Sustainable Relationships With Business Partners
Vonovia is committed to long-term, constructive and trusting relationships with all of its business partners. This allows us to reliably provide a quality product and a high level of service, while also increasing our efficiency by reducing the amount of resources that we use.
In Germany, these working relationships are governed by the Business Partner Code and the Code of Conduct, which oblige our partners to observe economic and legal rules of conduct and to comply with anti-corruption policies in all of their dealings with sub-contractors. The Vonovia Business Partner Code was adapted in Austria in 2019 as part of the integration of BUWOG. In Sweden, the Code of Conduct fulfills this function (see Respect for and Promotion of Human Rights). This structured and sustainable approach to partner management minimizes violations and risks in the supply chain. In 2021, to ensure compliance with the Supply Chain Diligence Act (LkSG), we performed a gap analysis and drew up a plan for surveying environmental standards and human rights violations in preparation for the implementation of the requirements of the LkSG, which was adopted in 2021. We will perform this survey in 2022, before the LkSG comes into effect as of January 1, 2023.
The Vonovia Partner Portal has been an important element of our long-term partnership with our service providers and suppliers since 2019. We also use it for risk and supplier management. Vonovia uses the portal as a central repository for all of the documents and data used to assess suppliers and award contracts. This reduces our administrative workload, while also allowing us to track the suitability of business partners from a formal, technical and social perspective. The system will be expanded to include sub-contractors over time. When selecting service providers and suppliers, the Procurement department uses the Vonovia partner portal to check that the provider in question has acknowledged its duty to respect human rights as set out in the Business Partner Code. In the event of any irregularities or scenarios in which these obligations are ignored, the cases are documented accordingly and sanctions are imposed. The Vonovia Partner Portal is also linked directly to our whistleblower system, making it easy to handle complaints made against individual partner companies.
We digitalized our tendering processes on a separate platform in 2020 in order to be transparent about our supplier base and enter into partnerships and submit orders on a paperless basis. This platform uses an SAP-based process which is capable of setting contract award and payment blocks. Vonovia uses the NOVA BIM platform to manage its tendering processes. In addition to removing the need for SharePoint and a manual email-based tendering process, the platform also makes it possible for departments to access individual tenders. As a result, the Procurement department is able to view the status of a tender, prices, bidder lists, tender documents and a standardized set of specifications, in addition to providing access to the GAEB files which are commonly used in the construction industry. This gives us the flexibility we need to manage ongoing tenders within departments. We upgraded the technology behind our craftsmen tool in 2021 to standardize and streamline the ordering process with our craftsmen. In future, we will be talking to our strategic business partners about the additional functions they think could add value and want to see added. Sustainability concerns have already been implemented into our purchasing processes and the supplier management system. We have also increased the level of digitalization within the Procurement department to make these processes more efficient and more transparent (see Respect for and Promotion of Human rights).