We collaborate as partners with our suppliers to make sure they are able to meet our high sustainability criteria. Within our multi-award-winning development program for strategically important suppliers, we have worked with the participants over the past few years to develop solutions for issues such as environmental protection, regulations for working hours, or health protection. In 2018, we placed our supplier program under the umbrella of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI ) ICT industry association as an industry approach. It is being continued there as the “Sustainable Development Program” (SDP). In this way, we hope to help make the global supply chains for ICT products more sustainable, even beyond our own value chain. In the second half of 2018, we launched the SDP as a pilot project with four suppliers. From 2019, other ICT companies, their suppliers and sub-suppliers will then join the program. One new key feature of the SDP industry approach is an online tool that makes it easier to collect and evaluate sustainability-related data. The tool also makes it easy to measure the success of all SDP activities effectively using various KPIs. As a result, contributions toward individual sustainable development goals (SDGs), for example, can be made visible. Once the SDP participants have successfully completed the development program, they can use it independently and, in turn, help their own suppliers to improve when it comes to sustainability issues. Our aim is to extend the impact of the program to downstream levels of the supply chain.
We expect to see these companies obtain similar results to those achieved by the participants of our previous supplier program Among these suppliers we achieved not only social and ecological improvements but also measurable economic benefits: Better working conditions reduce the days of absence for employees, have a positive impact on their motivation and boost productivity. All of this also improves product quality, which in turn reduces the number of complaints regarding out products. The ecological improvements include the conservation of resources, for example, for energy and water consumption.
The diagram shows the areas in which we audit the suppliers participating in our program. Using the results, we work with them to develop a plan for remedying any issues. Suppliers receive support from Deutsche Telekom experts as well as professional external consultants in applying these measures. All activities and results are documented so that we can gage the effectiveness of the measures employed. These are corrected, if needed.