Sustainability Report 2019


EPRA Sustainability Best Practice Recommendations


Vonovia is a leading international residential real estate company with a portfolio of around 356,000 of its own apartments (December 31, 2019) in almost all of Germany’s attractive cities and regions, as well as around 22,500 apartments in Austria and approximately 17,000 in Sweden. We employ 10,059 people (excluding Hembla) throughout the Group.

As a residential real estate company, Vonovia is an important part of society. After all, a home is a basic human need, and housing is a matter that also involves social factors. We are guided in our actions by the three basic principles of sustainability: We take economic responsibility for our company, make an ecological contribution to climate and environmental protection, and assume social responsibility for our approximately one million tenants, the neighborhoods that they live in, and our employees.

We offer a home for everyone. For us, this means providing needs-based and good living standards, an intact residential environment that protects our climate and biodiversity, and neighborhoods that are functioning and appealing at the same time. We are continuing to develop these neighborhoods in which our apartments are located in a holistic manner and with a view to environmental and climate protection. This also includes the construction of new apartments, both for the company’s own portfolio and for sale. Sustainable business practices are an integral part of our business model and are at the very heart of our corporate strategy. This means that we take responsibility for safe, good-quality and affordable housing.

As a member of EPRA (European Public Real Estate Association), we want to contribute to greater transparency in reporting. This is why we make annual publications based on the EPRA Sustainability Best Practice Recommendations. The following report consists of two parts: the Overarching Recommendations and the Sustainability Performance Measures.

Overarching Recommendations

Organizational Boundaries

The key figures published focus on Vonovia SE’s activities in Germany, as well as on the sites in Germany, Austria and Sweden that were acquired in 2018. They are generally recorded based on the operational control approach. The data also, however, includes units from homeowners’ associations in Germany and Austria. In some cases, we own less than 50% of the ownership rights to these units. This sort of minority interest affects around 3% of our portfolio.


This EPRA report relates to Vonovia’s portfolio and operations.


The sustainability figures presented for 2019 include 400,082 residential and commercial units covering a total area of 25,991,328 m2.


Residential and commercial units

Area in m2



















In line with the approach taken for the companies that were acquired in 2018, Hembla AB in Sweden, which was acquired in 2019, has not yet been included. In line with this approach, the environmental key figures from 2018, which mainly relate to a specific time period, also remain unchanged. For reasons of consistency, acquisitions in 2018 have not been included on a pro rata basis for 2018.

Business Operations

The objective is to attain as complete a view as possible of the environmental impact of the Vonovia Group and its many different locations. These locations include not only the company headquarters in Bochum and the large customer service centers in Duisburg and Dresden, but also regional administration offices, caretakers’ offices, and offices and workshops used by the technical service and the residential neighborhood services. Some of these belong directly to the Vonovia portfolio; some relate to rented space. For the latter, Vonovia can only improve the environmental performance to a limited extent, or only in agreement with the landlord.

For the 2019 reporting period, the corporate headquarters in Bochum, fourteen other German locations, the BUWOG headquarters in Berlin and the two largest BUWOG offices in Vienna and Villach are included in the report. There is no office building in the Sweden region that meets the criterion of more than 500 m2 of office space.

Estimation of Landlord-obtained Utility Consumption

The environmental key figures relating to heat consumption in the portfolio were calculated based on the energy certificate data (demand and consumption certificates) wherever possible. These cover heat consumption in both the residential units and communal areas in the Germany and Sweden regions. The majority of Vonovia energy certificates in the Germany region are demand certificates (approx. 74%), meaning that 26% of the data is based on consumption certificates. There is no energy certificate data available for 2.7% of the portfolio. As far as the Austria region is concerned, actual consumption was used to determine heat consumption.

The environmental key figures for electricity consumption in the German portfolio’s communal areas are based on the quantities accounted for by the Vonovia company VESG (Vonovia Energie Service GmbH). We have applied actual consumption values for the regions of Austria and Sweden.

The German portfolio’s water consumption is based on meter readings, which are also included in the operating and ancillary costs, and refers to the residential and communal areas. For the Austria and Sweden regions, these figures will be collected in the future, but are not yet available for 2019.

The German portfolio’s waste volumes are calculated on the basis of the costs incurred, which are passed on to tenants via the operating and ancillary costs. For the Austria and Sweden regions, these figures will be collected in the future, but are not yet available for 2019.

Third-party Assurance

The Sustainability Report – and, as a result, also the key figures set out herein – are currently not audited by third parties. All of the data is, however, reviewed by the Internal Audit department of Vonovia SE on behalf of the Supervisory Board’s Audit Committee. The carbon emissions are calculated by an external service provider.

Boundaries – Reporting on Landlord and Tenant Consumption

We only report on the consumption of heating, water and waste purchased from the landlord and on the electricity that we make available to our tenants for the communal areas. Tenant-related utility services, i.e., from invoices that tenants receive directly, cannot be reported. This primarily includes the electricity that tenants use in their own apartments.

The portfolio data therefore covers the following areas:

  • Heating: residential and communal areas
  • Electricity: communal areas
  • Water: residential and communal areas
  • Waste: living areas


We use intensity figures wherever possible. For intensities relating to building floor space, we use the rentable area as the denominator. When it comes to calculating consumption (the numerator), we use the rentable area plus a 20% surcharge for the communal areas. The resulting intensities for energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions include the consumption of heating and general electricity, but not the electricity used by tenants in their own homes.

The calculations of the key occupational safety and health figures are explained in the corresponding table of key figures.

Segment Analysis

For a segment analysis of our portfolio, please refer to the chapter Portfolio in the Property Management Business in our 2019 Annual Report.

In our key reporting figures, we generally make a distinction between our three core markets: Germany, Austria and Sweden.

Disclosure on the Company’s Own Offices

The offices’ environmental key figures are partly based on heating and electricity bills from the energy providers, the municipal water utilities and the waste disposal company. Extrapolations were necessary in some cases because the bills from utility companies for the reporting period had not yet been received at the time of publication. The fuel consumed by Vonovia’s fleet was evaluated based on fuel cards.

Narrative on Performance

As part of the performance measures, we report additional explanatory information at relevant points in the individual tables of key figures.

Reporting Period

As with the Annual Report, we report by fiscal year, i.e., from January 1 to December 31 of a given year. For most of the key figures, we are reporting the last three fiscal years (2017, 2018 and 2019) in the 2019 Sustainability Report. As far as the EPRA key figures are concerned, we refer to the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years. As some key figures have been added for the first time, only data for the current fiscal year is available.


In 2017, we used a stakeholder survey to validate and add to our material topics. Key parameters have changed in the meantime, i.e., the acquisition of BUWOG and Victoria Park in 2018 and the associated internationalization and expansion of the field of activity to include the development business, as well as the social debate on subsidized housing and climate change. This means that the material topics need to be reevaluated. As a result, Vonovia will be conducting a new materiality analysis as part of a process of dialogue with relevant stakeholders in 2020. You can find more information in the chapter Material Topics in our 2019 Sustainability Report.

Further information on the Overarching Recommendations can be found in the chapter About This Report in our 2019 Sustainability Report.

Sustainability Best Practice Performance Measures (EPRA tables)

The key figures and tables for the Vonovia Sustainability Best Practice Performance Measures can be downloaded here: Vonovia EPRA sBPR2019 tables.

Download the full sEPRA-Report here: Vonovia EPRA sBPR2019.

Themenfilter EN