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2020 Corporate Responsibility Report

Our approach to social responsibility

In focus: Driving digital participation
With more and more areas of life now digital, interacting online has become part of everyday life for most people, making digital participation an important element of participating in society. We at Deutsche Telekom want everyone to #TAKEPART. That’s why, as part of our social commitment, we are working on enabling digital participation.

In an equitable, digital society, everyone has access to the necessary technology and digital offerings – regardless of their age, disability or non-disability, education, income, or where they live. That means everyone can benefit from the diverse opportunities offered by the internet for education, work, networking, and culture. It should be possible to consciously decide to opt out of digital participation – and not due to a lack of finance or know-how, for example.

We believe there are three crucial factors that allow people to participate equally in the digital society: technical access to fast networks, the affordability of equipment and services, and the ability to use digital media competently.

  • Access: We are continuously expanding our network to enable technical access.
  • Affordability: With different rates for every budget and our subsidizedl rate we are striving to make digital access affordable for everyone. More than one million customers in Germany take advantage of these special plans each year.
  • Ability/Competent use of digital media: We help people to use media in a competent, responsible, and critical manner, and in line with basic democratic values. In the reporting year, we therefore devoted special attention to the issue of online civil courage;

but we also believe that digital participation requires the willingness to act responsibly online. Because in the spirit of our #TAKEPART promise, we not only stand for access to the internet, but are also committed to diversity, tolerance, and enjoyment in interpersonal interaction.

Our brand promise is “We help society take part in digitalization.” Since 2020, digital participation has also been anchored in our Group strategy. It states, “To live responsibility means enabling digital participation, intensifying the willingness to change, meeting our climate targets.” It also highlights how closely our social commitment is linked to our core business: We have a sense of responsibility not only for our products and our network, but also for ensuring that people know how to use them properly. This allows us to put our expertise as a telecommunications provider to the best possible use for the benefit of society. Our commitment to fair and equitable digital participation also plays an important role in our positioning as an attractive employer.

Volunteer work, sponsorship and international networking
In carrying out our social commitment, we not only implement our own projects and initiatives, but also encourage the volunteer efforts of our employees. In addition, we provide financial support, for example, by being involved as a sponsor and supporting projects and non-profit organizations that work for better coexistence and against exclusion.

Our national companies carry out independent regional initiatives. We also work closely across national borders when it comes to our social involvement and share experience and best practices. Close cooperation with social players such as NGOs, associations, and initiatives also plays an important role.

Measuring success

We use a set of KPIs to measure our success:

  • The Community Investment ESG KPI reflects our social commitment in terms of financial, human, and material resources.
  • The Beneficiaries ESG KPI measures the number of active contributors as well as the target groups they reach.
  • The Media Literacy ESG KPI highlights the percentage of projects and activities that help people use media proficiently. It is highly relevant to us, as it correlates closely with our core business.

Our measures are also based on the Sustainable Development Goals img (SDGs) of the United Nations. We have listed the activities with which we are pursuing SDGs in an overview.