Combined non-financial statement
For our Chairman of Board of Management, Tim Höttges, sustainability is one of the Board’s top priorities. At Deutsche Telekom’s first Sustainability Day, which took place on October 12, 2022, in Bonn, the members of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom explained just how strongly sustainability is anchored in the Group’s organization, and presented the latest sustainability strategy. They gave a clear view of where we are today in terms of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, the goals we have set, and the challenges we face when addressing sustainability. They sent a strong message: Deutsche Telekom is Europe’s leading telecommunications company in terms of market capitalization, revenue, and earnings. But we also want to be one of the leading telecommunications companies when it comes to sustainability.
We can only achieve this goal by working together with managers and employees. For this reason, alongside the achievement of financial key performance indicators (KPIs), we have also anchored ESG KPIs in our remuneration system for Board of Management members and managers. In addition, we promote and support active ESG commitments by our employees. At the event, Tim Höttges also praised the dedication of our Green Pioneers, likening them to a sustainability supervisory board within the Company.
We have reached the first landmark on our journey to achieving what are, for us, ambitious climate goals: we already operate our networks using entirely green electricity. We still have further steps, both large and small, to take on the way to becoming fully climate neutral. The Board of Management announced, for example, that from 2023, there would be no more new company vehicles in Germany with combustion engines. This supports our interim goal for 2025 of climate neutrality in our own emissions (Scope 1 and 2). Another important step is to further decouple energy consumption from constantly increasing online data volumes, regardless of potential emissions. By 2024, we want to have doubled our energy efficiency in the Germany and Europe operating segments in comparison with 2020. In doing so, we are also doing our bit for the current energy situation in Europe.
A circular economy not only protects resources such as metal and rare minerals, but also has a direct impact on CO2 emissions. We take responsibility for our actions and want to have a circular economy for network technology and devices in place in Europe by 2030. As part of this, we also take responsibility for the devices we sell to our customers. Lease or subscription models such as “device as a service” will play an important part in this. What is more, from 2025 onwards, almost all mobile devices marketed by Deutsche Telekom are to be sold in packaging that complies with our sustainability criteria. This is already the case for all of our new branded products throughout Europe.
According to a Bitkom study, 50 % of the CO2 reductions necessary in Germany by 2030 can be enabled by digital technology. For us, this means integrating sustainability at the heart of our products. Many of our IoT solutions are already helping our customers to save energy, but IoT also has untapped potential – for example, it could play a role in establishing sustainable water management, or in making waste disposal more efficient.
“When people stop talking to each other, that is the moment when they stop understanding each other.” These words from Tim Höttges clearly spell out the importance of the internet and its role in democracy. We want to promote sharing through digitalization. However, hate speech and fake news that spread quickly on the web pose a risk to our democracy. That’s why we are campaigning for an online world that people can navigate with confidence and without having to fear marginalization. In 2022, we successfully continued our No Hate Speech campaign with a new campaign ad.
Recent years, which have been beset by challenges for us all, have shown that, when it comes to taking on social responsibility in times of crisis, we do our bit. The year 2022 was no different. At the very start of the war in Ukraine, our employees organized among themselves to support people in crisis. In addition, the Board of Management put together a comprehensive package of measures ranging from free SIM cards and job offers, through to support for aid organizations.
At the close of Sustainability Day, Mike Sievert, CEO of T‑Mobile US, emphasized that we cannot be the best at connecting customers to their world without also taking on the challenge of making a positive impact on the world around us. The Board of Management was unanimous: ESG is a key strategic pillar of our work.
For further information on the Sustainability Day (including video stream), please refer to the topic special on our website.