One of our goals is to reduce the negative environmental impact of our business activities. One important milestone is our climate target. By the year 2020, we are planning to reduce the absolute amount of CO2 emissions we produce by 20 percent compared to the base year 2008 (excluding T-Mobile US). We expect to achieve this goal. In 2018, we have also developed a new climate target for the period after 2020.
Our integrated climate strategy is part of our Corporate Responsibility strategy, which we have aligned with our Group strategy. This is how we ensure that climate protection measures are closely linked with our core business. We have defined objectives and/or key performance indicators for each of the four aspects of our climate strategy (“Emissions from the value chain”, “Renewable energy”, “Energy efficiency”, and “Positive social effects (Enablement)”).
The four pillars of our integrated climate strategy
We record all direct and indirect emissions using the globally recognized “Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol”. By 2030, we aim to reduce our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 90 percent compared to the base year 2017. Since most of our emissions are caused by the use of electricity, our primary focus is to increase the share of renewable energies in the electricity mix. By 2021, we will fully convert our entire Deutsche Telekom network, across the entire gamut from mobile telecommunications to the high-speed DSL network, to use electricity entirely from renewable sources. We will also reduce emissions produced through the use of gas and oil, for instance. In addition, we will improve efficiency in areas with particularly high energy consumption, especially in our networks and data centers. This has already allowed us to moderately reduce our emissions over the past few years (excluding T-Mobile US) – despite rapidly growing data volumes and the necessary network build-out.
Indirect emissions from the upstream and downstream value chain (Scope 3 emissions ) make up the largest share of our total emissions. We have also set ourselves a target for achieving a reduction in such emissions: by 2030, we aim to reduce all emissions resulting from the manufacture and use of Deutsche Telekom products by 25 percent per customer (using 2017 as our base year).
In September 2019, as part of an international industry initiative, we also committed to reducing our CO2 emissions to "net zero" by 2050 at the latest.
By the year 2020, we are planning to reduce the absolute amount of CO2 emissions we produce by 20 percent compared to the base year 2008 (excluding T-Mobile US). We expect to achieve this goal. In 2018, we have also developed a new climate target for the period after 2020.
We are researching and evaluating various options to increase our proportion of green energy. Possibilities include purchasing energy certificates from renewable sources, but also, where possible, using cogeneration (“CHP”) plants to generate our own renewable energy. Several of our national companies sourced 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources in 2019: Greece, Croatia, the Netherlands, Austria, and Hungary. When purchasing electricity, we take a variety of sustainability factors into consideration on a Group-wide level. These include, for instance, the average emission factor of the electricity mix (i.e., the amount of emissions for every kilowatt hour of electricity used) and the proportion of renewable energy. These parameters help us make our energy mix more transparent and increase the share of energy obtained from renewable sources at our company. We will shift our entire electricity consumption to 100 percent renewable energy by 2021.
Since the operation of our network infrastructure calls for a considerable amount of energy, we are investing in modernization and energy-efficient technology. For instance, we are migrating our network infrastructure to IP2 emissions. In order to measure our progress, we use key performance indicators (KPIs) Energy Intensity and Carbon Intensity.technology, which is not only more powerful, but also consumes less electricity than existing technologies. In addition, we are working to process data traffic from no more than a few, particularly efficient data centers. Higher energy efficiency also always brings a reduction in CO
Many of our products and services provide sustainability advantages. They can help reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, improve healthcare, and make logistics more efficient. In addition to our own carbon footprint, we also calculate the positive CO2 effects facilitated for our customers through using our products and solutions. We assess both variables in relation to the “Enablement Factor” ESG KPI . This helps us evaluate our overall performance in relation to climate protection.
Concepts and strategies for climate protection are also developed at our national companies. These can be viewed in the country profiles.
Climate protection from 2020 onward – new climate goal and revised climate protection strategy
In 2018, we devised a new Group-wide climate goal for the period beyond 2020, our current target year. This was adopted by our Board of Management at the beginning of 2019.
The goal was developed on the basis of the “Science Based Targets Initiative” (SBTi), which officially confirmed in May 2019 that we are the third DAX-listed company to contribute toward implementing the Paris Climate Agreement through our climate protection targets. We have thus followed our national companies in the United States and Hungary, whose targets were already endorsed by SBTi in 2018 and at the start of 2019, respectively.
- We have decided to switch to using 100 percent renewable energy for our entire power consumption by 2021 (Scope 2). As things currently stand, we already derive 64 percent from renewable sources. In light of growing data traffic and the network build-out, we expect energy consumption to continue to rise over the coming years. To fulfill the requirements laid down by the Science Based Targets initiative, however, we are taking measures to boost efficiency and are using electricity generated by renewable power sources.
- We aim to reduce our total emissions by 90 percent (Scope 1 + 2), including emissions from the use of gas and oil, by 2030.
- 80 percent of our CO2 footprint arises from the production and use of our products. By 2030, we aim to reduce these emissions by 25 percent per customer in the main categories (emissions from the purchase of goods, services and capital goods, and emissions from the use of our products by our customers) (Scope 3). To achieve this, we have conducted initial workshops together with our key suppliers to develop measures and agreements for lowering CO2 emissions.
The main difference between the new climate goal and the previous one is that the former takes into account emissions produced by T-Mobile US and arising from the upstream and downstream elements of the value-added chain (Scope 3 emissions ).
