3 min read

Convene Sponsors the 2024 CGI ESG Summit

By Lottie Wright on 14/05/24 14:09

On Thursday 2nd May, Convene sponsored the 2024 CGI ESG Summit. We’d like to thank the Chartered Governance Institute for such an engaging conference, and all attendees for their enthusiastic participation. 

The summit was a chance to connect with industry professionals and discuss the recent developments in the fast-paced ESG landscape. As more organisations begin to incorporate ESG into their agenda, goals and objectives, understanding both ESG risks and its opportunities is crucial.

This summit focused on these ESG risks, on the increasing regulatory and market demands and what your organisation needs to do to capitalise on this momentum. It provided attendees with the latest thinking on ESG regulation, legislation and best practice for UK companies and subsidiaries.

It started with a Keynote on ‘anti-ESG’ backlash, and how companies and their investors can move forward when facing this. This was followed by a debate by ESG experts on the challenges of how to prioritise different aspects of ESG alongside company and stakeholder interests.

There was then a talk on the role of the sustainability committee, discussing what works and what doesn’t when setting up board-level sustainability committees. 

This was then followed by an ESG regulation and reporting update, exploring the evolving landscape and what critical deadlines Boards should focus on amongst all of this new legislation. 

There was also a panel on top tips for getting ESG reporting right, which discussed the potential issues when gathering reliable ESG data. 

This is where Convene ESG comes in as a sponsor of the summit. 

Convene ESG allows you to simplify your ESG reporting by providing a platform to collect data, track progress, align with frameworks and produce reports.

Our end-to-end approach simplifies and automates much of the process, and will help your organisation not only generate a report, but be able set up and track your ESG goals. Our peer comparison feature also allows you to see which disclosure items your peers have reported on, as well as the best-practice recommendations for your industry.

With Convene ESG, you can be sure that your ESG report building runs smoothly, so you can instead focus on developing your sustainable strategies. 

After a break for lunch, there was a session that looked at managing ESG risks and what a Director’s duties and liabilities can be.

This was followed by a panel on Boardroom diversity, exploring the new frontiers for Board diversity and discussing how companies can continue to make their boards more diverse. 

There was then a panel about ESG engagement with investors, which saw investors discussing the future of ESG from their perspective and what role ESG plays in investment decisions. 

Finally, the day ended with a session that enabled attendees to identify the skill gaps in their Boardroom, and apply their ESG knowledge in practice. This looked at ‘plugging the ESG competency gap’, and helping organisations on all levels understand the importance of ESG.

The summit explored the evolving world of ESG, and helped organisations understand the sometimes overwhelming ‘alphabet soup’ of ESG legislation. 

We’d like to again thank the CGI for putting on such a thought-provoking conference, as well as all those in attendance for their enlightening discussions on the developing landscape of ESG. 

You can learn more about how Convene ESG can help your organisation in navigating this landscape and its regulations here.

Topics: Sustainability ESG
2 min read

Why Your ESG Report Should Be Auditable?

By Gabriella Mangham on 01/05/24 14:52

Convene ESG have recently been informed that some KPMG clients have been told to ensure their ESG reports should be auditable. Before we deep dive into why this is the case, it is important that you know Convene ESG provides a complete audit trail that is available to be exported at a moment’s notice. If you would like to learn more about Convene ESG’s extensive capabilities, please see our full features page.

Topics: Governance Sustainability ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
2 min read

Demystifying ESG in the EU -  Webinar

By Lottie Wright on 17/04/24 10:56

On the 16th April 2024, Convene hosted our second webinar in our Convene ESG series, which focused on ‘Demystifying ESG in the EU’.

The webinar featured Professor Laura Corazza, a Senior Researcher of Sustainability Accounting and Accountability at the University of Turin. In her talk and presentation she explained the new EU CSRD Regulations, before going through some practical tips on how companies can start embracing ESG principles.

Laura Corazzo first spoke about the ESG regulatory landscape, and how disclosures have transformed over the years. She looked at the international reporting landscape specifically, and explained the difference between standards and frameworks.

Laura discussed the European strategy towards sustainability with the European Green Deal, and highlighted the targets, time frames and actions of said deal. 

Then Laura explored how the European ESG landscape has been transforming in recent years, starting with the European Taxonomy and its objectives. She spoke about the changes occurring to global economies including the implementation of the CSRD, the DNSH principle and the CSDDD. 

She then gave some background information surrounding the CSRD, and the differences between the previous NFRD legislation and the current CSRD. The CSRD has far more detail in regards to the data that companies need to provide in their reporting. 

Laura then introduced the CSRD timeline and phased implementation, noting that from January 1st 2024 reporting requirements apply to the first group of affected companies, with their reports being published in 2025. She ended the talk discussing double materiality and its logic.

To download the slides from Laura's talk, click here. Or scroll below to watch Laura's talk.

Topics: Sustainability ESG Frameworks Webinars
7 min read

Governance Issues affecting Charities in Financial Year 2025

By Lottie Wright on 04/04/24 15:50

With an uncertain year ahead, and a continuing cost of living crisis, this financial year for charities and non profits will be even more impactful. Understanding burgeoning governance issues in the sector is one way charities can prepare themselves for the year ahead. 

Topics: Governance Charity Business Insights
4 min read

Convene at the Housing Finance Conference and Exhibition 2024

By Lottie Wright on 15/03/24 14:34

On the 13th and 14th March, Convene attended the Housing Finance Conference and Exhibition 2024 as a Knowledge Partner and Exhibitor with Convene ESG. We’d like to thank the National Housing Federation (NHF) for setting up such a thought-provoking conference, and for all those in attendance for their engagement.

The conference provided the space for finance professionals in the Housing sector to discuss some of the sector’s most pressing issues. This year is especially crucial for these discussions, and so the conference was an opportunity for Housing Associations to “take stock before the financial year end and a General Election”, which could lead to substantial consequences for the sector.

The conference allowed financial leadership to join peers, key stakeholders and experts in discussions surrounding the current economic landscape, as well as share concerns and introduce new insights so that Housing Associations can deliver the best possible service for their residents. 

The first day of the conference started with a talk about the ‘big economic picture’ for Housing associations. This was followed by a talk on business planning in the sector, and whether these plans are a sustainable strategy or a short-term fix. 

Then there were the morning breakout sessions, which looked at such topics as business planning and risk management, social impact data reporting, the upcoming trajectory of funding and Housing market updates.

The next breakout sessions looked at issues such as net zero and its economic benefits and redefining the role of the finance team. There was also a financial masterclass on market conditions for pension schemes and a roundtable discussion on how smaller Housing Associations can work together to improve finances.

After lunch, there was a talk on the government’s road to scaling up retrofit, with insights from Selvin Brown. Then there were more breakout sessions. 

In the first of the breakout sessions there were talks on the insurer’s view of the evolution of risk in the sector, the future of AI in Housing finance, how to fund your retrofit project, and a Valuations update for the Housing Market. There were also discussions on what the new regulations mean for social housing providers, a financial masterclass on the changes to Financial Reporting Standards and SORP and a talk on business transformation. 

The second of the sessions for the afternoon looked at topics such as the lessons learned from mergers, the role of digital in Housing finance, the role of profits and investment in pushing the developmental agenda, and building sustainable partnerships with funders. There was another financial masterclass in conversation with HMRC, a talk about elevating the workplace and discussions on V2 and what the ‘new normal’ actually means.

There was a final talk on navigating sector pressures whilst maintaining credit profiles. Then there was a keynote event to finish off the day, which discussed where tech could possibly take the sector.

The second day of the conference started talks about plans for public spending and tax on the sector with the Spring Budget, and how to finance a long-term plan for Social Housing. This was followed by talk by Clive Betts MP, which was an update on the inquiry into the finances and sustainability of the Social Housing sector.

