2. Materiality

The company discloses the aspects of its business operations that have a significant impact on sustainability issues and what material impact sustainability issues have on its operations. It analyses the positive and negative effects and provides information as to how these insights are integrated into the company’s processes.

With its core line of business – providing housing – the real estate industry has a direct influence on how people live together and the way in which cities are designed. As one of Europe’s three largest real estate companies, Deutsche Wohnen therefore believes it has an obligation to act responsibly that goes beyond its economic objectives.

We understand the importance of a constructive dialogue with all relevant and interested parties as it enables us to recognise challenges and opportunities and approach them proactively. Ensuring transparency and intensive dialogue with our stakeholders allows us to pick up on directional impulses in the company’s environment as well as set our own.

In line with the GRI guidelines, we conducted our second stakeholder survey in autumn 2015. This entailed asking more than 500 employees, business partners, tenants, purchasers, analysts, investors, and figures from both politics and society for their opinions online. We asked them to identify and assess the issues they considered to be most important for Deutsche Wohnen within our areas of action. Deutsche Wohnen’s Management Board and senior executives then identified the most relevant topics from the company’s perspective at a subsequent third-party-moderated workshop. These form the focus of our sustainability management system and the related reporting. In conjunction with economic impact considerations, these have guided the selection of the GRI Aspects and Indicators included in our sustainability report. 

Deutsche Wohnen SE has published a consolidated non-financial statement for the financial year 2017 in accordance with section 315b ff. of German Commercial Code (HGB) pursuant to the German Act Implementing the CSR Directive (CSR-Richtlinie-Umsetzungsgesetz – CSR-RUG). This statement addresses those material, non-financial matters which have been identified as being of relevance to the business activities of Deutsche Wohnen and as having a significant impact on the environment, the company’s employees, social issues human rights and the problem of corruption and bribery. On the basis of the GRI Standards, Deutsche Wohnen assessed the impact of its activities on the sustainability issues specified in the legislation and evaluated their relevance to understanding the business development and results of the company.  Here you can find the non-financial statement.

As the concept of materiality is interpreted differently in GRI and CSR-RUG, we have continued to use the GRI guidance to determine material topics for our sustainability report. We have scheduled the next stakeholder survey for autumn 2018. Once this has been completed, we will also take into account an internal assessment of the issues based on the impact of our business activities, as required by the new GRI Standards. 

List of material topics by area of action

Responsible corporate management
- Long-term economic stability
- Transparency and dialogue with stakeholders
- Clear corporate vision and strategy with regard to sustainability
- Compliance 

Responsibility for the property portfolio and sustainable new construction
- Regular maintenance and modernisation
- Creation of housing in conurbations
- Dialogue with tenants
- Selection of sustainable suppliers and materials for our maintenance, modernisation and new construction work 

Responsibility for employees
- Professional training and continuing education
- Promotion of work-life balance and family-friendly working conditions
- Diversity and equal opportunity
- Transparent structures and rights of co-determination 

Responsibility for the environment and the climate
- Innovation in the context of the generation of heat and energy for our holdings
- Modernisation of our holdings with a view to energy conservation 

Responsibility towards society
- Development of residential districts
- Safeguarding of historic building structures and preservation of historic buildings 

For effects of our business activities in respect of the various sustainability aspects please see also Criterion 1, Strategic Analysis and Action.