ESG entering the mainstream
Lloyds Bank has adopted the SRS to help support its clients to increase their sustainability ambitions and transparency. ESG finance has clearly become mainstream for the social housing sector, as evidenced by the vast number of sustainable bond issuances throughout 2021 and the increasing prominence of sustainability-linked loans. Housing associations need additional support to demonstrate and articulate a clear narrative around their ESG performance and credentials to enable them to access this new form of finance.
We have found that proactive housing associations understand the importance of communicating ESG strategy across their organisational purpose and corporate plans. They are voluntarily disclosing their ESG data publicly in the knowledge that funders are increasingly considering ESG issues to help support investment decisions.
As lenders to the sector we have historically focussed on the pure financial information, however when it comes to ESG we now also place a significant value on the qualitative responses which are included within the SRS. The additional commentary and use of case studies helps provide the additional context for ESG performance as we are interested in both the past delivery but also the wider roadmap on the journey to net zero carbon.
Feedback from our clients is that the SRS is simple and transparent to report against, with the ability to provide case studies to further highlight their achievements.
The benefits of the SRS is the reporting consistency which allows for consolidation of data to aid future peer comparisons, highlighting best practises and successes across the sector, promoting further collaboration and partnership working across the industry.