Management Approach: Professional Waste Management for Our Portfolio and on Construction Sites

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Re-Sorting Increases Recycling Rate

In the area of waste prevention and recycling, we support our tenants with waste separation. A service provider assumes responsibility for re-sorting household garbage, which increases the recycling rate. In this way, about 50% of the residual waste can be saved and recycled.

The use of a service provider pays off for the tenants through reduced waste fees and a higher recycling rate. Following high savings of € 4.4 million in 2015, a further € 3.3 million of residual waste fees were avoided in 2016. Of these further savings, we were able to pass on savings of almost € 2.3 million to our tenants through their ancillary expenses bills (2015: € 3 million). 203-2

€ 3.3 million

Savings
of residual waste fees in 2016

Icon – Residual waste fees avoided (icon)Icon – Residual waste fees avoided (icon)

€ 2.3 million

Passed on to Tenants
through their ancillary expenses bills

In 2017, the service provider structure in this area will be reorganized and once again put out to tender. In structural terms, the volume of orders throughout Germany will be allocated to fewer waste management companies overall. This will enable better control of these companies and enhance comparability, thus delivering further improvements in terms of quality and potential savings for our tenants in general.

At the same time, here too we aim to achieve product improvements for our tenants. For instance, this may involve innovative service concepts (e. g., mobile garbage can cleaning) as well as new planning approaches, like for new buildings, in terms of the design and position of the waste storage locations on the properties. Standardized and modular waste storage location concepts are currently being developed whose modular new design will enable them to be efficiently installed in new and existing properties, while offering easier handling and a uniform look.

Waste and Wastewater Management on Construction Sites

Waste and wastewater management also plays a major role on our construction sites. Every craftsman’s training includes professional disposal of used materials, since environmental protection and occupational safety often go hand in hand: Employees receive instruction on proper separation and professional disposal of various construction and other materials etc. during their initial training and subsequently receive further guidance on this from their supervisors and managers. Many environmental issues at Vonovia are covered by environmental, health and safety (EHS) regulations.

During modernization work on properties, we are frequently faced with harmful substances which require special disposal. Residual waste and harmful substances such as asbestos must be identified in good time, so as to ensure their proper disposal.

Waste and toxic materials are disposed of throughout Germany through a professional waste management partner (DoGA), who handles all of the documentation relating to disposal quantities and waste categories. Our craftsmen’s organization receives regular reports on this. The necessary notifications under Section 53 of the German Waste Management Act (KrWG) are submitted to the relevant environmental authorities for all of the member firms of our craftsmen’s organization.

A current challenge is the disposal situation for insulating boards containing HBCD – which has yet to be clarified. These materials must be professionally stored on construction sites pending provisional clarification of the process for their disposal. Through its association work, Vonovia is seeking to clarify this disposal issue prior to the expiry of the currently applicable transitional arrangement.

Subcontractors are obliged to handle the entire waste management process for the relevant construction projects. In the case of disposal of asbestos, our procurement department monitors licenses and documentation.

A certified specialist laboratory samples and analyzes possibly contaminated components and materials prior to their removal. Disposal concepts are agreed with the responsible firms and the authorities involved on the basis of the findings. The performance of this work is monitored by these firms’ technical personnel and is reviewed by health and safety coordinators tasked with this on the construction sites. The disposal certificates are documented.

As a rule, Vonovia ensures that the firms carrying out this work use environmentally friendly materials which will not cause water pollution (mineral plaster, etc.). A landscape gardener will replace adjacent topsoil and appropriately dispose of it through landfill.