CSR has always been woven into the very fabric of what constitutes DAB. In 2012, DAB formulated its first CSR strategy and set CSR goals for the coming years. DAB subsequently published its first CSR report in May 2013.

DAB’s CSR report targets six stakeholder groups: “Tenant democracy”, tenants, employees, society, the environment and suppliers. Specific strategic areas were chosen for each of the six groups. DAB has formulated goals, developed detailed action plans and identified indicators to monitor progress. The report provides detailed examples of how the company has worked on these areas and illustrates the accounting principles it has applied. The overall aim of DAB’s CSR report is to inspire board members of the local housing associations and housing companies it manages, and to form the basis for new, locally rooted CSR activities.


To increase CSR-related requirements in procurement both at DAB-level and at local housing companies’ level.


DAB does not only manage municipal and non-profit housing through local housing companies, but also helps renovate existing buildings and build new ones. Consequently, the purchasing policy covers various types of products, such as appliances, office supplies, machinery etc. but also the labour and materials used in construction and renovating. DAB and the local housing companies it manages have a significant combined buying power. DAB takes particular care about how its purchases are conducted and how the local housing companies and housing associations are advised on purchasing. In 2012 DAB implemented a new purchasing policy, but when working on its first CSR report, it soon realized that it didn’t focus enough on CSR issues – such as making sure suppliers do not use underpaid labour or that they comply with the UN Global Compact. As a result, one of the primary goals stipulated in its first CSR report was to revise its purchasing policy to include CSR-related issues. The goal was to reach an increase by 25% of the purchasing agreements containing CSR-related requirements by the end of 2014.


Local housing associations managed by DAB make a great part of their own purchases; even if DAB handles the payment of these purchases, it has no say on what they buy or from where. Yet, they also have the possibility to use purchasing agreements drafted by DAB, on their behalf. The more DAB-drafted purchasing agreements are used, the easier it is to ensure that DAB’s CSR standards are met.

It was thus important for DAB to first get an idea of how often housing associations used DAB-drafted purchasing agreements, and to encourage increased use of them. DAB therefore set the following targets, which were assessed in the frame of its 2013 administration audit:

  • Increase in the amount of revenue related to DAB-drafted purchasing agreements
  • Increase in the number of DAB-drafted purchasing agreements
  • Increase in the number of housing associations using them.

The audit has shown that all three targets had been met.

As a second step, DAB is now working on a revised purchasing policy which will incorporate measures to assess suppliers regarding CSR principles, using the UN Global Compact as a basis. DAB’s purchasing department now requires compliance with the UN Global Compact, which its suppliers have willingly agreed to. All current purchasing agreements will be examined and renewed with the incorporation of CSR-demands.

In addition, DAB will also include social clauses in agreements, such as terms of working conditions. For instance, if requested, a supplier will have to provide relevant documentation to prove that the wages and working conditions of its workers or sub-contractors’ workers are in accordance with the current regulations. To make sure that suppliers comply with these new requirements, the possibility to impose sanctions has been included.

Following the Danish social housing federation’s agreement with Dansk Byggeri (Danish Building - a trade organization for Danish construction companies), DAB has decided not to include the employment of trainees or interns as a requirement for its suppliers, but rather as an option for companies willing to show further commitments to CSR.


Key results and benefits

  • Increase by 20% of purchasing agreements containing CSR between 2012 and the end of 2013
  • Increased use of DAB-drafted purchasing agreements
  • New methods relating to the purchasing process
  • Increased awareness of DAB board members and local housing companies’ boards on Responsible procurement
  • Improvement of working conditions among suppliers’ employees

European Responsible Housing Awards 2014

Modalidad Economic responsibility and sustainability