Sustainability in the real estate sector


Deka Immobilien: Focusing on sustainability

Deka Immobilien created a separate business-related sustainability strategy based on the DekaBank principles for sustainable corporate governance in order to lend the issue of sustainability appropriate significance in our Company.

Central elements and key points of our operating activities:

general reduction in CO2 emissions,
greater inclusion of green contract clauses in property, facility and lease agreements,
reduction of operating costs using sustainable management and energy renovations
integration of environmental and social concerns and good corporate governance into processes related to real estate and fund management.

Accompanying communication about our activities and their presentation in internal and external media is another important element.

Codes and memberships

BVI (German Investment Fund Association) guidelines for sustainable portfolio management and ZIA (German Property Association) industry code

By accepting the BVI guidelines for sustainable portfolio management and ZIA industry code, we document our commitment to sustainability using a continuous optimisation process. The goal of the guidelines and code is to increase the transparency and valuation of sustainability for real estate and real estate portfolios.

BVI guidelines for sustainable real estate portfolio management (in German)

ZIA sustainability in the real estate industry – code, reports and compliance (in German)

UN Global Compact and German Sustainability Code

Deka Immobilien formally recognised the UN Global Compact and German Sustainability Code in 2015.
The United Nations Global Compact is the largest and most important initiative for responsible corporate governance in the world. Based on 10 universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour standards, environmental protection and the prevention of corruption, it promotes a vision of an inclusive and sustainable global economy that benefits all people, communities and markets today and in the future.
The German Sustainability Code was prepared by the German Council for Sustainable Development after extensive dialogue with representatives of corporate groups and medium-sized companies, as well as financial analysts and financial service providers. Its aim is to develop a declaration on the environmental, social and economic dimension of sustainability, including criteria for sustainable corporate governance, that can be easily implemented and applied to the key elements of the business model of a company.

Sustainability filter for the fund liquidity investment universe

Developed with the sustainability rating agency imug in Hanover, the EIRES (Ethical Investment Research Service) database has been used to check every transaction for violations of the following criteria since the beginning of 2018:

  • Environment & biodiversity
    Failure to adequately address serious environmental scandals
  • Ozone-depleting chemicals
    Production and sale of ozone-depleting chemicals without an exit scenario
  • Controversial weapons/armaments
    Production of controversial weapons or relevant system components and offering services
    (cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines)
  • Human rights & worker rights
    Failure to appropriately address violations of international human rights conventions or key ILO labour standards (child labour, forced labour, discrimination, freedom of assembly)
  • Money laundering
    Failure to appropriately address cases of money laundering
  • Corruption
    Failure to appropriately address cases of corruption and bribery

Further information on our memberships is available here:

Overview of our Memberships

Rating confirms sustainability orientation


Certification of a large number of our fund properties is an important part of our commitment to sustainability. This focus on sustainability in the building sector is based on a comprehensive approach to the property life cycle using environmentally-friendly technologies, while ensuring profitability at all times. Property sustainability certificates allow compliance with sustainability criteria to be measured and compared based on nationally established and internationally recognised certification systems. These include, for example, the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM*), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) and the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).

* BREEAM is a registered trademark of BRE (the Building Research Establishment Ltd. Community Trade Mark E5778551). The BREEAM marks, logos and symbols are the Copyright of BRE and are reproduced by permission.

Sustainable Portfolio

We focus on sustainability and our high quality portfolio boasts 258 certified sustainable properties at the end of 2019, including, for example “The Edge” in Amsterdam, “Kings Place” in London, “Tower 185” in Frankfurt, “Silvers” in Dusseldorf or “DC Tower 1” in Vienna. As at the end of 2019, certified buildings represented 68 per cent or EUR 26.7 billion of our global real estate assets under management. Thus, our »Certification Ratio« has more than doubled in the past five years.

Deka-ImmobilienEuropa recognised as No.1 for sustainability-certified buildings

A Scope report issued at the end of 2018 confirmed the sustainable orientation of Deka’s open-ended real estate mutual funds. It shows that Deka-ImmobilienEuropa’s certification rate of 82.4 per cent was the highest of the 14 funds examined. WestInvest InterSelect was in second place with 78.1 per cent.

Read more. Scope Report, 28.12.2018 „Portfolios werden nachhaltiger – Zertifizierungsquoten steigen“

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“Kings Place” in London wins 2017 BREEAM Award


The building itself is already unusual. Located directly on the Regent Canal in London, the property includes office space as well as a restaurant, art and event areas and a theatre. Building management received an “Outstanding” rating under the BREEAM In-Use rating system, achieving the highest score ever granted in the United Kingdom. The building implements a well-thought-out sustainability design with features ranging from showers for bicycle riders to support green travel, to a green roof to improve biodiversity.
“Kings Place” received the 2017 BREEAM Award in the Office In-Use category in March 2017.


“The Edge” in Amsterdam sets new sustainability standards

Deka Immobilien’s “The Edge” property in the Zuidas district of Amsterdam is one of the most innovative buildings in the world. “The Edge” received BREEAM New Construction sustainability certification with a rating of “Outstanding”, and in December 2014 achieved the highest score received so far for a sustainable office building anywhere in the world. In 2016, “The Edge” office building won the BREEAM Award in the "Office New Construction" category.


“Skylight” in Frankfurt receives LEED® for Commercial Interiors Platinum certification.


“Skylight” is one of the first office buildings in Frankfurt am Main to be equipped throughout with LED lighting with daylight-dependent regulation. This decreases power consumption by around 70 percent, which is the equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by 190 tonnes a year. The property received LEED® Platinum for Commercial Interiors certification.


“Silvers” in Düsseldorf receives LEED Platinum certification following revitalisation


The “Silvers” is the first existing property in Düsseldorf to receive Platinum rating – the highest level of LEED certification. An energy-oriented renovation introduced energy- and water-saving equipment and grey water use. High quality interior and exterior communication areas and additional green areas in the external grounds are used to create a pleasant environment.


See our galleries for a selection of other certified “green buildings”.

Selection of certified buildings in Germany:

Selection of certified  buildings in Europe and overseas:


Deka Immobilien's commitment to sustainability was further developed in 2017, and five guidelines were defined for its sustainability activities.
Our guidelines for future action:

  • Use energy management to increase tenant loyalty, e.g. by reducing the operating expenses of suitable properties
  • Use sustainability as a tool for optimising returns, e.g. by reducing tenant fit-out costs
  • Create a positive image as a provider of sustainable real estate, e.g. by ensuring and, if possible, improving rating results
  • Anchor social responsibility in the day-to-day business, e.g. by integrating strategic and operational sustainability factors in the investment process
  • Fulfil sustainability-related regulatory requirements