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  • 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report
2018 Corporate Responsibility Report

Energy efficiency

Our network infrastructure forms the basis of our products and services. At the same time, the operation of our networks accounts for the largest share of our energy consumption and thus also of our Scope 2 emissions img. This will continue to be the case in the future because further expanding our networks with higher bandwidths and transmission speeds will result in higher energy consumption. That’s why achieving greater energy efficiency in network operation is a key component of our climate protection target. When it comes to our networks, we engage in activities such as replacing outdated technology with new, more energy-efficient technology, e.g., the migration of our fixed-line network to IP technology. In addition, we are currently consolidating data traffic into just a few highly efficient data centers. Information about how our network expansion and the resulting services help our customers reduce their emissions can be found in the “Customers and products” section.

Operating energy-efficient networks

We operate our own fixed-line and mobile networks in Europe and the United States. The majority of our energy requirements come from operating this network infrastructure. In the interest of our customers, we continue to increase the capacity and performance of our networks so that we can handle growing amounts of data and improve the speed and quality of data transmission. However, this also means higher energy requirements. We pursue three different approaches to reduce our energy needs:

  • We update our network infrastructure, e.g., by migrating to IP img technology and removing equipment we no longer need.
  • We optimize energy generation and supply with the help of technical innovation.
  • We use energy-efficient technology not just for our networks, but also for lighting and to monitor, and – most importantly – to cool our systems.

Our internal energy service provider, Power & Air Solutions, which buys energy and then makes it available for use by our Group companies in Germany, plays a key role in these activities. Power & Air Solutions’ energy management practices have been ISO 50001 img certified since 2013.

Measuring and controlling energy consumption
In order to measure our progress across the Group, we introduced two key performance indicators (KPIs). They show our energy consumption (Energy Intensity ESG img KPI) and our carbon footprint (Carbon Intensity ESG KPI) in relation to the volume of data transmitted. Using data volume as a reference parameter makes it possible to create a direct link to the performance and use of our networks. In the next few years, we are expecting a positive trend in both KPIs.

The PUE img (Power Usage Effectiveness) factor is measured annually and is another important performance indicator for managing our climate protection measures. Our state-of-the-art data centers, e.g., in Munich or Biere, are set up for a PUE value of 1.36 and are therefore much more efficient than the average for German data centers, which lies at about 1.8. We are planning to reduce the PUE factor img of our fixed-line network in Germany to 1.4 by the year 2020. For this value, we also forecast an additional reduction in the coming years. This will allow us in part to compensate for increasing energy requirements due to growing volumes of data and new features.

Andreas Kröhling

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Andreas Kröhling

More capacity for our energy-efficient data center

Our data center in Biere (near the city of Magdeburg) was put into operation in 2014 and is one of the world’s most efficient data centers. And because demand for cloud services “made in Germany” is on the rise worldwide, we have expanded the center by 150 percent during the past two years. The extension was successfully brought into operation in May 2018.

As we had previously done for the first phase of construction, we requested LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in Gold for the extension. In 2018, this certification was also presented for the second construction phase – an honor that only very few of the world’s data centers receive.

Biere sets new standards

Measurable success: Reduced CO2 generation at data centers

We keep our goal of reducing our carbon footprint in mind when planning and operating our data centers. To achieve this goal, we take a two-step approach. It starts with optimizing energy consumption at each data center site and then continues with improving processes throughout the global data center landscape.

The key indicator for energy efficiency at our data centers is the PUE img factor. Since 2008, we have succeeded in reducing the average PUE factor img at the T-Systems data centers in Germany from 1.85 to 1.57. Compared to the previous year, the figure in 2018 remained virtually constant (2017: 1.54). The reason for this is the ongoing consolidation of the data centers, where applications from less energy-efficient sites are migrated to new, highly efficient data centers. This increases the PUE value of the decommissioned data centers in the short term. Overall, this process led to a constant PUE value across all data centers in the reporting year – and saw the value shrink further in the medium term.