There was another talk on the changes to the Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme, before more breakout sessions began. The first breakout sessions discussed balancing competing priorities in an uncertain market, repairs and maintenance in digital data, and enabling the regeneration rollout. 

There was also a discussion on the impact the new Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing could have on securing borrowing. This talk features Convene’s own Arturo Dell, who spoke about green finance and the importance of creating a corporate culture where reporting is a priority.

He also spoke about Convene’s own reporting software Convene ESG, and how it can help Housing Associations with their reporting and the prioritisation of said reporting. 

Convene ESG allows you to develop your ESG story by streamlining the administrative process of ESG reporting giving you time to focus on bigger goals and future visions.

Through data collection, peer comparison, and report generation, you are able to monitor your progress, achieve your targets and exhibit your success - creating a company which values ESG and makes a positive difference to the world whilst ensuring you meet regulatory requirements, industry standards and shareholder expectations. 

The next breakout sessions looked at the future of rent policy for the sector, navigating volatility in treasury management, the role of leadership in finance business transformation and had a ‘meet the finance leaders’ talk.

After lunch there was a talk on VAT savings on procurement through the cost sharing exemption. This was then followed by a final set of breakout sessions.

These focused on optimising risk management, the long-term value of investing in cybersecurity, identifying viable models to generate new income, and stock quality and operational costs. There was also a discussion of the cost of living crisis, and whether we are ‘out of the woods yet’. 

The day ended with a talk measuring the impact of Britain’s economic storm on residents, and looking at the future of Housing finance. 

We’d like to again thank the National Housing Federation for giving Convene ESG the opportunity to exhibit at and be a knowledge partner for the Housing Finance Conference and Exhibition 2024. We’d also like to thank all attendees for your engaging discussions and participation in the conference’s exploration of the current state of finance in the Social Housing sector. 

Topics: ESG Housing
2 min read

An Update on the CSRD with Santiago Durán Domínguez - Webinar

By Lottie Wright on 15/03/24 09:46

On the 12th March, Convene hosted the first webinar in our Convene ESG series, explaining updates on ESG matters in the EU.

This webinar discussed an update on the CSRD, with Santiago Durán Domínguez from EFRAG. The CSRD, or Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, is the new EU legislation requiring companies to release regular reports on their ESG efforts.

First, the webinar started with a demo on reporting for the CSRD with Convene ESG, Convene’s own ESG reporting software. Convene ESG is an end-to-end platform to collect data, track progress, compare with peers, align with frameworks and produce ESG reports. With Convene ESG, you can collect your data for all the necessary metrics in the upcoming CSRD legislation, ensuring that you are compliant with regulations.

Then, Santiago Durán Domínguez was introduced to talk about the update to the CSRD. He discussed the sustainability information organisations should know about, and the current areas of regulatory developments; taxonomy, tools for companies and disclosure regimes. 

He discussed the relevant aspects of the CSRD, and stressed the importance of the CSRD as a way for companies to all report according to European standards. 

Santiago Durán Domínguez also went through the three categories of standards for the CSRD, and discussed the relevant issues of double materiality, due diligence, interoperability with other international frameworks and value chain. 

He then spoke about the role of EFRAG in all of this, and the current issues of verification with the CSRD, which will instead have limited assurance until 2028. There was then a brief Q&A at the end of the session.

To download the slides from Santiago's talk, click here. Or scroll below to watch Santiago's talk.

If you enjoyed this webinar or want to catch the next one, our upcoming topic will be ‘Demystifying ESG in the EU’ on April 9th.

Thank you to all for those who attended, and to Santiago Durán Domínguez for his insights into the CSRD. 

Topics: Sustainability ESG Frameworks
8 min read

Governance Issues affecting Housing in financial year 2025

By Lottie Wright on 01/03/24 14:51

Amongst unclear legislation and a cost of living crisis, Housing Associations need to be on top of their governance now more than ever. There are several governance issues that the sector needs to be prepared for, heading into the financial year 2025.

As said by the National Housing Federation, “Governance is the framework at the heart of a successful housing association. It sets standards of leadership and control and helps the board to define values by which the organisation will operate”. 

First, it’s important to define governance, so we can label what exactly governance issues could be that could affect housing.

What is Governance, and what are Governance Issues?

Governance comprises all aspects of leadership and decision-making. It is the structures in place that allow a leader in any organised body to rule or control or dictate actions. 

Corporate governance is the system a company chooses to put in place concerning rules, controls and policies to enforce a standard of behaviour.

Governance issues are therefore anything that could impact an organisation's ability to achieve good and effective governance, as well as the aspects of governance that companies and leadership teams need to be on top of this coming year.

Topics: Governance Housing
2 min read

Convene ESG and RITTERWALD Host Housing Associations and Lenders Lunch

By Gabriella Mangham on 26/02/24 13:57

On the 21st February Convene ESG and RITTERWALD hosted a lunch to help facilitate a network and discussions between housing associations and lenders about the realities of ESG Reporting and Financing. We wanted this to be an opportunity to air grievances and see the paths forward, and thankfully there were many productive conversations that have started because of this. 

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
2 min read

Webinar: Convene ESG looks forward for 2024

By Gabriella Mangham on 20/02/24 16:26

Today Convene ESG hosted yet another successful webinar about what you can expect in the Housing ESG realm in 2024. 

Topics: Sustainability ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
3 min read

Convene sponsors the 2024 ESG and Sustainability Reporting Conference

By Lottie Wright on 07/02/24 13:48

On Tuesday 6th February 2024, Convene sponsored the ESG and Sustainability Reporting Conference in London. We’d like to thank Westminster Insight as well as all speakers and attendees for putting on such an engaging conference.

Topics: Sustainability ESG
7 min read

Does your organisation need a CSO?

By Lottie Wright on 01/02/24 11:00

When sustainability is discussed, ESG specialists usually emphasise the significance of having a committed individual responsible for overseeing initiatives. This can help to maintain and enhance sustainability across the entire organisation.

Linda Fisher was the first person to receive the title of “Chief Sustainability Officer” in 2004, when she was hired by DuPont. Following this, there has been a surge of similar positions cropping up at major companies. As of 2021 the number of CSOs worldwide has tripled, in comparison to 2016.

The duties of the CSO position have continued to evolve with the ever-changing ESG landscape. But the question is: what exactly is the role of a Chief Sustainability Officer and does your organisation need one?

The Role of the CSO

There still seems to be a lack of clarity surrounding the role of the CSO. Having a CSO doesn’t immediately guarantee company-wide sustainability. Sustainability cannot be left to just one person, or confined to one area of an organisation. It needs to be integrated throughout all levels of a company.

The role of a CSO includes overseeing risk, fostering resilience, and guiding the behaviour of stakeholders: employees, businesses, investors, governments, and regulators.

A CSO is responsible for a company’s environmental impact, resources and plans. Although environmental issues are critical to the role, there is a growing number of CSOs who are bringing the S and G aspects of ESG into the role too.

The scope of the CSOs responsibilities differs greatly across industries and organisations, depending on their significant social and environmental influence. However, their general function is to analyse potential changes in the external sustainability landscape, then assess the strategic implications for their company. They then need to help ensure that their company fulfils its environmental, social, and governance commitments.

The Responsibilities of the CSO

The specific responsibilities the CSO has in managing an organisation’s ESG and sustainability goals can include:

Ensuring regulatory compliance. 

Topics: Governance Sustainability ESG Business Insights
8 min read

Ways to increase your Board's Long-Term Impact

By Lottie Wright on 23/01/24 14:00

Establishing an effective Board is one thing, but maintaining that effectiveness in the long-term is another factor altogether. Ineffective Boards can have disastrous consequences for an organisation, impacting the success and longevity of a company.

