Sustainability Report 2019


Environmental Protection in the Portfolio

Objectives, Measures and Indicators

Vonovia has set itself the goal of becoming a market and innovation leader when it comes to designing sustainable residential environments. We see it as our role to provide impetus for eco-friendly action. In practical terms, this means:

  • We build and manage our residential environment in a safe and commercially viable manner, making sparing and efficient use of resources
  • We reduce and eliminate harmful greenhouse gas emissions wherever possible
  • We safeguard and promote the diversity of flora and fauna in our portfolio
  • We are already preparing for the potential impact of climate change and focusing on resilience
  • We involve the people in our neighborhoods in the design of the residential environment and aim to raise awareness, inspiring them to become ecologically aware

For this strategy we have defined five areas of activity and related measures:

  1. Responsible use of resources
  2. Increasing biodiversity
  3. Adapting to the consequences of climate change
  4. Participation
  5. Safety in our properties

Description of objective

Responsible use of resources

Description of measures

Reduction in energy consumption

  • Use of LED lighting and motion sensors on paths and squares
  • Use of energy-saving tools

Increase in the recycled waste/the amounts recycled

  • Establishing waste management in our portfolio to reduce the volume of waste and promote waste separation
  • Commissioning of a service provider to sort through domestic waste
  • Design of refuse collection points
  • Testing of closed-loop systems
  • Converting green waste into plant soil
  • Recycling of horticultural waste for energy production in biomass power plants
  • Reuse of leftover wood pieces as lumber

Reduction in water consumption

  • Use of rainwater for irrigation
  • Use of water-efficient irrigation systems
  • Water reprocessing

Use of construction and natural materials

  • Various pilot projects involving more eco-friendly building materials, for example, using insulation material made of hemp
  • Reduction in building material waste thanks to improved procurement management

Avoiding soil sealing

  • Brownfield development: vertical expansion and densification on sites that have already been developed
  • Reduction in parking area by introducing alternative mobility concepts such as car-sharing and electric charging stations

Description of objective

Increasing biodiversity

Description of measures

Animal welfare

  • Establishment of 100 insect habitats in 2020
  • Installation of nesting aids for bats and birds on buildings and in individual trees
  • Ad hoc resettlement of species endangered by construction projects in compensatory areas
  • Creation of vegetation strips to provide a habitat for microbes

Promotion of plant diversity

  • Creation of wildflower meadows spanning around 100,000 m2 by 2020
  • Reforestation using native types of wood and climate-resistant plants, e.g., 1,000 climate-resilient large trees
  • Maintenance of around 14 million m2 of green spaces and hedges covering a total length of more than 300 km and around 220,000 trees
Icon – House with tree

14 million m2 of green spaces, 300 km of hedges, 220,000 trees

Target for 2020: around 100,000 m2 of wildflower meadows and 100 insect habitats

Creation of compensatory areas

  • Reforestation of semi-natural compensatory areas after deforestation or impervious surface coverage as mixed cultivation areas

Description of objective

Adapting to the consequences of climate change

Description of measures

Data collection

  • Establishing and improving the corresponding data pool based on Vonovia’s geographic data and information system
  • Recording of data on the contribution to reducing CO2 and use of this data for management purposes

Implementation of a rainwater management system

  • Use of backwater installations and roof greenery to absorb large quantities of water
  • Preparation of flooding information for drainage planning
  • Planning of possible rainwater management measures such as reservoirs, trenches and run-off troughs
  • Implementation of retention areas as flooding areas

Improving the urban climate

  • Installation of roof trenches and other evaporation surfaces for air humidification and cooling
  • Promotion of shading using facades, roof greenery and large canopy trees
  • Increasing the abundance of plants in urban neighborhoods using roof gardens and mobile raised flowerbeds

Description of objective


Description of measures

Information for tenants

  • Customer information on efficient heating and saving energy in the customer magazine “zuhause” (At home) and in various flyers

Tenant participation

  • Consultation procedures for community development, such as open space planning competitions involving tenant participation
  • Initiation and implementation of tenant projects:
  • Tenant gardens, urban gardening
  • Tree sponsorships
  • Self-sufficiency cooperatives

Educational cooperatives

  • Establishment of cooperation with ecological stakeholders (NABU) and schools/daycare centers
  • Pilot project trialling the Gemüseackerdemie food education concept developed by Ackerdemia e. V. at eight locations in 2020

Description of objective

Safety in our properties

Description of measures

Design of outdoor spaces

  • Creating spaces for well-being
  • Ridding the neighborhood of areas that feel unsafe by ensuring sufficient lighting on paths, parking spaces and in foyers and halls

Airborne and noise pollution

  • Installing soundproof windows on streets with heavy traffic
  • Acting as mediators in noise disputes between neighbors
  • Distributing house rules in different languages

Safety inspections

  • Cataloging the tree stock to ensure public safety
  • Physically inspecting all open spaces and playgrounds every two years
  • Immediately taking corrective action when defects or risks are identified to prevent accidents in open spaces
  • For key figures, see the chapter Key Figures

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