In September 2019 we also joined an international industry initiative. Under this initiative we undertake to reduce our CO2 emissions (Scope 1 and 2) to “net zero” by 2050 at the latest and thus to make our business operations completely climate neutral.
Our approach to measuring our progress with regard to climate protection
We calculate our emissions for our climate target along the entire value chain according to the market-based method of the internationally recognized Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. We have broken down all our CO2 emissions in detail here.
We ensure transparency for our stakeholders regarding the progress in implementing our climate strategy by using a number of key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure our contribution to climate protection. The Carbon Intensity and Energy Intensity KPIs are used to analyze the relationship between our carbon emissions or energy use and the transported data volume. Using data volume as a reference parameter makes it possible to create a direct link to the performance of our networks. The Enablement Factor, PUE, and Renewable Energy KPIs also improve the management and transparency of climate protection issues.
Indirect emissions along our value chain, or Scope 3 emissions , make up the majority of our total emissions. Recording these emissions helps us take targeted measures at both company and product level.
Our climate goal, adopted in 2013, to reduce the Group’s CO2 emissions by 20 percent (compared to 2008, excluding T-Mobile US) by 2020 is still in place. In all, 40 business units in 29 countries have undertaken to work toward this climate goal.
GCR reports to the Board of Management in detail on the status of target achievement each year. We have further reduced our emissions over the last few years, bringing us to the level forecast for 2019. We expect to achieve our goal.
Alignment with the recommendations of the TCFD
The United Nations Climate Change Conference hosted in Paris in 2015 saw the launch of the “Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures” (TCFD), which sets out to develop voluntary, consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures. In 2017, the TCFD published specific recommendations for putting these disclosures into practice, which companies can use as a guideline to inform investors, lenders, insurers, and other interest groups about the risks climate change presents for their business model.
Deutsche Telekom welcomes the aims behind the TCFD. Among the risks that climate change harbors, meteorological extremes are one we are already experiencing. This is having a direct effect on our stakeholders, e.g., our customers, suppliers, and employees. The risk is assessed in relation to the continuation of operations as part of risk management and is managed at an operational level in the business units. In addition, we evaluate internally how reporting on climate-related financial risks and opportunities can be aligned with the recommendations of the “Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures” (TCFD). This should build on the existing approaches for strategy, controlling, and risk management.
|a) Describe the Board’s oversight of climate-related risks and opportunities.||
|b) Describe management’s role in assessing and managing climate-related risks and opportunities.||
|a) Describe the climate-related risks and opportunities the organization has identified over the short, medium, and long term.||
|b) Describe the impact of climate-related risks and opportunities on the organization’s businesses, strategy, and financial planning.||
|c) Describe the resilience of the organization’s strategy, taking into consideration different climate-related scenarios, including a 2°C or lower scenario.||
|a) Describe the organization’s processes for identifying and assessing climate-related risks.||
|b) Describe the organization’s processes for managing climate-related risks.||
|c) Describe how processes for identifying, assessing, and managing climate-related risks are integrated into the organization’s overall risk management.||
||Please note: We are currently evaluating internally how reporting on climate-related financial risks and opportunities can be aligned with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). This is to be based on the existing approaches to strategy, controlling and risk management.|
Metrics and Targets
|a) Disclose the metrics used by the organization to assess climate-related risks and opportunities in line with its strategy and risk management process.||
|b) Disclose Scope 1, Scope 2, and if appropriate, Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the related risks.||
|c) Describe the targets used by the organization to manage climate-related risks and opportunities and performance against targets.||
Addressing climate risks
In the context of our integrated climate strategy, we determine potential opportunities and risks that exist for us as well as for our stakeholders.
We report to the Board of Management quarterly on current climate risks within the context of our “Group Risk Report”. You will find more information on risk management in the “Risk and opportunity management” section of our annual report.
Extreme weather conditions as a consequence of climate change will have a negative impact on our business processes and will inevitably lead to incidents or even network outages.
Among the effects of such breakdowns is their massive impact on the management of rescue operations, for example, sometimes even rendering such emergency efforts entirely impossible.
In order to be able to react appropriately in these cases, our internal “Group Policy on Continuity and Situation Management” defines responsibilities, processes, and measures. It also outlines how to handle emergency and crisis situations like floods. In addition, possible consequences of climate change are also taken into account when planning our future business activities. For instance, our network infrastructure is set up to be protected from storm conditions, changes in temperature, and high winds.
Climate change also carries financial risks, whether from levies on CO2 emissions or an increase in energy costs. Our contribution to the mitigation of these risks is that we measure our own energy efficiency and develop measures for improvement. Extreme weather events are another possible cause of infrastructure failure, and this could necessitate additional investment in a more robust infrastructure.
We also help our customers reduce their carbon footprint by providing them with innovative solutions (mitigation). Possible examples include innovative projects in the area of sustainable urban development and mobility, and real-time solutions for agriculture. These do not only help reduce emissions, but also optimize the use of fertilizer, seed, and machinery. Increasing yields can help us achieve the second sustainable development goal (SDG) of “zero hunger”. On top of that, we also help our customers deal with the adverse effects of climate change (adaptation). In the event of an imminent catastrophe, our infrastructure can be used, for example, to send alerts via early warning apps.