Climate-neutral property portfolio at Deutsche Wohnen by 2040

Michael Zahn

Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Wohnen

“The turnaround in climate protection will also be decided in the property sector, because this is where one third of national carbon emissions currently originate. So as an industry we have to set ourselves ambitious targets and make sure we reach them. At Deutsche Wohnen we are therefore increasing the speed of our transition to an environmentally friendly property company. Our property portfolio is to be climate‑neutral in less than 20 years. This will be achieved by means of our climate strategy, which has clear milestones and efficient measures that we intend to implement in a socially acceptable manner.”

Our climate pathway to 2040

We have set ourselves an ambitious climate goal and want to make our portfolio climate‑neutral by 2040. At their core, the various measures aim to minimise the energy requirement of our properties, and to use energy sources that emit as little carbon dioxide as possible to cover the remaining unavoidable energy requirement. This will enable Deutsche Wohnen to reduce its carbon intensity from currently 33 kg CO₂e per sqm to below 12 kg CO₂e per sqm by 2040. The company will then have reached the target range for a near‑climate‑neutral property portfolio as defined by the Initiative Wohnen 2050 (IW.2050) and others.

<p><em>1) The carbon pathway shown is calculated using the carbon technology tool from the Initiative Wohnen.2050 (IW.2050) and does not include nursing homes. This is used across the industry to determine targets. The target range of &lt; 12 kg CO₂e/sqm is derived from the available carbon budget for the sector and is considered by the industry to be an acceptable level of carbon emissions for achieving climate&#8209;neutrality in the property sector.</em></p>
<p><em>2) This figure represents the theoretical carbon intensity per sqm of a given product cluster of a standard house with the standards typical of the time it was built.</em></p>

1) The carbon pathway shown is calculated using the carbon technology tool from the Initiative Wohnen.2050 (IW.2050) and does not include nursing homes. This is used across the industry to determine targets. The target range of < 12 kg CO₂e/sqm is derived from the available carbon budget for the sector and is considered by the industry to be an acceptable level of carbon emissions for achieving climate‑neutrality in the property sector.

2) This figure represents the theoretical carbon intensity per sqm of a given product cluster of a standard house with the standards typical of the time it was built.

The aim of achieving climate‑neutrality by 2040 builds on what Deutsche Wohnen has already done in this area. Thanks to its continuous investments in the building shell, heating units and energy efficiency, Deutsche Wohnen already has a climatefriendly portfolio compared with the industry average. The company began modernizing the fabric of its buildings and heating systems many years ago, installing combined heat and power plants and switching to more environmentally friendly sources of energy. Today, some 90 % of the communal electricity requirement in the rental properties is already covered by 100 % certified hydroelectric power. Deutsche Wohnen intends to improve on this good starting point in the years ahead by means of focused investment, especially increasing the amount of decentralized heating supplied by combined heat and power plants and the use of renewable energies. The roll‑out of photovoltaic systems will successively provide renewable power for the estates. New construction of climate‑friendly buildings, home automation services and intelligent heating management systems will also contribute to achieving the goal of climate‑neutrality.

Our contribution to achieving climate‑neutrality

We have identified five key action areas which we intend to leverage to make our property portfolio climate‑neutral:

Low‑carbon heat and power: we are investing in what is known as sector coupling: linking decentralised heat generation and efficient combined heat and power plants with renewable electricity generation and a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Energy‑efficiency refurbishment: we are refurbishing our portfolio to make it more energyefficient and thereby improve the environmental footprint of our properties.

Green energy: by continuously increasing the proportion of district heating we are significantly reducing the primary energy factor of our final energy consumption and thus making our heating systems more climate‑friendly.

Climate‑friendly new construction: a key focus of our investment is to reduce the resources required for new construction for our portfolio and to meet high energy‑efficiency standards, based on certification to the DGNB Gold standard. We also strive to achieve the KfW 55 standard, which calls for an energy requirement that is 20 % lower than that required under current legislation of the German Energy Saving Ordinance.

Home automation: we enable our tenants to save energy with automated consumption controls and help them to make their own choices more climate‑friendly by means of smart home solutions.

Our intention is to take our tenants with us as we proceed along the path to a climate‑neutral portfolio.

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