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Act responsibly. Enable sustainability.

Business activities and organization

You can find a description of our business activities on our website and detailed information about our business development in the 2019 annual report.

Our Group is broken down into five operating segments:

The organizational structure at a glance

We believe that commercial, social, and ecological aspects can complement each other and we aim to make a positive contribution to sustainable development throughout our entire value chain.

Simplified illustration of Deutsche Telekom’s supply chain

Current organizational structure in CR

Overall responsibility for CR lies with our Board of Management; it discusses and decides on important CR matters. The Board Member for Human Resources and Legal Affairs, Labor Director Officer decides which CR matters are to be classed as important and represents them on the Board of Management. The Group Corporate Responsibility (GCR) unit reports to the Human Resources and Legal Affairs Board department. It develops Group-wide policies and guidelines with the goal of advancing the corporate culture with a focus on sustainable innovation and social responsibility.
In order to always ensure direct feedback between CR and our core business, the CR Board advises GCR. The board is made up of the heads of the main Group units.

The CR managers from the different business units and national companies are responsible for implementing our CR strategy. They collaborate within the international CR Manager Network, where they coordinate their activities and share best practices.

Our CR Policy img provides the formal, mandatory framework for the sustainability management activities at all Group units. The CR Policy has also been successfully introduced in a majority of European national companies since 2017.

Melanie Kubin

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Melanie Kubin-Hardewig

CR controlling – using IT to measure and manage sustainability

We use an IT-based data collection system to record environmental, social, and governance (ESG img) data. It supports standardized, mandatory processes at the Group and national levels and enables Group-wide benchmarks.

We use this data primarily to calculate relevant indicators and our ESG KPIs, with which we measure and control our CR performance throughout the Group. Our CR controlling ensures that ESG data and KPIs are both recorded transparently in good time and can be reported in the “Facts & figures” section and interactive KPI tool of this CR report.

We are continuously improving our system for performance indicators on the basis of internal and external requirements. For example, we extended our reporting on resource protection in 2019 so we can report on the many successes in our “We care for our planet” program and in the “Green Pioneers” employee community.  

Silke Thomas

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Our management tools – the ESG key performance indicators

ESG img KPIs (key performance indicators) are used as management tools for our CR involvement. Since they are highly relevant, we also report them in the combined non-financial statement of our annual report.

The national companies also record CR data and thus assist in the collection of Group-wide ESG KPIs. These national companies represent 99 percent of the Group’s net revenue.

For the purpose of integrated financial and sustainability reporting, the KPIs map all six types of capital (see diagram).

img img
Silke Thomas

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Silke Thomas

Development of our ESG KPIs

Positive development Positive development
Insignificant change Insignificant change
Negative development Negative development

Development of our ESG KPIs without a specific goal Development of our ESG KPIs without a specific goal

Positive development Insignificant change Negative development Development of our ESG KPIs in relation to set targets



Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) ESG KPI (% T-Shares, held by SRI investors)


Sustainable Procurement ESG KPI (% of procurement volume reviewed according to sustainability criteria)


Sustainability Revenue Quota ESG KPI (% of revenue with products and services that offer sustainability benefits)




Energy Intensity ESG KPI (Energie consumption in MWh*1000 / total IP data volume in terabytes)

167 a)
194 a)
163 a)
120 a)

Carbon Intensity ESG KPI (CO2 emissions in t CO2e*1000 / total IP data volume in terabytes)

70 a)
79 a)
41 a)
23 a)

Renewable Energy ESG KPI (share of renewable energy in total electricity consumption)


ESG KPI „PUE“ (Power Usage Effectiveness)


Enablement Faktor ESG KPI (The ratio of CO2 savings facilitated by the use of our products and services, to the CO2 emissions from our own business activities (Scope 1-3))

1.33 b)
1.71 b)
1.85 b)
2.44 b)

Take Back Mobile Devices ESG KPI (mobile devices collected in thousands/mobile devices sold in millions)

a) from 2017, value refers to DT Group Europe + T-Mobile US (in 2016 only DT Group EU)
b) the value refers to the DT Group in Germany.



Community Investment ESG KPI (Deutsche Telekom's involvement in the community either financially, in-kind or by time contribution of its employees measured in millions of €)


Beneficiaries ESG KPI (number of people involved in community activities and in target group that benefited from community activities in millions)


Media Literacy ESG KPI (% of people reached through programs addressing media literacy)


Employee identification with CR commitment ESG KPI (Employee identification with Deutsche Telekom's CR commitment in %, Basis: Survey 2019)

77 c)
c)This value refers to the 2019 employee survey. The next survey is scheduled for 2021.
benchmarking tool

Through our interactive benchmarking tool, important facts and figures of our national companies can be analysed and compared.

