Corporate Governance and Responsible Business Practices
Vonovia factors in a wide range of interest groups. Their perspectives and their specific concerns provide valuable input for our corporate strategy and the development of our neighborhoods. We see ourselves as bridge-builders and value ongoing communication on an equal footing to find common solutions that foster a positive community spirit in our neighborhoods. We point the way for others, and the size of our company means that we have a particular responsibility to society and the environment.
Our main stakeholders include tenants, employees, shareholders, investors and analysts, as well as policymakers at a municipal, state and federal level. Other interest groups include tenants’ associations, suppliers and service providers, the media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Our dialogue with stakeholders is as an expression of our outreach activities that enhances our reputation and can have a positive impact on how others view our activities. We structure the dialogue with our stakeholders on an individual basis and are guided by what groups expect of us. In Austria, for example, we take part in industry events related to property development to back up our communication in this area, in addition to running advertising campaigns on specific subjects, such as housing in the time of the coronavirus. As a community developer, we provide housing in addition to setting up infrastructure and green spaces. This means that we play a role in shaping the urban environment. We take as many requests and suggestions from tenants into account as possible when planning our work. We take a proactive approach to keeping residents informed about our plan and also invite them to participate in discussions and the design and landscaping of green spaces. We also keep our neighborhoods green by distributing plants that tenants can put on their balconies. Other measures, such as walks through the neighborhoods with our tenants to provide information about the residential environment, are planned for the year 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. One special outreach format in 2020 was our conference on the “Outlook for climate-neutral housing” (Perspektiven klimaneutralen Wohnens), which was attended by representatives of business, academia and politics and led to a lively discussion of the action areas required for the neighborhood of the future. A series of climate discussions is planned as a follow-up digital event for 2021 (see Outlook for Climate-neutral Housing).
Selected Memberships in Industry Associations and Initiatives
We are also active in a number of residential and property management associations at a national and European level, contributing to the strengthening of the property management sector. Vonovia has no party-political affiliation and does not make contributions to political parties. This position is ensured by our corporate governance and compliance management system. However, we make sure to have a voice in the debate and communicate our demands to political decision-makers through forums like the Vonovia climate conference and other physical and online events. We are also involved in several initiatives aimed at protecting the climate.
- AGV Arbeitgeberverband der Deutschen Immobilienwirtschaft e. V.
- AGW Arbeitsgemeinschaft Großer Wohnungsunternehmen
- DDIV Dachverband Deutscher Immobilienverwalter e. V.
- DENEFF – Deutsche Unternehmensinitiative Energieeffizienz
- Deutscher Verband für Wohnungswesen, Städtebau und Raumordnung e. V.
- DIRK Deutscher Investor Relations Verband e. V.
- EPRA European Public Real Estate Association
- FGW – Forschungsgesellschaft für Wohnen, Bauen und Planen (Austria)
- GdW Bundesverband deutscher Wohnungs- und Immobilienunternehmen e. V.
- Initiative Wohnen.2050 e. V.
- Initiativkreis Ruhr
- Institut für Corporate Governance in der deutschen Immobilienwirtschaft e. V.
- InWIS Forschung und Beratung – Förderverein e. V.
- Klimaaktiv – a climate action initiative launched by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology
- KlimaDiskurs.NRW e. V.
- Österreichische Gesellschaft für nachhaltige Immobilienwirtschaft
- Österreichischer Verband der Immobilienwirtschaft
- Open District Hub e. V.
- respACT – Austrian business council for sustainable development
- UN Global Compact
- Verein der Freunde und Förderer der EBZ School e. V.
- vhw – Bundesverband für Wohnen und Stadtentwicklung e. V.
- ZIA Zentraler Immobilien Ausschuss e. V.
Corporate Communications liaises with our stakeholders on a daily basis and ensures that our internal and external communication is consistent. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become increasingly important for us in recent years. The Public Affairs department ensures dialogue with politicians.
We take a closer look at the different forms this dialogue can take in the individual sections of this Sustainability Report.