The Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing (SRS) was launched in November 2020.
The SRS is a voluntary reporting framework, covering 48 criteria across ESG considerations such as affordability, carbon emission and energy efficiency, safety, equality, diversity and inclusion and resident voice.
It was set up in response to concerns that ESG investment in social housing was being inhibited by the absence of a common reporting standard. The belief is that the more widely the standard is adopted the stronger the sector’s voice will be, thereby attracting greater investment.
As with many other sectors across the economy, there had been a multitude of ESG reporting frameworks, resulting in reporting that lacked transparency and was prone to inconsistency. Often housing associations would be asked to complete ESG questionnaires which asked different questions, many of which were not relevant to housing.
Today, more than 120 organisations have signed up to SRS as either SRS adopters or endorsers. Of these, 35 are lenders or investors with the others being housing providers. This includes housing providers managing more than 1.5 million homes and funders supplying the vast majority of the sector’s £100bn of private finance have already risen to the standard.
While the sector has made a great start in adopting ESG reporting, which some believe could become mandatory in the future, SfH believes widespread adoption of the SRS will accelerate this progress.
It will enable housing providers to report on their ESG performance in a transparent, consistent and comparable way. This is making it easier for lenders and investors to assess the ESG performance of housing providers, identify ESG risks and pursue opportunities to create positive social and environmental outcomes.