Since 2003 the Social Charter has defined DT’s ethically impeccable practices. This year the Social Charter has been revised and now requires re-affirmed through signings by the current Board of Management to express the ongoing commitment to the special responsibility of DT as a global leader for ICT to promote human rights.
Alongside the Code of Conduct and the Guiding Principles, the Social Charter is the third pillar on which the company bases its business practices. It is the “constitution” for responsible business, so to speak. However since its last update in 2013, new requirements related to a stronger inclusion of human rights principles came up:
- Explicit naming of relevant human rights principles based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (“Ruggie-Principles”) and compliance with the German National Action Plan (NAP – Nationaler Aktionsplan “Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte”)
- Transparency on processes supporting our activities in taking responsibility, e.g. through training and awareness campaigns
- Implementation of appropriate due diligence processes, e.g. through business assessments.
These requirements are strongly supported by external stakeholders such as socially responsible investors, relevant rating agencies and NGOs.
The basic character of the Social Charter and its core content remains unaffected, but wording changes towards a more explicit mentioning of the human rights principles as well as the incorporation of our existing processes and strategy reflects the new requirements. The Code of Human Rights & Social Principles applies to all employees, investors, customers and suppliers as a behavioral guidebook. Deutsche Telekom regularly verifies observance of the Code of Human Rights & Social Principles in all Group units and publishes the results annually in the Social Performance Report.