The size of our property and service portfolio means Vonovia has an equally large responsibility toward the environment and society. We strive to fulfil our responsibilities in the interests of our stakeholders and align our activities with this aim. We include sustainability issues and current societal developments in our decisions and planning for this purpose.
Our Understanding of Sustainability
Vonovia’s business model aims to maintain the value and foster the long-term development of the real estate portfolio as well as to keep our service promise to our customers. On this basis, we work to achieve the sustainable growth of our company with stable income over the long term.
Our business model is integrated into social and ecological change processes. For our company, these include, in particular, demographic change, the ongoing trend for urbanization, migratory flows to Germany and regulatory and social changes brought about by climate change.
As a result of our business model, we believe that economic, ecological and social sustainability are closely interlinked and covered by regulatory frameworks. This is the framework within which Vonovia operates in order to generate added value for its core business in ecological and social areas too.
Our Sustainability Approach
Our sustainability approach takes into account the developments affecting our business. We also take into consideration the impact of our business processes on society and the environment. The main focal point, however, is always on providing a comfortable home. After all, a home is a basic human need. Good living standards and sound neighborhoods are essential for making sure that customers feel content in their homes over the long term. We meet our customers’ needs by providing affordable, high-quality homes that are integrated in lively neighborhoods. 102-44
Within this context, we also implement extensive measures to maintain and develop our portfolio. These efforts include, in particular, measures to improve the energy efficiency of our stock. This allows us to make a contribution to protecting our climate. At the same time, well-insulated apartments increase efficiency and simultaneously reduce ancillary costs for our customers. Compliance with the regulatory requirements of environmental, energy and tenancy law is always a material component of our business processes.
A nice, stable environment is part of a good residential atmosphere. Therefore, together with other social actors, we become involved beyond our properties and set trends with cities, companies and city planners, with associations, initiatives and, last but not least, with our local customers for the sustainable development of entire neighborhoods.
Vonovia always focuses on valid laws and provisions in its sustainability activities. In addition, numerous national and supranational standards and agreements serve as a guide for the structure and design of our sustainability concept. This includes the 2015 Paris Agreement and the German government’s 2050 climate protection plan as well as upholding human rights and working standards, fulfilling our duty of care and adhering to safety provisions.
Establishment in the Company
At the highest level, the Chief Executive Officer of Vonovia SE is responsible for the issue of sustainability at Vonovia. The Supervisory Board supports and monitors the issue in the Audit Committee. 102-20
The operational processing of sustainability-related issues is performed via the staff positions and line functions of Vonovia SE. Those responsible from the customer service, residential environment, product management, process management, HR, purchasing, accounting and communication departments, and the technical service ensure that the agreed measures are implemented in everyday business and our objectives are achieved. 102-19
In order to ensure that sustainability issues can be tackled in a more structured, cross-departmental manner and to expand our dialogue with stakeholders, the function of a sustainability specialist was established in 2017. General topics such as sustainability reporting, corporate citizenship, adjustments to relevant guidelines or the development of interfaces with relevant company processes are handled there on a centralized basis.
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. In order to place more emphasis on this complex issue within the company and to significantly increase data quality, Vonovia launched a project on the collection and reporting of key environmental figures, under the auspices of the central controlling department at the end of 2018. 102-20