Responsible Business Practices and Governance
In order for a company to be successful, its business model has to be accepted by all relevant stakeholder groups, from its customers through to civil society and the public, investors and business partners. Managing with integrity, the sustainability of business models and the extent to which a company is perceived as living up to its social responsibilities are playing an increasingly important role. Housing is a basic human need, and is therefore always an emotional issue for our customers. Reliable, transparent and trust-based corporate governance is therefore at the heart of our business model. Securing the trust of our customers, employees and all other key stakeholders is our top priority. This requires managers who lead the company responsibly and independently in accordance with the principles of good corporate governance, and whose “tone from the top” attests to their credibility. The same applies to compliance with legislation, directives and regulations, because it is only by consistently following all of the rules – both those defined by law and those we set ourselves – that we will be seen as reliable and trustworthy.
- Sustainability Performance Iindex (SPI) introduced and included in report for the first time in 2021 - with relevance for remuneration at board and management levels: SPI 2021 target achievement of 109%
- Supervisory Board with all 12 members fully independent
- Independent Whistleblower Hotline
- Revision of guidelines on whistleblowing, information security, compliance and data protection
- Code of Conduct updated
- Group-wide, web-based compliance risk analysis carried out
If we fail to meet the expectations of our stakeholders in terms of responsible corporate governance, this may lead to risks that could have an impact on our business and our reputation. That’s why we strive to be seen by our stakeholders as a trustworthy and reliable partner in order to strengthen the competitiveness of our company. Non-compliance with laws and regulations would also imply financial risks, such as liability risks, the risk of administrative penalties or other official sanctions.
With this in mind, we are continuously refining our corporate strategy to include stakeholder expectations and the ESG (environment, social and governance) targets defined by international standard-setters. We want to play an active role in society and engage with stakeholders on an equal footing. Their opinions make a valuable contribution to what we do as a company. This engagement is particularly important at this time due to the general uncertainty in society surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Without it, we would be less aware of what stakeholders are looking for. The capital market and other key stakeholders may see this as being detrimental to society.
Vonovia is committed to upholding human rights in everything that it does, not least due to the recently introduced due diligence legislation. However, the legal systems of Germany, Austria and Sweden already provide workers with a secure framework when it comes to labor and social standards. Vonovia develops and builds homes itself, in particular via the subsidiaries of its BUWOG brand. The focus is therefore on compliance with labor and social standards on construction sites from a risk/human rights perspective.
In light of the ongoing trend of digitalization and the integration of digital working and communication processes into the world of business, the structured management of information and data is an increasingly relevant topic. This issue is particularly relevant for us as we handle sensitive corporate and personal data. It is extremely important that we keep this data safe in order to avoid a loss of reputation and potential legal fees.
We have identified corporate governance and compliance as a material topic in the action area Responsible Business Practices and Governance due to its relevance. Other important topics are stakeholder orientation, respect and support for human rights, information management and data protection and privacy.