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 | 13-02-2023


Proven foundation, new direction


Centro Verde (Copyright: www.drohnenbilder360.de)


The GBG corporate group identifies relevant structures, reconnects internally and thus not only promotes lively urban development, but also creates space for the future.



Recognizing sustainable structures


As the largest housing association in Baden-Württemberg, the GBG Mannheimer Wohnungsbaugesellschaft and its subsidiaries have a role model function with effect on the city of Mannheim, the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region and beyond. For decades, the GBG corporate group has been committed to society in a wide variety of ways, primarily in the area of affordable housing, but also in the municipal education sector and other areas. The GBG commissioned us to use a joint process to uncover the sustainability issues that are important for the group and its stakeholders in Mannheim and the surrounding metropolitan region, not only today, but above all with a view to the future. In order to think ahead from the start, a time horizon up to 2050 was set.



Identify sustainable pillars and create networking


Together we explored the question of which projects are the most sustainable and can continue to support the group in the future. The project goals included creating a common understanding of sustainability, defining guidelines and developing and implementing a group-wide timetable. A realignment of the interior was also on the agenda. In order to strengthen networking and commitment, all employees were involved in the strategy process right from the start.

In einem ersten Schritt stand die gemeinsame Erarbeitung von Nachhaltigkeitsthemen mit dem interdisziplinär zusammengestellten Nachhaltigkeitsteam und der Nachhaltigkeitsverantwortlichen der GBG Unternehmensgruppe auf dem Programm. Mehr als 200 Teilnehmer*innen engagierten sich in Online-Workshops und nahmen an Online-Bewertungen teil. Interdisziplinär wurde so eine Wesentlichkeitsmatrix entwickelt, in der u.a. Aspekte wie nachhaltiger und bezahlbarer Wohnraum, zukunftsfähige Arbeitswelten sowie direkte und indirekte Treibhausgasemissionen erarbeitet wurden. Im nächsten Schritt erfolgte die Ausformulierung eines gemeinsamen Nachhaltigkeitsverständnisses und die Ableitung eines Leitbildes, das den strategischen Rahmen setzte. Dieses umfasst die aus der Wesentlichkeitsanalyse abgeleiteten sechs Handlungsfelder „Umwelt und Klimaschutz“, „Gesundheit und Wohlergehen“, „Bildung und Chancengleichheit“, „Wohnen und Quartiere“, „Arbeit und Leben“ und „Innovation und Forschung“. Auch die operative Umsetzung wurde und wird von fors.earth begleitet: Nach der Definition von Nachhaltigkeitszielen haben wir Meilensteine und Maßnahmen festgelegt und Verantwortlichkeiten zugewiesen. Darüber hinaus wurde ein Vorschlag für die organisatorische Verankerung der Nachhaltigkeitsstrategie erarbeitet. Derzeit unterstützt fors.earth als Sparringspartner die Fachbereiche der Unternehmensgruppe bei der Umsetzung des Fahrplans.
In a first step, the joint development of sustainability topics with the interdisciplinary sustainability team and those responsible for sustainability of the GBG corporate group were on the agenda. More than 200 participants engaged in online workshops and took part in online assessments. An interdisciplinary materiality matrix was developed in which, among other things, aspects such as sustainable and affordable living space, future-oriented working environments and direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions were worked out. The next step was the formulation of a common understanding of sustainability and the derivation of a mission statement that set the strategic framework. This includes the six fields of action derived from the materiality analysis: “Environment and climate protection”, “Health and well-being”, “Education and equal opportunities”, “Housing and neighbourhoods”, “Work and life” and “Innovation and research”. fors.earth also supports the operational implementation: After defining sustainability goals, we set milestones and measures and assigned responsibilities. In addition, a proposal for the organizational anchoring of the sustainability strategy was developed. As a sparring partner, fors.earth is currently supporting the specialist departments of the corporate group in implementing the roadmap.



Strengthened foundation and multiplied outward effect


The GBG Group approached us with the aim of increasing their contribution to lively, diverse and sustainable urban development and of accompanying people in all life situations and phases. Another wish was to sensitize all employees from all areas to sustainable development and to use them as multipliers. With the help of the newly formulated sustainability roadmap and the participatory consulting approach, which enabled the broad involvement and activation of employees at all levels, the GBG Group is able to implement these goals. A nice side effect: through the joint development of the sustainability strategy, the individual companies were also able to network more closely with each other and increase their effectiveness:

“Sustainability is the guiding principle in the corporate strategy of the GBG corporate group. By working with fors.earth, we were able to specify sustainable action for our growing company. With tailor-made milestones and measures for our offers summarized in the life phase model, our employees are now able to act actively and sustainably in line with the corporate philosophy. We all pull together, know the fields of action that are important for our sustainable impact and thus provide space for the future.”

Uta Fischer (Management Advisor – Head of the Sustainability Team of the GBG Group)





Your Contact Person:


Yan-Tung Chan

Yan Tung Chan


Mobile: +49 151 53501304
E-mail: yan-tung.chan@fors.earth