Ecological Responsibility

Internet and telecommunications service providers such as United Internet inevitably entail substantial use of energy. In line with this, decarbonization is an important topic for us and our stakeholders.

Our network infrastructure and data center operations are at the heart of everything we do, and together account for the largest share by far (>80%) of total energy consumption in our Group. Consequently, United Internet’s activities to date have focused on saving energy, increasing efficiency, and reducing emissions in these two areas. We report on the existing management approach used in the Business Applications Segment (data centers) in the relevant subchapter. The need for additional management policies for the fiber optic network will be examined in 2023 as part of a more in-depth examination of the topic of decarbonization.

We aim to use resources efficiently and to contribute to climate protection.

The remaining energy consumption and direct and indirect emissions (Scope 1 and 2) are largely attributable to electricity and heating for office buildings and, to a lesser extent, to the consumption of fuel by our company cars. An end-to-end policy for reducing consumption in these areas was not yet in place during the reporting period. The need for additional management policies for our offices and company cars will be examined in 2023 as part of a more in-depth examination of the topic of decarbonization. In preparation for this, electricity and heating consumption data was also captured for office buildings, and total consumption at all locations estimated, for the first time in the reporting period. Details of the data captured are given in the subsections that follow.

In addition, our business relationships impact the environment. This applies in particular to our use of our business partners’ fiber-optic networks and the energy consumption associated with this, which is also disclosed in this report. Other emissions in the upstream and downstream value chain (Scope 3) is only available in fragmentary form to date (e.g., emissions from business travel and from shipments to customers). We intend to determine and disclose our full carbon footprint in future reports in line with the CSRD requirements, and to develop a policy for decarbonizing our value chain.

The second material topic that was newly identified in the environmental responsibility area is materials efficiency and circularity . This focuses on our internally used IT hardware and on customer devices such as smartphones, tablets, and routers. Partial approaches for this were already in place during the reporting period, but there were no overarching targets and policies as yet. Their development is planned for 2023 following the materiality analysis performed in 2022. As in the previous year, information on existing measures and on the reuse of internally used IT equipment, packaging volumes, and paper consumption is disclosed in the subsections on this topic. We intend to expand the information base in this area and to address this topic in more detail in future reports.

Finally, the “Environmental Responsibility” chapter contains information on shipping distances and on employee mobility (business travel) that also already formed part of our sustainability reports in previous years.

Scope 1: Direct emissions generated by the company’s own production facilities and vehicles.

Scope 2: Indirect emissions from purchased energy (primarily electricity and heating).

Scope 3: All other emissions caused by the Company’s activities but not under its control (e.g., at suppliers, service providers, and customers).

Contribution to the SDGs

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.