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Our Understanding of Sustainability

Vonovia sees itself as a stakeholder which has an active role to play in material topics. Our day-to-day business is geared toward fulfilling people’s basic need for a home. We take a sustainable and responsible approach to living up to this responsibility. We have a particular obligation towards more than one million customers in Germany, Austria and Sweden, as well as society as a whole, the environment and our shareholders.

Vonovia revamped its Business Philosophy in 2019 to reflect this commitment. Our business philosophy provides details about the approach and values which we apply when fulfilling our responsibilities to society. It also provides guidance outlining how employees are expected to treat each other and external stakeholders. We want our work to be measured against the values detailed in the business philosophy.

Vonovia drew up a comprehensive Understanding of Sustainability in 2020. This is derived from the materiality matrix and the revised corporate strategy, which incorporates sustainability-related issues to a greater extent than in the past. Our Understanding of Sustainability explains our approach to sustainability and details our social task (Purpose).

We have identified 33 material and important topics, which are addressed in seven different action areas. How we run our company and our daily actions sustainably is largely guided by this understanding of sustainability. This shared understanding also makes it easier for us to communicate our ambitions to external parties with a unified voice.

We know that the decisions we make as a company always have an impact on people, neighborhoods, and the environment. We weigh the consequences up carefully, particularly when it comes to modernizing buildings and designing neighborhoods. Our revised climate path includes binding annual interim targets which will help us to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. After all, protecting the environment and our climate should go hand-in-hand with our understanding of sustainable living. We are committed to providing safe and high-quality housing at fair prices.

As a real estate company with a long-term focus, we aim to strike a balance between commercial success on the one hand, and social responsibility and ecological objectives on the other. We are committed to the principles of the social market economy and profitability. Vonovia takes responsibility as a provider of affordable housing and as a service provider, building contractor and developer, but also as a stakeholder in society. For us, sustainability means managing our business activities in a way that generates the greatest possible long-term benefit for society as a whole.

This is the standard we want to be measured against. We want this to be embodied by every employee. We base our sustainability activities on the applicable laws, regulations and standards of the countries in which we operate. In addition, numerous national and supranational standards and agreements serve as a guide for designing our sustainability concept. These include the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and the German government’s plan to achieve climate neutrality by 2045 on the basis of the Federal Climate Change Act. However, observing human rights and labor standards as well as complying with duties of care and protective regulations also play a decisive role for us. We are also addressing the consequences of recent developments, such as the EU-wide classification system for sustainable and climate-friendly investments (the EU Taxonomy).

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