Even though Deutsche Telekom has been a pioneer in climate protection since the 1990s, 2020 marks the beginning of an even more pronounced commitment: Since the beginning of the year, Telekom has added "Act Responsibly" to its corporate strategy. This extension stipulates that business decisions must take account of the social and ecological consequences from the outset.
In order to do justice not only to social but also to ecological factors and to further promote their integration in the Group, a specially created program has been created: We care for our Planet. This program helps us to achieve our own climate targets, which make an active contribution to achieving the 1.5 degree target of the Paris Climate Convention.
The programme is initially scheduled to run for two to three years. "The aim is to bring together and expand the climate and environmental protection issues in which we have been involved in the Group for years: We are moving away from individual goals to a holistic approach, which we are driving forward in ten initiatives," explains Melanie Kubin-Hardewig, who is responsible for the program.
It's the mix that does it
The ten selected initiatives are the result of a long selection process from a list of over 40 possible themes and areas. It was particularly important to find a mix of topics related to customers and those related to internal operations.
CHRO Birgit Bohle is particularly pleased that so much input from the employees* was included in the selection process. "Thousands of people have thought about our company's social responsibility in workshops and surveys," says Bohle.
As a result, WC4OP is now looking to create a greener customer experience at Deutsche Telekom, for example, and is focusing on circular business models and sustainable packaging for its own end devices.
We have developed the "we care" label to make this directly visible and transparent to customers in the future. The label focuses on two different areas, "environment" and "digital participation". The label identifies products and services that make a positive contribution to climate and resource protection as well as to social and societal challenges in the digital world.
But it is not only in terms of customer orientation that things are changing, internal processes are also improving: there is a wide range of tasks in the areas of energy and resource management, recyclability, and profitability calculations from a sustainability perspective in connection with network and IT infrastructure. The focus is also on sustainability in our office buildings and avoiding the waste of resources.
As much as necessary, as little as possible
Each so-called workstream in turn comprises several sub-workstreams, so that a total of over 150 people are directly or indirectly involved in WC4OP. In addition, more than 230 colleagues* in the Group are involved through the "Green Pioneers" movement in making WC4OP a little greener bit by bit through grassroots initiatives.
Of course, this requires a certain overview. "We want a mixture of necessary control and transparency with a lot of freedom and little bureaucracy. The segments therefore work as independently as possible, and we support them with theme sponsors, so-called co-leads," explains Kubin-Hardewig.
The beginning is made
Even though all workstreams are equally weighted, they differ in the complexity of implementation. Many of the workstreams have already achieved initial success.
For example, the shop employees now wear clothing that meets environmental standards, bags made of recycled plastic will soon be available, and paper consumption has already been reduced by several dozen tons.
Internally, the company is relying more and more on digital processes for processes such as payroll accounting, sick leave or travel expense reports, thereby massively saving resources.