EPRA Sustainability Best Practice Recommendations
LEG Immobilien SE is a housing company focusing on the housing market of the economically strong state of North Rhine-Westphalia and its neighbouring federal states. Our portfolio comprises around 167.000 rental properties (approximately 500,000 tenants) with an average apartment size of 63 square metres and 1,600 commercial units. Our focus is on affordable housing, and our units help to meet the demand generated by the rapid rise in the number of smaller households that are typical for our market.
Our core business is the management and development of our own residential portfolio. The business model is also being actively expanded to include innovative services and new revenue models.
Headquartered in Düsseldorf, the Group had around 2,040 employees in 2022. Our properties are held by a number of subsidiaries.
Since 2017, we have been reporting our performance in the areas of society and the environment and continuously expanding the scope of indicators and properties included in our reporting.
We are a member of EPRA and prepare our environmental and social reports in accordance with EPRA's Best Practice Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting (sBPR) in addition to other recognized reporting standards. Our report is divided into two sections:
1. General Recommendations
2. Performance Report
1. General Recommendations
We have selected operational control as the criterion for defining our system boundaries. Reporting therefore only covers the properties over which we have operational control, and the utility services that we source directly as a landlord for communal areas, central services or rental areas. The only exception is data on heating energy, which was collected or extrapolated for all rented properties. For the individual performance indicators, the following share of the property portfolio is within our system boundaries:
- Electricity: We are responsible for the purchasing/settlement of all electricity consumed for common areas in the property portfolio under our management.
- Fuels, district heating and district cooling: We are responsible for the purchasing/settlement of all fuels or district heating for around 54 % of the property portfolio under our management (2021). Furthermore, we requested and collected around 20 % actual data from third-party utilities for 2021. Around 9 % of the remaining missing data was calculated using actual data from the previous year, around 15 % using projections based on the energy certificates and around 2 % based on the building age cluster.
- Water: We are responsible for the purchasing/settlement of all water consumed in the property portfolio under our management.
- Waste: We are responsible for the removal and disposal of the waste generated by the rental properties for the entire property portfolio under our management.
- Employees: The reporting relates to all persons employed directly by LEG, including its wholly owned subsidiaries LEG Wohnen NRW (which is responsible for the operations management of our properties) and LEG Management (which monitors all corporate governance areas). Employees at joint ventures, such as TechnikServicePlus (TSP), are partially excluded as they are not fully under our operational control.
- Site health and safety and community betterment: In all the properties under our management, we are responsible for performing health and safety inspections, for compliance with regulations and for the betterment of the community.
- The governance data relate to LEG’s Supervisory Board and its Management Board.
Unless stated otherwise, the absolute performance indicators for fuel consumption, district heating and district cooling, building certification, site health and safety and community betterment relate to 100 % of the apartments that fall within the system boundaries defined above.
The data collected for electricity consumption relate to 98 % of the apartments within our system boundaries (2021: 98 %).
The water data collected relate to 45 % of the apartments within our system boundaries. The other 55 % are excluded as we have no consumption data for them.
The waste data collected relate to 26 % of the property portfolio under our management. For these apartments, we use our own service provider that is entrusted with waste management and collects data on the waste volumes generated. These data are then converted into tonnes using a conversion factor.
Estimates of utility services billed to the lessor
The data on electricity and water for 2022 are entirely estimated as the actual consumption data were not yet available by the editorial deadline. These estimates were made by calculating the absolute data and consumption indicators on the basis of the consumption data for 2021 and extrapolating this to reflect disposals and additions in 2022.
The data for heating and fuels for 2022 are based on estimates as the actual consumption data were not yet available by the editorial deadline. The estimates are based on the results of the 2021 carbon footprint, less disposals in 2022, plus additions in 2022.
The estimates for electricity, water, heating and fuels for 2020 used in the previous year were replaced by the actual consumption data for 2020.
