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  • 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report

Our network is becoming green

By 2021, we are set to have fully converted 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. By then, browsing on the Deutsche Telekom network will no longer generate any CO2 emissions from our side of the equation.

100 percent green energy

By 2021 we will have converted our entire network to consume electricity only coming from renewable sources.

We’re making a big commitment

But that is not all we have taken on: by 2021 we intend to cover our entire energy consumption from renewable sources. This commitment applies not just to electricity, but also to such fuels as gas and oil, which we need, for example, to run our buildings and data centers. Our overriding goal is to reduce all of Deutsche Telekom's CO2 emissions by 90 percent by 2030 as compared to 2017. This also includes emissions produced through the use of gas and oil, for instance.

And that’s not all – in September 2019, we joined an international industry initiative which aims to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the mobile communications industry to “net zero” by 2050 at the latest. This makes the mobile communications sector one of the first in the world to set itself the goal of having a zero carbon footprint.

A 100 percent green network
– how is that possible?

We intend to operate our entire network using 100 percent green electricity by 2021. That seems all very easy, but it presents serious challenges to a large international corporation like Deutsche Telekom – every country in which we operate provides different legal frameworks and options for purchasing green electricity. In the USA, for example, we have concluded long-term contracts with wind and solar producers. These contracts run over a time period of 12 to 15 years. That gives the power producers security of investment. Because of our contracts two wind farms have been constructed in the US - until 2021 one more wind farm and four solar farms will follow. That is how we are making a significant contribution to the energy transition. We are also aiming to conclude such long-term electricity purchase agreements in other countries. We are currently drawing up a guide for the entire Deutsche Telekom Group, the basic purpose of which is to support our various national companies in choosing the ideal solution for their individual needs by providing information on the various options they have available for the purchase of green electricity.

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80 percent of our CO2 emissions are not created directly by ourselves, but through the manufacture and usage of our products.


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THE SUPPLIER WHISPERER

How Antonio Veloso fights for more ecological and sustainable business practices among our suppliers. Find out more here

Reducing our
entire
footprint

Did you know that more than 80 percent of Deutsche Telekom's CO2 footprint is not emitted by us at all? By far the largest share of CO2 emissions is generated elsewhere: in the manufacture of our products by our suppliers (i.e. in the “upstream value chain”) and by our customers when they use our products (in the “downstream value chain”). 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). To achieve this goal, we are working together with the suppliers who manufacture all those smartphones, network equipment, etc., on our behalf. We work together to create schedules for achieving energy savings and reduced CO2 emissions in manufacturing processes. On top of this, we are working to ensure that the devices themselves become more efficient, so that our customers consume less energy when using their devices.

We have developed the “we care” label to allow customers going forward to see the products and solutions in our portfolio that contribute to climate protection. The “we care" label will be introduced progressively to identify products, services, projects, actions and initiatives that make a substantial contribution to climate protection, to resource conservation or to resolving social challenges. A brief description provided underneath the symbol will answer specific questions on a product’s benefits in terms of sustainability, including such topics as whether it contains recycled material, whether the packaging is biodegradable or whether the product provides benefits in terms of energy efficiency.
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Focus on
efficiency

The very best way of reducing CO2 emissions is by reducing energy consumption. That is why energy efficiency constitutes an important aspect of our climate protection strategy. We are updating all our networks and using energy-efficient technologies for lighting, monitoring and cooling systems at our data centers. One good example of our approach is provided by our data center at Biere near Magdeburg, which is not only one of the largest centers in Europe, but also one of the most efficient in the world. Its innovative cooling concept alone cuts its total energy requirements by about one third relative to comparable data centers. Our data center has been awarded the Gold LEED certification (LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for its innovative energy and environmental design.

30000

servers can be accommodated at our data center in Biere. It is one of the most energy-efficient data centers in the world.

Scientifically
tested and
approved

Can companies like Deutsche Telekom make a really effective contribution to mitigating climate change by implementing strict climate targets? It was precisely this question that the Science Based Targets initiative set out to answer. Scientists in the body test whether the climate targets of companies correspond to the latest research – as well as whether they are really well designed to achieve the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement: to limit worldwide warming to below 2 degrees as compared against pre-industrial times. The Science Based Targets initiative has reviewed our climate targets and confirmed that Deutsche Telekom is one of the first three DAX-listed companies to support the Paris 2-degree target.

We make sure
our progress is
measurable

The actions we are taking on climate protection are aimed to help us achieve our goals. We measure whether we are getting there or not via two key indicators: by recording our energy consumption and our CO2 footprint. We then compare those numbers against the volume of data flowing through our networks. In this way, we establish a direct link between our climate protection actions and the usage of our networks. This allows us to identify where we need to make tweaks to ensure that we reach our targets.

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You can find more detailed information on our two key indicators under Energy and CO2-emissions