Interview with VALENTINA DAIBER, Chief Officer Legal & Corporate Affairs, Member of the Board of Directors of Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG

For you as a manager: What does it mean to strive for sustainability?

Responsibility and sustainability are firmly anchored in my area of accountability as a board member. It is therefore very important to me that we take a pioneering role in the fight against climate change. It is one of my personal core beliefs that businesses can and should set the pace. Working in the digital industry, I continuously remind everybody that our digital life has an impact on the environment and society. However, I do everything in my power to unleash the positive effects of digitalization on the environment. Digital economy plays a key role on the way to a more sustainable world. It is up to us to ensure that positive effects are widely used and that negative effects are limited. I am convinced that we as a telecommunications provider can make a significant contribution to the digitization of Germany and thus to a more sustainable way of living and working.

Is it harder to fight for a sustainable business in financially challenging times?

Climate change remains the most urgent task for the global community. So, despite the current challenges, we must make faster progress to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Convention. Even small steps apart from large investments, such as home office and video conferencing instead of business trips, lead to more sustainable business. However, it is important that companies promote future technologies, as these are essential to successfully tackle the climate crisis. Of course, it takes courage and confidence to invest in digital transformation in times of recession. But those who do not invest now will lose!

How can technology help you to create a sustainable organization?

The increasing degree of virtualization we currently observe because of the pandemic shows that climate protection and digitalization go hand in hand. Modern technologies like the new mobile standard 5G contribute significantly to reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Our networks help companies to jump higher and further in their sustainable digitization. And that in turn helps climate protection. The better the networks, the faster digital, sustainable business models and applications can take effect and contribute to overcoming the climate crisis. However, I think that we still underestimate the opportunities that arise from technological progress and digitization in particular. So, watch out: 5G is a key element for more sustainability.

It is one of my personal core beliefs that businesses can and should set the pace in the fight against climate change. Digitalization is our most important lever to achieve this.