Data centers are becoming more energy-efficient

The “DC11@2018” program for improving processes throughout our global data center landscape ran from 2013 to 2018. This project combines physical data center consolidation (i.e., reducing data center space and sites) with logical consolidation (i.e., virtualizing data center infrastructure). The objective of the “DC11@2018” program was to globally consolidate data center capacity at FMO (future mode of operation) data centers using the latest IT technology. The consolidation project was completed by the end of 2018 as planned. Within the scope of the physical consolidation, we decommissioned three old data centers in Germany. At the same time, we optimized the air conditioning at the existing data centers in Biere and Munich and other international data centers, including Barcelona in Spain.

The aim was to achieve an average PUE factor of 1.4 across the Group in all FMO data centers by the end of the project. At the end of 2018, we reached a PUE value of 1.57, meaning that we did not attain our target. This is in part due to the gradual shutdown of old data centers – which become less efficient during decommissioning as less capacity is used – and the negative impact this has on the PUE value. Achieving our target calls for further homogenization of our IT landscape combined with optimum capacity utilization of data center infrastructure, IT hardware, and the software running on the systems. Other factors that have a positive impact on PUE development in a data center are selective cooling and increasing the temperature as far as possible – while simultaneously observing set thresholds. For the year 2020, the latest program plans indicate accumulated reductions in CO2 by up to 51 percent compared to 2012. The PUE value for the network infrastructure is predicted to drop to below 1.4 by 2020.

Our target PUE factor for our highly efficient data center in Biere is 1.3. To achieve this target, it will be necessary to adhere to a prescribed temperature range, achieve a capacity utilization of at least 80 percent, and create an IT landscape that is as homogeneous as possible. We were not yet able to achieve the PUE target value in 2018 because the level of capacity utilization is not yet as high as originally planned. In addition, it was necessary to cool the data center on multiple occasions during the hot summer. As outlined above, the data centers were consolidated as part of “DC11@2018”, with the data center in Biere successfully expanded by May 2018 to make up for lost capacity.

Testing energy-saving air conditioning in data centers

Given the great deal of heat generated by operating high-performance servers in data centers, air conditioning plays a key role in preventing outages caused by overheating. In 2016 in Nuremberg, we began trialing innovative control technology for our servers’ cooling system, which uses several sensors to record room temperature directly at the servers. Power consumption dropped by 15 percent, as this technique allows the air conditioning equipment to be controlled more efficiently. In 2017, we continued the pilot project and succeeded in reducing our energy consumption further. Owing to the relatively high operating costs, the system is not currently being extended to other data centers, but it will continue to operate at the Nuremberg site and we shall continue to monitor its development.

During this reporting year, we also analyzed and evaluated other innovative cooling technologies for our sites. Our findings revealed that we can make further energy savings of up to 50 percent by taking targeted air conditioning measures. The next step is to test the identified measures and subsequently transfer them to regular operations.

Energy efficiency in buildings

Our contribution to the SDGs

Our facility energy management activities focus on the two areas of heating energy and electricity consumption. We have defined sub-targets for electricity consumption to help us attain our climate target in Germany. Twice a year, we measure our progress.

Two approaches help us achieve our sub-targets. We are reducing our office space as part of HR downsizing measures and are optimizing space usage by introducing new office concepts. We also identify needs for reduction in energy consumption by using specific indicators such as “kilowatt hours per square meter”, “energy consumption at midnight”, or “peak loads” to compare similar facilities. This identifies buildings with above-average consumption. 

The energy management system of Power & Air Solutions, the provider purchasing energy for the German Group companies, is certified according to the international ISO 50001 img standard.

Heating and hot water
In 2018, we used approximately 478 GWh of heating energy throughout Germany, primarily by using gas and heating oil as well as district heating. The need has decreased continuously in the past years. We regularly assess the need for repairs at our properties and conduct profitability analyses to further reduce consumption. Keeping the available budget in mind, we focus on the most necessary and particularly cost-efficient measures, including:

  • Optimizing heating plants
  • Renovating heating systems based on the Energy Saving Ordinance
  • Using condensing boiler technology to modernize heating installations and pumps
  • Recovering waste heat from data centers
  • Using cogeneration plants

In order to reduce our network nodes’ use of heating energy, we have lowered the starting temperature of the heating system. In the future, we are also looking to factor in the weather forecast when adjusting our systems. A pilot project for this has already been commissioned. In addition, we are planning a pilot project to utilize HTC technology in our heating installations, improving efficiency by using ceramic materials in the combustion chamber.

