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  • 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report

We simply need to adopt a more sustainable manner of thinking in everything we do.

Timotheus Höttges, CEO Deutsche Telekom

What we’re doing
to conserve

We want to improve the responsible use of resources in all stages of our value chain, both within our company and with our suppliers and customers. We have already been working with our suppliers for years on finding ways and opportunities to make ICT products as resource-efficient as possible. By reducing packaging, we reduce waste for our customers. We are also forerunners when it comes to collecting used devices and having our fixed-line products certified with the Blue Angel environmental label. In addition to this, we are notably promoting resource conservation by virtualizing our products. And thanks to our network, it’s easier to make use of “sharing economy” offerings that contribute to resource conservation by dispensing with bought goods. With our „Stop Wasting – Start Caring!“ initiative, we gave even more emphasis to resource conservation at our company in 2018.

sdg 12

Saving our natural resources

The strategy of avoiding waste is our contribution to the twelfth United Nations SDG, to save our natural resources.

We’re helping to reduce the
mountains of waste.


volunteer Green Pioneers are committed to saving resources at the company.

„Stop Wasting
– Start Caring!“

The aim of our “Stop Wasting –Start Caring!” initiative is to use and recycle resources as efficiently as possible in line with the concept of a circular economy – for example, by reducing the amount of plastic, paper, and packaging we use even further and avoiding it wherever possible. In September 2018, Tim Höttges called on all employees to join in the initiative in their own work environment. Existing and new innovative measures and programs will be presented in the You and Me (YAM) internal social network so that we can learn from and inspire one another. Many new ideas have already been developed and initial measures implemented in connection with the initiative: In one unit, quick guides for customers will now only be printed on demand for individual orders, eliminating preproduction and storage. Around 20 dedicated colleagues have banded together in the “Stop Wasting - Start Caring!” core team. In keeping with its name, the team examines core processes at the company: from product design to device management, always looking for ways to leverage greater resource conservation.

In January 2019, we launched the “Green Pioneers” movement. Some 80 employees from 25 cities have signed up and taken on the role of sustainability ambassador. On their own initiative they develop green ideas for greater sustainability at Deutsche Telekom: from motion detectors in restrooms to lower electricity costs for lighting, or the “flower meadow instead of golfing green” idea to attract more insects and birds at Deutsche Telekom locations, to the Magenta ride-sharing agency for employees. More Green Pioneers will strengthen the movement during this year.

A cloud that conserves resources

With cloud computing, our customers no longer need to be bothered with their own servers and storage media. Cloud computing is more resource and energy-efficient than running your own infrastructure outside of the cloud. Our data centers require up to 80 percent less energy thanks to more effective capacity utilization and less hardware.

We save up to 95 percent filling material through
custom-fit boxes for our products.

Less is more

One example of resource conservation is the new Speedport PRO router. Its inner workings consist of recycled plastic. To protect it during transport, we use PaperFoam – a material made of industrial starch, cellulose fibers and water that can be disposed of with paper waste or composted. By reducing packaging, we also reduce waste for our customers. Since 2017 we have been using two new packaging machines that produce custom-fit boxes for our products. This also results in up to 95 percent less filling material.


T-Mobile USA has been able to resell 22.9 million electronic devices since 2008.

Dedicated to
a longer
life for devices

Recycling and reuse of devices plays an important role for us – the same is true for our national companies. One example is the OTE Group: It is one of the first companies in Greece to recondition modems and TV decoders. Returned devices are given a comprehensive check, repaired and returned to use. If repair is not possible, the equipment goes to licensed disposal companies where it is recycled in a professional and environmentally friendly manner. In 2018, the Group collected more than 190,000 devices and more than 170,000 of them could be reconditioned for use.

In the USA, mobile customers can turn in their electronic devices to T-Mobile USA to have them recycled – whether a cellphone, battery, accessory, tablet or laptop, and regardless of brand and model. These devices are also reconditioned to be returned to use or, if that's not possible, they are recycled. Since 2008, more than 22.9 million devices have been resold. In 2018 alone, T-Mobile USA collected almost 4 million used cellphones.

Closing the circle

Resources used must be fully returned to the production process after the product’s or good’s lifecycle has ended. We have to stop being a throwaway society and become a circular economy. To learn about how we are promoting the circular economy, click here.