The waste data are reported by a service provider that operates as the waste manager for around 25 % of our property portfolio. The combined volumes of the waste containers provided for these properties by LEG were analysed. These volumes are not always the same as the waste containers’ actual fill volumes. Also, these figures do not add up to the actual volume of waste at these properties, as some of the waste is disposed of in public containers which are emptied directly by the local council.
The volumes collected in the waste containers provided by LEG are converted into tonnes using general conversion factors for the various types of waste. These conversion factors were marked up by 10% as the waste containers hold an above-average volume of waste (except organic waste) thanks to the service provider’s active waste management. Conversion factors: residual waste: 0.11 t/m³; recyclable materials: 0.033 t/m³; paper, card, cardboard packaging: 0.22 t/m³; organic waste: 0.25 t/m³).
Boundaries – Reporting on consumption billed to the lessor and the tenant
The data for electricity and water relate only to the consumption (based on metre readings and bills) that LEG purchases as the lessor for communal areas/central services or private apartments (and which is subsequently billed to the tenants). Data that are billed to tenants directly (i.e. bills that tenants receive directly from their provider) have not been taken into account.
Analysis – standardisation
We have calculated the consumption indicators on the basis of floor area (square metres) for entire buildings, including rental apartments. We are aware that our method for calculating consumption indicators has a discrepancy between the numerator and denominator, as we only receive electricity bills for communal areas, but the bills for fuel, district heating, district cooling and water consumption for communal areas/central services and rental areas (it is not possible to separate these consumption data).
Performance indicators for health and safety are calculated using the following formulae:
- Injury rate = number of reported injuries/total number of work days
- Work loss rate = number of work days lost (from three and upwards) due to workplace injury/total number of work days
- Absence rate = number of days missed due to illness/total number of work days
Analysis – segment analysis (by property type, geographical location)
The segment analysis is based on the property classification used in our financial report (see 2022 annual report). Our investment portfolio comprises around 167,000 apartments and 1,600 commercial units.
In our segment analysis, we do not distinguish between residential and commercial units as they are located in the same buildings and therefore the consumption billed to the lessor cannot be separated.
A further segment analysis by geographical location is not relevant as our apartments are all in North Rhine-Westphalia and other German states and are therefore in the same climate zone.
Period of reporting
Absolute performance indicators and consumption indicators relate to the last reporting year (2022). Like-for-like analysis of the performance indicators for electricity, water and heating energy relates to the last two years for which we were able to collect actual consumption data (2021 and 2020). As we only use actual consumption data, we can analyse the effects of efficiency improvements in our like-for-like portfolio, which would not be possible with estimated data. For further information, see “Estimates of utility services billed to the lessor”.
However, the like-for-like analysis for waste relates to the years 2022 and 2021 as the corresponding waste volumes are available for these years.
Information on administrative buildings
All administrative buildings are reported from the 2020 calendar year onwards. Information was provided from eleven locations, both internally and externally rented properties. For the previous year 2019, the consumption figures for the Düsseldorf headquarters are shown. The 2020 values are the actual consumption figures. As of 25 April 2022, the Düsseldorf Group headquarters moved from Hans-Böckler-Strasse to Flughafenstrasse 99 in a new sustainable business building directly at the airport. Until April 2022, the consumption of the building on Hans-Böckler-Strasse was considered; from May, the consumption on Flughafenstrasse was taken into account.
Data are recorded for 100 % of our space and all available consumption data are reported.
The combined volumes of the waste containers were analysed to calculate the waste quantities. These volumes are not always the same as the waste containers’ actual fill volumes. The volumes are converted into tonnes using general conversion factors for the various types of waste.
Data review and quality assurance
All data calculated are checked for consistency and coherence before being added to the reporting database. There is no external review or quality assurance at this time.
2. Performance Report
Environment action area
Energy consumption and emissions
Based on the 2021 reporting year, energy consumption and emissions were extrapolated for the 2022 reporting year by adjusting for the portfolio changes in 2022. Moving ahead, it is planned that the energy savings from modernisation projects as calculated by engineering firms will be taken into account in extrapolating data for the reporting year.
