Conserving Resources in Transportation and Logistics
With our own craftsmen’s organization, caretakers and gardeners, we are always close by for our customers in our properties. As a result, trips to our various regions and within our managed properties are unavoidable – and numerous. We have therefore identified various measures to ensure that these trips are nonetheless environmentally friendly and conserve resources.
Management Approach: Travel Optimization Conserves Resources and Boosts Efficiency
Vonovia’s housing portfolio covers the whole of Germany. Our craftsmen, our caretakers and our gardeners thus operate all over the country every day and need to be highly mobile.
In order to minimize our environmental impact, we have implemented various measures to optimize our processes in the area of transportation and logistics as far as possible.
Shorter Distances through Centralized Coordination of Appointments
In the area of transportation and logistics, we focus as much as possible on centralization: Processes that can be bundled are handled centrally, like our repair center, where repair inquiries are received and appointments are coordinated for our craftsmen. The employees there can see from the incoming orders precisely where there is a need and estimate how long the craftsmen will require before scheduling a resource-conserving and cost-efficient sequence of appointments. In this way, travel is planned efficiently. This saves time, distances traveled and money, and protects the environment.
In addition, when assigning tasks to craftsmen, we ensure that these jobs are situated close to where they live, thus avoiding long journeys at the start of their working day. Some of Vonovia’s housing stocks are situated far away from the locations of our technical service – in this case, we commission local subcontractors to carry out the work, so as to avoid our craftsmen covering long distances.
In addition, our goal is that our craftsmen think in such an integrated and networked manner, that where possible, only one trip is required in order to deal with a particular task. For instance, once on site, a service technician will carry out minor jobs in other trades, so as to complete the repair. Our technicians receive training for this purpose, where necessary.
belong to Vonovia’s vehicle fleet
Metric Tons CO2 e
of emissions from our vehicle fleet
Shorter Distances Thanks to New Technologies
Through smart metering, apartments are equipped with an intelligent system that records and bills heating consumption and transmits the data directly to the central system using wireless technology. As a result, individual meter reading of the heating units is no longer necessary. This in turn saves time, travel and fuel and thus reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Due to the success of our pilot project, we significantly expanded our smart metering in 2016: We are already billing the costs for around 30,000 units with the help of state-of-the-art technology via a wholly-owned subsidiary for our customers.
As a next step, implementation of new IT tools for fuel reporting and a controlling system to reduce fuel consumption are planned. Fuel consumption will be systematically registered during fueling and evaluated as part of our vehicle fleet management. Heavy users will be actively notified of the resulting costs and CO2 emissions and encouraged to drive in a fuel-efficient manner.
Conserving Resources through Environmentally Friendly Means of Transportation
We ensure that the cars in our vehicle pool feature the latest technology and therefore comply with the latest emission standards. All new vehicles fitted with diesel engines comply with the EURO 6 standard. In 2016, the greenhouse gas emissions of Vonovia’s vehicle fleet amounted to 14,540 t CO2e (2015: 12,044 t CO2e). This increase (+21%) is due to the fact that Vonovia’s fleet had around 25% more vehicles than in the previous year.
In early 2016, fuel-efficient ecoFlex gasoline-powered models were acquired for the fleet’s small vehicle segment. Previously, only diesel vehicles had been used here.
Vonovia is intensively examining the issue of alternative drive systems. A pilot project is already underway and the first vehicle was introduced in December 2016.
In Cologne, Frankfurt, Leverkusen, Düsseldorf and Bochum, Vonovia’s caretakers now use bicycles to travel around their properties several times a week. Out and about on their bikes, our employees are even more conspicuous, make it easier for our tenants to approach them while protecting the environment.
Shorter Distances Thanks to Direct Deliveries for Our Technicians
Most of the spare parts and materials which our craftsmen require every day are delivered directly to their vehicles overnight. Through this overnight delivery system, we save valuable time and mileage, since it is no longer necessary to collect materials from the location in question or from the building material trader. Where overnight delivery is not possible for some materials and spare parts, the goods can be collected from one of our trade partners who have a dense network of branches, thus enabling short distances.
In 2016, the ratio of overnight deliveries to the total volume of material usage was further increased and thus contributed further to preventing CO2 emissions.