Responsibility

We need
to talk!

  • 70,000 years ago, humans developed a new linguistic skill. This enabled our ancestors to effectively work together in extremely large groups – the decisive step in conquering the world. However, they were barely able to grasp the consequences of their reorganization of the world. However, we don’t have this excuse. We are fully aware of the environmental and societal consequences our actions may have.

    We need to come together to responsibly shape the future for the next generations. We can only overcome challenges such as climate change or polluting drinking water with microplastic by working together. However, this means many large and small steps must be taken. As was the case 70,000 years ago, our linguistic skills are our most important tool: We need to speak!

    As Deutsche Telekom, we take our responsibility for a more sustainable future very seriously. For almost two decades now, we have been on a gradual path of becoming a more sustainable Deutsche Telekom. We provide extensive information of our progress in our Corporate Responsibility Report. But the following applies, even to us: We can only be successful together with our employees, partners, and custom­ers. For instance, we therefore speak about digital responsibility on our website, we talk about digital democracy on the internet platform “1001 Truth”, and about climate protection in our “We Care” magazine. We interact with experts and laymen to learn from one another. Together with like-minded people; whether it be from the field of politics or science, whether suppliers or competitors, we develop joint solutions. In our internal social network, our employees discuss societal and environ­mental challenges, find answers, and implement them in projects.

The “we care” label

  • Establishing transparency about what we do also means establishing transparency to make it easier for others to make decisions – for or against us as a partner, service provider, or employer, and for and against our product offering. To increase this transparency even further, we have now launched “we care”. It highlights small and great successes; it aims to offer orientation, and is a motivation for us and our suppliers to find answers, even when tackling unusual tasks. We promote “we care” with two icons:

Environment

  • “Environment” describes products, services, projects, measures, and initiatives that make a positive contribution towards more climate protection and a responsible use of resources.

Digital participation

  • “Digital participation” describes services, projects, measures, and initiatives that make a positive contribution towards social challenges in the digital world.

How the label is awarded

  • A brief description beneath the symbol refers to specific sustainability benefits. Examples: Has recyclable material been used, is the packaging biodegradable, or is the product particularly energy efficient? More details can be found on the websites on which the products, services, or initiatives are described. We set some rules when awarding the “we care” label. Deutsche Telekom employees can suggest products, services, or initiatives that they believe should be given the “we care” label:

Rules for awarding the label

Suggestions must be extensively justified using a criteria catalog and the sustainability benefits must be stated.

If there are clear disadvantages for society or the environment, “we care” may not be awarded. For instance, if there is a product with particularly sustainable packaging but consumes more energy than comparable products, it cannot be given the “we care” label.

Experts including those from the Group Corporate Responsibility unit, will check the suggestion and, where necessary, will add further reasons for or against awarding the label and may also consult further experts.

At least three different company units are involved in reaching a decision on awarding the label. However, the unit that made the suggestion is not involved.

Benchmarks with comparable products, services, and initiatives should be used when making the decision where possible.

The label should offer customers, consumers, and interested parties additional information

  • However, we are not yet finished. We now want to develop the “we care” label together with our customers, interested parties, and experts and we are looking forward to feedback with further ideas, comments, and suggestions for improvement – all in the spirit of #takepart.

We Care – a small step

  • “we care” makes the small victories on our path towards a sustainable Deutsche Telekom more apparent. It’s not sup­posed to be a certificate – it’s a small step on the path to becoming more transparent. We will continue to use exist­ing certificates that consumers can use as an aid when deciding which sustainable and socially-responsible ICT products to use. For instance, a large percentage of our fixed-line phones and our entire media receiver product line bear the Blue Angel label. We will soon present the first pro­ducts, services, and initiatives here that have been awarded the “we care” label.