Explanatory Information on the Content of the Report and the Framework
The entry into force of the CSR Directive Implementation Act (CSR-RUG) has given rise to new reporting requirements for Vonovia. We are compelled, for the first time, to supplement our financial reporting for the 2017 fiscal year to include information on key non-financial aspects of our business activities with regard to our respect for human rights and commitment to fighting corruption, employee and social issues and environmental aspects.
This chapter includes the required disclosures for the Non-financial Declaration pursuant to Sections 289 a–e of the German Commercial Code (HGB) in conjunction with Section 315 b–c HGB (combined Non-financial Declaration). In order to avoid data redundancy, reference is made to other sections of the management report that contain non-financial information. This particularly affects the following content of the Non-financial Declaration:
The diversity concept for the composition of the management and control bodies is set out in the “Declaration on Corporate Governance”. Information on general diversity among the Group’s employees is provided in this chapter under the heading “Employees.”
The business model is explained in the chapter entitled “Fundamental Information about the Group”.
In addition, a number of material topics relating to sustainability at Vonovia are covered in the chapter entitled “Our Service Promise”. The “Material Topics” section of this “Non-financial Declaration” refers to the corresponding sections.
One particular challenge facing the real estate industry involves making environmental key figures available for the housing stock. These are calculated based on the consumption of resources in rented areas which is, in turn calculated largely based on the statements prepared by the utilities companies. Due to the billing periods, the required key figures are not yet available at the time the Annual Report is published. This means that reliable key figures for the 2017 fiscal year can only be calculated at a later date. The section “EPRA Reporting” (not part of the combined management report), however, lists those key environmental figures that are already available (from the 2016 fiscal year).
Other non-financial performance indicators are listed in the “Non-financial Performance Indicators” chapter.
According to CSR-RUG, material risks associated with the corporation’s own business activities must be reported. These are risks which are very likely to occur and which could have challenging negative effects on non-financial topics.
Vonovia’s management does not expect any such risks to occur.
The Non-financial Declaration is largely based on the format of Vonovia’s Sustainability Report. This is, in turn, prepared based on the GRI Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (as valid in 2016) in accordance with the “core” option. The Sustainability Report is also based on the EPRA Best Practice Recommendations on Sustainability (in its second version from 2014).
The Sustainability Report contains further extensive information on individual non-financial topics, as well as corresponding project examples and key figures. The Sustainability Report for the 2017 reporting year will be published in June 2018.