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  • Act responsibly. Enable sustainability.
  • 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report
2018 Corporate Responsibility Report


As a company, we see ourselves as part of society and actively take on our responsibilities. This attitude is reflected in no small part by our social commitment. For us, this also means encouraging our employees to get involved in volunteering. In doing so, they play a major role in strengthening social cohesion and act as ambassadors for our values. Volunteering is also very beneficial when it comes to internal HR development. It broadens the horizons of the individual, while also having a positive impact on social skills and teamwork. That’s why our corporate citizenship program engagement@telekom pursues two aims – to support our employees’ current involvement and encourage them to find new ways to contribute to society. We give our employees a wide range of opportunities to volunteer, preferably in teaching projects that help develop media skills. This is one of the ways we help simplify and enrich the lives of those around us on a sustainable basis.

Taking responsibility in our society

Our contribution to the SDGs

We contribute to society in a number of ways with our corporate citizenship program, engagement@telekom. engagement@telekom is based on two pillars:

  • Long-term partnerships with non-profit organizations 
  • Corporate volunteering img (supporting our employees in their volunteering activities) and corporate giving (our donation activities)


In times of digital transformation, we want to be a trusted partner to society. We contribute our core expertise and the commitment of our employees to these efforts.

The work we undertake to honor our social commitment is often done within the context of our long-standing partnerships with organizations such as the TelefonSeelsorge crisis hotline. In addition, we promote media literacy among senior citizens in collaboration with the “German National Association of Senior Citizens’ Organizations” (BAGSO). As a member of “Deutschland sicher im Netz e.V.” (DsiN – Making Germany Safe on the Net), we support its work for IT security and data protection. Beyond this, we participate in the “Civic Involvement Week” sponsored by the National Network for Civil Society. On numerous Social Days, we give our employees the opportunity to get involved in social or environmental projects as volunteers – including with our partners.

Corporate volunteering img programs give our employees the opportunity to actively contribute by teaching media literacy. They can do this, for instance, through the initiative “Media sure! But secure.”, which provides teaching materials that our employees can use for workshops. In doing so, they help people better understand digital phenomena, thus laying the groundwork for participation in the digital world. However, Deutsche Telekom’s corporate volunteering expands into other areas, too. For instance, we also encourage our employees to help integrate refugees into society and support them in learning German online as part of the “eStart” project. Volunteer work is another important part of our training and development programs, and we recognize our apprentices’ dedication with the Group-wide competition “Responsibility Wins”.

Through our corporate giving program, we support the work of aid organizations worldwide – preferably in the form of long-standing partnerships – and provide rapid assistance in disaster situations. Our Group Donation Policy lays out the guidelines for these activities. For example, we have been working with Germany’s Relief Coalition, Aktion Deutschland Hilft, since 2003.

We cooperate closely across national borders when it comes to our social involvement and share experience and best practices. We use a set of KPIs to measure our success:

These KPIs are also the basis for our collaboration with partner organizations that help us to continuously control and evaluate our project measures and goals. These are monitored closely throughout the project year to enable us to adjust our target ranges or goals accordingly. A study by Beyond Philanthropy and goetzpartners from 2017 shows there is a clear link between our donation activities aimed at promoting media literacy and our core business.

Our measures are based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. We have listed the activities with which we are pursuing SDGs in an overview.

Incentives for diversity and equal opportunity: the Deutschlandstiftung Integration and START-Stiftung foundations

We are convinced that cultural diversity enriches our society and offers opportunities for the innovative strength of our country’s industry. This conviction is, for example, reflected in our strategic partnership with Deutschlandstiftung Integration (the German Foundation for Integration). The foundation supports young people with a migrant background, for example, by helping them to take their first steps into the world of work and offering the support of a large network. The patron of the foundation is German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel. In December 2018, Deutschlandstiftung Integration celebrated its tenth anniversary in Deutsche Telekom’s Berlin Representative Office. Head of the Board of Trustees, former President of Germany Christian Wulff, welcomed 600 guests from politics and business, public administration and culture, and several current and former beneficiaries and mentors of the “Go Your Own Way” scholarship program.

© Deutschlandstiftung Integration 2018

In October 2017, Deutschlandstiftung Integration began working with START-Stiftung (START Foundation). START-Stiftung has been supporting the integration of young migrants and immigrants for 15 years by awarding educational scholarships. The joint social media campaign “Mein Land. Dein Land. Deutschland.” (My Country. Your Country. Germany.) was launched in 2018 and has been running on the online channels of both foundations, where beneficiaries of START-Stiftung and Deutschlandstiftung Integration share their thoughts and ideas on issues of belonging, identity, home, and solidarity in short videos.

