Sustainable Construction and Development
Overview of the Action Area
Our construction projects create living space that is urgently needed, particularly in metropolitan areas. We take care to optimize their energy efficiency and use environmentally conscious construction methods that conserve resources.
The construction industry is one of the most carbon and material-intensive areas of the economy, which makes it a key lever for us to implement our sustainability activities. Public expectations and European and national climate action targets are constantly changing. This is making society and other key stakeholders for Vonovia focus more and more on sustainable construction. This trend is one of the reasons for sustainable construction being one of the main focus areas on our sustainability roadmap.
There is a lot of room to make the process of building new housing more efficient in terms of energy and resources. We are also committed to using the best available solutions for renovations. We concentrate on optimizing energy use in the buildings, renewable energies and using construction methods that conserve resources and protect the environment as much as possible.
- Energy consumption of newly built apartments included as a key performance indicator in the Sustainability Performance Index (SPI)
- 2019 target almost achieved: 862 new apartments completed for the portfolio in Germany (target: approx. 900)
- 2,088 new apartments completed across the Group
- 2019 target achieved: more than 85% of new buildings completed in Germany are in energy efficiency class A or A+
- Ambitious climate targets set by “klimaaktiv pakt2020” achieved in Austria, work continues as part of the “klimaaktiv pakt2030”
- Product quality assurance manual produced
Our aim is to decrease the average energy consumption of our new housing to 33 kWh/m2 or less by 2024. We managed to get this figure down to 35.7 kWh/m2 in 2020. We have included reducing energy consumption per m2 as a key performance indicator in our Sustainability Performance Index (SPI). It is now one of our key non-financial metrics.
We define the steps we will take to achieve these targets in line with recognized standards like the KfW energy efficiency standards, DIN standards for construction and the criteria of recognized sustainable building certification programs, such as the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) or the Austrian Sustainable Building Council (ÖGNB). We also perform life cycle assessments to gain an insight into the impact that a building has on emissions, resources and its local environment at every stage of its existence, from construction through to demolition and disposal. This also helps us to choose the right construction methods and materials.
By incorporating sustainable methods from the earliest stages of each project, we make the construction process resource-efficient and ensure that the property is energy-efficient. We use sustainable materials and products such as solid timber and hybrid timber construction methods to ensure that renewable resources are also used. We encourage our customers to make use of low-emission means of transport by integrating mobility concepts into the development of our neighborhoods. How we landscape the areas around our properties also has an important role to play. We are committed to providing green areas as a natural habitat for flora and fauna and a way of avoiding urban heat islands. We monitor compliance with social and environmental standards in our supply chains, taking responsibility that goes beyond the borders of our own systems and construction sites.
The materiality analysis carried out in 2020 identified Sustainable Construction and Refurbishment in the action area Sustainable Construction and Development as a material topic. Other important topics are Sustainable Materials and Products and Social and Environmental Standards in the Supply Chain.