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  • 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report

Impact measurement and control: Our approach

We have set a target to continuously improve the positive social impact of our products, solutions and activities, and minimize their negative impact. Since 2015, we have made our contributions to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) transparent in our reporting. This way we also fulfill the expectations of our external stakeholders. 

In 2018 we began developing an overarching approach that will allow us to more precisely gage the impact of our action – in what we call our blueprint. This six-step plan will let us determine the impact of our activities and identify the changes we have brought about. In addition, the blueprint will help us recognize and assess interdependencies.

The blueprint was developed and the impact of core topics measured in collaboration with external experts. In addition, to ensure that our blueprint can also meet additional requirements, we held an accompanying dialog with stakeholders from the fields of finance, science, human rights and the environment. We began by asking the experts about their expectations and experiences in relation to corporate impact measurement. The results of this dialog were included in the development of the blueprint. In our concluding talks, we presented the blueprint to stakeholders, discussed it with them and addressed specific suggestions.

To ensure transparency and comparability of the results, we use external frameworks to describe the effects of our contributions. These include, for instance, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The impact measurement initially considers the impact of a project, product or measure on an SDG, for example, the positive ecological impact on relevant SDGs through switching from paper bills to online billing. We use the results for both internal control of the analyzed measure, project or product and for communication.

We can also view the impact on SDGs from a global perspective. For the measure mentioned above, for example, we would look at the size of Deutsche Telekom’s share in global paper consumption.

In the past year we conducted an impact measurement for various measures and products in connection with our materiality analysis, using appropriate methods and approaches. It is important for these to be comprehensible, based on solid data and assumptions, and to be valid for several years. It is also essential to have a clear description of the starting situation (baseline) in order to evaluate the specific impact. The results can be both qualitative and quantitative.

In the following paragraphs, we present several results from our impact measurement, for example, for the switch to online billing, the expansion of the network infrastructure, an initiative for human rights, the use of environmentally friendly packaging materials and our activities aimed at strengthening media skills.