Sustainable alignment of thedigital transformation
Within its own framework and as an ideal digitalization partner,A1 Telekom Austria Group is committed to sustainable progressin the areas of business, the environment, and society.
In almost every sector of the economy, the digital transformation of Industry 4.0is opening up a wealth of completely new, smart business models, and thus enor-mous economic and development opportunities as well. However, it is just as im-portant at a social and ecological level: Just think about equal access to informa-tion, education, and knowledge, or the potential for conserving physical re-sources through digitalization. In keeping with its common purpose of “Empower-ing digital life”, the A1 Telekom Austria Group has long since gone from being aprovider of just infrastructure, connectivity and bandwidth to becoming a holisticdigitalization pioneer and companion.
Parallel to this, to ensure that the opportunities and potential of digitalizationwithin society are available to as many people as possible, it is also specificallypromoting the competent and secure use of digital media. A1 Telekom AustriaGroup also takes steps to ensure that its infrastructure roll-out, operation, main-tenance and dismantling activities are as sustainable as possible. The Group ishelping to harness the potential of ICT to mitigate climate change: According to astudy by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative 1), the use of ICT can reduce globalCO₂ emissions by 20 % by 2030.
Systematic management of the
The A1 Telekom Austria Group first implemented a group-wide, integrated sustain-ability management system in 2010. The group-wide sustainability strategy wasderived from a materiality analysis (see “Vision and Strategy”). Responsibility forcoordinating and managing sustainability initiatives lies with the Corporate Sus-tainability department. As part of the Group Communications & Sustainability divi-sion, it reports directly to the CEO Thomas Arnoldner and coordinates the imple-mentation of the sustainability strategy with those in charge in the countrieswhere the Group operates.
A1 Internet for All promotes “digital fitness”and equal opportunities
According to studies such as the 2016 Global Information Technology Report byStrategy&, a rising level of digitalization is associated with a higher gross domes-tic product, a lower unemployment rate and increased innovation. In light of this,“digital fitness” plays a central role at a social and individual level.
The A1 Telekom Austria Group is therefore specifically promoting the develop-ment of the knowledge and skills that are key to equal opportunities in leveragingthe potential of digitalization with its group-wide “A1 Internet for All” initiative inthe form of free workshops. The first media literacy initiative of this kind was es-tablished in Austria back in 2011, and since then similar projects and initiativeshave been rolled out in the countries where the Group operates.
The A1 Telekom Austria Group’s goal was to train 150,000 participants in variousworkshops for children, young people, adults and seniors by 2018. The focus forthe target group of children and young people is on them learning early on tohelp shape the digital world rather than just consuming it. Some of the content ofthese workshops is also made available to educators as training materials. Aspart of the initiative in Austria, parents can take part in information evenings tolearn about children’s Internet habits and how to protect them from the potentialdangers. Training for seniors focuses on breaking down access barriers and en-couraging experimentation. Modular courses, practical examples for everydaydigital life and tips on how to use digital media properly help to get senior citizensonline. Security aspects are included in all workshops for all target groups. By theend of 2018, there were more than 180,000 participations in media literacytraining, surpassing the Group’s target.
According to the 2018 scientific evaluation by the Vienna University of Economicsand Business’ NPO Institute, A1 is making a significant contribution towardsclosing the “digital gap” in Austria.
Products with social value added
Finally, socially disadvantaged people or people with physical disabilities canalso benefit from digitalization in their day-to-day lives. New information andcommunication technologies can, for example, help the blind or the severely vi-sually impaired integrate into the general education system without having to usebraille. A1 in Croatia also offers visually impaired people mobile phones with larg-er displays or simplified menu navigation. In turn, SMS and chat messages bene-fit deaf people. The subsidiary in Belarus therefore offers a special reduced tarifffor people with impaired hearing.
In a society where people are getting older and older, health naturally plays anessential role. e-health solutions are the future of the healthcare system in manyareas. In Austria, A1 already enables a “Medical Data Network” and provides in-frastructure for large parts of the Austrian e-card system. The “Medical Data Net-work” connects doctors, hospitals, laboratories and other health care institutionswith each other. The multimedia hospital bed, also known as the “e-care termi-nal”, adds variety to a hospital stay with several services and assists in nursingstaff’s work processes.
Positive potential of digitalization inenvironmental protection
In a study 2) on this subject, the Global e-Sustainability Initiative reports that in-formation and communication technologies (ICT) have the potential to separateeconomic growth from increases in global emissions. At telecommunicationscompanies, CO₂ emissions are generated by vehicle fleets, heating and air condi-tioning, but above all by the power requirements of their networks. In this context,the A1 Telekom Austria Group has set itself the goal of reducing its CO₂ emissionsby 25 % by 2020 3).
Ensuring that the dynamic increase in data volume as a result of digitalizationdoes not result in comparatively more energy demand and CO₂ requires energy-efficiency-enhancing measures (see “Technology and Innovation”). Furthermore,the A1 Telekom Austria Group is striving to meet its power demands as sustain-ably as possible. It does this by using electricity from renewable sources, such assolar, hydro, and wind: 62 % of the A1 Telekom Austria Group’s electricity require-ments were generated from renewable energy sources in 2018. The A1 TelekomAustria Group also operates two large photovoltaic farms of its own: one in Aflenz,Austria since 2013 that produces more than 252,000 kWh of electricity per yearand one in Belarus since 2016 that produces more than 252 million kWh.
