Sustainability at Instone

As a listed company and one of the leading residential property developers in Germany, Instone Real Estate takes responsibility for the environment, society and its employees.

 

Sustainability vision

We are committed to fulfilling our social responsibility: the environment, society and economy are the foundation of our business activities. 

They all carry equal weight and are taken into account in everything we do.

As a company, we aim to achieve lasting business success while at the same time taking responsibility for people and the environment.

"With our projects and our general entrepreneurial actions, we clearly assume a social responsibility.

In relation to climate change, our goal is to achieve climate neutrality along our entire value chain from 2045 onwards. We are therefore clearly committed to the climate targets of the United Nations and the German Federal Government. Starting this year, we are reporting not only our Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions but also the emissions from the building lifecycle of our projects. For us, assuming social responsibility primarily means making our contribution
to the creation of affordable housing in German metropolitan regions. We are also pursuing innovative and unconventional approaches to this. The protection of human rights and high standards in relation to labour standards, environmental protection and the fight against corruption are fundamental values for us."

Dr Foruhar Madjlessi, CFO

Environmental-Social-Governance

Guiding principles for our business policies and activities

Responsibility

Instone Real Estate is committed to fulfilling its environmental, social and economic responsibility. This commitment forms the foundation of our business activities.

 

Customers

Our customers are our main focus. We deliver them sustainable products and reliable quality.

Environment

Environmental and climate protection and resource usage are factors evaluated and taken into account in all project developments and carefully considered in relation to climate action goals.

Economy

Instone Real Estate strives to grow based on a strategy oriented towards long-term business success.

Employees

Our employees are our Company’s main asset. The cornerstones of Instone’s corporate culture are trust and respect as well as working together to achieve the goals we have set.

Projects

Our aspiration is to develop projects precisely tailored to meet the needs of our customers with environmentally, socially and economically sustainable qualities.

Partners

We generate ideas and leading-edge processes to benefit sustainable corporate development through our collaboration with associations, start-ups, organisations, municipalities and other groups in society.

Contractual partners

Instone Real Estate maintains long- standing, collaborative partnerships with its contractual partners based on a common set of values.

Communication

Instone Real Estate maintains a continual dialogue with external stakeholders and employees, and regularly communicates its goals, achievements and activities in a transparent and truthful manner.

Sustainability management

Image: Sustainability managment

The Management Board and the management teams of the subsidiaries are jointly responsible for the sustainable actions of Instone Real Estate. In the 2021 financial year, we not only made significant advancements in our sustainability strategy and its implementation, but also adapted the way in which the issue of sustainability is rooted within the organisation. The department supports our Chief Financial Officer, Dr Foruhar Madjlessi, who is responsible for the Instone sustainability strategy, its implementation and (sustainability) risk management at Management Board level. He regularly monitors and checks the progress and status of the target achievement, and ensures that cross-divisional issues are included in the activities of other departments and in corporate planning and governance, and also when it comes to drafting or revising guidelines. To this end, the Management Board has overall responsibility and will continue to consult with the Sustainability Committee.

Our significant milestones in 2021

As part of the integration of sustainability throughout the entire organisation, we
achieved the following milestones in 2021:

Environment:

  • Supporting the Taskforce for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and first-time application of the recommendations in this report (see TCFD Index)

  • Reporting all greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the standards of the GHG Protocol and as part of a lifecycle analysis of the buildings using CAALA software

  • Submitting a climate target compatible with the Paris Agreement to the SME channel of the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTI)

  • Performing a qualitative climate-scenario analysis, taking into consideration transitory and physical climate risks

  • Joining the German Sustainable Building Council (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen, DGNB)

Social Issues: 

  • Establishing the nyoo brand to create affordable and environmentally-friendly living spaces in urban areas

  • Expanding its position as an attractive employer, which also stands for a healthy working environment, an appropriate work-life balance and a strong relationship between family and work, and diversity, among other things

  • Continuous monitoring of compliance with our standards on working conditions at subcontractors’ premises

Governance: 

