Our world has many “construction sites”. Of course, it would be easy to complain about them. But we can also thank the people who approach it with passion and sacrifice. Day after day. People who act. People who join forces in projects, associations, initiatives, organizations and foundations to make the world a better place. Our thanks and support go to all of them! For many years we have been trying to help and finance projects and initiatives that are committed to the protection of the environment, social affairs and culture.
More than one in five children in Germany grows up in poverty. Over the past few years, we have been able to support a large number of initiatives, projects and foundations that care about the well-being of children and young people in their important work. A very good example is the “German Children and Youth Foundation – DKJS”, which is self-sacrificing to give all children a good start in life.
Sometimes we also have very special opportunities to help quickly: Shortly after Russia’s attack on Ukraine, we were able to make one of our existing properties – a hotel in Berlin’s Friedrichshain district – available to refugees from Ukraine at very short notice. In cooperation with the Berlin City Mission, the UNIONSHILFSWERK took over the operation of the facility and was able to offer around 300 people a place to sleep. The city of Berlin has compiled a list of ways to help, and further support is always welcome.
You certainly don’t have to introduce “Doctors Without Borders” to anyone anymore. This organization has made a name for itself worldwide. Wherever medical help is needed, volunteer doctors are on duty. And yet funds are constantly needed – for logistics, equipment, medicines and bandages. Donating to this organization has long been a good old tradition for us, because every euro arrives exactly where it really helps.
Climate change has become an existential threat with significant consequences for our planet, and humans have made a significant contribution to its development.
To counteract this, the Federal Government has set itself the goal – analogue to the climate targets at EU level – of being greenhouse gas-neutral by 2045 and even aiming for negative emissions after 2050. Since the building sector in Germany causes almost 1/3 of Co₂ emissions, the real estate industry bears a particularly great responsibility in implementing this goal. In particular, the 19.2 million residential buildings with 3.8 billion sqm of heated net floor space account for 22% of the total energy consumption in Germany.
On the way to a sustainable future, building owners and investors need to be willing to innovate.
We want to take our share into account and commit ourselves to implementing our projects certified according to certain environmental and sustainability standards.
A voluntary sustainability report serves to present environmental impacts, social responsibility and economic performance and creates transparency about sustainability performance.
The unique contemporary architecture finds its counterpart in the future-oriented building equipment, which from now on we will make standards for all future projects: DGNB Gold certification for sustainable construction.
From the exterior to the interior: Green alive and lived: loggias and terraces from the second floor even allow short excursions into nature, and the bicycle garage with charging stations for e-bikes in the basement encourages a healthy and CO2-neutral journey.
Constantly exposed to the forces of nature in the form of waves, wind, frost and rain, natural erosion occurs on many coastal sections. Mankind has developed several measures to at least limit this process. In connection with the construction of the new Kurhaus in Sellin on the island of Rügen, we supported “Seas without plastic”.
The important project contributes to the preservation of the Baltic Sea coast with elaborate measures. Marine litter is a global problem. The ever-increasing mass of plastic waste in the world’s oceans will soon be greater than that of all fish! NABU – Naturschutzbund Deutschland e. V. – has addressed this topic with the project “Seas without plastic”.
The problems in cities like Berlin are much more local: Bad climate in the city centre, traffic noise, particulate matter and increasing drought are a headache for Berliners. During the development of our green building lighthouse project SILVA, we became particularly aware that trees can solve many problems: they provide shade, provide noise protection, bind particulate matter and improve the microclimate in inner cities. The “City Tree Campaign” of the Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Mobility, Consumer and Climate Protection ensures that more trees appear in the cityscape again. At the start of each new real estate project, we support this important initiative by planting new urban trees.
A visit to the National Gallery, whether old or new, is always a lasting experience. Here, too, we considered to help, because only if the whole of Berlin sticks together and pulls together will the unique diversity of museums be preserved in the long term – as well as the traditional face of the capital with all its historic buildings. The Berlin State Monuments Office is responsible for their preservation, which for some complex projects also depends on donations and help from civil society and business.
The Foundation of the Friends of the National Gallery for Contemporary Art has provided the National Gallery in the Hamburger train station – Museum for Contemporary Art – Berlin with an annual budget for the purchase of contemporary art since 2005. This is the first foundation in Germany whose sole purpose is the acquisition of contemporary art for a state museum.
The Elbphilharmonie is certainly one of the most ambitious cultural building projects of our time. The “Freundeskreis Elbphilharmonie” is committed to enabling a wide variety of cultures in the Elbphilharmonie and attracting international stars and newcomers to the Elbe metropolis.
From August 2020 to the beginning of 2023, we made studio space available to the artist collective “innerfields”. The aim of this cooperation was not only to create space for the artists’ creativity, but also to offer the residents in the area attractive added value.
There are countless good and important projects and initiatives that deserve to be supported. We will be happy to help in the future whenever possible and look forward to new projects and further inspiration.