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Act responsibly. Enable sustainability.

About this report

“Act responsibly. Enable sustainability.” is the title of our 2019 CR Report. We chose this title to emphasize our commitment to sustainable activity along the entire value chain and to highlight the potential that our products and services hold when it comes to addressing environmental, economic, and social challenges. 

Deutsche Telekom has been involved in CR reporting for more than 20 years. Every year, in addition to our CR Report, we publish a non-financial statement as part of our Annual Report. To identify the key reporting topics for our company and stakeholders, we have regularly carried out a comprehensive materiality process. Our reporting is supplemented by updates in the Corporate Responsibility section of our website and by our We Care magazine.

New structure

In 2019, we restructured our CR Report to satisfy the requirements of modern-day CR reporting: 

  • On our homepage, we contribute to societal discourse by tapping into the latest societal debates and examining them from different perspectives in descriptive stories. This content is also available in simplified language. In addition, we keep users on our homepage up to date about important events and activities in short news articles.
  • Our new themed pages appeal to a wide readership, explaining our CR topics in clear, easy-to-understand language and taking readers through the four societal trends of “Good stewardship”, “New ways of working”, “Digital life”, and “Green future.” 
  • Users can find detailed information in the “Management & facts” section, in which we fulfill the requirements for conventional accountability reporting. Across the four pillars of Strategy, Business, Environment, and Social, we provide updates about the advances we have made in the reporting year by harnessing Deutsche Telekom’s sustainability management structure. By breaking these pillars down into further subcategories, we are able to address topics in specific detail. With regard to key topics, “Our approach” additionally explains our management system. Our key performance indicators (KPIs) are set out in transparent detail. In our interactive KPI img tool, users can also pick and choose indicators to create a customized compilation. Our “Management & facts” section is particularly targeted at CR experts and the capital market.
  • The majority of our national companies whose CR activities are described in this report have their own profile page. The profile pages can be found under the “National companies” menu option. Some of our national companies also provide information about their CR efforts on their internet portals and in their own publications. 
  • The report is supplemented by the “CR facts” format, which individual Deutsche Telekom departments use to report directly on their sustainability-related projects and measures. Readers can directly access the “CR facts” section at any time by clicking the footer in the report.  
  • As in previous years, a download area, search and dialog functions, and an interactive KPI tool make it even easier to navigate the report. What’s more, the info cart lets readers select different content and create a customized PDF file..

Scope, reporting period, and target groups

The 2019 CR Report is a Group report that includes many national companies in which Deutsche Telekom holds a majority stake. It also follows up on the 2018 CR Report.

All quantitative data, key performance indicators, and descriptions of key events and activities in the section detailing our progress under “Management & facts” refer to the 2019 year. Any deviations are marked accordingly. 

Our themed pages are designed to cover the latest social developments, which is why they may be updated and extended throughout the year if necessary.

The current report is specifically addressed to Deutsche Telekom stakeholders. These include analysts and investors, CR ranking and rating agencies, and NGOs as well as customers, employees, business partners, and representatives from the worlds of business, science, research, education, and politics.

Implementation of high international reporting standards

Deutsche Telekom’s 2019 CR Report complies with the internationally recognized guidelines (GRI Standards) of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). It also serves as a Communication on Progress (CoP) from Deutsche Telekom as part of the United Nations Global Compact. Deutsche Telekom also issues an annual, detailed Declaration of Conformity with the German Sustainability Code

Independent assurance report

Independent Practitioner’s Report on a Limited Assurance Engagement on Sustainability Information*

To Deutsche Telekom AG, Bonn
We have performed a limited assurance engagement on the disclosures denoted with   in the Corporate Responsibility Report of Deutsche Telekom AG, Bonn (hereinafter: “the Company”), for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2019 (hereinafter: “Report”). Our engagement in this context relates solely to the disclosures denoted with the symbol  .

Responsibilities of the Executive Directors
The executive directors of the Company are responsible for the preparation of the Report in accordance with the principles stated in the Sustainability Reporting Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (hereinafter: “GRI-Criteria”) and for the selection of the disclosures to be evaluated.

This responsibility of Company’s executive directors includes the selection and application of appropriate methods of sustainability reporting as well as making assumptions and estimates related to individual sustainability disclosures, which are reasonable in the circumstances. Furthermore, the executive directors are responsible for such internal control as they have considered necessary to enable the preparation of a Report that is free from material misstatement whether due to fraud or error.

Independence and Quality Control of the Audit img Firm
We have complied with the German professional provisions regarding independence as well as other ethical requirements.

Our audit firm applies the national legal requirements and professional standards – in particular the Professional Code for German Public Auditors and German Chartered Auditors (“Berufssatzung für Wirtschaftsprüfer und vereidigte Buchprüfer“: “BS WP/vBP”) as well as the Standard on Quality Control 1 published by the Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer (Institute of Public Auditors in Germany; IDW): Requirements to quality control for audit firms (IDW Qualitätssicherungsstandard 1: Anforderungen an die Qualitätssicherung in der Wirtschaftsprüferpraxis - IDW QS 1) – and accordingly maintains a comprehensive system of quality control including documented policies and procedures regarding compliance with ethical requirements, professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory  equirements.

Practitioner´s Responsibility
Our responsibility is to express a limited assurance conclusion on the disclosures denoted with   in the Report based on the assurance engagement we have performed.

Within the scope of our engagement we did not perform an audit on external sources of information or expert opinions, referred to in the Report.

We conducted our assurance engagement in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised): Assurance Engagements other than Audits img or Reviews of Historical Financial Information, issued by the IAASB. This Standard requires that we plan and perform the assurance engagement to allow us to conclude with limited assurance that nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the disclosures denoted with   in the Company’s Report for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2019 has not been prepared, in all material aspects, in accordance with the relevant GRI-Criteria. This does not mean that a separate conclusion is expressed on each disclosure so denoted.

In a limited assurance engagement, the assurance procedures are less in extent than for a reasonable assurance engagement and therefore a substantially lower level of assurance is obtained. The assurance procedures selected depend on the practitioner’s judgment.

Within the scope of our assurance engagement, we performed amongst others the following assurance procedures and further activities:

  • Obtaining an understanding of the structure of the sustainability organization and of the stakeholder engagement
  • Inquiries of personnel involved in the preparation of the Report regarding the preparation process, the internal control system relating to this process and selected disclosures in the Report
  • Identification of the likely risks of material misstatement of the Report under consideration of the GRI-Criteria
  • Analytical evaluation of selected disclosures in the Report
  • Comparison of selected disclosures with corresponding data in the consolidated financial statements and in the group management report
  • Evaluation of the presentation of the selected disclosures regarding sustainability performance

Assurance Conclusion
Based on the assurance procedures performed and assurance evidence obtained, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the disclosures denoted with   in the Company’s Report for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2019 have not been prepared, in all material aspects, in accordance with the relevant GRI-Criteria.

Intended Use of the Assurance Report
We issue this report on the basis of the engagement agreed with the Company. The assurance engagement has been performed for purposes of the Company and the report is solely intended to inform the Company as to the results of the assurance engagement. The report is not intended to provide third parties with support in making (financial) decisions. Our responsibility lies solely toward the Company. We do not assume any responsibility towards third parties.

Munich, 26 March 2020

PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH

Hendrik Fink                                                                        ppa. Juliane von Clausbruch
(German Public Auditor)

* PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH has performed a limited assurance engagement on the German version of the Corporate Responsibility Report and issued an independent assurance report in German language, which is authoritative. The following text is a translation of the independent assurance report.