enablement factor in a pilot project launched in 2014. In 2018, we investigated the potential savings of 15 different products. Park and Joy is one of two further services that will be included in this calculation in the future. The other is Comfort Charge.

One example of savings made possible by our products is cloud computing, which enables our customers to reduce their CO2 emissions by using our cloud services and outsourcing their existing infrastructure to our efficient data centers. Better servers, more energy-efficient data centers, and higher infrastructure capacity utilization can cut energy consumption and the associated emissions by up to 80 percent. Another example from the period under review is the new Park and Joy app – a quick and easy way for our customers to find parking spaces. Sensors installed in the ground use NB-IoT technology to indicate the location of free parking spaces to users via the app. This cuts emissions by reducing the time it takes to find a parking space. The emissions prevented will also be factored into the calculation of the enablement factor in the future. This service is already available to our customers in some 30 German town and cities, and the app comes free of charge.

In 2018, the positive CO2 effects facilitated for our customers in Germany were 85 percent higher than our own CO2 emissions (an enablement factor of 1.85 : 1). Our products and solutions generated positive CO2 effects for our customers amounting to 12.1 million metric tons in the year under review. The emissions saved in this way were lower than in the previous year (2017: 12.8 million metric tons of CO2e), but so were the company’s own emissions (Scopes 1 to 3). The possibility of using video conferences had the biggest impact of all our emission-reducing products, preventing some 3 million metric tons of CO2e.

We always take a conservative approach in our case studies and the methodology we use. This applies to both the emissions reduction realized by our customers and our own emissions generated throughout the value chain. When calculating our carbon footprint, for example, we include both emissions from our own energy consumption (Scope 1 and 2) and the Scope 3 emissions generated by our suppliers and customers. Even the power consumed by the TVs of our Triple Play customers are factored in.

Over 9,000 metric tons of CO2 compensated

Preventing greenhouse gas emissions is one of our top priorities. CO2 emissions that we are unable to prevent or reduce can be compensated by investing in certified climate protection projects in addition to devoting greater efforts to using renewable energy.

In the 2018 reporting year, Telekom Deutschland compensated for greenhouse gas emissions amounting to almost 9,169 metric tons of CO2. These included emissions associated with our events (participants’ travel to and from the event, room usage, etc.) and certain products and services (e.g., conference calls or web conferences). Our Event Policy specifies the ways in which we compensate for emissions generated by events.

Our strategy for climate-friendly mobility

Our contribution to the SDGs

We pursue a three-pillar strategy to ensure a climate-friendly fleet management strategy:

  • Rightsize: selecting appropriately sized, energy-efficient, low-emissions cars. In addition, the Green Car Policy img creates incentives for drivers of company cars to increasingly select smaller, more efficient cars.
  • Economize: encouraging a fuel-efficient, low-emissions driving style with driver training courses.
  • Substitute: testing, piloting, and using alternative mobility concepts.

We plan to keep average CO2 emissions levels of all of the new cars we purchase (company and service vehicles) below 95 g CO2/km by the end of 2020 in Germany. With this in mind, we are looking to increase the number of vehicles with alternative drive concepts. For a while now, we have been using a certain number of vehicles powered by natural gas and electricity. We currently favor natural gas, especially for service vehicles. In addition, we are promoting the use of electric drive systems for service applications in specific pilot projects and usage scenarios. Efficient diesel vehicles will also continue to be used in the years ahead for economic reasons. Vehicles with gasoline engines generate higher CO2 emissions and higher costs than their diesel equivalents, so they only offer a viable alternative in low-mileage applications.

Natural gas as an alternative: new fuel card for natural gas filling stations
Our fleet management team checks whether natural gas filling stations are available at a particular location before offering vehicles powered by this fuel. In the year under review, a new compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel card was added to the portfolio with a view to using as many of Germany’s 860 or so natural gas filling stations as possible. The CNG fleet grew to 60 vehicles in 2018. Around 140 further such vehicles currently on order will soon join these. The focus is on service vehicles due to the models available at present on the market. Given the efficiency and environmental benefits of CNG, we will continue promoting the use of natural gas vehicles. We believe they offer significant further potential as an interim solution on the way to electric mobility.

Electric vehicles: pilot projects, vehicle tests, and expanding the charging infrastructure
To make the most of the benefits of electric mobility in the medium term, we have been supplying electric vehicles for pilot projects and specific usage scenarios since 2014. In addition, electric vehicles were tested with a number of service units throughout Germany in 2018 to ascertain their suitability for various applications. This revealed that it is possible to use electric vehicles for activities that can be planned, as long as the necessary charging infrastructure is in place and journeys are within a radius of 100 km.

On the basis of these findings, we will be joining a number of other prestigious companies from mid-2019 onward and participating in the “Renewably mobile” support project. In this connection, we have undertaken to purchase a total of 110 electric vehicles as well as charging points. These vehicles will be introduced throughout Germany – mostly service vehicles, but also electric rental cars and an e-shuttle.

