Best Brands Practice

Drees & Sommer

ON THE BLUE WAY TO BECOMING A BENEFICIAL COMPANY

Drees & Sommer sees international sustainability standards as an opportunity to think ahead – and provides clients with professional advice based on this mindset.

For Drees & Sommer, past, present and future all came together in 2020 as the company, which specializes in construction, real estate and infrastructure projects, celebrated its 50th anniversary – and with it the continuity of its sustainable mindset and approach. One thing that was true yesterday remains true today – and will remain so in the future: Economic success is only of value if it is consistent with ecological and social goals.

 

Long before sustainability became a popular trend, Drees & Sommer declared ‘the blue way’ as its maxim and sought allies – both internal and external – who would adopt a holistic approach. The Stuttgart-based company understands ‘the blue way’ to encompass sustainability in all its facets – supported by the interplay of economy and ecology, by reason combined with passion, and by rigorous, goal-oriented processes that nonetheless allow creative freedom.

Climate-positive, not just neutral

Instead of hosting a lavish party to celebrate its anniversary year, the company encouraged its employees to undertake 50 ecological and social projects with a common goal: To benefit the environment and society. And the employees responded with passion and energy. They showed what it means to be a Beneficial Company. It means not only minimizing the negative impacts of one’s own economic activities, but also making positive contributions to help the planet. Drees & Sommer’s company-wide carbon emissions footprint is neutral, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations provide orientation in project work. Drees & Sommer is an enthusiastic supporter of future-oriented concepts such as the Cradle to Cradle® design principle. In addition to the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the company is guided by ESG regulations – and helps clients introduce and adhere to them.

The planning and project management specialists also want to play a pioneering role through their commitment to ‘Madaster’, the global online register for materials. The outstanding feature of Madaster is that, in addition to information on the origin and quality of building products, it provides a basis for determining material- and building-specific key data and making raw material values transparent. Thanks to Madaster, properties are seen as raw material repositories. Drees & Sommer sees partnering with and supporting the platform in the role of a ‘Kennedy’ as an important element of further promoting the Circular Economy.

 

Image rights: MORINGA GmbH / kadawittfeldarchitekten, Source: rendertaxi

Healthy, sustainable living

Germany’s first Cradle to Cradle® residential tower, which is currently being built in Hamburg’s HafenCity, is an ongoing client project that provides an excellent example of the Circular Economy. Named after the miracle medicinal plant moringa oleifera, the new Moringa residential development sets new standards of sustainability and innovation. Substantially more than 50 percent of the development is constructed using recyclable materials. All materials and components are designed to be reused in either the biological or technical cycle. So instead of incurring disposal costs at the end of a lifecycle, the reused materials generate economic added value while conserving resources – in keeping with the Cradle to Cradle® (C2C) design principle.

The client, MORINGA GmbH by Landmarken, is relying on Drees & Sommer’s technical experience and the C2C expertise of EPEA – Part of Drees & Sommer for the planning and realization. The experts are supporting the sustainable project with Cradle to Cradle mentoring and Circular Engineering, as well as providing building physics, energy design, facade planning, building services engineering, facility management and Green Building management services.

In addition to ecology, social aspects play a key role in the project, as some 30 percent of the apartments will be publicly subsidized housing. The diverse housing mix is complemented by co-working and catering areas. In total, the building has a gross floor area of more than 24,000 square meters.