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Our approach to energy-efficient networks

We operate our own fixed-line and mobile networks in Europe and the United States. The majority of our energy requirements come from operating this network infrastructure. To handle growing amounts of data and improve the speed and quality of data transmission, we continuously increase the capacity and performance of our networks. To ensure that our energy consumption grows much less than the amounts of data transmitted, we are pursuing various approaches:

  • We are updating our network infrastructure, e.g., by migrating the fixed network to IP img technology and removing equipment we no longer need, such as 3G img antennas. The 3G network will be switched off on June 30, 2021.
  • We have established specifications and requirements that firmly anchor energy efficiency in the architecture and design phase when selecting new technologies.
  • We use more energy-efficient technology for our networks. This also applies to the lighting, monitoring and, above all, cooling of our plants.
  • The energy management practices of our internal energy service provider Power & Air Solutions have been ISO 50001 img certified since 2013.
  • In 2020, we published an energy guideline applicable throughout the Group. It helps our national companies implement our Climate Protection Strategy 2030. The guideline compiles selected measures and proposed solutions for better energy efficiency, including operational energy-saving functions, optimized energy management, decommissioning of legacy systems, and/or the use of more energy-efficient technologies.

By systematically reducing how much electricity our technology consumes, we were able to save around 137 GWh in Germany in 2020 with our cross-departmental Telekom Technik project. That corresponds to the annual consumption of about 34,000 four-person households.

In 2020, we joined the Solar Impulse Foundation (SIF) 1000+ Solutions Alliance. The aim of the SIF is to identify more than 1,000 solutions that tackle environmental problems – especially as a result of climate change. For Deutsche Telekom, the focus is on developing technologies for the ICT img industry that have a positive impact on reducing CO2 emissions, on energy management and energy efficiency, and on collecting and recycling digital devices. In addition, SIF not only supports the development of solutions lie these; it also certifies them. In 2020, it recognized a solution used by Deutsche Telekom and its partner Cloud&Heat to cool servers using an innovative water cooling system.

Andreas Kröhling

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Andreas Kröhling

Energy intensity ESG KPI Deutsche Telekom Group KPI

Since 2016, we have reported on the Energy Intensity ESG  KPI img. In contrast to the existing Energy Consumption ESG img KPI, the new ESG KPI shows energy consumption in proportion to the transmitted data volumes. Using data volume as a reference parameter makes it possible to create a direct link to the performance of our networks.

Our ambition: decrease KPI

Energy intensity ESG KPI Deutsche Telekom Group

  Data assured by PwC. Data is partly based on estimates, assumptions and projections. 

The ESG KPI figure also takes into account total energy consumption for all energy sources – fuel, gas, district heating and electricity. The data volume is composed of the transmitted IP img data volumes (including Voice over IP, Internet, IP-TV).

a) The value for 2019 was corrected compared to the information published in the previous year's report. The subsequent correction results from late notifications for natural gas consumption at Magyar Telekom Hungary and T-Mobile Austria.

Reporting against standards

 

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 302-3 (Energy)

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

  • The most important key figures for measuring and managing climate-related opportunities and risks

German Sustainability Code

  • Criterion 12 (Resource Management)

Global Compact

  • Principle 7 (Support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges)
  • Principle 8 (Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility)

European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS)

  • E01-01 (Energy consumption, total)

Energy intensity ESG KPI DT Group in Germany KPI

Since 2016, we have reported on the Energy Intensity ESG  KPI img. In contrast to the existing Energy Consumption ESG img KPI, the new ESG KPI places the energy consumption into a ratio with the managed data volumes. Using data volume as a reference parameter makes it possible to create a direct link to the performance of our networks.

Energy intensity ESG KPI DT Group in Germany

   Data assured by PwC. Data is partly based on estimates, assumptions and extrapolations.

The ESG KPI figure also takes into account total energy consumption for all energy sources – fuel, gas, district heating and electricity. The data volume is composed of the transported IP img data volumes (including IP telephone, internet, IP-TV).

