Stakeholder engagement and materiality

We strive to integrate sustainability and responsible investment principles into our day-to-day operations. This is in line with the expectations of our many stakeholders: our employees, our shareholder, investor clients, retail customers, suppliers, advisors and representatives of municipalities. To keep track of what is important to them, we regularly monitor their opinions and perceptions via awareness and brand value surveys.

In 2018, we participated in the Real Estate Brand Value Study conducted by the European REB-Institute, which benchmarked our brand and its position relative to seven other market players. The approximately 2,900 respondents to the study represented stakeholders in the real estate sector across Europe. The findings confirmed that perception around asset management and portfolio management have improved, however we aim to further improve. In addition, the findings strengthen us in our believe that digitisation and innovation are areas where we can significantly improve our brand’s strength to create or keep a competitive advantage in relation to our peers.

We last updated our materiality assessment in 2017. This resulted in four highly material topics: Business Integrity, Employee Engagement & Enablement, Future-Proofing the Portfolio, and Energy Use. In a rapidly changing world we believe it is important to regularly update our materiality matrix: the next update is scheduled for late 2019. To provide further context to the material topics that guide our ambitions and targets, we have sought to link our materiality matrix to the parameters set out in the BREEAM in-Use methodology as well as our interpretation of the relevant SDGs. This reinforces our conviction that we are focusing on the right activities to have a positive impact.

Figure 2.1. Materiality matrix 2018. Compared to our last materiality matrix, Business Integrity remained the most material topic, employee engagement & enablement remained highly material as well. Energy use can be compared to energy performance, previously also highly material. Future-proofing the portfolio was a new topic in our materiality assessment.