Environment and energy
As a property developer and portfolio manager, S IMMO is constantly faced with environmental and energy considerations and, at the same time, strives to act with the greatest possible care and sustainability in all areas.
S IMMO has made a clear commitment to climate protection and, as part of its sustainability commitment, is focused on energy efficiency and the use of state-of-the-art technologies. Both in terms of its existing properties and for new project developments, the company always strives to find the best solution to keeping energy consumption, and thus also the operating costs for its tenants, as low as possible. For example, in the case of new projects, efforts are made to obtain green building certificates attesting to sustainability, and thermal optimisations are both considered and, depending on the prevailing market situation, implemented as far as possible (see section ‘Ecological construction materials’). It is S IMMO AG’s aim to improve its energy footprint over the next years by increasing the share of renewable forms of energy and reducing CO2 emissions. For example, in the case of new projects, efforts are made to obtain green building certificates attesting to sustainability, and thermal optimisations are both considered and, depending on the prevailing market situation, implemented as far as possible.
A further expression of the company’s well-established CSR concept are its memberships in the corporate platform respACT (Austrian Council for Sustainable Development) and the Austrian Sustainable Building Council (ÖGNI). ÖGNI is committed to creating sustainable living spaces.
Qualified employees are S IMMO’s most important asset. The company attaches particular importance to providing them with a motivating working environment as well as the personal scope for development and the ability to strike a healthy balance between work and family life. S IMMO therefore supports an open corporate culture in which cooperation as well as the satisfaction and health of all employees are promoted at all levels.
It is particularly important for S IMMO that employees’ families are also involved in various events. In order to promote a feeling of togetherness and team spirit, a variety of events are organised such as an annual summer festival, a Christmas party, team excursions and joint participation in events such as the Business Run in Vienna.
To support sustainable development and change, S IMMO is keen to pursue long-term partnerships in those countries in which it operates. In addition, it is most important to S IMMO that its employees are actively involved in social projects. In recent years, the S IMMO team has worked on several corporate volunteering projects in Caritas organisations. Last year, volunteers prepared freshly cooked hot meals for those in need at "Zweite Gruft" in the 18th district of Vienna.
S IMMO has supported various charitable projects which provide people in need with a home under the motto ‘Giving shelter’ since 2008. In addition, the company is committed to further projects that help young people.
Since 2000, Caritas has operated four hope houses for children and adolescents without parents in Alba Iulia. The aim of the project is to offer young people a safe place to live and a positive future perspective as well as to support them in their integration into society. Thanks to financial assistance from S IMMO, urgently needed repairs and renovation work were carried out at the hope house. Moreover, the company also supported the family children’s home in Stremt. The family home takes in children from low-income families who cannot sufficiently provide for them. In addition to food and accommodation, the children receive social care and education and are prepared for life.
In the Bulgarian village of Pokrovan, 90% of the residents are over the age of 70. The village is heavily affected by migration – there is neither a school nor a community centre. Many elderly people live in poverty and isolation. Caritas cares for around 40 old and needy people, providing them with hot meals and medical aid. Those unable to visit the day centre receive home visits.
Members of the Roma minority in Hungary are often affected by poverty and unemployment. At the ‘Unser Haus’ (Our House) community entre, care is provided to some 90 socially disadvantaged children and adolescents. The aim of the project is to help these people pull themselves out of poverty. S IMMO supports the ‘external class’ project, which helps pupils to finish school and to start a vocational training programme.
S IMMO’s traditional fundraising drive was again hugely popular in 2019. Website users were invited to take part in an online game to raise money for a charitable cause. The money raised went to the charity Verein MOKI Mobile Kinderkrankenpflege, whose professional, qualified care workers provide medical home visits and care, advice and support for premature babies, sick newborns and children, and young people with severe disabilities and chronic and terminal illnesses. MOKI cares for 1,250 children and young people a year in Austria.
Promoting young talent
S IMMO adopts targeted measures to promote young talent in the industry via the academic sector. As part of the existing collaboration with Danube University Krems, the company allowed students of the postgraduate real estate programme to undertake a foreign studies module at S IMMO Germany in Berlin. In addition, a scholarship for the short-term master’s level course Green.Building.Solutions was awarded again in 2017. This annual summer programme provides 30 students from the fields of architecture and civil engineering with extensive insight into the topic of sustainable construction.
Proper money management and basic knowledge about finances and the economy are skills which have a great impact on people’s lives. Through its financial literacy initiative, S IMMO contributes to making it easier for young people to learn about this issue. From 2016 to 2020, the finance blog apropos-geld.at and the accompanying social media channels have posted regular articles about money and investments.
Art Supermarket (Kunstsupermarkt)
In 2019, S IMMO continued its cultural engagement and again made its facilities at Mariahilfer Strasse 103 available to the Vienna Art Supermarket for the 13th time. For four months, approximately 5,000 original works by 95 international artists were exhibited in a space of over 250 m² with the aim of making art more accessible and offering it to potential buyers at modest prices. The Art Supermarket is therefore one of the largest contemporary art events in Austria. This year’s event focused on the works of female artists.
Artistic design at Sun Plaza, Bucharest
The Sun Plaza shopping centre in Bucharest was renovated and expanded in 2017. The remodelling was fully completed in the first quarter of 2018. A major milestone was celebrated in October 2017: S IMMO was able to get Peter Kogler, an internationally successful Austrian artist, to design two light installations, thereby making a contribution to the exhibition of art in public places. The multimedia artist is taking on the artistic design of a 700 m² glass installation in the entrance of the shopping centre to the underground station and a light installation with a height of about 18 m inside the shopping centre. The latter is the largest individual light ever constructed by the Austrian company Zumtobel.