These times demand more from the Board. The last few years have been tumultuous and unpredictable, with the COVID-19 pandemic and cost of living crisis. This has hindered the Board’s ability to plan for the long-term. 

But it is still important to focus on the future, even in the face of uncertainty. Convene is here to help demonstrate the ways your Board can effectively secure your organisation's long-term success.

1. Improve Board relations, communication and culture.

Making boards more resilient and effective means creating a cultural space where directors can scrutinise, challenge and debate. This requires the recruitment of a diverse Board, as well as getting the right Board structure and culture. When a Board and its members can work efficiently together, it increases their effectiveness in the long-term.

Board Members, now more than ever, are involved with strategy, technology, IT, cybersecurity and other issues. They are also spending more time with management than ever before.

The most effective Boards go beyond their duties in the meeting room. They encourage a close partnership with their senior management team to create forward-thinking objectives, set goals for performance, and strengthen responsibility through open communications. Nowadays, Boards depend on management to guarantee the implementation of their strategies, and they monitor progress to stay informed.

Creating a Board that combines Board culture and relations with its objectives for attaining long-term value, will lead to the formation of an effective executive team

2. Appoint an effective Chair for your Board.

Another way to improve Board relations and effectiveness is by appointing a chair who can facilitate this.

Effective Board leadership makes an effective Board. Board meetings can be stressful, particularly in times of economic downturn or crisis, when the stakes are high. The Board chair plays a crucial role in ensuring meetings run smoothly, and achieve what they set out to achieve. 

The chair must have a clear agenda that balances both strategic and fiduciary topics. They need to be able to encourage Board members to voice their opinions, and understand different perspectives while maintaining a clear vision of what needs to be done.

To enhance Board effectiveness, Boards need to be led by someone who can think of both the short-term and long-term goals of the Board, and consider this in all decision-making and discussion.

3. Implement, and then act on Board evaluations.

High-value Boards are now expected to do more than just provide strategic advice. They are now also required to actively work towards continuous improvement. These Boards must regularly evaluate their performance and make an effort to operate in a productive and effective  manner.

A Board’s performance can vary over time and is dependent on many factors, such as Board composition, Chair leadership, and the life cycle of the organisation. It therefore needs consistent analysis.

Boards should conduct in-depth evaluation of their overall performance at least once per year, and add to this effort by holding regular feedback sessions after meetings. 

Boards shouldn’t see this annual performance evaluation as a ‘box-ticking’ or ‘fill-out-the-template’ activity. Board evaluations need to facilitate a more thoughtful reflection of both individual and team performance, measuring this against specific goals.

High quality feedback, in both feedback sessions and overall evaluations , helps Boards and their directors recognise their areas for improvement.

A Board evaluation can be an extremely effective measure in determining whether a Board’s composition, structure and dynamics actually serve the organisation in both the short and long-term. The evaluation of the Board’s operations helps ensure it is running as effectively as possible, and maintaining longevity. 

4. Invest in onboarding.

No matter a new Board member’s background or experience, it takes time to get used to an organisation’s strategy and culture. Especially with how Board operations can differ company to company. 

Investing in thorough Board onboarding processes helps new Board members to establish themselves easily, so they can begin to make effective contributions and feel like a part of the Board.

Tailored onboarding practices towards both Board members and directors can help ensure all can participate in effective governance for the Board sooner, rather than later.

Effective Boards are those that take initiative, dedicate time to building relationships, and strive for constant improvement. By embracing these strategies, Boards can tap into their full potential and make a lasting impact on their organisation's ability to adapt and grow.

5. Factor in new and emerging trends.

Many Boards believe that they excel in providing value in conventional aspects like managing finances, monitoring risks, and enhancing productivity.

But as the last few years have taught us, Boards need to be not only capable in those sectors, but also be prepared to tackle emerging key issues such as cybersecurity and ESG

To ensure Boards are successful in the long term they need to be not only sufficient in preparation, but also in analysing and adapting to surfacing trends. New risks in industries and sectors will require Board input, and it is crucial that Boards are prepared to not just continue on one course, but change for the future. 

To create a lasting effect, it is crucial for the Board to readjust its usual priorities and consider new, long-term trends that contribute to value. These factors should be included in Board meeting agendas.

As the Board is primarily responsible for strategic supervision, Board members must possess adequate expertise in industry trends to effectively steer the company's long-term strategy.

6. Improve Board meetings and information sharing.

Boards need their meetings to run smoothly, and they need systems and software that facilitates this. Without access to relevant information easily, Boards cannot effectively administer their duties.

Board portals are a highly-secure, online, centralised hub that can help you do just that.

Board portals facilitate a secured environment for sharing confidential documents and information. It enables Boards to exercise good corporate governance and decision-making responsibilities despite working in remote workplaces.

Convene’s own Board portal software can help your leadership team to communicate effectively and ensure your long-term success.

Convene provides directors and administrators with the necessary communication and collaboration tools that simplify Board material preparation, reports, and Board document sharing, among many other meeting-related tasks.

From creating an agenda to establishing a strong admin trail, every step of the process should be as smooth as possible. With a Board portal like Convene at your side, you can instead focus on making your Board maintain its effectiveness in the long-term, without having to sweat the small stuff. 

How Convene can help you Board

Convene’s Award Winning Board portal software allows your Board to communicate efficiently and run meetings with ease, maintaining an effective environment for your Board.

Convene now comes fully integrated with Microsoft Teams, ensuring that the meeting process is even more seamless for your organisation, and improving Board effectiveness.

Our Board portal features include:

Topics: Governance Business Insights
6 min read

ESG Trends in 2024

By Lottie Wright on 15/12/23 15:25

As ESG practices and disclosures become crucial to a companies' public image, their investors and their overall success, 2024 looks to be a year of even further regulations and a ramping up of ESG policies. 

Now, more than ever, it is important for organisations to prepare for ESG in 2024, and understand the trends we could be seeing in the future sustainability landscape.

But first, what was ESG like in 2023?

ESG in 2023

In 2023, organisations all over the world faced a turbulent landscape marked by a cost of living crisis, inflation, supply chain disruptions, and recessions fears. Amid this uncertainty, Environmental, Social and Governance practices became even more crucial for companies to undertake.

2023 was a turning point for ESG and emphasised the need for proactive ESG initiatives. ESG trends have been around for the past few years but there were some clear trends in 2023 that are important to remember going into 2024.

Sustainable Finance: Companies focusing on both financial revenue and the environment in their investments has gained momentum in the last year. 

Supply Chain Resilience: There was a significant focus on supply chain resilience as an ESG trend. This was emphasised by the need to develop a supply chain that can maintain its efficiency in times of crisis, for example in a global pandemic. 

Transparency and Ethical Practices: In order to steer clear of greenwashing accusations companies are putting in more effort to promote transparency and prioritise ethical business and governance practices.

The ESG landscape is continuing to evolve. With ESG maintaining its priority on the agenda, it is important for organisations to understand what is in store for the future of ESG, and what trends might be seen in 2024.

ESG Trends in 2024

Heading into 2024, there are both old and new ESG trends to be mindful of, especially for companies seeking to implement greater sustainability.

It is already shaping up to be a watermark year for ESG regulation with years of preparation finally ramping into action. This is particularly true in the EU, where the emphasis is now shifting to implementation after the introduction of numerous regulations over the last three years.

Here are the top trends to watch out for in 2024.

Topics: Sustainability ESG Business Insights
2 min read

Convene's 2023

By Lottie Wright on 15/12/23 09:00

2023 has been another expansive, exciting and successful year here at Convene. 

Our team has been kept busy with many interesting conferences this year, and we’ve had a wonderful time travelling the country to meet you all and bring Convene and our new product Convene ESG to you in-person.

