EPRA Sustainability Best Practice Recommendations

General recommendations

System boundaries

We have selected operational control as the criterion for defining our system boundaries. Reporting therefore covers only 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 the collection of heating energy data. In the reporting year, data on heating energy was collected for all rented properties (data collection: 81 %) or projected (19 %) for the first time for 2019 > see also Environment action area, page 36. 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 shared electricity consumed 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 58 % of the property portfolio under our management (2019 and 2020). Furthermore, we requested and collected around 23 % actual data from third-party utilities for 2019. Around 18 % of the remaining missing data was calculated using projections based on the energy certificates and around 1 % based on the building age cluster > see also from page 55.
  • 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.

 

Data collection

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 (2019: 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 29 % 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 > see page 38.

 

Estimates of utility services billed to the lessor

The data on electricity and water for 2020 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 2019 and extrapolating this in line with the changes in the number of apartments and floor area within the system boundaries.

The estimates for 2019 used in the previous year were replaced by the actual consumption data for 2019.

The data for heating and fuels for 2020 are based partly on readings and partly on estimates. The estimates were made on the following basis: Results of the 2019 carbon footprint, less disposals, plus additions, taking into account new energy certificates for the share of around 18 % extrapolated data.

The waste data are reported by a service provider that operates as the waste manager for around 29 % 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, card- board 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 we purchase 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 receive electricity bills only 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 formular:

  • 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 2020 annual report). Our investment portfolio comprises around 145,000 apartments and 1,300 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 its neighbouring states, and are therefore in the same climate zone.

 

Period of reporting

Absolute performance indicators and consumption indicators relate to the last reporting year (2020). Like-for-like analysis of the performance indicators for electricity and water relates to the last two years for which we were able to collect actual consumption data (2019 and 2018). 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 2020 and 2019 as the corresponding waste volumes are available for these years.

Heating energy was also analysed on a like-for-like basis for 2020 and 2019.

 

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. Consumption data for the head office in Dusseldorf is shown for the previous years (2018 and 2019). The data for 2019 are estimates. The figures for 2018 and 2020 reflect the actual consumption.

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.


 

Performance Report

Environment action area

Energy consumption and emissions

Only limited comparisons are possible owing to the new approach for heating energy in 2019 and 2020. The portfolio was standardised, i. e. data were averaged for the locations that were contained in the portfolio in both years, taking into account the changes in energy certificates for the projected properties. 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. This was not possible for 2020 as the method was changed during the year.

Electricity comparability is also limited due to an adjustment of the calculation method. For 2018, the consumption figures were extrapolated from the costs posted on the basis of samples. The 2019 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 across the property portfolio as a whole in 2020 due to additions to the port- folio: Electricity consumption billed to the lessor increased by 7.81 %, with increases of 2.61 % and 1.92 % in fuel and district heating consumption billed to the lessor. By contrast, the energy consumption indicator for our property portfolio declined slightly by -0.19 % as against 2019.

Scope 1 emissions increased accordingly by 2.18 % as a result of fuel consumption while scope 2 emissions, which include emissions from boilers operated by third parties at our sites, rose by 2.25 %. Based on the consumption indicator, scope 1 and scope 2 emissions were stable at 36.9 per kg co2e/m2/year.

In the like-for-like analysis (calculated for electricity on the basis of the actual consumption data between 2019 and 2018), the energy consumption indicator for electricity declined by 3.15 %. The new energy certificates allowed the detection of slight reductions in heating energy consumption for the extrapolated locations, of approximately 1 % each for district heating and fuels.

Like-for-like, GHG emissions were down by 89.44 % for scope 2 emissions. This essentially results from the conversion of a large share of electricity to renewable sources (acquisition of proof of origin). The consumption indicator thus declined by 89.26 %.

Scope 1 emissions declined accordingly by 1.09 % as a result of fuel consumption and scope 2 emissions for heating energy were reduced by 0.92 %. Based on the consumption indicator, this development in scope 1 and scope 2 emissions per kg co2e/m2/ year also shows a decline of 1.02 %.

Further information on our measures to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions in our portfolio can be found from > page 56, Environment action area in our sustainability report.

Water

Absolute water consumption increased by 7.81 % as against 2019 in 2020. Like-for-like, consumption was up by 1.67 % between 2018 and 2019. Despite this increase, the water consumption indicator for our property portfolio remained largely unchanged in both the absolute and the like-for-like analysis. All water comes from the municipal water supply.

Further information on our measures in relation to water consumption in our property portfolio can be found on > page 38 of our sustainability report.

Waste disposal

The total weight of waste collected in the 29 % of apartments for which we collect data fell by 9.5 % between 2019 and 2020. 61 % 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 29 % of apartments for which LEG was able to gather corresponding data rose by 1.27 % between 2019 and 2020.

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 measures to reduce the waste volume. Further information on this can be found on > page 72 of our sustainability report.

Building certification

Building certification relates to energy certificates currently available for 99 % of our property portfolio (based on floor area). The majority of individual apartments (87%) 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. Further information on this can be found on > page 34 of our sustainability report.

 

Society action area

Diversity

LEG makes efforts to ensure a balanced workforce structure and gender equality. Around 36 % of our direct employees and around 22 % of our managers (22 % in 2019) 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 92 %; at management level the figure is 94.7 %. The differences relate exclusively to length of service and seniority.

Further information on our diversity approach can be found on > page 33 of our sustainability report.

Training and continuing professional development

LEG actively promotes initial and further training, and supports its employees’ continuing professional development. In 2020, each employee completed an average of 13.5 hours of training on various compliance and professional issues and on development options. Around 83 % 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 be found on > page 29 of our sustainability report.

Fluctuation

176 new employees were hired in 2020, corresponding to a new hire rate of 15.5 %. At the same time, 85 employees left the company, which translates into a fluctuation rate of 7.5 %. Further information on initiatives in relation to our employees in the areas of employee engagement, satisfaction and retention can be found from > page 27 of our sustainability report.

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 0.004 % in 2020 and work loss rate of 0.05 %. The most frequent reason for time off is illness. We had an absence rate of 4.9 % in 2020.

LEG systematically and comprehensively guarantees site safety, using both its own employees and service providers who inspect and check buildings and facilities. Around 99.8 % of our property portfolio underwent such a health and safety review in 2020. 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 23 and 30 of our sustainability report.

 

Community betterment

In 100 % of the property portfolio under our management, we organise community activities, which meant special challenges in the 2020 reporting year 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 2020, LEG organised around 50 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 2020 can be found from > pages 39 and 41 of this report.

Governance

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 34 of our annual report.

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 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.

 

Disclosure of EPRA performance indicators for sustainability

The EPRA performance indicators for sustainability for our property portfolio and management can be found in the tables from > pages 71 and 73 of this report.