Scholarship program “GO YOUR OWN WAY”
The scholarship and mentor program “GO YOUR OWN WAY” run by Deutschlandstiftung Integration places young people with migrant backgrounds with mentors from politics, business, the media, culture, and science. We have been a partner of the program since it was launched in 2012. Over 600 mentors support the scholarship recipients in their professional and personal lives. So far, they have contributed over 35,000 hours of volunteer work to this program. The program also offers coaching, themed workshops, internship marketplaces, and networking events such as the “Summer Festival of Integration”. In late 2018 – just in time for the foundation’s tenth anniversary – over 900 young people had either completed or were still involved in the program, making “GO YOUR OWN WAY” one of Germany’s largest sponsorship programs for people with migrant backgrounds.

Corporate volunteering: Our employees in action

As part of our corporate volunteering program, employees volunteer for social action activities. We support this social commitment through a variety of projects and campaigns that give our employees the opportunity to make valuable contributions to strengthening our society. At the same time, however, by volunteering on meaningful projects, they are learning new skills, which also has a positive effect on their everyday work. In 2018, we supported the following projects:

eStart – digital language coaching for refugees
Deutsche Telekom actively supports the eStart program facilitated by the organization Volunteer Vision. By late 2018, 112 Deutsche Telekom employees had helped refugees learn German via a video platform. They meet with their students in a video chat once a week for one hour. With the help of integrated learning materials, they jointly practice homework assignments from a German course. The program is part of our wide-ranging commitment to helping people who have come to Germany as refugees.

Encouraging children to play an active and self-confident role in shaping the digital age – that is the idea behind the IT@school initiative, launched by Deutsche Telekom in 2018. As part of this initiative, our employees visit schools, libraries, kindergartens, and youth centers, where they, for example, teach programming courses or hold workshops on media literacy. By late 2018, almost 250 Deutsche Telekom employees were already involved in IT@school at 35 locations throughout Germany. Thanks to their dedication, we were able to offer 23 introductory IT courses at elementary and secondary schools in 2018. These courses utilize the Calliope minicomputer, which is designed for children and helps introduce the subject of programming to elementary school students in an age-appropriate way. The Deutsche Telekom Stiftung has already provided 30 schools with one class set (max. 30 devices) each, which they can keep – additional sets are to be provided to support the “Corporate Volunteers” project.

This approach has helped more than 300 children develop basic knowledge and skills for the digital age, such as logical thinking, an understanding of algorithms, and problem-solving skills. Moreover, we have trained over 40 school and kindergarten teachers in IT topics through the IT@school initiative and given 500 parents a better understanding of media literacy at parents’ evenings. Our employees also go into three day-care centers, two libraries, and two elementary schools to teach STEM img subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in a fun way. Around 100 children benefited from this approach in 2018. In total, our employees volunteered 750 hours of their time for the IT@school initiative in 2018. We are already in talks with an additional 30 schools regarding future collaborations.

STEM reading mentors
Working in partnership with the German  Reading Foundation, the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung is looking for volunteer STEM reading mentors, both in Germany and abroad, who can inspire children aged between three and ten to take an interest in books that deal with mathematics, natural sciences, and technology. By late 2018, a total of around 1,700 STEM reading mentors had signed up to the network – including 80 Deutsche Telekom employees (as of October 2018).

Christmas toy drive
Each year, the annual “Social Day” of our Start up! initiative gives start-ups sponsored by Deutsche Telekom the opportunity to contribute to a charitable cause. In 2018, they supported a toy drive for Eastern European children in need, which involved collecting and wrapping Christmas gifts. In December 2018, the gifts were sent to Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine and handed out in orphanages, hospitals, institutes for the disabled, kindergartens, and schools in remote and rural areas.

Christmas campaign – making children’s wishes come true
In 2018, Deutsche Telekom employees once again volunteered to make the Christmas wishes of children and young people living in institutions come true. The children and young people write their name, age, and wish on a paper star. Each star has a maximum value of 30 euros. Employees take one or several stars, buy the desired present, wrap it in festive gift wrap, and hand it in to the organizational team. Once all presents are gathered, they are handed over to the homes.