  • ESG rating from Sustainalytics achieved

  • Performing an initial materiality analysis as the basis for the strategic development of sustainability at Instone Real Estate

  • Realigning the organisational structure and adding new personnel to our Sustainability department

 

 

Environmental

According to the 2020 global status report for buildings and construction in the UN environmental program, the greenhouse gas emissions of the two industries make up about 38% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In its 2020 issue, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety announced that the proportion of greenhouse gas emissions from the use of buildings in Germany continues to amount to 14% of national greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Environmental protection

While the focus today is still primarily on emissions in the context of the operation of the buildings (operational carbon), the focus will shift more strongly to emissions before and after the use phase (embedded carbon).

As part of our climate strategy, we analyse the implications of climate change using the concept of double materiality based on the EU Directive on the disclosure of non-financial information.

Financial materiality deals with the question of how climate change could impact the existing business model. This also includes understanding how increasing measures to protect the climate could change our business as a project developer as well as the construction and real estate industry. As defined in the TCFD recommendations, this year, for the first time and as part of a climate scenario analysis, we have determined what financial opportunities and risks climate change could have for us in the short, medium and long term. Results of the investigation, using a 1.5°C climate change scenario (ambitious transition), a 2.6°C scenario (business as usual) and a 4.3°C scenario (worst-case), showed that our business might be largely
resilient. However, this does not rule out the need for future adaptation measures to effectively manage risks and opportunities.

 

With regard to environmental and social materiality, the Company’s attention will be focused on measuring and continuously reducing the potential impact of our activities on the environment and/or climate change. In this context, the questions to be answered are to what extent and what proportion our business activities contribute to climate change or to increasing climate protection. As already stated above, in this context, we have significantly ramped up our efforts to measure our greenhouse gas footprint and set ourselves the target of climate neutrality (in the sense of science-based net zero emissions) for our total greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. The certification of these targets by SBTi is intended to underline this endeavor.

Social

Instone Real Estate sees itself as a part of society and actively wishes to make a positive contribution to the development of society as a whole.

Social responsibility

Responsibility is firmly rooted in our corporate culture and therefore in the day-to-day actions of the Group. Instone Real Estate is aware of its impact on society and the environment and wants to contribute to positive development with its projects.

 

This includes engaging via the media, services and the knowledge of our employees and financially where help and support is required outside the Company, for instance for the creation of a lively residential district.

As a good corporate citizen, Instone Real Estate also takes action especially in locations where the Company has projects. Organisations and initiatives that promote the neighbourhood, the development of social service facilities in an urban district or make infrastructure improvements are our preferred efforts to support.

As one of Germany's leading real estate developers, we are convinced that we can only operate our business model successfully in the future if we act responsibly over the long term.

Corporate Social Engagement

Due to ongoing demographic change and social and ecological changes, a holistic approach is necessary, taking into account social sustainability factors: affordability, development in line with requirements and the creation of housing. Involving citizens and other stakeholders at an early stage is essential for successful urban development. In this context we work closely with municipalities and local authorities and lend our knowledge to their efforts.

For these reasons, Instone’s focus in the planning phase is on the development of city districts that are worth living in. Diverse housing stock, various home sizes, integrative living and the integration of social service infrastructure such as day-care centres, schools, areas for sports and meeting places underscore this. To ensure adequate transportation options, we additionally optimise connections to local public transportation together with municipalities and local authorities.

In addition to the development of freehold flats, Instone Real Estate also makes a major contribution to the development of subsidised and price-controlled housing. As at 31 December 2021, approximately 3,092 of the 16,418 units of Instone Real Estate’s project portfolio (sold and unsold housing units of the 2021 project portfolio) were designed as price-controlled flats. This way, we create mixed neighbourhoods that are attractive to all population groups and income levels.

Governance

Corporate Governance

Further information on Instone Corporate Governance can be found in our INVESTOR RELATIONS tab.

The Instone Whistleblower System

Our whistleblower system offers the possibility to report potential violations of rules or laws by our employees.

