Corporate responsibility and non-financial statement
The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 clearly underscored the huge opportunities that digitalization offers in tackling societal challenges. Online shopping and contactless payments reduce the risk of infection, doctors offer consultations online, contact tracing apps help contain the pandemic – and, the world over, people are chatting with each other via live video. What is more, during the first lockdown people began working from home. Even in times of crisis, we remain committed to keeping everyone connected. Our multi-billion investments in the network infrastructure have paid off throughout the pandemic: our networks were running stably even under substantially higher loads. We fulfilled our responsibility as an employer by introducing comprehensive rules and supportive measures to help employees work from home , while safeguarding service for our customers in parallel. Our home office configurator helps small and medium-sized businesses, for example, to develop customized solutions for staff working from home. Likewise, our Digital Schutzpaket Business (digital business protection package) keeps sensitive customer data safe. We are also furthering the digitalization trend in schools: not only with fiber-optic connections, but also by providing support to schools in lodging applications for funding. In 2020, T‑Mobile US helped set up homeschooling infrastructure for more than 500,000 students in the United States. In its home country, T‑Mobile Austria provided 10,000 students with free data packages for online study. We also helped ease the impact of coronavirus on society with a range of further activities. The measures in question include providing additional data volume free of charge, gifting smartphones to retirement and care homes , and establishing a hotline to support Nebenan.de, a neighborhood help portal. During the crisis, we have proved we are a reliable partner. That is why F.A.Z.-Institut, a company specializing in management, media, and marketing information, honored us with a “heroes of the crisis” award in 2020.
But digitalization can help us tackle other challenges, such as protecting our climate. A key prerequisite for this is that increasing use of the internet does not lead to higher CO2 emissions. In the reporting year, we reached a milestone on the path toward achieving our ambitious climate goals: since the start of 2020, our customers in Germany have been surfing on Deutsche Telekom’s green network, which is powered solely by electricity from renewable sources. We also continued to pursue our other sustainability goals. As part of our “We care for our Planet” program, we initiated various measures to reduce CO2 emissions and conserve resources. On top of that, we positioned ourselves with a broad-based campaign against online hate speech and for more digital civil courage.