Vonovia addresses the processes of social and ecological change on an ongoing basis and in a structured manner, and analyzes how these changes impact Vonovia’s business and its value creation (outside-in perspective). At the same time, our decision-making processes look at the impact that our business model has on the environment and society (inside-out perspective). Taking account of the perspective of our relevant stakeholder groups is a key third dimension when it comes to identifying the sustainability issues that we consider to be material.
We redefined the material topics in 2020 as part of an extensive materiality analysis. The materiality matrix that emerged from this process replaces the list of material topics that has been in place since 2017. This new definition was prompted by changing overall social conditions, the mounting importance of climate protection issues and internal changes resulting from the company’s internationalization and its new development business activities.
As part of the materiality analysis, internal and external stakeholders reviewed and assigned weightings to 33 selected sustainability topics in seven areas of activity from three angles – impact on the environment, society and the economy; impact on business relevance; importance for external stakeholders. A total of two in-house workshops were held as part of this process with specialist and management levels as well as with the Management Board. An online survey was also conducted with 142 participants from Germany, Austria and Sweden, and 42 expert interviews were conducted to validate the results. Among others, the survey participants included representatives of the capital market, tenants’ associations, employees, business partners, suppliers and service providers of Vonovia as well as representatives from authorities, the world of politics, associations, civil society and academia.
The results were transferred to a materiality matrix covering all three dimensions. The process identified eleven topics that are material for Vonovia. These are explained in greater detail in the following chapters of the Non-financial Declaration. The materiality matrix also includes another 22 key topics that are addressed outside the Non-financial Declaration, in particular in the Sustainability Report.