Our employee workstations, lighting, and building technology, including pumps, ventilation, cooling, and elevators, are responsible for the largest part of electricity consumption in our buildings. Our measures for making savings focus on the following areas:

  • Using LED lighting and motion sensors
  • Using modern pumps and fans
  • Switching off building technology when it is not in use

Energy and Climate Change Projects in Greece

Energy Management System
The strategic aim of the OTE Group is the rational and sustainable use of energy. It has therefore prioritized improvements in the energy performance of major company installations (office facilities, call centers, data centers, and telecommunication networks). This is a response to global efforts toward climate-change mitigation.

To this end, an Energy Management System was developed and certified according to the ISO 50001 standard in 2016. Initially, the system was implemented in a limited number of critical installations. Gradually it was expanded and in 2018 it was implemented in nine building complexes (including technology and office buildings, data centers, call centers, and the head office of the OTE Group) and 12 mobile base stations. Results are encouraging since energy savings exceed 4% for the buildings and 15% for mobile base stations.

Large-scale energy audits were also performed during 2018, while further enrichment of the portfolio with a significant number of installations certified with ISO 50001 is included in the OTE Group’s plans.

Climate Change Observatory
The OTE Group supports the Research Project "PANhellenic GEophysical observatory of Antikythera (PANGEA)", a flagship initiative of the National Observatory of Athens. PANGEA’s objectives relate to climate change and its impact on severe weather and natural disasters in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean. The island of Antikythera in southwest Greece will be the National Hub for continuous monitoring of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs). The OTE Group has provided telecommunication equipment and services, as well as its facilities on Antikythera island to house scientific instruments and research infrastructure.

"Ctrl Shift Save the Climate – ICTs as Allies in Climate Protection"
COSMOTE along with the MEDITERRANEAN SOS Network (MedSOS) implemented a pioneering educational program entitled “Ctrl Shift Save the Climate – Information and Communication Technologies as Allies in Climate Protection”.

The program’s objective is to educate and train young people in Primary and Secondary Education and educators on the ways in which Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) could contribute to energy saving, climate change mitigation, and adaptation.

During the academic year from 2017 to 2018, more than 1,500 students participated in the program.

Energy Strategy at T-Mobile USA

At T-Mobile USA we believe that through our commitment to 100% renewable energy we can change Wireless for Good. Our strategy combines clean energy, network resiliency and bold inspiration to create both a thriving business and a sustainable world.

The company's key energy metrics, energy and carbon intensity both saw strong improvements in 2018:

  • The energy intensity KPI img decreased from 422 to 355 MWh per terabyte.  
  • The carbon intensity KPI decreased from 170 to 106 metric tons of CO2e per terabyte. 

These improvements largely resulted from a 34% increase in data traffic while only experiencing a 13% increase in energy usage. Efficiencies in our equipment allowed for greater traffic loads without requiring an equal increase in energy consumption.

Renewable Energy Commitment: In 2017, T-Mobile USA announced an industry leading commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage by 2021. The company views tackling climate change and leading on renewable energy as a tremendous opportunity for T-Mobile to challenge the status quo and seize both financial opportunity and the mantle of industry leadership.

Since the last update, T-Mobile USA has grown its renewable energy portfolio and added over 160 MW through the Solomon Forks Wind Project in Kansas, which will be operational as of July 2019. With this project we will produce an estimated 625 GWh of electricity annually. This doubles the capacity we put online through our pioneering Red Dirt wind project in Oklahoma.

The combined production of the Red Dirt Wind Power and the Solomon Forks Wind Project is a total contracted capacity of 320 MW. These 12 and 15-year clean energy contracts will reduce T-Mobile’s operating CO2 emissions across our US retail stores, call centers, and network operations.