We also continued our ESG Webinar series for Housing Associations, and have had some enlightening and important discussions surrounding reporting in the Housing sector, and the introduction of SRS Version 2.0.

Convene also hosted several Housing networking events, furthering discussions on sustainability within the sector and showcasing our own dedication to ESG with our reporting tool Convene ESG.

Convene ESG has gone through some developments and improvements this year, both to its interface and its reporting capabilities. We announced our collaboration with RITTERWALD’s Certified Sustainable Housing Label, allowing Housing Associations to export multiple ESG reports at the touch of a button including RITTERWALD, the SRS and the TCFD

Additionally, for the fifth year running, Convene sponsored Herne Hill Velodrome Track League 2023 with Convene ESG. 

Here at Convene, it is important to us that we maintain our eco mission and green philosophy. We are a paperless company dedicated to helping other organisations develop their sustainability goals, and Convene ESG is just one of our products that achieves this.

Sponsoring Track League is a chance for us to demonstrate further our commitment to sustainability, as well as support a community space that so many people enjoy. 

Finally, in July, Convene announced the release of Convene Version 7.0 with newly improved and state-of-the-art board portal features. These features include: comprehensive and customizable dashboards, secure digital signatures, one-click attendance confirmation, seamless meeting publication online and the ability to plan the annual board agenda in one dashboard.

In addition to these exciting new features, Convene 7.0 enhances the existing meeting capabilities, including video meetings, annotations, voting, document management, and integrations, to provide users with a seamless and intelligent experience.

Convene would like to thank you all for your continued efforts in good governance, sustainability and Board excellence, and we wish you a prosperous 2024.

Topics: Governance Community ESG
3 min read

Webinar: Convene ESG & The Good Economy

By Lottie Wright on 05/12/23 14:26

Today we hosted our final webinar in our SRS for Social Housing series for this year. This webinar focused on SRS Version 2.0, and we were joined by Andy Smith from The Good Economy to help us get up to speed on this update.

Here is a brief summary of the discussions.

Topics: SRS for Social Housing
6 min read

What to Prepare for 2024: Housing ESG

By Lottie Wright on 01/12/23 10:30

With the increasing focus on ESG in recent years, it's important to feel prepared for what this changing landscape can bring in the future. 

For Housing Associations, the Prime Minister’s announcement of a policy overhaul on plans to help cut carbon emissions left the sector in limbo, and the recent appointment of a new housing minister, the 7th since the beginning of 2022, means that regaining a sense of stability is more critical than ever.

Staying ahead of trends, pushing ESG discussions forward and focusing on developing an effective reporting cycle will be crucial in helping Housing Associations feel secure in the face of future uncertainty.

Housing Associations need to be on top of their ESG reporting, and this includes choosing the right framework and solutions for your organisation.

Topics: Sustainability ESG Housing Frameworks
6 min read

What is the ISSB?

By Lottie Wright on 25/10/23 13:24

The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) standards are set to become effective starting January 1, 2024. These new standards are a significant step forward for sustainability reporting. They will have a major impact on the way companies disclose their ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) initiatives.

One major challenge that companies face when it comes to ESG reporting is the lack of standardisation. 

There is currently a lot of freedom in what companies can disclose, because there is no global standard for reporting. As a result, they have the ability to present reports in a way that benefits them the most. This not only lacks scientific validity but also opens the door to greenwashing.

The ISSB standards are intended to be the foundation for a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability disclosures. They are specifically focused on the needs of investors and the financial markets — something investors have long desired. 

So, what do you need to know about this next phase of evolution in ESG reporting?

What is the ISSB?

The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) is an independent, private-sector body that develops and approves IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards. The ISSB operates under the oversight of the IFRS Foundation. 

Today, economic and investment decisions are increasingly incorporating sustainability information. In response to this, the IFRS Foundation created the ISSB as a sister board to the IASB in 2021. The ISSB provides a global baseline of sustainability disclosures to further inform economic and investment decisions.

There are two sets of proposed standards under the ISSB – sustainability related disclosures and climate disclosures. Both of these are structured around the four pillars outlined by the TCFD: governance, strategy, risk management, metrics and targets.

General sustainability disclosures:

The ISSB extends the framework established by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). This means the framework now encompasses non-climate-related sustainability issues. Additionally, these standards outline intentions to disclose all potential risks and opportunities relating to sustainability matters.

Climate disclosure standards:

These standards are primarily focused on climate-related aspects, aligning with the TCFD approach. They tackle important factors including potential risks to the environment, climate resilience, greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon footprint. 

The governance and risk management pillars of the ISSB are closely aligned with the TCFD's recommendations. However, this new standard calls for further information and more details on strategy, metrics and targets.

After extensive consultation and feedback since the start of the standards’ development, and with the two proposed standards having been announced, the ISSB will come into force in January 2024 for the subsequent reporting year. 

What is the ISSB’s purpose?

Given the number of ESG standards that already exist, it might leave companies wondering what the ISSB is even supposed to achieve. 

The ISSB is designed to address this developing disclosure fatigue. By continuing a process of consolidation in sustainability standards, it seeks to create a global standard for ESG reporting.

The ISSB has set out four objectives:

Topics: Governance Sustainability ESG Frameworks
3 min read

Webinar: Anna Haskins talks SRS 2.0.

By Gabriella Mangham on 24/10/23 12:23

Today we hosted yet another insightful webinar in our SRS 2.0. Series. This time we were joined by Anna Haskins from The Good Economy to discuss the implications of the SRS 2.0. and how Housing Associations should prepare themselves to report against it. Here is our brief summary of the discussions.

Topics: SRS for Social Housing
4 min read

Convene ESG Hears From Experts At Networking Event

By Gabriella Mangham on 18/10/23 10:03

Last week Convene ESG hosted another networking event for Housing ESG professionals. We had many interesting discussions during the cocktail hour about how best to approach ESG as an organisation. A common topic was how Housing Associations are working to embed a culture of ESG in their day-to-day activities.

Topics: Sustainability ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
7 min read

Housing Insight: Why ESG Reports Matter

By Lottie Wright on 29/09/23 14:28

On the 20th September, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced an overhaul of policies intended to help the UK meet its target of cutting carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. 

The prime minister said the UK could afford to adopt a more “pragmatic, proportionate and realistic” approach to achieving net zero.

This policy overhaul from the government leaves Housing Associations in limbo. It is unclear how the Sector should move forward with sustainability and decarbonisation plans. 

This means it is more important than ever for Housing to be on top of their ESG reports, as it provides something to rely on in the face of uncertainty.

But what exactly did the Prime Minister’s announcement say, and what does this mean for Housing Associations moving forward?

What did Rishi Sunak’s announcement say?

The Prime Minister announced that targets to get households to switch away from fossil fuel boilers were being relaxed. Alongside this, he announced plans for tougher energy efficiency rules for landlords were being ditched. He also declared the ban on the sales of new petrol and diesel cars was being pushed back, from 2030 to 2035.

Three years ago the government set out its “preferred policy scenario” of all private landlords achieving Energy Performance Certificate rating C. For new tenancies this was from 2025, and for existing tenants it was by 2028.

Tenant bodies are outraged by the abandonment of this policy, amid concerns that the much-awaited Renters Reform Bill might face a similar fate.

Sunak claimed he would still “encourage” households to improve their energy efficiency, but that “under current plans, some property owners would have been forced to make expensive upgrades in just two years’ time”.

Additionally, the Prime Minister declared a 50% increase in financial support for grants under the government's boiler upgrade scheme. He said he does not want to impose costs on “hard-pressed families” at a time “when technology is often still expensive”. 

While this might sound appealing, the 2035 deadline for putting in new boilers remains unchanged. The only new policy being the promise of an exemption for those who would find the switch to heat pumps the “hardest”.

