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2020 Corporate Responsibility Report

Our approach to resource conservation and environmental protection

As a service provider, we use considerably fewer resources than manufacturing companies. The resource consumption for the manufacturing and use of our products and network infrastructure occurs in up- and downstream stages of the value chain – with our suppliers and customers. This is why we are committed to the responsible handling of resources within our value chain, and are pursuing the following measures:

  • We are consolidating our projects to conserve resources in our Group-wide environmental program, “we care for our planet”, which was adopted by the Board of Management in 2019. Our goal is to raise awareness surrounding sustainability issues and integrate sustainability in the Group along the entire value chain.
  • Our internal sustainability ambassadors, the Green Pioneers, also act as role models for all other Deutsche Telekom employees by organizing numerous campaigns inside and outside Deutsche Telekom.
  • We promote the responsible use of raw materials and the reuse of materials among our suppliers. This includes reducing the use of plastic, paper, and packaging in key processes along the entire value chain.
  • Resource efficiency is a priority at the workplace. To that end, we are reducing paper consumption through initiatives that call for less printing, for example; the digitalization of HR processes and use of white boards instead of flipcharts also support this.
  • Our International Waste Management Framework guarantees standardized guidelines for all of our national companies. They are required to use this framework as a basis for identifying their own measurable targets and then monitor target achievement. This enables them to flexibly comply with general conditions specific to each country and company.
  • We are committed to the reuse and proper recycling of cell phones.
  • We have introduced a Group-wide, mandatory policy on copper cable recycling. These cables are being partially replaced over the course of our fiber-optic rollout.

In Germany, we reduced the size of SIM card trays in 2019, saving more than 20 tonnes of plastic in the same year. In 2020, we introduced the half-size SIM card in all European national companies and were thus able to increase our savings even further. We use selected KPIs to measure and monitor continued improvements. The Cell Phone Collection ESG KPI img measures, for example, the ratio of cell phones in circulation to the number of used devices collected (excluding T-Mobile US). We measure progress toward copper cable recycling with the “Copper Cable Recycling” KPI.

With our health, safety, and environmental management system (HSE img) we have made a commitment to continually improving our performance in these areas. The system is based on the international standards ISO 45001 on occupational health and safety, ISO 14001 on environmental management, and ISO 9001 img on quality management. Our environmental guideline summarizes all of the current voluntary ecological commitments in effect throughout the Group.

Reporting against standards


Global Compact

  • Principle 8 (Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility)
  • Principle 9 (Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies)