Michaela Kühn


No sustainability - No business success

What do we at Deutsche Telekom mean by sustainability? What does ESG stand for again? What influence do our actions have on our business customers? And how can we support companies? Let's take a closer look.

Hand holds plant. Around are symbols for among others CO2, Net zero, E-car.

Climate change, resource scarcity, geopolitical tensions, increasing social division. If we want to protect our future, we must act responsibly. © Getty Images/, Eakarat Buanoi / Montage: Hendrick Riße

Climate change, resource scarcity, geopolitical tensions, increasing social division. If we want to protect our future, we have to act responsibly - for ourselves, our customers, society and our planet. As Deutsche Telekom, we have already been doing a lot since the 1990s. However, it is time to be even more ambitious and committed. Living responsibility is part of our corporate strategy and thus a requirement and incentive for all our employees.

ESG on everyone's lips - and in our CR Report

ESG is often used in the context of sustainability. E = Environment. S = Social (social responsibility). G = Governance. Because sustainability is not just about converting the vehicle fleet to e-cars and using electricity from renewable sources. It's about many other aspects. And it's about the ability to put environmental, social and governance issues on the agenda and constantly review their implementation. The seriousness with which ESG is implemented will determine the success or failure of a company in the future. This applies to us as Deutsche Telekom just as it does to all other companies. Why? Because investors look very closely at how sustainable the company, they are investing in is. Because customers look very closely at how sustainable the company, they are contracting with is. And because ESG-related regulation continues to increase. Guidelines and laws, such as the Supply Chain Sourcing Obligations Act (LksG), are making sustainability increasingly mandatory.

For more than 20 years, we have been measuring our sustainability indicators and checking whether what we have set out to do is actually being done. Because we can only manage what we measure. What we started proactively decades ago is now mandatory. Our Corporate Responsibility Report is available to the public. It shows how firmly the issue is anchored at Telekom. The requirements for a sustainability report are gradually being extended and companies will no longer be able to avoid implementing the new EU directive, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)

Sustainability ensures business success - ours and that of our customers 

Rules, regulations and laws are becoming ever stricter with regard to sustainability. And that's a good thing. Because let's be honest: Most of the time, comprehensive action is only taken when it is specifically demanded. At Deutsche Telekom, we take our responsibility for these issues very seriously. For example, we calculate our carbon footprint according to recognized international standards such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol in order to work on it.

But what does that look like for our business customers? At the large corporations, some things are certainly already standard. But smaller companies and SMEs in particular usually don't have a team that is specifically responsible for sustainability. And this means that the company is not meaningful in terms of reducing its CO2 emissions, improving working conditions and the transparency of its supply chains. And sooner or later, it will no longer be a player on the market. The fact is: Sustainability is becoming a competitive advantage and is the decisive criterion for investors, partners and customers. 

Living responsibility, enabling sustainability

What we offer our business customers must be sustainable. That makes us the supplier of choice. 

We talk to our customers about how we approach the topic of sustainability in total. We share our knowledge and experience. Because the digital transformation and sustainability go hand in hand. Around 49 percent of the CO2 reduction that Germany needs to achieve by 2030 can be achieved through the use of digital technologies - according to a study by Bitkom, the industry association for the German information and telecommunications sector. 

Telekom can help and ensure with (partner) solutions that our customers meet the legal requirements and achieve their own sustainability goals. For example, with Telekom Sustainability Manager, a modular software-as-a-service solution for ESG reporting and climate management. Or with Salesforce Net Zero Cloud, which enables companies to collect and visualize their emissions data and measure it against planned reduction targets. 

We are stringently pursuing our goal of becoming the leading global, digital and sustainable telecommunications provider.