Key Materiality Aspects at Vonovia
A home is a basic human need. We meet this basic need by creating new living space and letting existing living space. We do so responsibly and sustainably by paying attention to the environmental footprint of our buildings and by having committed to the goal of virtually climate-neutral housing stock. We also do so by living up to our social responsibility and offering residential units at fair prices for all different groups within society. We do so through a governance structure that meets high value benchmarks and that is well suited to being perceived as trustworthy and reliable by our stakeholders.
Vonovia classifies the company’s material sustainability topics based on two dimensions according to the double materiality concept: the relevance of social and environmental changes to the business and value creation (outside-in perspective) and the impact of the business model and company activities on the environment, society and the economy (inside-out perspective). As part of this process, the perspectives of our relevant stakeholder groups are taken into consideration in our assessment of the material topics.
The materiality matrix, which builds on this, categorizes ten material topics – which will be explained in more detail in the subsequent chapters of this Non-financial Group Declaration – and 14 further important sustainability topics within five areas for action.
Due to the merger between Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen, we compared the materiality analysis of both companies in 2021, assigning the Deutsche Wohnen sustainability topics to those of Vonovia. In the summer of 2022, we once again performed a critical review of all topics against the backdrop of integration and consolidated reporting, as well as new regulations and changes in general conditions. This review resulted in us slightly upgrading individual topics (“Protecting biodiversity,” “Digitalization and data security,” “Human rights due diligence and supply chain”) due to increased regulatory requirements (EU taxonomy and the Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains) or higher impact assessments. No changes have been made to their assignment to the material topics. Furthermore, we have revised how the topics are structured in some cases in order to eliminate redundancies and allow for more rigorous reporting. All previous topics remain unchanged.
The materiality analysis of sustainability topics that is presented here applies to the entire Group and represents the leading system for the non-financial topics.
In terms of the direction of its sustainability strategy, Vonovia is also guided by international standards and frameworks, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN Global Compact and – as of January 2023 – the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. As a company with international operations, we aim to contribute to achieving these goals with our business in Germany, Austria and Sweden. To this end, we have identified eight central SDGs that guide our actions (see also the SDG policy on the Investor Relations website). We show our progress in terms of achieving these goals, especially in our sustainability report.