T-Mobile USA has also taken an important step to ensure the corporate headquarters in Bellevue, Washington is powered by renewable energy, by joining Puget Sound Energy's "Green Direct" program which provides renewable energy directly through the local utility.

Energy Efficiency Projects: The energy team at T-Mobile USA researches and designs innovative ways to boost efficiency and cut energy across the entire business. Here are some ways we are optimizing the operation of our network:

  • At our data centers we made a number of efficiency improvements including:
    • Addition of cold aisle containment to IT equipment rows, and reprogramming of systems to utilize more 'Free Energy'
    • Upgraded mechanical and electrical systems designed to utilize more efficient equipment and architecture. 
    • Addition of hot aisle containment to IT equipment rows with directional and blanking floor tiles for better air management.
  • Installed ENERGY STAR certified LED Lighting was at approximately 1,500 new corporate and dealer stores. We also completed additional lighting retrofits across the T-Mobile commercial real estate portfolio. The upgrades were completed in T-Mobile Call Centers, Switch Sites, Regional Business Offices, and its corporate headquarters.
  • T-Mobile USA completed numerous pilots and small projects across the company installing new, more energy efficient equipment at our switch stations, cell sites, retail stores and call centers.
  • The company has implemented more efficient technologies to reduce the demands of heating and cooling its cellular equipment.

Environmentally friendly data centers in Austria

Operating data centers requires a great deal of energy and T-Systems Austria is dedicated to running its data centers in a maximally environmentally friendly approach. Mitigation makes the data centers in Gmünd, Linz, and Vienna entirely carbon neutral. Mitigation means that resources are used to absorb the same amount of CO2 as emitted by production of the energy necessary to run them.

T-Systems Austria is also actively engaged in initiatives to reduce energy consumption. A “cold/heat technique” is used in server cabinets to regulate the temperature as efficiently as possible with resultant savings in energy. In 2017, the company achieved a total energy reduction of 389,522 kWh. This yields a year-on-year reduction of 63 percent. In 2019, we will carry out necessary upgrades at our data center to get Tier 3 certification according to the EN50600 standard.

The fire-extinguishing system at T-Systems Austria has also been designed on environmental principles. The data center at the T-Center in Vienna has 168 fire extinguishers filled with a mixture of nitrogen, argon, and carbon dioxide for emergencies. The extinguishing agent is harmless to humans, leaves no residue, and is 100 percent environmentally neutral.

Energy Savings at T-Systems Mexico

Several measures are being implemented to help save energy in the offices of T-Systems Mexico. These include replacement of fluorescent lamps with LED lamps, installation of motion sensors, and monitoring of the air-conditioning system in all offices. As a result, a 9.2% saving in watts was achieved in 2018 compared with 2017. Moreover, the company was able to implement efficiency measures for energy consumption such as photovoltaic cells. This allowed savings of 15% of the entire consumption at the facilities.

Progress at Office Buildings and Data Centers at T-Systems Netherlands

Since 2016, the office building of T-Systems Netherlands in Vianen has been supplied entirely with green energy (100 %). In 2019, the company will move from its office building in Vianen to Utrecht. This building has a class A label. The offices in Heerlen and The Hague cannot be supplied with green energy due to the fact that there are other tenants in the building and to the strategy of the owner of the building.

In 2017 and 2018, T-Systems Netherlands focused on improved efficiency for the floor space of its office buildings. A significant decrease in floor space will be achieved as result:

  • at the end of 2018, a decrease of 50% in The Hague and
  • at the end of 2019 a decrease of 40% in Vianen (move to Utrecht)
  • at the end of 2019 a decrease of 65% in Heerlen
  • at the end of 2020 a decrease of an additional 35 % in Heerlen (moving out).

The main focus for the company's data centers in 2018 was the significant decrease in energy consumption. In 2018, 21% less energy was consumed in comparison to 2017. This enabled T-Systems Netherlands to build on its achievements in previous years: in 2017 28% less energy was consumed in comparison to 2016, and in 2016 13% less energy was consumed in comparison to 2015. This was achieved through asset refresh (lifecycle management), decommissioning, and data-center consolidation.