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Landlords responsible for more than 1.5 million social homes report against ESG standard

In its first year, the social housing Sustainability Reporting Standard (SRS) has been adopted by landlords whose combined stock is more than 1.5 million homes.

The SRS, overseen by Sustainability for Housing (SfH), has since been adopted by 68 housing associations and 36 financial institutions across the UK, according to SfH’s ‘One Year In, the Story So Far’ report.

The 68 housing providers that adopted the SRS manage more than 1.5 million homes, which is equivalent to 34% of England’s social housing stock. The lenders and investors that have adopted the standard represent the majority of the £90bn of private investment in UK social housing.

Feedback from the survey showed:

  • 34% of housing providers believe the development of their ESG reports had led them to accelerate the implementation of planned ESG actions
  • More than 50% of lenders and investors said reporting against the SRS is “becoming expected” of housing providers

The SRS was launched in response to increasing interest from investors in investments that have genuine ESG credentials. The Standard aims to harness this interest from investors by providing a uniform framework for adopters to report against.

Since the start of 2021, 25 housing providers accessed the debt capital markets issuing £5.9bn of public bonds of which 81% were linked to ESG. Of these, 13 housing providers were adopters of the SRS, issuing over £3.4bn of ESG linked public bonds representing close to 60% of the total raised since 2021.

The SfH board is made up of senior figures from the social housing and finance sectors.

Brendan Sarsfield, Chair of the SfH board, said: “Today’s report reflects the huge progress social housing providers have made on their ESG journey.

“The Standard has provided the spark needed to improve the sector’s relationship with investors while starting on much needed ESG-focused work that will benefit residents.

“I am immensely proud of the work done so far but today’s report represents the beginning of a long journey.

“We will update the SRS so that it continues to stretch landlords on their sustainability commitments and gives an honest picture of how the sector is performing when it comes to ESG.”

Download the full report here.