‘All our new projects start with a digital transformation and sustainability strategy. In addition to these topics of the future, our clients are increasingly requesting one-stop models, combining expertise in management, planning and construction implementation. To meet this requirement, internally we have positioned ourselves fit for the future, something that our clients have rewarded. The strong consolidated net income is proof of this,’ explained Steffen Szeidl, Member of the Executive Board at Drees & Sommer SE.
digitales bauen GmbH Strengthens Drees & Sommer Group
Drees & Sommer posted a significant increase in sales primarily in the property companies sector, i.e. companies with core business in real estate, as well as in the automotive, industrial and education sectors. The international locations and corporate shareholdings also contributed to growth. In addition to the German-speaking area (Austria, Germany and a part of Switzerland) and the global growth regions, the company is increasingly focusing on the markets within Europe.
Drees & Sommer acquired a majority stake in Karlsruhe-based firm, digitales bauen GmbH, at the beginning of this year. Together, the two companies continue to develop the planning methodology of modularizing individual architectural drafts and technical building designs.
A high degree of standardization and prefabrication saves time and costs. The digital method has already been used, for example, in buildings on the Roche Campus in the Swiss city of Basel, the science center and museum experimenta in Heilbronn, Germany, and, at present, in the innovative FOUR quarter in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Implementing the Circular Economy with Subsidiary EPEA GmbH
The environmental consulting institute EPEA GmbH, based in the German city of Hamburg, has been a Drees & Sommer subsidiary since the beginning of 2019. The joint aim is to promote the Circular Economy in the construction and real estate sector and in other industries. The Cradle to Cradle principle, co-designed by chemist Professor Dr. Michael Braungart, is a central feature. Drees & Sommer has been working closely with him since 2013. Cradle to Cradle is sometimes abbreviated to C2C. Basically, this means using raw materials for products, processes and buildings in such a way that they are either conserved in the same quality and returned to a technical cycle or, alternatively, the raw materials are completely degradable and can be recycled into a biological cycle. The goal is to never produce waste again. For example, Drees & Sommer and EPEA are currently supervising Germany's first C2C residential building, called Moringa, now under construction in Hamburg's HafenCity district.
Climate Positive on Way to Becoming Beneficial Company
Steffen Szeidl commented on the current fiscal year, saying: ‘We are proud of the fact that we have reduced and offset our CO2 emissions in recent years to such an extent that we are even climate positive this year.’ He added that Drees & Sommer has also set out to become a beneficial company. ‘This type of company sets an example and gives back more than it consumes, not only to the environment but also to society. In addition to business success, the focus is on maximum benefit for a future worth living, in livable cities,’ the Executive Board Member explained. In order to achieve this goal, the company continues to reduce and offset its CO2 footprint, is involved in reforestation projects and biodiversity going forward, invests in recyclable products according to the Cradle to Cradle principle and supports social projects, both nationally and internationally.
Economy Regaining Momentum
Backed by the good results of previous years and the 2019 fiscal year, Drees & Sommer is overcoming the challenges posed by COVID-19. During lockdown, the company adapted the scope of services to the needs of its clients.
‘Controlled project shutdown, vacancy management and recommissioning were in high demand. Most of the construction projects for Drees & Sommer clients were able to continue. Due to the consequences of the Corona pandemic and the associated economic downturn, the conditions for the current and coming year are not the best. However, our respectable results from previous years are now carrying us through the current crisis. Despite the difficult starting situation, we are confident that the economy will fire up again and, following a start-up phase, it will pick up speed,’ commented Dierk Mutschler, Member of the Executive Board at Drees & Sommer.
Drees & Sommer Turns 50
Drees & Sommer started in 1970 in Stuttgart with only a few employees. It now has around 4,000 employees at 46 locations worldwide. Its architects, engineers, business administration and management specialists, designers, chemists, ecologists and other experts are working on more than 3,800 projects at present. The partnership system, which is still applicable today, has been in place since 1988. It currently consists of 40 equal partners who, together with the Executive Board and in consultation with the Supervisory Board Members, actively consider sustainability and innovation leadership to be the most important components of the company's strategy.
‘We can look back on five decades of countless successful projects. But instead of an exclusive and expensive celebration of our achievements, we are consistently putting our sustainability-oriented mindset into practice in this respect, too, by giving something back to society in the 50 weeks of our anniversary year: in the form of 50 ecological and social projects,’ said company founder Professor Dr. Hans Sommer, who is now Chairperson of the Supervisory Board at Drees & Sommer.
Note for the editorial board:
You can find more detailed data on the consolidated net income as well as an interview with both Members of the Executive Board about the fiscal year, a selection of lighthouse projects and the focus topic Artificial Intelligence: Evolution of Work? in the latest annual report.
For further information on our 50 ecological and social projects, please visit: https://www.50years.dreso.com/
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