The electricity consumption figures are based partly on measured data and partly on extrapolations from the costs posted on the basis of samples.
The energy consumption billed to the lessor rose slightly across the property portfolio as a whole in 2022 as a result of additions to the portfolio: Electricity consumption billed to the lessor increased by 0.47 %, with increases of 0.37 % and 0.83 % in fuel and district heating consumption billed to the lessor. By contrast, the energy consumption indicator for our property portfolio remained constant as against 2021.
Scope 1 emissions rose accordingly by 0.37 % as a result of fuel consumption. Scope 2 emissions, which include emissions from boilers operated by third parties at our sites, rose by 0.85 % in the location-based analysis and by 0.60 % in the newly reported market-based analysis. Based on the consumption indicator, climate-adjusted Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions for heating energy were stable at 33.3 (location-based) or 28.3 (market-based) in kg CO2e/m²/year.
Scope 2 emissions, based on electricity billed, increased by 0.48 % as against 2021. The consumption indicator is unchanged at 0.18 kg CO2e/m²/year.
In the like-for-like analysis (calculated on the basis of the actual consumption data between 2021 and 2020), the energy consumption indicator for electricity declined by 2.33 %. There was a minor reduction in heating energy consumption. For fuels, the value of energy consumed increased by 13.17 %.
In the like-for-like analysis, GHG emissions were reduced by 48.58 % in relation to Scope 2 electricity emissions. This was partly due to the continued switch to electricity from renewable sources. Accordingly, the consumption figure also fell by 47.37 %.
Scope 1 emissions increased by 15.38 % due to fuel consumption and Scope 2 emissions of heating energy decreased by 7.37 % (site-based) and decreased by 41.37 % (market-based), respectively. In terms of the consumption metric, this trend in Scope 1 and Scope 2 heating energy emissions in kg CO2e/m²/year can also be seen: The metric increased by 6.85 percent on a site-based basis and decreased by 3.18 % on a market-based basis relative to 2020. For 2022, we calculated our Scope 3 emissions for the first time for our customers' upstream heat (3.03) and household electricity (3.13). These amount to around 229 t CO2e.
Further information on our measures to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions in our portfolio can be found from > page 131, Environment action area in our annual report.
Absolute water consumption increased by 0.45 % as against 2021 in 2022. The water consumption indicator remained stable. Like-for-like, consumption was up by 2.89 % between 2021 and 2020. The water consumption indicator thus rose by 3.39 % in the like-for-like analysis. All water comes from the municipal water supply.
Further information on our water management activities in our property portfolio can be found in our Water Policy at www.leg-wohnen.de/en/corporation/sustainability/codes-and-guidelines/policies/water-guideline
The total weight of waste collected in the 26 % of apartments for which we collect data rose by 3.66 % between 2021 and 2022. 60 % of this is residual waste, of which only a small amount is sent to landfill, while the majority of what remains is burnt for energy recovery in waste incinerators. Like-for-like, the total weight of waste collected in the apartments for which LEG was able to gather corresponding data fell by 0.39 % between 2021 and 2022.
The relatively low level of data available for waste data and the calculation methods used make it difficult to draw conclusions concerning our overall performance. Nonetheless, we are using various activities to raise tenant awareness and to reduce waste volumes.
Building certification relates to energy certificates currently available for around 98 % of our property portfolio (based on floor area). The majority of individual apartments (around 85 %) have an energy efficiency certificate in the efficiency classes D to H, which is due to the relatively high age of our buildings. A slight improvement has been achieved in our property portfolio since 2018 thanks to the ongoing energy modernisation programme.
Society action area
LEG makes efforts to ensure a balanced workforce structure and gender equality. More than 35 % of our direct employees and over 20 % of our managers are women. The ratio of the basic salary and remuneration of women to the basic salary and remuneration of men in relation to all employees is 96 %; at management level the figure is 93 %. The differences relate exclusively to length of service and seniority.