In 2018, A1 Telekom Austria Group employees drove around 105 million kilome-ters in approximately 5,100 vehicles – mainly for maintenance and network roll-out, quality assurance and customer service. The Group has the same ambitionhere as it does for electricity: the utmost possible efficiency. The first step is toreduce the number of kilometers travelled. This is achieved with innovative logis-tics concepts, videoconferences and digital solutions for collaboration (see“Employees”). The second step is to use sustainable propulsion models such asgas, hybrid, or electric vehicles. Taking into account the effects of acquisitionscarried out in the interim, the A1 Telekom Austria Group did not come closer to itsgoal of reducing CO₂ emissions by 25 % from 2012 to 2020(2018: +11 %).
Digitalization helps to conserve internalresources as well
The A1 Telekom Austria Group aimed to reduce its paper consumption by 10 %between 2016 and 2018. The digitalization of internal work processes plays animportant part in this. In Field Service, for example, in addition to digital logbooksfor drivers, plans and assembly orders are increasingly being processed digitally.This saves around 100,000 sheets of paper per year in Austria alone. Besides thedigitalization of internal work processes and the acquisition of follow-me printers,internal campaigns raise environmental awareness of employees and actively getthem involved in green activities. The goal of cutting paper consumption by 10 %was substantially overachieved with a reduction of 46 %.
The A1 Telekom Austria Group also contributes to conserving resources byrecycling mobile phones – even though the Group itself does not manufacturemobile devices. Most of their subsidiaries offer their customers the opportunity toreturn old devices free of charge, and some have even been doing this since2004. Between 70 % and 80 % of the contents of these old devices can berecycled and reused as raw materials by specialist recyclers to whom they arepassed on. In Austria, for example, 100 % of the proceeds from mobile phonerecycling go towards climate protection projects. In 2018 alone, the Group as awhole ensured the proper recycling of 80,000 devices. In addition, somesubsidiaries also reuse devices that have been returned to them and that are stillfunctional and technologically current – after deleting all data, thoroughly testingthem for technical functionality and cleaning them.
Quality, security, and ecological value added
Via its Housing Services, the A1 Telekom Austria Group handles the operationand maintenance of customers’ IT equipment. The quality and standards of itsdata centers guarantee the highest possible level of security. The same is true forhosting services, where the server infrastructure is outsourced to a data center.The outsourcing of infrastructure allows for electricity to be used more efficientlyand CO2 emissions to be reduced to a minimum. Integrated communication solu-tions such as video conferencing or chats also make communication with cus-tomers and partners more efficient and environmentally friendly. Furthermore, A1operates its network on a 100 % carbon neutral basis in Austria, thereby reducingnot just the company’s own CO2 emissions but those of its customers as well.Services such as those provided by the affiliate A1 Digital (see “Technology andInnovation”) also help to reduce the ecological footprint.▬
1) GeSi, SMARTer2030 (2015)
“A1 Internet for All” is helping various targetgroups such as children, young people, adults andseniors to actively participate in, and personallybenefit from, the digital transformation that isincreasingly spreading to new areas of theeconomy and society. As the latest milestone inthis group-wide initiative, the Macedoniansubsidiary launched a media literacy initiative inFebruary 2018 for children with the aim ofteaching them how to use the Internet safely andeducating them about potential dangers of socialnetworks. The workshops were held in twolanguages – Macedonian and Albanian.
Certified environmentalmanagement systems
▸EMAS (since 2013)
▸ISO 50001 for energy management
▸ISO 14001 for energy management
▸EMAS (since 2014)
▸ISO 14001 (since 2009)
Republic of Serbia
▸ISO 14001 (since 2015)
Republic of Macedonia
▸ISO 14001 (since 2016)
2) GeSi, SMARTer2030 (2015).
3) Baseline: 2012.
Photovoltaics at theVienna Arsenal
In 2018, the Austrian subsidiary ex-panded its photovoltaic systems at theA1 Technology Center located in Vien-na Arsenal. A further 312 solar mod-ules were installed on around 516 m2.The electricity they produce is used tooperate the data center and the cen-tral switching technology for fixed andmobile networks among other facili-ties. An output of around 94 kWp isestimated at peak operation. Theamount of electricity produced peryear is expected to be around 90,000kWh – the equivalent of the electricityrequirement of around 25 single-fami-ly homes. The expansion of the photo-voltaic system was partially financedfrom the proceeds of the mobilephone recycling initiative.
HIGHLIGHT PROJECT ENVIRONMENT
Sustainability goals 2016–2018
As part of its sustainability strategy, the A1Telekom Austria Group had set itself sustainabili-ty goals for 2018 in four action areas (see “Visionand Strategy”). Its achievement of these goals isshown below. New goals for the period from2019 to 2021 will be published on the A1.groupwebsite in the course of financial year 2019.
Technology & Innovation
▸LTE network coverage of 80 % in the A1Telekom Austria Group (achieved)
▸Coverage of around 60 % of Austrianhouseholds with a bandwidth of at least 40Mbit/s with a pure fixed network infrastructure(achieved)
▸Identification and promotion of marketableinnovations, e. g. through start-up initiatives(achieved)
▸Reducing power demand per terabyte oftransferred data volume by 30 % (achieved)
▸Reaching a constant recycling rate of 70 %(not achieved)
▸Reducing in-house paper consumption
by 10 % (achieved)
▸38 % women in management positions
▸Anchoring of flexible work arrangements(achieved)
▸Creating framework conditions for thepromotion of constant learning (achieved)
▸150,000 participants in media literacy training(achieved)5)
▸Promotion of social projects according to localrequirements (achieved)