Strategic and organizational approach to sustainability

We see ourselves as a responsible company on the basis of our Leading European Telco strategy: We want to be the leading telecommunications provider in Europe. For us, social and ecological responsibility is inseparably connected with such a leadership role. We believe it is part of our mission to “Act responsibly. Enable sustainability.” We are committed to implementing sustainability along our entire value chain and to playing an important role in meeting today’s ecological, economic, and social challenges. We are expressly committed to the principles of the United Nations Global Compact, the German Sustainability Code, and the Code of Responsible Conduct for Business. Furthermore, we support the UN SDGs; in particular, we contribute to goals no. 3: Good health and well-being, 4: High-quality education, 5: Gender equality, 8: Decent work and economic growth, 9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure, 11: Sustainable cities and communities, and 13: Climate action. We were awarded the distinguished National German Sustainability Award in December 2017 for our comprehensive sustainability management.

Our CR strategy, which is aligned with our core business, includes three fields of action: “Connected life and work – enabling a sustainable lifestyle,” “Connect the unconnected,” and “Low-carbon society.” In addition, the following topics are of particular importance within our sustainability management system: data security and data privacy, digitalization, sustainable supply chains, human rights, circular economy, and resource decoupling, as well as responsible employers.

Our Board of Management bears overall responsibility for our CR goals, discussing and making decisions on key CR-related issues. The Group Corporate Responsibility (GCR) unit develops Group-wide guidelines and principles. It is also responsible for positioning and aligning CR strategically, and monitors all of the corresponding processes. The CR managers from the different business units and national companies are responsible for implementing our CR strategy, and work closely together in the international CR Manager Network. GCR is also advised by the CR Board, composed of the heads of key Group areas, in order to ensure direct feedback between CR and our core business. Our values and basic principles are anchored in our Guiding Principles, the Code of Conduct, and the Code of Human Rights & Social Principles. The cornerstones of our sustainability management activities are formally set out in our CR Policy for all Group units.

We record environmental, social and governance (ESG) data and performance indicators as part of our CR controlling system. We use this data primarily to calculate our Group-wide ESG KPIs (key performance indicators), which we use to measure and control our CR performance. We regularly review these KPIs to ensure they provide reliable information, revising them as needed. In some cases, the KPIs and other metrics can be linked to the SDGs to show the progress we are making in the SDG focus areas.

We use the Socially Responsible Investment ESG KPI to determine how the finance markets rate our sustainability activities. This indicator measures the proportion of T-Shares held by investors whose investment strategy is based not only on economic but also at least partially on the ecological and social aspects of corporate governance. As of September 30, 2017, roughly 18 percent of all T-Shares were held by SRI (socially responsible investment) investors, and around 3 percent were held by investors who manage their funds primarily in accordance with SRI aspects. In addition, during the reporting year our share was again listed on leading sustainability indexes, such as RobecoSAM’s prominent DJSI World and DJSI Europe. Our share also continued to be listed on the FTSE4Good and UN Global Compact 100 indexes. 8

Listing of the T-Share in sustainability indexes/ratings
Rating agency Indexes/ratings/ranking 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
RobecoSAM DJSI World
  DJSI Europe
CDP STOXX Global Climate Change Leaders
oekom research AG “Prime” (Sector Leader)
Sustainalytics STOXX Global ESG Leaders
  UN Global Compact 100
FTSE Financial Times Stock Exchange FTSE4Good
Successfully listed ☒ Not listed