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  • 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report

Supply chain management

Our contribution to the SDGs

Before doing business with us, every supplier must initially register in our supplier pool. Those who do are fully informed of Deutsche Telekom’s fundamental principles and values regarding corporate responsibility and sustainability.

As a rule, we use a three-step approach to minimize risks and encourage our suppliers to improve their practices.

Leading up to the supplier evaluation, we rate our categories as critical or non-critical based on risk and opportunity (classification).

  • Risk categories 2019: 6,208 suppliers (20.6 percent of the procurement volume)
  • Non-risk categories 2019: 32,365 suppliers (79.4 percent of the procurement volume)

We classify products based on risk and opportunity analyses, taking into consideration a wide range of sustainability aspects and risks, including risks of forced/child labor or environmental pollution, as well as opportunities such as the potential to reduce energy consumption.

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Step 1:

  • All suppliers (critical and non-critical categories) are requested to accept our Supplier Code of Conduct.

Step 2:

  • Dedicated sustainability assessments and reviews are conducted – e.g., by EcoVadis and RepRisk and by means of social audits and mobile surveys – for selected suppliers operating in critical categories. You can read about these measures and the number of participating suppliers here.
  • The decision regarding which tool to use is made on a case-by-case basis and depends, among other things, on the sustainability performance and risk classification of the suppliers.
  • We carry out risk monitoring.

Step 3:

Our suppliers’ sustainability performance is optimized in our Supplier Development Program (in close cooperation with selected suppliers), at the JAC Academy, and in regularly held workshops.

Workshops cover topics such as:

  • Emissions management
  • Avoiding hazardous substances and using alternative materials in products
  • Extending the life span
  • Reducing electrical scrap and launching collection programs
  • Designing for greater sustainability and innovation

In 2018, we reached a major milestone when our supplier development program was adopted by the ICT association GeSi and carried forward throughout the industry under the name “Sustainable Development Program.” The advantage of this is that the program is now also used by other companies and their suppliers, meaning it is not just our own supply chain that is becoming more sustainable.