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  • 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report
2018 Corporate Responsibility Report

Other environmental topics

We assume responsibility for creating a low-carbon society – at our company, at our customers and suppliers, and through our social commitment. We focus on those areas where we can make the most impact.

Other environmental topics are addressed as well, such as protecting biodiversity and responsible water consumption. Our infrastructure can also be a part of the solution, which is shown, for example, by our “Bee and Me” project to help beekeepers protect their bees.

Water consumption

We need water to live, and it continues to grow scarcer. The World Health Organization estimates that more than one billion people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water. As a service provider, our water consumption is comparatively small compared to agriculture and the manufacturing industry. We almost exclusively use water within the scope of our office activities. Water consumption also plays but a minor role along our supply chain. For that reason, water is not a main focal area in our CR management activities. Nevertheless, we use our Water Consumption KPI to record our annual water consumption, which we have been able to consistently reduce since 2012.

Protecting biodiversity

Our contribution to the SDGs

Species extinction is occurring at an alarming rate worldwide, and the consequences are difficult to predict. One major cause of extinction is the fact that more and more space is being taken up by industry, agriculture, and transportation. Compared to other sectors, however, Deutsche Telekom’s core business only occupies a small amount of space.

Deutsche Telekom’s business operations primarily impact the biodiversity at our suppliers’ premises at the start of the value-added chain. This impact is clearly diminished at later stages.

Nevertheless, we are concerned about protecting biodiversity wherever we can. To this end, we develop and support ICT img solutions that can help maintain biodiversity. In doing so, we influence the maintenance and enhancement of biodiverse habitats in the direct surroundings of various sites. That is why we collaborate with competent partners on nature conservation efforts near us.

Fighting bee mortality with narrowband technology
Deutsche Telekom supports solutions that help maintain biodiversity. One example of this is a solution by start-up company from Montenegro. This young company uses narrowband technology NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) for optimizing apiculture. Using this technology, data relevant to the beehive – such as temperature, humidity, air pressure, weight, and bee activity – can be recorded and sent to the beekeeper via an app. This allows the beekeeper to take immediate action if the beehive is in danger.

In total, four such beehives monitored by NB-IoT have been set up around the Bonn headquarters and at the T-Systems Innovation Center in Munich. Other beehives managed by the same beekeeper in the Bonn area have also been equipped with sensors and linked to the T-Systems cloud to enable the values of the beehives to be compared across the different locations. Such networking also cuts out unnecessary trips to conduct inspections, demonstrating how the “digital” beehives make an important contribution to ensuring the species’ survival.

Renaturation of biodiverse habitats
Since 2003 we have been carrying out comprehensive collection campaigns for used cell phones. The cell phones are then reused or, if they are no longer functional, properly recycled in an environmentally responsible manner. We use the profits from these collection campaigns to support charitable organizations, especially in the fields of resource protection, environmental protection, nature conservation, and education. In 2018, by collaborating via our online Handysammelcenter cell phone collection portal, we supported nature conservation and species protection projects run by Frankfurt Zoological Society, Pro Wildlife e.V., Bavaria’s State Association for Bird Protection, and the Hellabrunn Zoo.