Case Study

Deutsche Telekom –      a blueprint for a global due diligence programme


Deutsche Telekom (DT) is Germany’s leading information and telecommunications company, employing more than 229,000 employees in 50 countries.

twentyfifty partnered with DT in 2013 to advise on their human rights strategy and support their due diligence implementation across the business. This included several human rights impact assessments in high-risk markets and a comprehensive human rights gap assessment of DT’s central processes following a change in regulatory requirements in Germany and the EU.

The challenge

DT is a highly varied and complex global business with a diverse ownership structure. Creating a human rights due diligence program for the business required a culturally sensitive approach that could be tailored to the wide range of audiences and communication styles.

A key challenge was to support the global human rights team in creating an overview of the central due diligence systems and identifying the gaps and improvements needed.

Our approach

Firstly, we tailored the requirements of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to the ICT-industry and then mapped them against DT’s business priorities. By fully partnering and collaborating with DT’s human rights team in the planning and implementation of the projects, we ensured that the outcomes fit DT’s culture and addressed their core business needs.

We have also supported DT in embedding human rights due diligence across their business by continuously building awareness and internal capability, by translating human rights requirements for different audiences and by supporting the development of cross-functional governance.


We delivered a human rights gap assessment of DT’s central processes and created a comprehensive Blueprint for Action, broken down by function, that included a cross-functional governance structure to help with prioritization and alignment to international standards.

We also delivered four human rights impact assessments in high risks markets, enabling a deep understanding of key human rights risks across the business.

We renewed their Human Rights website to include an overview of their human rights due diligence activities and governance and updated their Code of Human Rights to align it with key international requirements.

What our clients say
Melanie Kubin-Hardewig, VP Group Sustainability Management, Deutsche Telekom AG

“You have successfully supported us on many complex projects, including conducting human rights impact assessments in high-risk markets and shaping our human rights strategy. We value your outside-in perspective in regard to our processes and human rights strategy.”

Project details
Client Deutsche Telekom
Sector Technology & Industry
Services provided Embedding Due Diligence
Functions involved Group Corporate Responsibility, Vice President Group Sustainability Management
Duration 8 years
Key success factors

Stakeholder engagement

Leadership of Change

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