Further information on our approach to diversity can be found in our Employee and Diversity Policy at www.leg-wohnen.de/en/corporation/sustainability/codes-and-guidelines/policies/employee-and-diversity-policy.
Training and continuing professional development
LEG actively promotes initial and further training, and supports its employees’ continuing professional development. In 2022, each employee completed an average of around 14 hours of training on various compliance and professional issues and on development options. Just over 87 % of employees also took part in an annual professional development interview. These interviews take the form of a dialogue between employees and managers, and provide an insight into the employee’s skills and knowledge. Employees are also given the opportunity to talk with their supervisors about any support they would like, how satisfied they are in their work and how they would like to continue developing within the company.
Further information on our approach to employee training and continuing professional development can found in our Training and Continuing Professional Development Policy at www.leg-wohnen.de/en/corporation/sustainability/codes-and-guidelines/policies/training-and-further-education-policy.
311 new employees were hired in 2022, corresponding to a new hire rate of around 15.3 %. At the same time, 263 employees left the company, which translates into a fluctuation rate of 13.5 %. Further information on initiatives in relation to our employees in the areas of employee engagement, satisfaction and retention can be found in the Training and Continuing Professional Development policy referred to above. www.leg-wohnen.de/en/corporation/sustainability/codes-and-guidelines/policies/training-and-further-education-policy
Health and safety
Given the type of work, LEG classifies the risk in the area of employee health and safety as low in general. This was confirmed by an injury rate of 0.0001 % in 2022 and work loss rate of 0.06 %. The most frequent reason for time off is illness. We had an absence rate of 6.8 % in 2022.
LEG systematically and comprehensively guarantees site safety, using both its own employees and service providers who inspect and check buildings and facilities. Around 99.1 % of our property portfolio underwent such a health and safety review in 2022. Tradesmen were booked immediately if there were any reports, defects or accident risks. After work was completed, it was checked and documented that the problems had been resolved.
Further information on our approach to employee and tenant health and safety can be found on pages 128 (Tenants action area) and 130 (Employees action area) of our annual report.
In 100 % of the property portfolio under our management, we organise community betterment activities, which meant special challenges in the 2021 and 2022 reporting years on account of the coronavirus pandemic. These activities include a wide range of measures aimed at enhancing tenant satisfaction, promoting social cohesion, encouraging people to be good neighbours, boosting local communities and responding to social challenges. In 2022, LEG organised around 91 activities across all seven of its branches in spite of the coronavirus pandemic.
Further information on our approach and examples of the many initiatives that we carried out in our property portfolio in 2021 can be found on p. 133 onwards, under "Society", and on p. 127 onwards, under "Tenants".
Extensive background information on our governance performance indicators, a profile of the Supervisory Board and a description of our nomination processes and the way we handle potential conflicts of interest can all be found on page 24 f., page 36, p. 90 and p. 105 f. of our current Annual Report and at www.leg-wohnen.de/en/corporation/leg-group/members-of-the-management-and-supervisory-board and www.leg-wohnen.de/en/corporation/sustainability/codes-and-guidelines.
Mr Michael Zimmer, as the Chairman of LEG’s Supervisory Board has extensive social commitments and has initiated or himself founded various foundations. Mr Zimmer is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of these foundations: Your Home Helps – Foundation of the LEG Immobilien Group www.dein-zuhause-hilft.de, CORNELIUS – Foundation for the Children of Addict Parents www.cornelius-stiftung.de, Der bewohnte Garten – Foundation for the Promotion of Contemporary Art www.derbewohntegarten.de. He is therefore an expert in the areas of the environment and society. All three members of the Management Board are therefore experts in the areas of the environment and society.
Disclosure of EPRA performance indicators for sustainability
All administrative buildings are reported since the 2020 calendar year onwards. Information was provided from eleven locations, both internally and externally rented properties. In previous years, only consumption of the headquarter in Düsseldorf was reported.