Aspect 1: Environmental concerns

One field of action in our CR strategy is “Low-carbon society.” It not only expresses our commitment to minimize the impact our business activities may exert on the climate, but also to tap into the opportunities for sustainable development offered by digitalization. When used properly, it can also make a valuable contribution to saving energy and thus slowing down climate change.

For further information, please refer to the section “Deployment of ICT products to the benefit of society.”

Our holistic environmental management system is based on the international ISO 14001 standard. We have a Group-wide environmental guideline that covers almost all existing and Group-wide voluntary commitments. You can access this policy on our Group website.

Climate protection and resource conservation SDG 13

Demand for faster data services with full-coverage availability is growing rapidly. That is why we continue to drive forward the build-out of our infrastructure and increase data transmission rates. Our investments in the network build-out make us one of the biggest investors in the industry. Operating our network consumes energy. However, rising energy consumption can lead to an increase in CO2 emissions and thus accelerate climate change. We therefore ensure by increasing energy efficiency – for instance at our data centers – that our energy consumption grows to a much lesser extent than the volumes of data we transmit, and we use renewable energies to set energy consumption apart from CO2 emissions.

For about the last two decades, climate protection has been steadily increasing in importance at Deutsche Telekom. Our Group-wide climate strategy covers the following aspects: “Emissions from the value chain,” “Renewable energies,” “Energy efficiency,” and “Positive social effects.” In March 2019, the Group Board of Management adopted new, ambitious climate goals:

  1. From 2021, we intend to source 100 percent of the electricity used by the Group from renewable energies (Scope 2).
    SDG 7
  2. By 2030, we plan to reduce our CO2 emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by 90 percent (compared to 2017).
  3. 80 percent of our CO2 footprint arises from the production and use of our products. By 2030, we want to reduce these emissions (Scope 3, categories: Purchased goods and services, Capital goods, Use of sold products, Downstream leased assets) by 25 percent (compared to 2017).

In September 2019, we joined an international industry initiative launched by GSMA. Under this initiative we undertake to reduce our CO2 emissions (Scope 1 and 2) to “net zero” by 2050 at the latest and thus to make our business operations completely climate neutral.

We developed our new climate goals in line with the current scientific and political conditions. The (SBTi) confirmed us as the third DAX company whose climate protection targets contribute to compliance with the Paris Climate Agreement. We have thus followed our national companies in the United States and Hungary, whose targets were already endorsed by SBTi in 2018 and at the start of 2019, respectively. In order to achieve these targets, T‑Mobile US has concluded long-term agreements with wind and solar park operators, which will give the park operators the necessary investment certainty. As a result, in the United States, two new wind farms have already been set up and a further wind farm and four solar parks are to follow by 2021.

On top of these new climate goals, the Board of Management commissioned an evaluation in 2019 of the additional measures that we can implement on our way to becoming a “green Deutsche Telekom.” A holistic integrated approach was developed, which in addition to customer-centric initiatives, also provides for greater integration of CR in all central functions of our internal value chain. As well as reducing CO2 emissions, we are also increasingly focusing on the circular economy and material efficiency. The Board of Management approved the concept in October 2019 which will be implemented throughout the Group over the next few years as part of our new Group program “We care for our planet.” This also allows us to meet the growing expectations of our stakeholders in terms of our engagement in the area of climate and environmental protection. SDG 15

Our climate goal, adopted in 2013, to reduce the Group’s CO2 emissions by 20 percent (compared to 2008, excluding T‑Mobile US) by 2020 is still in place. In all, 40 business units in 29 countries have undertaken to work toward this climate goal. They are helping us achieve this goal in different ways and to different extents, depending on developments in their local markets. GCR reports to the Board of Management in detail on the status of target achievement each year. We have further reduced our emissions over the last few years, bringing us to the level forecast for 2019. We expect to achieve our goal.

We calculate our CO2 emissions across the Group in line with the market-based method of the . The standard distinguishes between three CO2 emissions categories (Scope 1, 2, and 3). We report on these each year as part of the and in our CR and Annual Reports. The following graphic visualizes the emissions of the different scopes resulting from our business activities, shown as CO2-equivalent emissions (CO2e emissions).

CO2e emissions (Scope 1–3)

Deutsche Telekom Group in 2019 in % and kilotons (kt) of CO2e

CO2e emissions (Scope 1–3) (graphic)

In 2019, we substantially reduced our emissions, bringing us to the forecast level. The switch to green electricity, in particular the purchase of renewable energy at T‑Mobile US, was the major contributor to this reduction in our carbon footprint.

The metric serves as one indicator for enhancing the energy efficiency in our data centers. This Green Grid Association method takes the total energy consumed by data centers into account, not only that used to operate the servers. In 2019, the global PUE metric for our T‑Systems data centers was 1.64. From 2008 to 2019, we reduced the average PUE metric for T‑Systems data centers in Germany from 1.85 to 1.56. Our data center in Biere, Saxony-Anhalt, is extremely efficient. It was awarded the respected LEED Gold sustainability certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). By taking steps such as migrating data from inefficient data centers to Biere, we achieved a PUE metric there of 1.32 by the end of 2019.