We check every report and follow it up consistently. In doing so, we pay attention to the following principles:

  • A fair procedure,
  • protection of the anonymity of our whistleblowers,
  • confidential investigations, and
  • efficient and protected processes.

There are several ways to report potential misconduct which adhere to the above principles. As a whistleblower, please make sure that people outside your field of expertise can also understand your descriptions.

Human rights

Respecting human rights is an integral part of our responsible corporate governance efforts.

We require respect for all human rights along our entire value chain from our own Company as well as from our business partners. We expect that all participants will meet their duty of care with regard to human rights.

The core values of lawful and ethical behavior are summarized in a group-wide Code of Conduct. His specifies existing duties and responsibilities and derives various codes of conduct on the basis of the law or existing official instructions. 

The code of conduct offers employees, service providers and contractual partners of Instone Real Estate orientation and assistance in their day-to-day work and interactions. It also sets out values to which Instone Real Estate is expressly committed.

Although our Code of Conduct covers many different topics, it is possible that laws could be violated or duties could be breached. Our employees can report violations or suspected violations of the law, statute or Company guidelines and rules to their supervisors, the Compliance Officer, a whistle blower hotline or an online whistle blower portal.

 

Grafik: Charta der Vielfalt

Charta der Vielfalt

In order to show and underline our basic values ​​on the subject of human rights, diversity and equality - i.e. diversity, we signed the "Charta der Vielfalt" (Diversity Charter) in 2021 and support the values ​​that are shaped here both internally and externally. By signing the "Charta der Vielfalt", we are signaling to create a work environment that is free from prejudice and that the appreciation of all our employees regardless of age, ethnic origin and nationality, gender and gender identity, physical and mental abilities, religion and worldview, sexual orientation and social origin. We continuously review our processes and enter into internal and external dialogues. This also means that, among other things, we are reaffirming our commitment to a balanced gender pay ratio.

ESG - Ratings

Instone made a strategic decision to participate in recognized ESG ratings in order to give our stakeholders another opportunity to get information. With this we can communicate our progress accordingly. We therefore started the rating process with Sustainalytics for the first time in 2021.
Sustainalytics is an independent, innovative service provider in the field of ESG ratings. In the ESG Risk Rating, we received a rating of 13.2 and are therefore classified in the “low risk” risk category. This places Instone among the top 2% of real estate developers worldwide. Instone makes a clear commitment to the future improvement of the ratings as well as further ratings below.

Sustainalytics Rating result

Cooperation Partners

We are aware that there are sustainability risks throughout our entire supply chain.

Our aim is to promote sustainability throughout the supply chain, increase transparency and therefore further minimise procurement risks.

Image: Supply Chain at INSTONE

Our suppliers can be subdivided into various categories: 

  • Brokers who have access to our customers  
  • Consultants who provide due diligence assistance during the purchase and sales processes
  • General contractors, construction companies and contract partners for individual trades operating at construction sites
  • Property management service providers
  • Planning teams comprising architects and design engineers

Cooperation Partners - Auditors

Deloitte GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, Munich (Düsseldorf office) has been the group auditor for Instone Real Estate Group SE since the 2018 financial year. Since 2020, the responsible auditor is Prof. Dr. Holger Reichmann. Deloitte has also been appointed as auditors for the 2021 financial year. Deloitte's activity as auditor ends at the latest in the 2027 financial year.

Memberships of INSTONE

"Our corporate values of trust, responsibility, profitability, foresight and togetherness in connection with our guidelines of quality awareness, partnership, passion, efficiency and vitality are the pillars of our success."

Kruno Crepulja, CEO

Our partners and employees can rely on Instones guidlines:

As a successful and listed company, we are responsible for complying with laws, legal systems, and social and political framework regulations. It is an important asset for us to protect and preserve our reputation. Every employee and partner must therefore be able to do the right thing and act in accordance with the law.

In addition to the guidelines shown below, there are further company guidelines and work instructions for concretisation.

Get to know our company policies:

Portrait: Wibke Witschel

Contact

Do you have questions about sustainability? Then we look forward to your message.

Wibke Witschel
Grugaplatz 2 - 4, 45131 Essen


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