We actually did it: At the Climate Change Conference in Paris, all 196 participating countries signed up to an Agreement to limit global warming.
Thus, after a marathon two weeks of negotiations, the community of nations in France agreed a historic document. The new legally-binding global climate agreement aims to ensure that mankind limits the global warming diagnosed by scientists. In the end, all of the nations signed the Agreement, which contains binding provisions on the measurement and reporting of emissions, as well as on emission reduction targets.
What does this mean for Deutsche Telekom?
As part of its integrated climate strategy, Deutsche Telekom is contributing to a more environmentally-friendly future on the basis of four pillars. The Group has undertaken to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent from 2008 levels by 2020 (Pillar 1). Then, instead of 2,600 metric kilotons of C02 (not including T-Mobile USA), the Group will only emit 2,168 metric kilotons of CO2 worldwide. Thus Deutsche Telekom is making an important initial contribution to achieving the two-degree target agreed in Paris.
Integrated network strategy
The main drivers of this improvement are an integrated network strategy, efficient data centers and the conversion of the fixed network to all-IP. But lower emissions are also driven by the optimization of office space, a reduction in Deutsche Telekom's vehicle fleet while complying strictly with the Green Car Policy, and cut-backs in business trips. Deutsche Telekom also plans to improve its carbon footprint by increasing the percentage of electricity from renewable energies used by the company (Pillar 2).
Sustainable climate protection
In addition to reducing carbon emissions, managing resources efficiency is another important component. For example, the avoidance of waste, the recycling of network equipment and devices, and the collection of cell phones as part of the recycling of reusable materials. In order to identify how effective the climate protection measures are, the Group records their direct effects, e.g., using the two key performance indicators (KPIs) "energy intensity" and "carbon intensity" (Pillar 3).
However, the most important contribution to Group-wide climate protection comes from Deutsche Telekom's products and services. According to the "smarter2030" study presented by GeSI (Global e-Sustainability Initiative) and Accenture at Deutsche Telekom on June 9, 2015, the use of ICT technologies could reduce global emissions by 20 percent or 12.1 billion metric tons by 2030 and thus prevent a further increase in global emissions. That is why harnessing this enormous potential is a central component of Deutsche Telekom's new integrated climate strategy (Pillar 4). Deutsche Telekom offers environmentally-friendly solutions for all customers and economic sectors, whether cloud or ICT solutions for farming, smart home solutions and smart metering, web and video conferences, music downloads, cell phone navigation, or sharing platforms.
A future worth living in
Deutsche Telekom's Board Representative for Sustainability and Climate Protection, Luis Neves, was in Paris in his capacity as Chairman of GeSI (Global e-Sustainability Initiative) to highlight the potential of ITC providers. Although global demand for energy will grow in the next few years, it is possible to improve energy efficiency through innovative technologies and to better manage energy consumption. ITC companies cannot resolve the problems alone with their innovative technologies, but they can make a substantial contribution to a future worth living in.
With an eye on the Paris Agreement, Deutsche Telekom will resolutely continue down its chosen path. To this end, the Group plans to take the following measures:
- Systematic reporting and management of carbon emissions in the Group in order to achieve the climate protection target of a 20-percent reduction compared with 2008 by 2020.
- Constant increase in the share of renewable energies in all national companies until 2020.
- Development of other KPIs and systematic management using existing KPIs to drive forward efforts for greater energy efficiency.
- Establishment of a sustainable product portfolio through comprehensive evaluation of the "enabling impact" of all Deutsche Telekom products.
- Implementation of the integrated climate strategy in the Group.
- Deutsche Telekom's long-term vision is to contribute to an environmentally-friendly life through an environmentally-friendly product portfolio.