The Prime Minister said this overhaul “doesn’t mean” he is “any less committed to decarbonising our homes”.

A significant portion of these changes will affect the Housing industry in one way or another. This Sector was already making progress towards the country's net zero goals by enhancing the energy efficiency of many homes, as well as starting to report on ESG through the SRS.

The changes leave many Housing Associations uncertain on how to proceed, as the details of what this means for the Sector has not been made clear by the government. 

What is the response from the Housing Sector?

The potential impact of these changes for Housing Associations cannot be ignored. Many in the industry have already come out to share their thoughts on the upcoming changes and what they could mean for the Sector.

Kate Henderson, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said it is “hugely disappointing” to see the government “row back from its commitments to net zero, particularly on improving the energy efficiency of our homes”.

She stated: “England’s homes are among the oldest and draughtiest in Europe. Making homes more energy efficient is a win-win, not only helping to save our planet, but also boosting our economy by creating jobs and, crucially, saving money.”

Rachelle Earwaker, senior economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said easing the regulations on energy-efficient homes is “ill advised and ill considered”. 

She added: “If we don’t invest in energy-efficient housing and more sustainable and affordable energy solutions, the only certainty is frighteningly high energy bills and poor health outcomes.” 

Dan Wilson Craw, deputy chief executive of Generation Rent, said scrapping higher standards for rental properties is a “colossal error” by the government, and that “energy efficiency” is an “essential part of a home’s quality”. 

He stated that abandoning these policies is “both cruel and out of proportion to what the prime minister wants to achieve.”

What does this mean for Housing Associations?

Overall, this presents a huge problem for the Sector, which was already challenged with the enormous responsibility of reducing carbon emissions. Now, the industry is confronted with even more uncertainty regarding the government's objectives. 

There are also significantly diminished prospects of securing the necessary funding to aid in decarbonisation.

Rishi Sunak and the government have promised a “pragmatic” transition in which the public continues to rely on gas boilers, ignore the issue of energy inefficient housing, delay the serious adoption of electric vehicles until 2035, and somehow, miraculously, achieve the significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions necessary to achieve net zero.

The lack of clarity on how to move forward with sustainability plans, and how to give tenants the best quality service possible in spite of government policy, means a challenging road ahead.

All this highlights is that it is more important than ever for Housing Associations to communicate with their tenants, and assure them that their needs are your top priority. 

The Sector needs to be able to ensure their environmental efforts are being demonstrated, and the public is made aware of them. Whether this be in energy efficiency and ESG goals or beyond, communication between Housing providers and tenants is crucial.

Additionally, with the possibility of more funding from the government appearing more and more unlikely, financing for Housing Associations is going to become more and more competitive. 

With investors and consumers alike focusing on sustainability and ESG, reporting effectively and clearly, and showing your environmental progress is going to be critical in the face of these changes. 

The earlier you start reporting, the more secure you can be in the face of instability within the Sector.

Why ESG Reports are more important than ever?

As well as achieving its target of net zero emissions by 2050, the UK government has to meet interim “budgets” along the way. Ministers have yet to flesh out important details of Sunak’s policy changes — such as exactly which households might be exempt from having to ditch fossil fuel boilers — so the impact on emissions is hard to calculate at this stage.

Moving forward, the Sector should continue to strive towards sustainability, and this means focusing on what you can do; ESG reporting, and the SRS.

Publishing an ESG report sets out your clear intentions for your organisation’s future, and its future projects. It includes your current investments and future investments into ESG. This will allow your potential investors to have a complete idea of how their money will be spent. 

These announcements may make it seem like ESG should be less of a concern for the Housing Sector. The targets proposed by the government are unclear, and the elections next year may mean that it will all change yet again anyway! However, the Housing Sector has always pushed to be ahead of the curve, when government regulations are lacking, it is up to Housing Associations to provide the best service possible for their tenants.

Furthermore, investors, banks and loan providers will still be focused on providing green loans and ESG funding to Housing Associations. However, access to this money will be increasingly competitive without potential government assistance. The sooner you start reporting the more evidence you will have to provide investors of your year-by-year progress.

The SRS will also soon be launching their Version 2.0. which will address some of the common concerns that investors have. This will also help push the Sector forwards. During these uncertain times it is better to be ambitious than “realistic”, especially with the upcoming changes to the SRS allowing for a “comply or explain” approach. 

The SRS helps level the playing field for all Housing Associations in terms of ESG by giving a criteria for them to focus on. Organising a standard allows the whole Sector to come together to determine what matters to them around the E, the S and the G in ESG. 

The Housing Sector is one of the nations’ biggest polluters; if Net Zero is to ever be achieved then it is necessary to act sooner rather than later. 

How Convene can help you with ESG Reporting

Here at Convene we have developed our own ESG reporting tool: Convene ESG

Convene ESG is designed for Housing Associations with the assistance of Housing Associations. Our Early Adopters discussed with us what they needed, and with their requirements we developed a tool that would help Housing Associations generate the best ESG reports possible. 

With Convene ESG you can compare benchmarks, organise your report, assign sections, automate reminders and input your ESG data and the solution will create a report ready to publish or edit as necessary. You can also input the data once and report against multiple different frameworks. This means you can provide lenders and your tenants with both a TCFD, RITTERWALD and SRS Report without repeating the work every time!

With the SRS Version 2.0 coming out this week, it’s as good a time as any to start ESG reporting.

This updated version has been produced using feedback from Adopters, Endorsers, and supporters of the Standard, and should help your association even further on your ESG journey.

You can find more about how Convene ESG can help your Housing Association here, or you can keep up with our dedicated events including networking opportunities and webinars here.

Topics: Sustainability ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
4 min read

What are the current ESG Regulations in the UK?

By Lottie Wright on 27/09/23 16:02

In recent years, a growing number of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) regulations have been passed around the globe.

More and more companies are being asked by investors to disclose their data, and more regulations are coming in full force. For institutions in the UK, it seems as if mandatory disclosures are just around the corner. 

It is important to understand how regulations could affect your business, and to be prepared to start collecting, analysing and reporting on your ESG practices.

What are ESG Regulations?

ESG regulations are a set of requirements placed on an organisation to publicly disclose information about their ESG performance

Although environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns have recently become a focus, the regulation surrounding these matters is even more current. Adhering to ever-changing regulations poses a difficulty, particularly for organisations in the early stages of developing their ESG reporting initiatives.  

ESG regulations vary by country, and staying informed, as well as compliant, of these differences is crucial for companies doing business abroad. 

The repercussions of non-compliance can be staggering. This can include large fines, a loss of public trust through poor publicity and, ultimately, an impact on revenue. It’s time to start understanding how ESG regulations might affect your organisation.

What are the current UK regulations?

At present, the UK has no single ESG law or regulation. The UK’s ESG policy consists of domestic and EU-derived laws and regulations, many of which are not ESG-focused.

However, one key regulation for ESG disclosures in the UK that does exist is the Companies Act. It includes requirements for annual reporting, and this applies to larger companies that are listed, have more than 500 employees or exceed £500 million in annual turnover.

Non-financial information has always been a requirement of these reports but the Act was extended in 2022 to include sustainability details. Large UK companies are now required to report on energy usage and carbon emissions as part of their annual reports.

Some sectors and organisations of a certain size now have standards they may have to report against. For example, the Housing sector has the Sustainability Reporting Standard, which whilst currently optional is paving the way for industries to specialise and standardise their ESG Reports.

Additionally, starting in 2023, ESG reporting in the UK will be further defined through Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDRs). The SDRs offer a framework for companies to handle sustainability opportunities, potential risks, and effects, while also establishing measurable goals and objectives.

While the SDRs are rolled out over the next two years, fully mandatory disclosure is expected by 2025.