Donations for "Ein Herz für Kinder"
In December 2018, 1,040 Deutsche Telekom employees supported the television show in aid of the “Ein Herz für Kinder” children’s charity by volunteering at ten locations. This meant that 140 more Deutsche Telekom employees got involved in the campaign this year compared to last year. They volunteered at service centers collecting donations from TV viewers over the telephone.

Support for “Aktion Deutschland Hilft”
We have been supporting the charitable projects of “Aktion Deutschland Hilft” (Germany’s Relief Coalition) with the help of our employees since 2003. As a long-time partner of the organization, Deutsche Telekom is committed to providing emergency aid and thus supports reconstruction and disaster prevention projects. Deutsche Telekom also made a donation of 50,000 euros immediately after the catastrophic earthquakes and tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in September 2018.

Help Measured in Kilometers at T-Mobile Polska

Help Measured in Kilometers is a nationwide campaign launched in 2013 and organized by T-Mobile Polska since then. It aims to support physically disabled children by providing prostheses and rehabilitation. All smartphone users who run, cycle, rollerblade, walk, or take part in wheelchair sports are able to join the campaign. The kilometers covered are tracked using the free Endomondo Sports Tracker app installed by all the participants on their smartphones.

The secret of the campaign’s success is a combination of three elements: new technologies, a passion for physical activity and a desire to help kids. Since the beginning of the campaign, T-Mobile Polska has been able to continuously increase the number of kilometers collected. After gathering 40 million kilometers in 2013, we notched up more than 150 million kilometers in 2018.

In 2018, we invited deaf people to join our project. All our media materials were also translated into sign language.

For the sixth time running, T-Mobile Polska has turned the collected kilometers into zlotys to help children in need. This campaign has already donated 6 million zlotys to the TVN Foundation “You are not alone”.

Cooperation with the Ministry of Migration in Albania

Telekom Albania is cooperating with the Ministry of Migration on a new program offered to migrants. The program assists migrants and asylum seekers returning to Albania by helping them to reintegrate in the socio-economic life of Albania. Migrants who are underpaid or unemployed are given access to higher paying jobs through training courses and job placement schemes. The program includes training in information technology and foreign languages taught by experts in these areas. Participants are given courses lasting 30-40 hours, alongside interview preparation, sector-based job placement services, and career advice.

The target group is migrants and asylum seekers of different ages who have returned to Albania. The program is intended to help them reintegrate in the social life they left behind, in schools and workplaces, or to set up a new business.

Telekom Albania’s IT infrastructure is used to facilitate these courses.

Disaster Response in the USA

From the Hawaii Volcano, to the California wildfires, to hurricanes Lane, Florence, and Michael, T-Mobile USA has been mobilizing its resources and people. T-Mobile’s 24/7 crisis teams worked tirelessly to ensure network reliability and respond to customers in need. We’ve also donated millions of dollars in calls, texts, and equipment to assist relief efforts around the world. The company's disaster response efforts support communities with network response teams, telecommunications infrastructure, and employee volunteers to lend a hand and ensure network reliability.

  • The T-Mobile engineering and rapid response teams quickly activated emergency equipment such as fuel trucks, mobile Cell on Wheels (COWs) and back-up power solutions, including portable generators.
  • As long as it’s safe for them to remain open, our stores and other facilities have helped customers and impacted employees, by providing water, mobile generators, device charging stations, phones, car and wall chargers, and other supplies available
  • T-Mobile also rallies customers and employees through its own disaster response fundraising efforts.  In 2017 and 2018, we activated text-based giving channels in support of hurricane relief for T-Mobile customers to make it easy for them to give via their mobile phones. For each of the disasters above, we have also matched employee giving at an increased rate of 2:1. for US-based disasters where our people and customers were impacted.
  • Free Texting & Calling: During the hurricanes and for weeks following, T-Mobile offered customers in affected areas the ability to call or text anywhere in the US for free. Customers in affected areas who were not on the T-Mobile ONE plan were also given unlimited data (T-Mobile ONE customers always have unlimited data).
  • To support relief efforts during the latest Hurricane season, T-Mobile leveraged its partnership with Major League Baseball, for the second year in a row, and pledged USD 10,000 to Team Rubicon for every postseason home run, and an additional USD 1 every time consumers tweeted their support using #HR4HR.  During the World Series, T-Mobile doubled that number to USD 20,000 for every home run and USD 2 for every fan tweet.

For the California Wildfires, Hurricanes Florence and Michael, and the Hawaii Volcano, T-Mobile donated USD 2.6 million in in-kind donations (hotspots img, phones, etc).