Put simply, we define sustainability as everything that helps to secure Aareal Bank Group's long-term success – and hence its future viability.
We regularly update our materiality matrix to identify and prioritise the topics that are relevant for us in practice. Maintaining constant dialogue with our stakeholders is crucial for us here – it allows us to constantly poll their needs and expectations and to reflect these insights properly in our sustainability strategy.
We use many different formats for our stakeholder dialogue, but personal discussions are the most important of these. In our experience, identifying and understanding changes in stakeholder requirements and expectations can best be done through direct dialogue.
We check whether our materiality matrix is still focused on the key strategic issues for business opportunities and risks by conducting ongoing expert interviews with representatives of different stakeholder groups. In the past financial year, we held around ten such interviews with housing industry clients, an appraiser, a broker, the representative of an NGO and Supervisory Board members, among other people. We also polled selected staff on the relevance of the twelve action areas, and take investor and analyst requirements into account in the evaluation of sustainability ratings.
The result of this dialogue shows that we are addressing the key topics for our sector and business model, and that our twelve action areas remain critical to securing our Company's success. Only the priorities for implementing measures have changed slightly:
"Aareal Bank Group is consistently pursuing its path in a challenging environment. Thanks to our perfectly healthy operative business and financial strength, we are in a position to take the right strategic decisions to ensure the sustainably successful future for our Company – making the requisite investments as well as bearing the burdens associated with the changes from a position of strength."
Hermann J. Merkens - Chairman of the Management Board
Aareal Bank Group is consistently pursuing its path in a challenging environment.