More sustainable products – from packaging to the device

Deutsche Telekom assumes responsibility for society and the environment. With that in mind, as an enterprise we have set ourselves ambitious targets for sustainability and climate protection. Besides climate neutrality for in-house CO2 emissions by 2025, we also aim to be fully climate-neutral along our entire value chain by 2040 at the latest. That includes many steps from production, shipment, through to operation on the customer’s premises. And to ensure we achieve this, we are now adopting even more sustainable solutions for our devices and their packaging. 

Kids with magenta T

Sustainability has the highest priority at Deutsche Telekom. © Deutsche Telekom

How does Deutsche Telekom make its packaging more sustainable?

All Deutsche Telekom-branded products newly launched on the European markets since mid-2022 have been sustainably packaged; we are already working on persuading other companies to use more sustainable packaging, including all major smartphone manufacturers. That already applies to 60 percent of smartphones – with a target of raising this to 100 percent. We are also looking to improve sustainability with logistics processes: Shipping cartons for devices which the technology department ships are tailor-made to save material. We then use any offcuts as eco-friendly filling material. But of course the packaging contents should also cause less environmental damage to the planet. We are therefore also making our products such as routers, smartphones, and cell phones more eco-friendly by taking simple steps. 

How does Deutsche Telekom make its routers more sustainable?

The Speedport Smart 4 illustrates how we are making our receivers such as routers more eco-friendly overall. The packaging for this router is made of recycled cardboard and FSC Mix-certified paper. We also use 30 percent less material and dispense entirely with plastic film or bags. Eco-friendly, plant-based ink is used for printing. The materials in the device itself also have outstanding credentials thanks to LAN connections which are free of harmful substances and a housing made of 90 percent fully recycled plastic. Offering the router as a leasing model also helps us to reduce its environmental footprint. After use in the leasing program, Deutsche Telekom refurbishes and reuses the devices. 

How does Deutsche Telekom make smartphones more sustainable?

We are increasingly mindful of what impact the cell phones we offer have on the environment and climate. A smartphone is of course extremely sustainable if it lasts a long time. Our partner Fairphone offers this kind of long-lasting, eco-friendly cell phone: The Fairphone 4 is the first electronic waste-neutral handset on the market. Every Fairphone 4 is offset by a used smartphone that is recycled or upgraded. The manufacturer also uses only fair materials and improves working conditions throughout the entire supply chain. This also includes the modular design for simple repairs and genuine durability, with a five-year warranty for maximum service life and many years of smartphone enjoyment. The technology is uncompromising: 5G speed, a powerful battery, and top-class dual cameras speak for themselves. The Fairphone 4 also achieves an excellent Eco Rating, scoring 85 out of a maximum 100 points.

What is the Eco Rating for smartphones?

We would like to help our customers make more sustainable purchase decisions and encourage manufacturers to improve the environmental compatibilty of their devices. That is why we have teamed up with European companies Orange, Telefónica, Telia Company, and Vodafone to develop an industry-wide consumer labeling scheme for cell phones: the Eco Rating. With an overall score and five other criteria, the label informs consumers about the environmental impact of the current 300-plus cell-phone and smartphone models. The result is a figure on a scale from 1 to 100 – with 100 as the best score for environmental compatibility. Transparent and simple! Besides sustainably certified products, the purchase and sale of used cell phones and mobile phones is one way of reducing our own CO2 footprint. 

Which sustainable services for smartphones does Deutsche Telekom offer?

Thanks to various new initiatives, mobile phones can be used for longer and used smartphones given a second life. With Trade MyMobile users can have their smartphone assessed and offer it to Deutsche Telekom to purchase – even if it comes from another network provider. The devices are then thoroughly cleaned and refurbished. As part of this refurbishment, Deutsche Telekom avoids replacing parts wherever possible to minimize the use of resources. Following the refurbishment, the reconditioned devices are resold under favorable conditions. As part of ReUse MyMobile, anyone interested can acquire these refurbished smartphones at an attractive price – refurbished and with certified quality. The devices in two quality classes come with a 24-month warranty. Each device undergoes tests based on the same functional standards as new devices. In this way, sellers receive cash for their old devices and buyers save up to 200 euros compared with purchasing a new device. Moreover, they make a valuable contribution to protecting the environment. 

For business customers, collaboration with everphone also offers complete device handling and, in turn, sustainable smartphone closed-loop recycling. As part of this process, a new cell phone is leased to customers for a certain period. The offering includes commissioning and repairs as well as the take-back and refurbishment at the end of the lease. Thanks to this principle, every device is given a second life-cycle and can cut CO2 emissions by up to 50 kg.

To ensure users enjoy their new and used smartphones for many years, Deutsche Telekom offers a tailor-made cell phone insurance policy with Insure MyMobile. The comprehensive insurance cover in the M and L variants kicks in if, for example, someone drops their cell phone and the display breaks, or if the device gets wet. If the phone fails, the insurance reduces the costs of repair so that consumers can use their device for longer – and, in turn, reduce the impact on the planet and save resources.

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Corporate Responsibility

Information about the ecological and social commitment of Deutsche Telekom.