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  • 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report

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.

Physical risks
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.

Financial risks
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.