   

Reporting against standards

 

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 302-3 (Energy)

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

  • The most important key figures for measuring and managing climate-related opportunities and risks

German Sustainability Code

  • Criterion 12 (Resource Management)

Global Compact

  • Principle 7 (Support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges)
  • Principle 8 (Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility)

European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS)

  • E01-01 (Energy consumption, total)

Total energy consumption KPI

Total energy consumption increased by 38 percent year over year as a result of the successful merger of T-Mobile US and Sprint in 2020. This also shows a clear impact on the ecological data and leads to both an increase in total energy consumption and an increase in the resulting emissions.

Data verified by PwC. Data is partly based on estimates, assumptions and projections.

Reporting against standards

 

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 302-1 (Energy)
  • GRI 307-1 (Environmental Compliance)

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

  • The most important key figures for measuring and managing climate-related opportunities and risks

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

  • Code TC-TL-130a.1 (Environmental Footprint of Operations)

German Sustainability Code

  • Criterion 11 (Usage of Natural Resources)

Global Compact

  • Principle 7 (Support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges)
  • Principle 8 (Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility)

European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS)

  • E01-01 (Energy consumption, total)

Decoupling Power Consumption and CO2 Emissions KPI

Deutsche Telekom was able to reduce the emissions generated by its electricity consumption to zero from 2008 to 2012 by purchasing RECS img certificates (Renewable Energy Certificate System). However, we feel that these certificates have not had as positive an impact on the environment as we had hoped. Demand for certificates was generally limited. As a result, RECS certificates do not make a noticeable contribution to encouraging the expansion of renewable energy sources. That is why we feel it makes more sense both in terms of ecological and economic aspects to invest in reducing our energy consumption and increasing our energy efficiency than to purchase RECS certificates. We are also increasingly purchasing electricity from renewable energies.

Reporting against standards

 

German Sustainability Code

  • Criterion 3 (Objectives)
  • Criterion 11 (Usage of Natural Resources)
  • Criterion 12 (Resource Management)

Global Compact

  • Principle 7 (Support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges)
  • Principle 8 (Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility)

European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS)

  • E16-05 (Alternative energy consumption)

Energy efficiency in buildings

Our contribution to the SDGs

The goal of our energy management in Germany is to minimize the energy requirements of buildings. We continuously monitor consumption values and use this data to identify potential for improving efficiency.

Achieving this goal includes using the following measures:

  • Through innovative location and office concepts, we improve space utilization in our buildings and hence reduce space requirements. We lease space that is no longer needed to avoid vacancies and save energy.
  • To identify anomalies in energy consumption, we use specific indicators such as “kilowatt hours per square meter” to compare similar facilities. In addition, we analyze the course of energy consumption (load profile) of individual buildings.
  • We use communication measures to raise awareness of energy consumption among our employees and motivate them to be energy-conscious at the workplace.
  • We pay attention to energy efficiency during construction and renovation work on a building’s exterior.

The Deutsche Telekom subsidiary Power & Air Solution Management GmbH (PASM img) procures energy for the Deutsche Telekom Group companies in Germany. Its energy management system is certified as per the ISO 50001 international standard. In addition, Deutsche Telekom’s office buildings undergo an energy audit according to DIN standard 16247 every four years.

Heating and hot water
We regularly assess the need for repairs at our properties and conduct profitability analyses to further reduce consumption, concentrating on necessary and economically viable measures, such as:

  • Energy optimization of heating systems (e.g., by replacing old burner technologies)
  • Updating heat generators and related hydraulic components (such as pumps and valves)
  • Using waste heat (e.g., by using heat recovery systems)
  • Using combined heat and power (e.g., from cogeneration plants)
  • Reducing supply losses when heating water (e.g., by switching to local hot water supply)

Electricity
The supply infrastructure accounts for the biggest share of electricity consumption in office buildings (e.g., pumps, ventilation and cooling systems, building automation systems, elevators, and lighting). To reduce electricity consumption, we are focusing on the following measures:

  • Using LED lighting and motion sensors
  • Turning off light sources (advertising pylons) at night
  • Controlling the room temperature of our network infrastructure more accurately
  • Using efficient building technology (e.g., high-efficiency pumps, frequency-dependent ventilation)
  • Optimizing pre-programmed usage profiles (such as through absence profiles)
  • Using efficient building automation systems
  • We are also expanding the infrastructure of e-charging stations in our parking areas to support the use of electric mobility by our employees and reduce CO2 emissions.

