Michaela Kühn


Sustainability for companies - from freestyle to duty

A spirit of optimism is sweeping through companies. Because sustainability is more than just a fig leaf. More and more customers are demanding sustainable products and services, and investors are exerting just as much pressure on this issue as legal requirements.

It is therefore also important for companies to reduce their carbon footprint to reduce their impact on climate change. And digitization offers a wide range of opportunities for more sustainable and efficient work.

Interview situation: woman with brunette hair from behind and Benjamin Springub from the front.

Benjamin Springub explains why sustainability is so important and what opportunities digitization offers. © Nadine Stegemann

Benjamin Springub explains why sustainability is so important and what opportunities digitization offers. He is responsible for the Operations Development team in the Business Customers unit at Telekom Deutschland. This includes the B2B for ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) program. 

"If you don't act, you lose." What does that mean in the context of sustainability?

Benjamin Springub: Companies that integrate sustainability into their processes will be successful in the long term. This is becoming more and more an important argument in competition. Those who ignore sustainability can lose customers and investors. As a result, they will also lose market share. There is also the risk of reputational damage. And that's not all: Those who fail to comply with the requirements of the European Union may even face fines. That's why a company must actively and, above all, credibly pursue sustainable business practices. Otherwise, it will no longer be able to survive in the medium term.

As a result of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), around 15,000 companies in Germany will be required to produce sustainability reports in the future. What does this mean for these companies?

Benjamin Springub: First, reporting on sustainability is nothing new. Large corporations in particular have been publishing a sustainability report alongside their annual report for many years. We at Deutsche Telekom have been doing this since 2008. 

The new EU directive will now require more companies to publish a sustainability report. Previously, the directive applied to around 500 companies in Germany - with the 2024 financial year, there will be an estimated 15,000. The directive also standardizes the requirements for the report. This is intended to increase comparability in the European area. 

How can companies become more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprint?

Benjamin Springub: Digitization and sustainability are two of the biggest trends in the business world. And they are closely related. Because digitization can help to promote sustainability in the company.

By using digital technologies, companies can optimize their processes and save resources. For example, they can save paper and printing costs by managing their documents digitally. Or reduce travel costs and CO2 emissions through virtual meetings. IoT sensors (Internet of Things) help monitor energy consumption and curb waste. All this not only leads to more sustainability, but also saves costs.  

What else can companies do?

Benjamin Springub: You should not only look at your own processes and workflows. It is worth looking at suppliers. The selection of suppliers and the connected supply chain is just as important for sustainable business. Put the goal of reducing the supply chain's carbon footprint first. This applies to the supply processes as well as the materials supplied.

How does Deutsche Telekom support its business customers?

Benjamin Springub: First and foremost, sustainability must be measurable. This means that companies must collect data to be able to develop an ESG strategy on this basis. Digital solutions such as the Telekom Sustainability Manager can help here. Among other things, this supports the legally compliant preparation of ESG sustainability reports, data monitoring and the identification of measures. Or with the Net Zero Cloud. This collects and measures emissions data and visualizes it for management and stakeholders via a real-time dashboard.

And of course, we stand by our business customers as a partner when they want to digitize their company.

Priorities are changing. Much of what was once a choice is now a duty.

Smart business

The global economic crisis is accelerating existing trends. Yesterday's decisions are today's commandments.