2020 didn’t go the way we would have liked it to: although Deutsche Telekom turned 25, we were unable to celebrate. The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives in so many ways, and presented us with new challenges. In this special year, Deutsche Telekom once again proved that we are there when society needs us.
Our networks were stable and enabled closeness in time of physical distance. 180,000 employees worldwide switched to working from home at the start of the pandemic, and our field service employees were given appropriate protective equipment so that we could be there for our customers. Our secure home office solutions also help companies to keep their business going, while at the same time protecting their employees. We offer solutions that make the digital classroom and safe learning from home more of a given. In cooperation with SAP, we developed the Corona-Warn-App that traces contact between the application's users. We provided data volume to our customers free of charge, initiated support measures for the food service and cultural sectors, and donated cell phones to retirement homes.
We are in the fortunate position of being able to help others, because, even though the pandemic and its impact have not left us unscathed, we had a successful financial year in 2020. In our anniversary year, we were also not only named the most respected DAX company in Germany, but also the most valuable telecommunications brand in Europe.
Our task is to enable participation. And we have a clear goal: we won’t be satisfied until everyone can #takepart. That means we have given ourselves a target that combines two things: commercial success, since it is the prerequisite for everything we do, and the social responsibility we assume in that. We are committed to creating a liberal, inclusive society, to more climate protection, and to sustainable business practices.
To this end, we have set ourselves an ambitious goal that we have continued to pursue despite coronavirus. We reached a milestone in 2020: in a series of countries such as Germany, Hungary, or Greece, our customers are already surfing the green Deutsche Telekom network, powered 100 percent by electricity from renewable sources. As part of our environmental “we care for our planet” program, we protect resources by using circular models, and reduce packaging materials. We put our Guidelines for Artificial Intelligence into practice in our daily work and our offerings. We promote media and democratic literacy in society, so that people can navigate the internet securely and independently. We sent a clear signal in 2020 for more online civil courage with our “#TAKEPART – No hate speech” campaign.
In the last 25 years, Deutsche Telekom has adapted time and again: to technological change, to the new needs of our customers, and to growing social expectations. In 2020, we once again demonstrated that our digital solutions can help solve urgent challenges.
We report extensively on these and other sustainability activities in this year’s Sustainability Report.
We remain committed to the principles of the United Nations Global Compact and the German Sustainability Code. Both of these frameworks, along with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, guide us in what we do.
We live in a time of profound change. Let us face the upcoming challenges together.