IoT and innovations

  • Using sensor technology to actively control indoor temperatures in buildings in real time
  • Using predictive maintenance to maintain and fix elevators
  • Using predictive weather-dependent building technology controls
  • Using thermal and fluidic building simulation to increase building and building technology efficiency

PUE ESG KPI – lower CO2 consumption in data centers KPI

We are reducing the CO2 emissions of our data centers by optimizing energy consumption and improving processes at the individual data center sites. The “Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE img)” metric serves as one indicator for enhancing the energy efficiency in our data centers. We determine this metric using the method recommended by The Green Grid Association, which has to take the total energy consumed by data centers into account – and not only that used to operate the servers. The PUE factor img is calculated using the ratio between the total electrical energy consumed by the data center and the amount of electrical energy consumed by IT.

We reduced the average global PUE factor at our T-Systems data centers from 1.85 to 1.61 between 2011 and 2020. Likewise, for our data centers in Germany, we reduced the PUE from 1.67 in 2008 to 1.5 in 2020; this value is significantly below the average for all data centers in Germany, which is around 1.8. In addition, we operate one of Europe’s most efficient data centers, which has a PUE factor of 1.31. We forecast a further decline in the coming years. This will allow us in part to compensate for increasing energy requirements due to growing volumes of data and new features.

Data centers are becoming more energy-efficient
As part of the DC11@2018 program, we worked until the end of 2018 to combine data center capacity worldwide in FMO (Future Mode of Operation) data centers with the latest IT technology and hence improved energy efficiency. Physical data center consolidation (reducing data center space and sites) was combined with logical consolidation (virtualizing IT infrastructure). Within the scope of the physical consolidation, we decommissioned several old data centers in Germany.

The follow-up program “Data Center Next” was launched in 2019. Our aim is to further homogenize and virtualize the IT landscape, and optimize utilization of the data center infrastructure according to IT requirements. The “Data Center Next” program aims to increase efficiency by means of various measures, including through selective cooling of individual areas and raising the temperature within the allowed range. At the same time, we comply with defined thresholds. We want to achieve efficiency improvements across the board. To that end, we plan to further standardize the IT landscape and simultaneously ensure optimum utilization of data center infrastructure, IT hardware, and the software used on the systems.

A majority of our high-availability, modern internal FMO twin-core data centers were included in the “EU Code of Conduct for Energy Efficiency in Data Centers” (EU CoC) at the end of 2020. We therefore already meet, to a large extent, what is likely to be a future criterion of the new European regulation for sustainable business (EU Taxonomy). At the same time, we are working to further optimize energy efficiency in all data centers.

Data centers are becoming more energy-efficient

Reporting against standards

 

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

  • Code TC-TL-130a.1 (Environmental Footprint of Operations)

Compliance with the EU Code of Conduct for Energy Efficiency in Data Centers

The European Union (EU) introduced the “EU Code of Conduct for Energy Efficiency in Data Centers” in 2008. Its goal is to motivate operators and owners of data centers to reduce energy consumption and hence the negative impact on the environment, the economy, and energy supply security. Companies can join this voluntary initiative, which T-Systems did in 2014. The related EU Commission page provides transparent, detailed information about the participation of individual data centers.

The T-Systems data centers are currently undergoing a transformation as part of the “DC11@2018” consolidation program. The program involves consolidating data center capacity in FMO (Future Mode of Operation) data centers using the latest, significantly more energy-efficient IT technology. We currently operate a total of 14 FMO twin-core data centers in Europe at seven FMO twin-core sites – eight internally and six externally – in addition to five local customer-specific data centers. At the end of 2020, seven of our eight internal European FMO data centers and one external FMO twin-core data centers were listed in the EU Code of Conduct. By taking part in this EU Code of Conduct, T-Systems meets what is expected to be an important criterion of the new regulatory initiative for sustainable business activities (EU Taxonomy). You can learn more about our commitment to the EU Taxonomy here.