Sustainability Report 2019


Management Approach

If we look back over the past year, we can see that the high demand for affordable housing – particularly in large cities and urban conurbations – has sparked a widespread public debate. One focus of this debate is on the housing industry. As few topics are as emotionally charged as housing is, the discussion has been, and indeed still is, very controversial. Public debate and media reporting are having a negative impact on how the public perceives residential real estate companies like Vonovia.

What is more, regulation in the areas of construction and sustainability is being stepped up. New laws, as well as stakeholders such as shareholders and investors, are putting higher demands on companies – also with regard to climate protection. Political requirements like the new Climate Protection Act, the introduction of a carbon tax and legislative discussions regarding supply chains or human rights are raising awareness of topics relating to sustainability, with mounting expectations regarding the action that companies should be taking.

What we achieved in 2019

  • Sustainability strategy defined as part of the 2019 strategy process (and to be developed further in 2020)
  • Share of women in management and control bodies: Management Board: 25%, Supervisory Board: 33.3%
  • New partner portal for suppliers and Business Partner Code implemented
  • Discourse process “Outlook for climate-neutral housing” (Perspektiven klimaneutralen Wohnens) launched
  • 179 tenant meetings and consultation processes organized

These developments will have a long-term impact on the success of our business model. We are addressing them in a structured manner and tailoring our governance activities accordingly.

In terms of sustainable corporate governance, we have identified the following material topics and integrated them into our materiality matrix:

  • Long-term growth
  • Corporate governance, compliance and anti-corruption
  • Open dialogue with society

Long-term growth: Our success is built on growth that is as long-term as it is stable. We therefore focus on the continuous development of the building stock with a view to the long term, the aim being to keep properties in our portfolio for a long time. In addition, we are continuously developing our portfolio of housing-related services.

Corporate governance, compliance and anti-corruption: Vonovia is a trustworthy and reliable partner. It is important to us that our customers, shareholders, business partners and employees, society and the general public perceive us as such. Compliance with laws and regulations is just as important as following the good and sustainable guidelines laid out in our corporate code.

Open dialogue with society: We are aware of our relevance to society. Within this context, we maintain close contact with various stakeholder groups from the worlds of politics, business, society and the academic community.

In the following chapters, we will cover these topics and explain their relevance to Vonovia. The relevant challenges, opportunities and risks, and the objectives, measures and indicators are outlined for each topic.

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