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.