We determine the effectiveness of our climate protection measures using key performance indicators (KPIs). The KPIs Energy Intensity and Carbon Intensity for Deutsche Telekom are shown in the following graphics. Both KPIs reflect our energy consumption and our CO2 emissions in relation to the volume of data transmitted, thus demonstrating how our network’s energy and emissions efficiency has developed in practice. The result for the Energy Intensity KPI is 120 and 23 for the Carbon Intensity KPI. For the Group as a whole in Germany, the Energy Intensity KPI stands at 74 and the Carbon Intensity KPI at 10. The Renewable Energy KPI shows how much of our Company’s overall electricity consumption is obtained from renewable sources. In 2019, this amounted to 64 percent. When calculating this KPI, we look at direct purchases, Guarantees of Origin, Renewable Energy Certificates, the renewable energy we produce ourselves, and the proportion of renewable energy used across the countries. We use the Enablement Factor ESG KPI to calculate the positive CO2 effects facilitated for our customers through using selected products.

For further information, please refer to the section “Deployment of ICT products to the benefit of society.”

Energy Intensity ESG KPI

Deutsche Telekom Group in 2019

Energy Intensity ESG KPI (graphic)

Carbon Intensity ESG KPI

Deutsche Telekom Group in 2019

Carbon Intensity ESG KPI (graphic)

In order to effectively curb climate change, all relevant players must work together, which is why we participate in many national and international associations and organizations, such as the . We are also working systematically on improving climate protection throughout our supply chain. Since 2016, the supplier engagement rating of the rating organization CDP has assessed how well companies have integrated the topic of climate protection into their supply chains. In 2019, we were awarded an A rating by CDP and included on its Supplier Engagement Leader Board. Almost 63 percent of our procurement volume is covered by the participation of our suppliers in ’s 2019 supply chain program. SDG 17

Last but not least, handling valuable resources efficiently also plays a vital role in a holistic approach to ecological responsibility. Our “Stop wasting – start caring!” initiative aims to use and recycle resources as efficiently as possible in line with the circular economy concept. To this end we are, for example, reducing the use of plastic, paper, and packaging in key processes throughout the value chain. For example, we have halved the size of punch cards, thereby saving 20.8 metric tons of plastic in the reporting year. Further examples are the replacement of paper bags with sturdy bags made from recycled PET bottles in our Telekom shops, and clothes for our shop staff made from certified organic cotton. We are also capitalizing on the change from within: Our employee initiative Green Pioneers was established in 2018 and within a year won more than 200 members at around 40 sites, who are committed to greater sustainability in their everyday life and work. They have launched all kinds of projects, such as a cell-phone collection campaign, in which almost 10,000 old, private devices were collected from employees and professionally recycled. Or the Print-on-Demand project, in which quick guides to our Magenta Zuhause and MagentaTV products are only printed on request. Since the project was launched in 2018 it has saved 140 metric tons of paper and almost 180 metric tons of CO2 (reduction in paper production and transport) per year in Germany. Measures to conserve resources are also being implemented in our national companies, including lots of campaigns for the return of cell phones and avoidance of plastic waste. SDG 15

Science-Based Targets initiative
The Science-Based Targets initiative helps companies to set climate goals that comply with emissions budgets determined based on scientific data. Companies can forward their goals to the initiative for review. The initiative was set up jointly by several organizations: CDP, United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
GHG Protocol
The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol divides emissions of greenhouse gases into the categories of Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3, depending on their source.
  • Scope 1 includes all emissions directly generated in the Company, e.g., as a result of the consumption of fuel or fuel oil.
  • Scope 2 covers all indirect emissions associated with the generation of energy purchased by the Company from external sources, e.g., electricity and district heating.
  • Scope 3 applies to all other emissions generated along the corporate value chain. This comprises both indirect emissions in the company itself (e.g., business trips, commuting), and emissions from upstream value chain stages (e.g., procurement, logistics) and downstream stages (e.g., during customer use of products and services, during disposal).
CDP is an initiative involving more than 822 institutional investors with total investment assets of 95 trillion U.S. dollars (as of 2015). The CDP aims to promote dialog between investors and companies on climate change issues. Currently, some 11,000 (as of 2013) of the world’s largest companies are involved in the project and provide information on their greenhouse gas emissions and climate protection strategies. The CDP collects and publishes the data on an annual basis.
PUE - Power Usage Effectiveness
PUE is the ratio of the entire electrical energy consumed in a data center or network node to the energy delivered to the computing equipment.
Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI)
GeSI is a joint initiative established by the world’s leading ICT organizations with the objective of improving sustainability in the ICT sector. Deutsche Telekom is a member of GeSI, as are many other leading enterprises.
CDP is an initiative involving more than 822 institutional investors with total investment assets of 95 trillion U.S. dollars (as of 2015). The CDP aims to promote dialog between investors and companies on climate change issues. Currently, some 11,000 (as of 2013) of the world’s largest companies are involved in the project and provide information on their greenhouse gas emissions and climate protection strategies. The CDP collects and publishes the data on an annual basis.
SIM card - Subscriber Identification Module card
Chip card that is inserted into a cell phone to identify it in the mobile network. Deutsche Telekom counts its customers by the number of SIM cards activated and not churned. Customer totals also include the SIM cards with which machines can communicate automatically with one another (M2M cards). The churn rate is determined and reported based on the local markets of the respective countries.