Telekom has its sights on becoming the world’s leading digital and sustainable telco. But how do we get there? At our first Sustainability Day on October 12th, 2022, the Board of Management revealed Telekom’s ESG goals and roadmap to set us on the right path.
At Telekom’s first Sustainability Day on October 12th, 2022, the Board of Management presented the new sustainability strategy. The venue was the Telekom Design Gallery, where investors, analysts and media representatives attended in person. The event was also live streamed for Telekom employees and all interested parties.
Each board member presented from their individual perspective and respective business area, as sustainability is a shared priority and responsibility. Each of us at Telekom will do our own part, working together for the good of customers, stakeholders, colleagues – and the environment. Sustainability reaches beyond vital issues such as energy efficiency and environmental awareness. For this reason, Telekom’s ESG (environmental, social and governance criteria) agenda is a top priority for CEO Tim Höttges – and firmly anchored to both the Group Strategy and the management remuneration system.
Highlights from Sustainability Day 2022
Our world is going through particularly rocky times. No individual, family, community or business has been left untouched by the pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the energy and cost-of-living consequences – all on top of the ever-present climate crisis. It’s tempting for businesses to try and steady-up short-term and press the pause button for now on ESG plans and initiatives. But the recent crises have revealed just how interconnected we are as a world – and the need to build and strengthen these connections.
Connections – people to people, people to technology – are Telekom’s purpose, so what better time to take on the challenges of climate change, of the pandemic, of inflationary pressures and geopolitical tensions? For us, ESG initiatives are not just a nice-to-have, but integral to Telekom’s long-term financial success, securing the best talent and attracting customers and investors.
The Telekom Management Board sealed their commitment to sustainability through the announcement of goals and pledges. The over-arching target is net zero by 2040, which means, as Tim Höttges explains, “by 2040 at the latest, the company should be completely climate-neutral i.e., leave no carbon footprint at all. Neither through its own business operations, nor through emissions generated in the production or use of Telekom products. This is a huge task that we can only master together with our customers and partners.” The size of the challenge is immense: more than 90 percent of the carbon footprint is generated along the value chain (Scope 3 emissions).
Tim Höttges (CEO) about the ESG-Agenda
After Mr Höttges’ introduction, the board members presented the ESG goals and updated sustainability strategy via a four-pillar framework, which breaks down the ESG arena into more concrete topics.
The focus areas relating to the environment were presented by Srini Gopalan, Adel Al-Saleh, Claudia Nemat, Christian P. Illek and Dominique Leroy. The board members showed how we are stepping up efforts to reduce our own energy consumption and CO2 emissions by decommissioning old network components and modernising, as well as high-quality CO2 bonding projects. We have set goals to be climate-neutral by 2025 and to double energy efficiency by 2024. One concrete example of climate-neutrality comes from Germany, where Telekom MobilitySolutions is phasing out combustion engine models in the company vehicle fleet.
From January 2023, new orders will only be for electric vehicles. On circular economy, we are committed to fully circularising technologies, devices and network technology by 2030. It’s not just about us. As a huge firm, Telekom has a responsibility to enable customers and partners when it comes to building a climate neutral future and striving for full circularity. We are developing a wide range of initiatives in energy-efficiency, sustainable product design, reduction of packaging materials and return/repair/recycle along the whole value chain.
Turning from the environment to social topics, Birgit Bohle presented our progress and further pledges to embrace the power of diversity. To become the best team in the industry, we start at home, amongst Telekom employees, where diversity includes the dimensions of internationality and graduates’ specialisations. Telekom is already recognised as a pioneer in this area, with the most diverse Board of Management of all DAX companies. Srini Gopalan and Dominique Leroy spoke on how we’re working to shape digital society and make the digital world a safe and tolerant space for everyone.
Our initiatives on media literacy and standing up against hate speech are recent demonstrations of this work in action. Responsibility in recent crises is another concrete example of walking the talk. As Tim Höttges says: “whether with technical support at the start of the pandemic, free SIM cards for refugees from Ukraine, or by quickly rebuilding the network infrastructure during the flood disasters on the Ahr River, for example, Deutsche Telekom is there when it is needed”.
Netzgeschichten: sustainable Telekom products