Vonovia in the Context of Current Trends and Developments
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic – the exact extent of which can not yet be estimated – continued to grip the world in 2021. Even though we are all desperate for life to return to normal, it is safe to assume that the pandemic has caused significant changes to how people throughout society live and work, and that these changes are here to stay. As we attempt to peer into the future from the fourth wave of the pandemic, it is impossible to say what other economic, political and social changes we might see as a result of the coronavirus.
Another key issue facing us at the moment is how to best combat climate change caused by human-induced global warming. This climate crisis led to extreme weather conditions throughout 2021. July 2021 was the warmest month on record. Weather phenomena like extreme heat, dry conditions and fires pose as much risk to a company as heavy rain, flooding, melting glaciers and rising sea levels. More and more people around the world are being affected by extreme weather. The catastrophic flooding in the Ahr valley made it clear that we are no exception, and that action is required now.
This intense focus in the political sphere and society at large now needs to be reflected in the world of business. Corporate strategies and business models now need to go well beyond how to generate a return. More and more companies are setting and working towards targets to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability in a wide variety of different areas.
The megatrends that we recognize in society – climate action, reducing carbon emissions, urbanization, housing shortages, digitalization and demographic change – are all increasing in intensity. Going forward, everything that Vonovia does as a company will be based around responding to these megatrends. That is why Vonovia reviewed and updated its sustainability strategy last year. We have also made considerable headway in terms of incorporating sustainability issues into our business processes.
Vonovia operates around 505,000 of its own apartments (December 31, 2021) in almost all of Germany’s attractive cities and regions as well as around 22,000 apartments in Austria and approximately 38,000 in Sweden. Vonovia is one of the leading residential real estate companies in Europe.
Vonovia SE is based in Germany. Its registered office has been in the city of Bochum since 2017. On September 30, 2021, Vonovia took control of Deutsche Wohnen. As of December 31, 2021, 736 legal entities/companies formed part of the Vonovia Group (see List of Shareholdings).
Vonovia SE performs the function of the management holding company for the Group. In this role, it is responsible for determining and pursuing the overall strategy (including the sustainability strategy) and implementing the company’s goals. It also performs property management, financing, service and coordination tasks for the Group. Furthermore, it is responsible for the management, control and monitoring system as well as risk management system of the Group.
To carry out these management functions, Vonovia SE has established a series of service companies. These focus on providing support to business and operational processes. From an organizational perspective, these service companies are grouped together centrally in shared service centers. Vonovia manages its business via the four segments: Rental, Value-add, Recurring Sales and Development.
Further information on Vonovia SE and its corporate structure can be found at Corporate Structure.
Nowadays, companies have a crucial role to play in societal, political and economic change. This is particularly true for Vonovia, because our business model – providing homes – is very much in the public interest. As a result, Vonovia is committed to meeting its responsibilities to society and providing the information that stakeholders need in a transparent way. We are increasingly transitioning from a shareholder approach to a stakeholder approach, which requires the company to earn its social license to operate.
Our strategy has a part to play in society finding sustainable solutions to meet the challenge of current megatrends. Our sustainable and robust business model once again provided a firm foundation for growth in 2021, despite the impact of the pandemic. Vonovia’s acquisition of Deutsche Wohnen puts us in an even better position to provide long-term solutions which benefit everybody.
The takeover of Deutsche Wohnen lays the foundation for forming a leading European real estate company which can take an even more effective approach to tackling the central social and environmental challenges of the housing industry. Integrating Deutsche Wohnen into the organizational structures of Vonovia will be one of the company’s most important tasks in 2022. We expect the integration process to be complete by the beginning of 2023.
The sustainability report and the figures reported for the 2021 financial year refer to the Vonovia Group excluding Deutsche Wohnen. In the interest of clarity, a separate sustainability fact book has been prepared for Deutsche Wohnen for the 2021 fiscal year.
Vonovia in Figures