The newly founded company Comfort Charge has been helping further expand the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles since the beginning of 2018 by upgrading the existing telecommunications infrastructure in Germany to create a nationwide e-charging network. For further information, please refer to the section on customers.

Extensive choice of mobility options
One of the ways we encourage our commuting employees to actively protect the climate is by enabling them to buy discount season tickets for local and regional public transportation. Regrettably, demand has been falling for around three years now and fewer of these tickets are being issued. We also rely on other modern forms of mobility including our shuttle service, which we have been offering for ten years, loaner bikes for getting around in the city, and rental cars. Midway through 2018, the first three Deutsche Telekom locations were equipped with a charging infrastructure for employees’ electric vehicles. Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Berlin, and Hamburg will follow early in 2019.

On the go and green: e-bikes, shuttles, and rental bikes
Since 2015, we have offered our employees in Germany the chance to purchase a bicycle or e-bike through deferred compensation schemes as a green and healthy alternative. With the support of Telekom MobilitySolutions, employees can lease a bicycle through their employer for three years. The monthly payments are subtracted from the employee’s gross salary. The new offer has met with a tremendous response right from the off. By the end of 2018, over 5,100 colleagues were already making use of this option – an increase of 100 percent compared to the previous year. Since 2018, employees have also had the option of obtaining a second bicycle through deferred compensation schemes.

We provide shuttle services between different locations, e.g., to the Cologne/Bonn airport or the Siegburg ICE train station to reduce the carbon footprint of business trips. Roughly 125,000 passengers used this service in 2018. Employees can use an app or visit the intranet to conveniently book a shuttle.

A total of 240 rental bicycles, including some e-bikes, are also available at more than 30 Deutsche Telekom locations in Germany for employees to get to their business appointments within the city. In addition, we have supplied a further 50 bicycles in five cities as a mobility solution for temporary student workers in the service team.

Climate Protection at Magyar Telekom

Magyar Telekom stays totally Carbon Neutral
The Magyar Telekom Group stayed completely carbon neutral in 2018, repeating its success from the previous three years. This achievement has put the company ahead of the largest telecommunication companies around the world. This success is based on the purchase of 100% renewable energy for the Hungarian member companies, enhancing energy efficiency, implementing carbon offset, and saving energy. In 2018, the company purchased CO2 certificates that offset 30,000 metric tons of CO2.

In 2018 Magyar Telekom committed to set a Science Based Target.

Community Solar Project for Employees
In 2018, a new employee solar project was started. Employees at Magyar Telekom were able to rent solar panels which were then installed on our training facilities. They received benefits such as a new HBO GO subscription for a year or an electric car for a weekend as a reward for their efforts and their contribution to our climate protection activities.

Stop Wasting – Start Caring!
In order to reduce the harmful effects of waste on the environment:

  • Magyar Telekom makes sure that unused equipment gets reused within the company, or by selling it to employees or external partners, or by renting, leasing, or transferring them without compensation (donation).
  • Magyar Telekom is collecting waste selectively at more sites.
  • Magyar Telekom improves the equipment’s effectiveness by upgrading existing contracts, regularly updating collection points, and through communication.

The principal aim of the company is to carry out its operations with the minimum impact on the environment. Magyar Telekom pays special attention to upgrading, repair and reuse of the equipment in its network. The reuse rate of CPE devices is 48%.

Magyar Telekom complies with statutory regulations in force and informs customers about the various waste-disposal options for used equipment and batteries on the company websites. The volume of such waste showed a decreasing trend even though we provide customers with an opportunity to exchange returned waste and receive a discount on the price of new devices.

All of the products Magyar Telekom sells are certified with energy efficiency certificates in conformity with the requirements of the European Union. They are also in compliance with the environmental standards defined by Hungarian law. Manufacturer’s statements with detailed information about life cycle, reuse, recycling of the product, used materials, and repairability features are available in all our stores. All of our procured network equipment should meet our high standards of energy efficiency.

Fostering the use of electric cars in the Netherlands

In May 2014, T-Systems Netherlands introduced electric cars for lease drivers in order to help reduce the CO2 emissions discharged from the company’s cars. Charging stations have been installed in parking areas to facilitate charging during office hours. A charging station will also be available at the new office location in Utrecht.

All-electric and hybrid cars help to reduce CO2 emissions as shown in the table below. The reduction in CO2 emissions is good for the environment and the lower tax rates provide a further major advantage for drivers. These two benefits promote the popularity of these types of car in the Netherlands. This appeal is illustrated by the 24.5% share of cars designed to reduce CO2 in the company’s fleet at the end of 2018. In 2019, tax rates for hybrid cars are increasing and this will exert a negative impact on the share.

Car type CO2 emission %
All-electric 0 g CO2 2.4
Hybrid 36-88 g CO2 14.2
CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) 88 g CO2 3.8
Total   20.4