Deutsche Telekom is assuming responsibility for sustainable environmental protection and for contributing to the betterment of society. "It is important to maintain the balance between all groups, the environment and economic requirements," explained René Obermann, CEO, Deutsche Telekom, at the second Corporate Responsibility Day in Berlin.
"Who else but a telecommunications company, which, by the way, earns its money by distributing and transporting information, should commit itself to responsible, sustainable action," explained guest speaker Frank Schätzing, successful author and writer of the eco-thriller "The Swarm". Schätzing treated the over 200 participants at DT's CR-Day to spectacular visions, his "future rumors": Will cars be able to fly? Will robots soon be doing our work for us? Will an elevator take us into space? What will our future look like? Although Frank Schätzing did not provide any definitive answers, he did provide suggestions and ideas for the discussion surrounding the conference theme: "Leading with responsibility."
René Obermann picked one of Schätzing’s statements: "We should see the future as a result of our creative will." Deutsche Telekom’s CEO emphasized that the Group "feels committed to sustainable economic development and to a social balance among all participating groups." To underline the seriousness and "be measured by its actions," Deutsche Telekom has signed the "Change-maker Manifesto". He also pointed out that "shareholders will increasingly be looking for a sustainable social commitment from companies to protecting the climate, to social equality and to involvement."
"Green" computing centers
For some time now, the Group has been committed to the sustainable use of resources and greater climate protection in several areas. For example, energy consumption in the new computing center in Munich has been lowered by up to 50 percent, considerably reducing CO2 emissions. "According to the ‘Smart 2010’ study, utilization of modern information and communications technologies will reduce CO2 emissions in Germany by up to 25 percent by 2020," explained Obermann, who went on to highlight the fact that Deutsche Telekom was also dedicated to promoting social equality.
One example he cited was its role in education. He said the Group is one of Germany’s strongest companies in on-the-job training that also provides support expressly aimed at disadvantaged young people. One German initiative alone supported over 130 projects for children and young people nationwide in 2010.
In addition to Frank Schätzing, the participants engaged in discussions with British journalist Leo Hickman, author of the book "A Life Stripped Bare: My Year Trying To Live Ethically", on ways to make sustainable consumption possible. Another topic was "Integrating Humans into the Gigabit Society."
The Internet community followed a live stream of the entire conference on the Utopia online platform and put questions to the forum via Twitter. For example, one participant asked: "If food is labeled ‘organic’, is it really ‘organic’?" A total of 3,100 users were online during the conference, with around 700 "tweeted" comments and questions.