Vonovia has close links with a wide variety of stakeholders, and is committed to addressing their needs and feedback. Their perspectives and their specific concerns (which sometimes conflict) 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 – a responsibility that we take seriously. We are also well aware of our need to take responsibility due to our position as the largest private provider of homes in Europe.
Our key stakeholders are tenants, employees (see Attractiveness as an Employer), shareholders and analysts (see Appeal on the Capital Market) and policymakers at a municipal, state and federal level. Our other stakeholders are tenant associations, suppliers and service providers (see Sustainable Relationships with Business Partners), media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) (see Inclusion, Diversity and Social Cohesion).
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 the ever-changing expectations that groups have of us. As a community developer, what we do goes beyond providing homes. By developing infrastructure and green spaces, 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. That is why we inform them of our plans ahead of time, in addition to inviting them to discuss projects and take an active role in shaping them (see Involvement and Participation).
Selected Memberships in Industry Associations and Initiatives
Vonovia is well aware of its responsibilities in the field of housing, and discusses the issue on a regular basis with policymakers. At the same time we have no party-political affiliation and do not make donations to political parties. This position is codified in a Group guideline that applies to the entirety of Vonovia.
However, we are still committed to playing a role in political discussions and taking a position on policy issues. We do this transparently and openly. All business meetings with a political dimension are coordinated with Corporate Communications, and may only be attended by the individuals defined in the Group guideline. We do this to ensure compliance with provisions of the lobbying register at a European level and in some state parliaments, as well as the requirements for registering as a lobbyist with the German Parliament, which came into effect on January 1, 2022. Vonovia is not a part of any national or international associations, and does not partner with state institutions.
We are transparent about the positions that we take – with a focus on issues that involve the interplay between housing and the environment. Representatives from the world of business, research and politics took part in our own “Outlook for Climate-neutral Living” forum in 2019 and 2020 at Vonovia’s headquarters in Bochum. We will continue taking this successful approach to specialist conferences in 2022, with a focus on sustainable construction (see Sustainable Construction and Development).
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. In Germany, Vonovia is represented in the economic fora of the CDU, SPD and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen political parties. We are also involved in several initiatives aimed at protecting the climate. Vonovia was a member of the following associations in the 2021 reporting year:
- Återbruksnätverket Öst (Sweden)
- AGV Arbeitgeberverband der Deutschen Immobilienwirtschaft e. V.
- AGW Arbeitsgemeinschaft Großer Wohnungsunternehmen
- BeBo – Energimyndighetens nätverk för energieffektiva flerbostadshus (Sweden)
- buildingSMART Austria (Austria)
- DDIV Dachverband Deutscher Immobilienverwalter e. V.
- Digital Findet Stadt (Austria)
- 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
- Fastighetsägarna (Sweden)
- 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.
- KlimaDiskurs. NRW e. V.
- Klimaaktiv – a climate action initiative launched by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (Austria)
- Linköpingsinitiativet (Sweden)
- Österreichische Gesellschaft für nachhaltige Immobilienwirtschaft (Austria)
- Österreichischer Verband der Immobilienwirtschaft (Austria)
- Open District Hub e. V.
- respACT – Austrian business council for sustainable development (Austria)
- SABO (Sweden)
- 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.