For financial years starting after 6 April 2022, TCFD based reporting will be mandated for more than 1,300 of the largest UK-registered companies and financial institutions.

This encompasses numerous major publicly traded corporations, financial institutions, and insurance companies in the UK. Additionally, sizeable private companies are also subject to the new regulations.

New legislation affects not just large companies and institutions in the UK, but also the businesses that are in their supply chains. This emphasises the need to start reporting on ESG matters, regardless of whether you are directly impacted or not.

What are the future ESG Regulations?

Other developments in ESG reporting expected over the coming year include a mandatory requirement for certain companies to publish "net zero transition plans". These should outline how they will adapt as the UK moves towards a low carbon economy by 2050. 

It is also worth noting that European corporate sustainability reporting requirements may well impact non-EU companies in the future. If they have significant EU activity or fall within the value chain of an in-scope EU company, they could be affected.

The new CSRD requirements mandate that both private and public EU companies provide detailed information on sustainability-related issues. This also applies to any non-EU companies with a substantial presence in Europe.

The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) released its exposure drafts on 31 March 2022 with comments to be received by 29 July 2022. The proposed guidelines establish the criteria for disclosing information on climate and overall ESG reporting. They are likely to be implemented into UK legislation by 2024 or 2025.

While ESG reporting requirements are rapidly expanding, these regulations mostly build on existing reporting frameworks, such as the TCFD. 

Although not all companies are subject to these regulations, there is a growing demand from investors for reporting. Therefore, businesses can anticipate this evolving scenario by embracing the best practices of ESG reporting without delay.

How Convene Can Help With Your ESG Reporting

Here at Convene we have developed our own ESG reporting tool: Convene ESG. 

Our aim is to alleviate some of the challenges of ESG data gathering, performance tracking, and reporting for ESG factors so organisations can move towards global sustainability and net zero.

Designed in collaboration with our clients, Convene makes reporting simple, so you can focus on developing sustainable strategies. 

Convene ESG can help you report on a range of existing standards including the TCFD, GRI, SRS, amongst a range of others.

It also has a built-in comparison feature, which allows you to compare against competitors' formatting of their publicly accessible reports. This will help your organisation develop the best results possible.

It's important to understand the ESG landscape and its regulations, even before these regulations are mandatory, so you can be prepared to face ESG disclosures head on. It helps not only your organisation, but the planet, to focus on how you can improve ESG practices.

Topics: Governance Sustainability ESG Frameworks
5 min read

What is Net Zero, and how does ESG factor in?

By Lottie Wright on 27/09/23 16:00

As climate change becomes a more and more pressing issue, the phrase 'Net Zero' comes up increasingly often. In 2019, the UK Government committed to achieving this target by 2050.

Net Zero means there is an equal balance of carbon going in and out of the atmosphere. Many institutions globally have come to view this as the standard for measuring their commitment to climate goals. 

Sustainability has become not just an important plan, but a vital goal and mission for organisations. With ESG initiatives driving changes, the concept of carbon neutrality and net zero is becoming more of a reality.

What Does Net Zero Mean?

Net Zero means the balance of carbon going in and out of the atmosphere. It also refers to the global target of negating the amount of greenhouse gases created by human activity. 

Net Zero can be achieved through reducing emissions and absorbing existing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, but this is no small feat.

Net Zero doesn't mean an organisation is not releasing any carbon into the atmosphere. It only means that the carbon they emit is balanced by the carbon they take out of the atmosphere. As a result, Net Zero strategies involve measures that reduce this carbon such as planting trees or reducing carbon footprint.

Global warming and climate change will have an impact across every industry. Reducing the amount of damage done to the environment is not only an ethical issue, but a practical one. 

Committing to Net Zero is one of the most significant steps an organisation can take in protecting themselves in the future.

How Does ESG Contribute To Net Zero?

ESG, or Environmental, Social and Governance, is a metric used to evaluate organisations on their sustainability efforts. It is becoming an increasingly important aspect of business to investors, as concerns about climate change rise.

Environmental, the E in ESG, refers to the impact an organisation makes on climate change through its greenhouse gas emissions, waste management and energy efficiency.

Social, the S in ESG, refers to human rights, labour standards and issues such as workplace safety and security. 

Governance, the G in ESG, refers to the system used to define rights, expectations, and responsibilities between different stakeholders, as well as the rules and policies in place to ensure this standard of behaviour. 

With sustainability surfacing as a global objective, many investors are demanding ESG plans that outline a path to meeting net-zero carbon emission targets. ESG plans and policies help to navigate a way to net zero. They set crucial targets and hold institutions to sustainability standards.

What Can Your Organisation Do To Help Achieve Net Zero?

Reducing the dependency and use of fossil fuels can help organisations achieve those important ESG goals like Net Zero. Still, it can be more complex than simply switching to renewable energy. 

No matter the challenge, reaching Net Zero emissions goals comes down to gathering and understanding the data.

In order to reach Net Zero, it is crucial for organisations to monitor and evaluate all carbon-emitting assets. Without this data, it is impossible to efficiently control energy usage and environmental footprint.

This is where ESG comes in as a helpful solution. ESG reports are designed to provide your organisation with the information and data about its environmental impact. This can then help you come up with the right strategy and plan to reach your net zero goals.

Topics: Sustainability ESG
4 min read

Convene at the NHS Governance 'The Future' Conference

By Lottie Wright on 21/09/23 15:27

On the 19th September 2023, Convene was an exhibitor at the NHS Governance ‘The Future’ Conference. We’d like to thank all those in attendance for making it such an informative discussion on the world of governance within the NHS.

Topics: Governance
5 min read

Convene ESG at Sustainability Reporting Europe 2023

By Lottie Wright on 13/09/23 17:35

On the 6th and 7th September, Convene ESG exhibited at Reuter’s 2023 Sustainability Reporting Europe Conference. We’d like to thank Reuters IMPACT Congress London, as well as all speakers, sponsors and attendees for participating in such an important and enlightening conference.

The conference focused on the upcoming CSRD regulations, and how organisations can be prepared to tackle it, and ‘collect, manage and disclose data fit for the CSRD’. It highlighted that many companies are not on track to comply with the CSRD, and emphasised that businesses should prepare themselves for compliance quickly, to avoid the risks of negative publicity and financial penalties.

The conference set out to help companies understand how to utilise systems, processes and frameworks to provide consistent and reliable data. It also sought to explore how sustainability can work together with finance, risk, communication, and legal teams, and how companies can meet regulatory requirements without losing focus as to why reports are necessary. 

The varied talks and discussions took place on four main stages, each focusing on important aspects of ESG regulations, including a Sustainability Reporting stage, a Reuters Impact stage, an ESG Investment stage, and a Net Zero stage.

On the first day of the conference, there were several keynote events including a talk on the CSRD’s compatibility with both the GRI and ISSB from policy makers, exploring how to navigate the regulatory changes for 2023 and beyond. There were also keynotes on using business strategy with sustainability data, and on how to collect consistent, comparable and quality data. 

There was a keynote talk about how finance drives sustainable business practices, and the importance of sustainability executives working with their financial counterparts. This was a repeated theme throughout the conference; the need for integration between finance and sustainability. 

There were panels on identifying the gaps in your current reporting practices, as well as setting up an effective sustainability reporting program. There were also panels furthering the conversation of sustainability and finance working together, and supplying additional information about how to structure annual reports.

An interesting and important workshop on the GRI and the practical ways that companies can prepare for the CSRD and leverage GRI reporting. 

Additionally there were presentations on operationalising sustainability and driving performance beyond just regulatory compliance. Presentations also looked at increasing transparency through digitable access to data, as a company's information should not just hold them accountable but also be accessible

The day ended with a workshop focusing on the future of the industry, looking to discuss the sessions of the day as well as how companies need to be adaptable in the face of instability and possible crises.

