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  • 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report
2018 Corporate Responsibility Report

CR Controlling and impact measurement

Deutsche Telekom’s CR Controlling department plays a key role in controlling our CR activities. Controlling has been supported by an IT-based data collection system for the past nine years. The system makes sure that “environmental, social and governance (ESG img)” data and KPIs are promptly and transparently recorded and reported. It supports standardized, mandatory processes at the Group and national level and enables Group-wide benchmarks. This IT support lets us focus on content analysis of ESG data and helps us measure early on in the process to what extent we have reached our CR targets and if we need to make changes. 

We especially use ESG data to calculate relevant indicators and our ESG KPIs, with which we measure and control our CR performance throughout the Group. This information is published in our section on KPIs and in the interactive benchmarking tool of the CR report.

We are continuously improving our system for performance indicators on the basis of internal and external requirements. In this connection, in 2018 we once again expanded our reporting on Smart Innovation.

Since 2015 we have also analyzed the social impact of our corporate activity. In the following, we describe our general approach and the results of our impact measurement for selected topics.

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ESG key performance indicators

ESG img KPIs (key performance indicators) are used as management tools for our CR involvement. They enable us to improve our performance on an ongoing basis. As they are relevant to our supply chain, we also address them in our annual report in the “Non-financial statement”.

We use 13 KPIs that are valid Group-wide to manage our CR performance:

All of Deutsche Telekom’s national companies that participate in the CR data collection process are obligated to record our Group-wide ESG KPIs. These national companies represent 99 percent of the Group’s net revenue.

ESG KPIs cover types of capital
For the purpose of integrated financial and sustainability reporting, the KPIs map the six types of capital addressed in these reports and therefore also reflect the essential aspects of the sustainable value of our company (see diagram).

Types of capital

Silke Thomas

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ESG KPI reporting in the Annual Report

We have included selected ESG img KPIs in our Annual Report since 2011. We published the following KPIs in 2018 within the framework of our combined non-financial statement. A detailed description of each KPI img can be found in the Indicators section, which can be accessed with the following link.

  • Socially Responsible Investment (SRI img) ESG KPI
  • Sustainable Procurement ESG KPI
  • Sustainable Revenue Share ESG KPI
  • Energy Intensity ESG KPI
  • Carbon Intensity ESG KPI
  • Renewable Energies ESG KPI
  • PUE ESG KPI for Germany
  • Enablement Factor for DT Group in Germany ESG KPI
  • Community Investment ESG KPI
  • Beneficiaries ESG KPI
  • Media Literacy ESG KPI

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.

Impact measurement: Broadband expansion

In 2018, we once again took a close look at one of our core topics, broadband expansion. We were able to confirm our previous findings. In particular, we were able to more precisely define our impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN.

The broadband expansion is making a positive impact on many areas of society and is helping us achieve the SDGs: Improved network coverage (SDGs 9 and 17) can create new jobs, for instance, through increased company start-ups (SDG 8). This will also lead to higher income and gross domestic product. Network expansion also lays the foundation for many other positive effects, such as improved access to digital services in the educational and health care field (SDGs 3, 4 and 10).

The necessary underground work in connection with the infrastructure expansion phase will result in several temporary and one-time adverse environmental effects. Operating our network infrastructure can also lead to increased energy demand. In order to mitigate this effect, we are expanding the network in an energy-efficient manner and increasingly using renewable energies (SDG 7). As a result, the positive impact will significantly outweigh any disadvantages in the long term.

Impact measurement: Online billing

Virtualization img, or replacing physical infrastructure with digital solutions, is a core topic in our industry. It can be used in a wide range of areas, also opening up opportunities for sustainability. We have analyzed the gradual shift from printed to online bills at Deutsche Telekom in more detail using our new impact measurement concept.

The entire impact chain was assessed for both paper and online billing. The comparison shows that the negative environmental impact of online billing is substantially lower (> 50%), primarily due to the reduced consumption of paper and ink and reduced logistics services. The effects are particularly positive for SDGs 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 14.

We also looked at adverse effects, such as sales losses for the wood and paper industry and the logistics industry. However, they do not influence the results as much as the positive effects; in addition, they are part of the overarching structural shift toward increased digitalization.

Impact measurement: Eco-conscious packaging

Resource efficiency has long been a core topic of ecological sustainability. The topic of plastic and packaging in particular is of great interest to society. Within the company, our “Stop Wasting – Start Caring!” initiative has also made this clear.

With help from our new impact measurement approach, we analyzed the effects of packaging optimization planned for 2019 with one of our core products (use of less material and switch to alternative packaging materials).

Overall, the switch will have a positive impact on nine of the 17 SDGs. The effect on specific subtargets of SDGs 6, 12, 13, 14 becomes clear - through decreased water pollution and CO2 emissions as well as reduced plastic consumption.

Impact measurement: Our contribution to respect for human rights

Observing human rights is a key topic for us, our customers, investors and society. As part of our impact measurement, we look at the topic both within our Group and in our supply chain.

The following diagram illustrates the positive impact that can be achieved in both our value chain and society through our commitment to human rights.

Human rights impact

Reduced working hours in Brazil
A Human Rights Impact Assessment was carried out at our business unit in Brazil in 2018. It identified working hours as a relevant topic.

As a result of the review, we have agreed upon improvement measures. Our impact assessment looked at the correlations between working hours and mental and physical stress as well as accident rate, productivity and work-life balance. It shows chances that the through the Human Rights Assessments identified measures can have a positive impact on the local community beyond the workforce. In particular, we were able to discern a positive impact on SDGs 3 and 8 and on the recommendations of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Impact measurement: Media Literacy

We analyzed our “Teachtoday” initiative in the topic area of media literacy. This initiative contains an online platform as well as annual competitions and conferences on media use by children and teenagers. The learning methods employed with Teachtoday appeal to multiple senses. According to our results, which we obtained together with the auditors from PwC, such methods are more than twice as effective as learning methods that only appeal to one sense. This means that society benefits twice from our expenditures on specific media literacy measures (SDG 4).