12. Resource Management

The company discloses what qualitative and quantitative goals it has set itself with regard to its resource efficiency, in particular its use of renewables, the increase in raw material productivity and the reduction in the usage of ecosystem services, which measures and strategies it is pursuing to this end, how these are or will be achieved, and where it sees there to be risks.

Deutsche Wohnen is focusing on the use of renewable energy and on improving the energy efficiency of its holdings. When implementing these measures, it is important to take into account the interdependence between economic, ecological and social aspects.

A building’s environmental footprint depends on urban development factors, architecture, the materials used, connection to city infrastructure and the manner in which it is used by its residents. Within our company, tenants’ behaviour as users is responsible for the majority of our environmental impacts. We have little influence here because we cannot directly shape our tenants’ behaviour. However, we do make a contribution by constantly modernising our holdings and ensuring that the fabric of our new builds with eco-friendly materials meets the highest possible quality standards.

Within our Group, we have defined responsibilities for all environmental matters. DWB is responsible for aspects including energy and waste management and for the refurbishment of heat generation plants. DWI oversees the disposal of hazardous waste in the case of tenant turnover, ongoing maintenance, health- and safety-related issues, and technical building systems. Investments in assets such as technical equipment fall within the remit of DWB. Deutsche Wohnen does not use a formal environmental management system based on standards such as ISO 14001 or EMAS at its administrative locations. At present, we do not believe this would be proportionate in terms of the cost-benefit ratio for our locations. However, we have established systematic energy management for our holdings.

For our administrative buildings, we can make our own decisions about where the energy comes from and how it is generated. We always choose environmentally friendly options. At the same time, we focus on conserving natural resources within our own processes.

Since 2012, we have been meeting most of our own electricity requirements at our administrative locations with certified renewable energy from hydroelectric power. This enabled us to save 540 t of CO2 equivalents in 2017. In connection with the legally required energy audit as per DIN EN 16247-1, Deutsche Wohnen collected extensive data, which it verified by means of site visits. We were able to use the results of the data analysis to identify potential energy savings and at the same time derive means of optimising the energy flows at the company.

Electric mobility and charging infrastructure
Our subsidiary FACILITA is a pioneer in electric mobility: the Berlin-based facility service provider is currently switching its fleet to electric vehicles and e-bikes. The changeover – including charging stations – is due to be completed by the end of 2018, reducing carbon emissions to zero.

As early as December 2016, the company set up a total of eleven charging stations at four Berlin sites in Pankow, Reinickendorf, Spandau and Steglitz with the support of the energy company Vattenfall. Another 21 charging points are planned and are due to be installed by summer 2018. Most of the fleet already consists of electric vehicles as well. In 2017, there were 16 electric vehicles and just 15 cars with combustion engines. Of the latter, four are merely being leased until the charging infrastructure has been completed. The fleet now also includes 17 electric bikes and 52 pedal cycles. In the first year alone, they covered approximately 10,000 km on pedal cycles and around 10,000 km using electric bikes.  Using electric vehicles – be they cars or bikes – saves 21 g of CO2 per 100 km. At the same time as reducing greenhouse gases, they promote the use of renewable energies. 

We are actively reducing the environmental impact of our existing buildings by making lasting investments in energy-efficient refurbishment. Furthermore, we are modernising our technical systems with a view to making energy management at our properties more and more efficient. And this is proving to be a success – the energy footprint of about three quarters of our residential units is already better than the average consumption of residential buildings in Germany. In short, we are on the right track when it comes to reducing CO2 and protecting the climate.
At our holdings, water, effluents and waste are primarily issues for our tenants which we can only influence to a very limited extent. For this reason, we focus on the aspects of energy and emissions, where there is more that we can do. We have set ourselves the strategic target of reducing CO2 emissions by 20,000 tonnes a year from 2022 onwards.

The strategic and operational goals for the “Responsibility for the environment and the climate” area of action can be found under Criterion 3, Objectives. The strategic goal of reducing carbon emissions by 20,000 tonnes annually from 2022 together with the operationalised objectives for goal achievement was set in 2018. Going forward we will be measuring and reporting on goal achievement progress on an ongoing basis.