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

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The member states of the United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015. The Agenda’s aim is to enable economic development and prosperity – in line with social justice and while taking into account the ecological limits of global economic growth. The Agenda applies equally to all nations of the world. All emerging and developing economies as well as industrial nations should play their part.

The core of the 2030 Agenda comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They officially went into effect in January 2016. The SDGs cover all three dimensions of sustainable development – social, environmental and economic – for the first time. Politicians, civil society and the business community must cooperate closely in order to achieve these ambitious goals. As such, companies are also called upon to make concrete contributions.

Deutsche Telekom has accepted this task and emphatically supports the SDGs. We are already making a contribution with many of our products, solutions and measures. Our transparent reporting on the SDGs has been distinguished in the past.

Our contributions toward achieving the SDGs have also had a positive effect on the continued development of Deutsche Telekom. In order to highlight the value contributions along the entire value chain of our company, we have divided them into five areas: Finance, Structure, Relationships, Employees and Environment. In other words, our cloud offerings improve energy and resource efficiency for our customers (“Resources”), for example. At the same time, we generate revenue with our sustainable products and services (“Finance”). The broadband expansion helps people to network and strengthens our infrastructure (“Structure”). The innovative solutions we develop in cooperation with our partners expand our networks (“Relationships”). And our (“Employees”) benefit from our commitment to a diverse workforce.

Our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

Information and communication technology (ICT img) has the potential to help achieve the SDGs. This was the result of a study conducted in July 2017 by the International Telecommunication Union, a special agency of the United Nations. When used correctly, ICT can accelerate innovation and change, thereby promoting sustainable development.

Our network infrastructure offers the technological foundation for diverse and innovative solutions for solving social and ecological challenges– and hence also for achieving many SDGs. That’s why we believe we can make the biggest impact on SDG 9: “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.”

The following overview illustrates our contribution to the SDGs and refers to specific examples from the current CR report.

As a responsible employer (SDG 8), we greatly value employee participation and a working environment that is fair and respectful; we encourage diversity and support our employees on their journey toward the digital working world. Furthermore, many of our products, services and activities make a concrete contribution to achieving additional SDGs. Our e-health services, for example, help improve medical care (SDG 3). Our broadband expansion is giving many people access to digital educational media (SDG 4) and is actively involving us in the construction and expansion of high-quality infrastructure and promotion of innovation (SDG 9). Many European cities are able to use our Smart City solutions to reduce traffic, control their street lighting in a needs-based and energy-efficient manner and increase security (SDG 11). Our customers can use our Smart Home solutions to more effectively monitor, control and reduce their energy consumption. With these and other products and solutions, we can make an especially significant contribution to climate protection (SDG 13). Our cloud solutions make it possible to reduce energy consumption and conserve other resources as well (SDG 12, 13). As part of our new initiative “Stop Wasting – Start Caring”, we are reducing our resource consumption in all areas of the company. One aspect we emphasize is avoiding plastic waste (SDG 12, 14).

Deutsche Telekom’s value contributions






Finance Structure Relationships Employees Environment

We have highlighted our contribution to the SDGs in our annual report: We indicate passages in our management report that are relevant for the SDGs with a corresponding icon. We also use this icon in our CR report. Beginning this year, we have also indicated in both publications where our efforts for the SDGs are having a positive impact on the continued development of Deutsche Telekom. We have structured these value contributions into the categories Finance, Structure, Relationships, Employees and Environment, and indicated them with corresponding icons in the management report and CR report.

Achieving more together: Cooperation for sustainable development
We cannot overcome global challenges alone. That is why we are committed to many initiatives, both within our own industry and in other sectors. The following institutions have started committees, working groups and initiatives with direct SDG relevance and in which we are involved: UN Global Compact, GSMA (an association representing the interests of mobile operators worldwide), GeSI img (Global e-Sustainability Initiative img) and econsense.

Silke Thomas

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Allocating the Sustainable Development Goals to our benchmarks

Our commitment to sustainability also includes making a positive contribution to achieving the SDGs. In particular, we contribute to goals number 3: Good health and well-being, 4: Quality education, 5: Gender equality, 8: Decent work and economic growth, 9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure, 11: Sustainable cities and communities, 12: Responsible consumption and production and 13: Climate action. We have been recording environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance indicators for many years as part of our CR controlling system. The following overview shows that our system of performance indicators purposely covers those SDGs that are relevant for our business activities. In addition to their relevance for control activities, the KPIs thereby make our positive contributions to SDGs internally and externally transparent. We continuously develop SDG relevance in our control and monitoring activities.

We look at more than just the SDGs as we develop how we deal with our benchmarks. In 2018, we launched a comprehensive impact measurement project (LINK; tbd wohin). It measures the positive and negative impacts of our business activity on the environment and society. As an important global frame of reference, the SDGs also play a role in this impact measurement.

SDG Benchmark

With our infrastructure, our products and services, we make an indirect contribution to achieving SDG 1.

Product innovations on maintaining biodiversity and improving agriculture through NB IoT (NarrowBand Internet of Things).

 Based on our business activities, number 6 is not among the priority SDGs.

As part of the “Stop Wasting – Start Caring!” initiative, we are accepting our responsibility to avoid the use of, replace, reduce or properly recycle plastic and packaging in all stages of our business activity.

Product innovations on maintaining biodiversity and improving agriculture through NB IoT (NarrowBand Internet of Things).