Topics: Sustainability ESG
2 min read

Webinar: Convene ESG and RSM discuss the SRS

By Gabriella Mangham on 12/09/23 10:22

Last week (after a few technical difficulties) Convene ESG joined RSM to produce a star-studded webinar. We were joined by Anna Haskins from the Good Economy, Michael Cook from Thirteen Group, Steven Radcliffe from RSM and of course our very own Arturo Dell.

Topics: SRS for Social Housing
2 min read

5 Reasons A Board Portal Is The New Essential Tool For Schools

By Hisham Al-Ramah on 30/08/23 11:28

School Governance is no easy feat, and planning a lesson agenda is a very different task from planning a meeting agenda! Your time is limited enough, but here are the top 5 reasons why you should consider buying a Board Portal for your Senior Leadership Team in 2023/24. 

Topics: Board Portal Features Convene in Teams Why Convene?
6 min read

Che cosa è la  CSRD?

By Lottie Wright on 23/08/23 14:41

Nei prossimi anni l'UE introdurrà una legislazione più rigorosa in materia di ESG, sia per le grandi aziende che per le PMI, che dovranno presentare relazioni. È fondamentale che la vostra organizzazione anticipi queste normative e riduca l'impatto negativo implementando strategie di monitoraggio, raccolta dati e reporting accurate. Porre l'ESG in cima alla vostra agenda vi offre un vantaggio rispetto alle aziende che non hanno ancora alcun obbligo di rendicontazione quando si tratta di conformarsi ai quadri normativi esistenti e a quelli nuovi, nonché di attrarre finanziamenti sostenibili e di compiacere gli stakeholder. 

La Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) è la nuova normativa dell'UE che impone alle aziende di pubblicare regolarmente rapporti sulle loro attività ESG. È stata concepita per incoraggiare le aziende a sviluppare approcci più responsabili al business e per aiutare gli stakeholder a valutare le loro prestazioni non finanziarie. Per la prima volta, la Commissione europea definisce un quadro di rendicontazione unificato per i dati non finanziari.

Topics: Sustainability ESG Frameworks
3 min read

Webinar: Richard Hunt from CAF Bank

By Gabriella Mangham on 15/08/23 14:12

Today Convene ESG hosted another constructive webinar, this time we were joined by Richard Hunt from CAF Bank to talk about what borrowing green loans looks like. 

Green Loans are a loan that the borrower has to exclusively use for sustainability projects. Increasingly in the Housing Sector, this means providing the lender with an SRS Report. During this webinar, Richard Hunt explained that there are 4 components that go together to form a Green Loan:
Use of Proceeds -demonstrating what the green loan will be used for.
Project Evaluation and Monitoring - ensuring funds are used appropriately.
Management of Proceeds - separate green loan bank account and providing invoices.
Reporting - ongoing proportionate reporting on the project.

Richard Hunt also detailed that we need a holistic approach. Sustainability is on everyone’s agenda, both customers, financing organisations and housing associations acknowledge its importance, but no one can make economic or governing decisions without data. The benefit of green loans may be the discounts, but the tying together for a common purpose is the key point. Energy efficiency and environmental sustainability is economically sound not only because for some rent and heating are costing the same amount but also because it will provide better risk management.

Sustainability in finance and green loans are the future, so investing now will save money in not only the short but also the long-term. If you would like to learn more, please rewatch the webinar here.

From all of us at Convene ESG, we want to thank Richard Hunt for his valuable insights and for sharing his knowledge. We believe that the Housing Sector working together can make great strides towards positive change, and Green Loans are a major part of this. Convene ESG want to be able to host more discussions like this in the future and already have some major events planned. To see more, visit our events page here

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
6 min read

What is the CSRD?

By Lottie Wright on 10/08/23 10:11

The EU is set to introduce more rigorous legislation on ESG over the coming years, for both large companies and SMEs to report against. It’s crucial for your organisation to anticipate these regulations, and reduce any negative impact by implementing thorough monitoring, data collection and reporting strategies. Putting ESG at the top of your agenda provides you with an advantage over companies that have no reporting obligation yet when it comes to complying with existing and new frameworks as well as attracting sustainable finance and pleasing stakeholders. 

The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) is the new EU legislation requiring companies to release regular reports on their ESG efforts. It is designed to encourage companies to develop more responsible approaches to business, and helps stakeholders evaluate their non-financial performance. For the first time, the European Commission is defining a unified reporting framework for non-financial data.

Topics: Sustainability ESG Frameworks
2 min read

Convene ESG host Social Housing networking evening

By Josh Cole-Hossain on 24/07/23 17:26

On June 15th, the Convene ESG team hosted a networking evening at House of St Barnabas in London attended by governance and sustainability professionals in the social housing sector as well various guests invited by Convene ESG to give their insights into how ESG reporting is evolving in the housing sector.

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
5 min read

Why Listed Companies Choose Convene

By Lottie Wright on 17/07/23 14:52

For many listed companies, investing in technology and software that promises security, reliability and streamlined communication is crucial in ensuring good governance and transparency with the public.

Listed companies are public companies, which means they must issue shares of its stock through an exchange, and adhere to the exchanges standards of corporate governance.

At Convene, our Board portal is designed to aid in achieving these good governance practices, and enables any publicly listed organisation to ensure their organisation has secure and seamless communication.

Here’s why listed companies choose Convene.

Streamlines Business Meetings

Listed companies do not always have time to waste on admin tasks that can be simplified by software. Convene is designed to improve your meeting process from start to finish and create more dynamic meetings.

The complex issues handled by companies during Board meetings mean that directors don’t need the added complication of confusing software. 

The advantages of Convene’s software were noted by Chris Spanias, Solution Architect at Tesco Bank. In his words: ‘Convene has saved our admins time and increased efficiency when it comes to organising meetings.’

From the intuitive Agenda Builder to our auto-generated meeting minutes feature, Convene can simplify meeting administration. This means your team can reduce the time they spend on repetitive tasks and focus their attention on the important aspects of your meetings.

Convene is designed to streamline communication in your business meetings, increasing efficiency in meetings and ensuring collaboration is as easy as possible, especially when remote. 

In an age increasingly regulated by remote interactions, it is essential your software is purpose-built for corporate governance.

As Afonso Cardoso de Menezes, Company Secretary of Bison Bank observed: ‘Convene facilitates and encourages vital international collaboration which is critical for success.’

Afonso crucially noted that: ‘Information is now accessible to Board members internationally in an instant.’ Fluent communication is at the heart of running a company, and our software streamlines this exchange.

Security And Data Protection

On top of all of this, Convene’s state-of-the-art security is designed to respond to evolving cybersecurity threats. With Convene, listed companies can get the best protection for their confidential data.

In the words of Chris Spanias, ‘Convene has the necessary security compliance standards and that was a prerequisite for us’. 

With AES 256-bit encryption and CMMI Level 5 accreditation, publicly listed companies can feel confident their data is protected by Convene. The fully GDPR-compliant system offers 24/7 protection and support for all your security needs.

At Convene, we understand how important it is for companies to trust the software they use. Convene’s data protection makes a quantifiable improvement to Board meeting security.

Balances Cost And Functionality

With so many useful features, you might expect our Board portal to mean budgetary sacrifices. In fact, Convene provides a premium service for a reasonable price, and doesn’t sacrifice functionality in the process.

The features are also more than worth it in the long term. As Chris Spanias noted: ‘Once they switched over to Convene, our Board stopped using paper. [Our] study found that we save so much money on printing and paper alone that Convene has almost paid for itself every year’.

Ease Of Use And Reliability 

Convene’s intuitive features make the software one of the most accessible solutions available. The interface is so easy-to-use that even the most technophobic Board members feel comfortable. 