CR strategy

Globalization, global population growth, and the ever wider use of digital technologies are putting a strain on available resources and require a sustainable, more environmentally friendly approach to business as well as socially responsible conduct. We are tackling these challenges head on. Sustainability and social responsibility have played a key role in our corporate activities for many years. In 2019, we modified our Group strategy to explicitly make the concept of “acting responsibly” a core element. To meet our responsibility toward society, we are consistently organizing our core business processes on a sustainable footing.

Corporate strategy: Leading European Telco

You can find additional information on our Group strategy in the 2019 annual report.

Our CR mission

Our CR strategy is derived from the Group strategy and revolves around our three CR action areas and six focus topics.

Our CR action areas and focal topics

Our CR strategy also forms the framework for the sustainability activities of our national companies. An integrated governance structure helps us to closely interlink strategic management and operational implementation of our CR strategy throughout the Group. Overall responsibility for sustainability lies with the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management.

Melanie Kubin

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Melanie Kubin-Hardewig

2019 CR program – targets, activities, and deadlines

The CR program is where we define targets and report on progress regarding Group-wide implementation in the relevant processes of our core business. In 2019 we restructured our CR program in accordance to the four pillars of our Management & facts segment, Strategy, Economy, Environment and Social.

Risk and opportunity management

For us, comprehensive risk and opportunity management also means considering the opportunities and risks arising from ecological or social aspects or from the management of our company (environment, social, and governance – ESG img). We actively and systematically involve relevant stakeholders in order to identify which current and potential ESG risks and opportunities are important for Deutsche Telekom. We also participate in a number of working groups and committees. We continuously track ESG issues and systematically ascertain our stakeholders’ positions on these matters. 

Important tools we use for this purpose are: 

  • Fortnightly social media monitoring, which evaluates information appearing on social media that is relevant to us 
  • Our involvement in working groups and committees, numerous relevant national and international business associations, and social organizations (GeSI, Federation of German Industries, BITKOM, econsense, and the German National Association of Senior Citizen's Organizations, for example)
  • Stakeholder dialog formats organized by us 
  • Our various publications, such as the press review and newsletters
  • Our internal compliance evaluation, which also examines the most important sustainability risks

In the section risk and opportunity management our annual report also addresses the following issues, which we have identified as key aspects of our sustainability management:

We are currently investigating 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 img). This should build on the existing approaches for strategy, controlling, and risk management. Further information on the TCFD is available here.

Values and Guiding Principles

Corporate responsibility (CR) is based on shared values. To solidify our value-based corporate culture, we convey the basic values of our company to all employees through binding Guiding Principles. We use various measures such as the annual “Guiding Principles Day” to remind employees of these values again and again, entrenching them in our everyday work. And the measures have been successful. According to our pulse survey in November 2019, 74 percent of our employees believe that the Guiding Principles are applied to our everyday work.

Our Code of Conduct and the Code of Human Rights & Social Principles are other tools we use to ensure that our Group and our partners demonstrate corporate responsibility in their conduct. Our compliance management system, which guarantees that our business activities are in compliance with laws and regulations, is also based on these documents. They also entrench ethical standards and, in particular, human rights within the Group.

Certified health, safety and environmental management system: almost all workplaces covered

We want to make sustainability a component of all our business processes and of our employees’ everyday lives. Our integrated health, safety and environmental (HSE img) management system assists with this at the Group level.

The management system helps us to systematically plan, implement and improve our HSE processes. This promotes the health of our employees and has a positive effect on their performance. It is also beneficial when it comes to bidding on new projects, since an increasing number of potential customers now require their suppliers to provide HSE certificates.

Our Group-level HSE management system is covered by an umbrella certificate based on the international standards ISO 45001(formerly OHSAS 18001 img) for occupational health and safety and ISO 14001 for environmental management. For some units, it also covers international standard ISO 9001 for quality management.

Some of the national companies are not covered by an umbrella certificate because they have their own certifications which are, in part, even more comprehensive. This is the case in Greece, for example. This national company has an integrated management system, which in addition to the above-mentioned standards, also covers the international standards ISO 50001 for energy management and ISO 27001 for data security.

Through our compliance with legal regulations, we already meet the essential requirements for ISO 45001 certification in Germany. 100 percent of our employees in Germany are employed at an ISO 14001- and ISO 45001-certified workplace. Internationally, 98 percent of employees are employed at an ISO 14001- and ISO 45001-certified workplace.

Our goal was to cover all companies that have more than 50 employees by the end of 2018. We were not able to meet this target. However, we further expanded coverage in 2019: with certification of T-Systems Polska and T-Systems Schweiz according to ISO 45001 and 14001 and certification of T-Systems Iberia according to ISO 45001.