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Ex-G15 landlord chief to oversee sector’s sustainability standard


Outgoing Peabody chief executive Brendan Sarsfield has been appointed chair of the new Sustainability for Housing (SfH) board.

As chair of the SfH board, Mr Sarsfield, who will be leaving Peabody in the summer, will be responsible for promoting and embedding the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing.

The standard was launched last year by The Good Economy and a group of housing associations and has since received backing from dozens of landlords and investors. It aims to promote the social housing sector as an option for private capital investments in environmental, social and governance (ESG) sectors.

The standard consists of an agreed set of 12 themes and 48 criteria which set out social landlords’ ESG credentials for potential investors.

Mr Sarsfield said: “No other sector has a set, recognised criteria for communicating ESG performance, so this reporting standard is a huge advantage for housing associations of all sizes to access funding, reduce the cost of borrowing, and boost their positive social and environmental impact for the benefit of residents and communities.

“Banks, investors and housing associations have agreed on what is important beyond financial performance, and I’m looking forward to working with the board to help promote this opportunity to the sector and beyond.”

Supporters of the standard are looking to harness the growing interest in the UK’s sustainable investment market, which is estimated to be worth £2tn.

Sarah Forster, chief executive of The Good Economy, said: “[Mr Sarsfield’s] experience as a leader in the social housing sector and his understanding of and enthusiasm for the important role of the Sustainability Reporting Standard makes him an excellent appointment.

“I have no doubt that he will steward the wider adoption and further development of Sustainability Reporting Standard as a means for all housing associations to measure and communicate their ESG performance and raise capital that helps maximise their positive social and environment impact.”

Further appointments to the board will be announced in due course.