Ladies and gentlemen, dear readers,

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Approximately one million people live in our properties. We are an important point of call for them when it comes to where they live. We gladly accept this responsibility.

Rolf Buch, Chairman of the Management Board (photo)

Rolf Buch,
Chairman of the Management Board

»We bear a significant social responsibility, of which we are fully aware.«

We do so to ensure that our customers feel comfortable in their homes today, tomorrow, and in the future. And this is not just possible with a service-oriented customer policy based on a high-performing IT system: We also need dedicated, friendly staff on site who are always willing to listen. Furthermore, our apartments need to leave no wish unfulfilled in terms of construction, social engagement, and energy. This is why we will continuously invest in our apartments over the next few years: approximately one billion euros per year. Our guidelines are:

  • People now enjoy a higher level of comfort in their homes: And our tenants naturally wish to share in these improved standards of living. At the same time, there is a need for affordable housing. We therefore require solutions which offer a high level of comfort but also reasonably priced rents.
  • The share of the older population is growing: Our customers also wish to be able to live independently in their apartments in old age. We require senior-friendly housing to achieve this goal.
  • More and more people are moving to the city: They want to be based in lively areas where there are jobs and good infrastructure. This means it is not only necessary to build appropriate housing – it also needs to be attractive and affordable.

We are committed to improving the energy efficiency of our apartments. We are thus seeking to make a significant contribution towards fulfilling the German government’s climate goals.

We are tackling precisely these issues through our investments and our innovative concepts. Thanks to the large volume involved, we can implement solutions benefiting several different stakeholder groups at the same time – our customers, our owners, and also society as a whole.

We have an important relationship with the municipalities: They expect us to also shape people’s living environments outside of their homes. And rightly so! Here too, we are making investments and getting involved. We are in constant dialogue with social amenities, economic partners and politicians and gladly live up to this responsibility.

You have our second sustainability report in your hands. Last year, our report was based on the GRI G4 guidelines. This is now our first report based on the new GRI standards, which were published in October 2016.

Over the course of the following chapters, you can review the progress which we have made in the past year, the issues which we are currently particularly concerned with, and our plans for the future. We have kept our promises: We have become more transparent and have provided you with more data than in our first report. We have supplemented our previously reported key figures with further key figures on the basis of the EPRA Best Practice Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting.

We have thus come a step further, but have still not reached the end of our journey. We will not stand still, not when it comes to serving our customers and not when it comes to shaping our shared future. True to our philosophy, we will collect further findings and actively utilize them in order to improve our performance. In doing so, we will adhere to our motto: Let’s get things done! 102-14

Bochum, June 2017

Yours sincerely,

Rolf Buch

Rolf Buch, Chairman of the Management Board (signature)