In the words of Christina Giannopoulou, the user-friendly nature of Convene was one of the main draws for Piraeus Bank. She told us that: ‘It was important for our members to be able to access information easily and to share important documents during meetings. We really liked the user interface of the Convene application, and we found it very user-friendly.’

At Convene, we are dedicated to providing easy-to-use and reliable Board portal software, so your company can upgrade your meetings without worrying about accessibility for your Board members. Convene offers unlimited training, so even those who are less 'tech-savvy' are supported during implementation. 

Enhance Your Governance With Convene: Smart, Simple, Secure

Convene is an award-winning Board Portal designed to digitise and streamline your meeting processes from start-to-finish. 

Now available fully integrated with Microsoft Teams, our comprehensive software has numerous features to support your listed company and its public operations:

Topics: Governance Board Portal Features Business Insights Why Convene?
3 min read

In che modo le università del Regno Unito beneficiano di un portale del consiglio di amministrazione?

By Lucy Palmer on 14/07/23 16:50

Il ruolo delle università nella condivisione della conoscenza è essenziale mentre il mondo lavora per un futuro migliore. A Convene, riconosciamo l'importanza della comunicazione e della collaborazione. Ecco perché siamo così orgogliosi di quante istituzioni accademiche hanno scelto di adottare il nostro software.

Topics: università
7 min read

5 Must Have Features for Government Committee Meetings

By Lottie Wright on 13/07/23 16:18

For governments, and their important meetings, a Board portal is a crucial piece of software to help streamline operations. Effective meeting management systems allow public sector organisations to run more efficiently, simplify more complex tasks and boost their transparency.

With many different Board portals on the market, it's important to establish what features will be most beneficial for your meetings.

There are many features you should consider when looking for a new Board portal for governments. We’ve collated the five most critical ones for your organisation to consider.

But first, what even is a Board portal?

What is a Board Portal?

A Board portal is a solution for running seamless meetings in the digital age. 

Board management software utilises communication and collaboration tools to help simplify Board material preparation, reports, and many other meeting-related tasks.

Board portals also facilitate a secured environment for sharing confidential documents and information. 

Board meeting software collapses the entire meeting process, aiming to elevate transparency, practise corporate compliance, and increase efficiency. It removes the need for tasks like printing documents, sending emails manually, and physically compiling annotations.

At Convene, our Award Winning Board portal is designed to help governments to run effectively and efficiently. Convene is here to assist in establishing good governance and communication in your committee meetings.

Features of a Board Portal

If you want to effectively manage different aspects of government, it is important to invest in the appropriate tools. Here are essential Board portal features that will assist you in achieving your objectives effortlessly.

1. Agenda Builder

This feature enables your team to be on the same page before, during, and after committee meetings. 

An Agenda Builder allows you to drag and drop documents into the agenda and update Board packs instantly. This way you can find all the information needed for meetings at once.

Once the agenda has been created, meeting organisers can also choose which participants can access the agenda files. This helps to increase security and confidentiality.

Organisers can assign action items when creating the agenda. When adding the action, they can assign the designated person/s for the task and set the deadline.

With a feature like an Agenda Builder, your committee meetings can have a clear plan and schedule. This means that your meeting process is even more streamlined. 

2. Annotations

Running remote meetings requires the ability to collaborate seamlessly with a range of annotation tools. Attendees should be able to make notes, highlight sections or draw on the Board papers.

Annotation tools should be easy to use for all participants. This not only aids the communication process, but also allows all in attendance to record their ideas within the Board portal.

Moreover, annotations offer an additional layer of accountability for your participants. Once a Board pack is annotated, you have a digital trail which helps track what was happening in particular meetings. 

Annotations made on paper can simply get lost - especially when meetings are remote. This makes them a crucial Board portal feature for both accountability and productivity.

3. In-meeting Voting

Physical meetings often require travelling, accommodation costs, and significant amounts of time. For this reason, Board portals must be able to facilitate the decision making process.

A quality Board portal should allow you to create a survey which can be voted on during or prior to the meeting. The voting system should be a secret ballot, or a show of hands. This improves accountability as well as speeding up the decision making process.

Convene allows participants to vote anonymously as well as remotely, meaning that if a member cannot attend the meeting they can still participate.

4. Document Library

For any organisation, there will be a never ending amount of documents that might be needed in a committee meeting. With a Document Library, all meeting packs, Board documents, and meeting minutes are kept securely in the same place. 

This helps keep your remote meeting on track and running seamlessly, while also improving accountability and transparency. With everything stored in one place, Board members can see all the documents they might need.

Convene has an inbuilt retention schedule if you need to ensure your records are compliant with specific corporate records management standards, further establishing your data security. Convene’s document library is protected by 256-AES bit encryption, which is the safest technology available. 

Our Board portal also allows administrators to manage access rights during the meeting. This means attendees can only look at specific documents if they have the correct security clearance..

This is why a secure and efficient Document Library is another important feature of any Board portal.

5. Audit Trail

Automated Audit Trails are another way a Board portal promotes a culture of transparency and accountability within your committee meetings. 

Audit trails make sure nothing goes unnoticed or forgotten, as every action is monitored and tracked. Tracking the actions of users means they cannot misuse any data or sensitive information, as they know that any breach or misuse can be traced back to them.

With a Board portal, audit trails are now easily automated and stored digitally. This saves admin time and allows for more storage of old audits, as well as enhancing security and transparency. 

With Convene, administrators have access to an audit trail log, which keeps a record of user actions, such as login, creation, modification, exporting, or deletion, as well as the date and time at which these transactions occurred. Convene allows users to export the records from the system as a PDF report.  Records that can be exported include meetings, review and approvals, and resolutions.

Audit trails are a critical way to ensure safety and transparency for your government, and having an automated system within a Board portal enables this security.

Enhance Your Board Portal Governance with Convene

Board portal software should simplify your meetings, not complicate them. Join hundreds of organisations around the world in embracing a smart, simple and secure future with Convene.

Every step of your meeting process should be as smooth as possible; with the right software that has the right features, the complex task of governance can be much easier. 

Convene Board portal features include:

Topics: Security Governance Board Portal Features
4 min read

Convene sponsors the CGI Governance Conference 2023

By Lottie Wright on 07/07/23 14:19

On the 5th and 6th July, Convene sponsored the CGI Governance Conference 2023. We’d like to thank the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland for putting on an insightful conference, and all those who attended for making it such a memorable event.

The conference gives attendees a chance to enhance their knowledge and insight into the world of leading governance professionals, through a series of speeches, talks, panel discussions and interactive workshops from a varied range of perspectives. 

In recent years, the world has been increasingly unstable and the future far more uncertain, and so this year’s conference explored topical discussions about what the future of the working world might look like, the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion at all levels and the “crucial role that governance professionals play within these areas”.

On the first day of the conference, panel discussions revolved around proposed Government & FRC changes and how this will affect organisations, and the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion and how to maintain these ideals throughout an organisation.

Topics: Governance Convene in Teams ESG
5 min read

Convene sponsors the 2023 Housing Conference

By Lottie Wright on 30/06/23 09:42

Over the 27th, 28th and 29th June 2023, Convene sponsored the Unlock Net Zero stage at the Housing 2023 conference, Europe's largest housing festival and annual conference. We’d like to thank the Chartered Institute of Housing for setting up an incredibly engaging and collaborative event, as well as all our fellow attendees for making it such a memorable conference.

The conference provided us the chance to learn about, engage with and keep ahead of industry trends, as well as the opportunity to collaborate and converse with many people within the sector.

This year the conference looked to explore governance, risk, tenant voice, changing and resetting business plans, the importance of social care, health and housing integration, professionalism, reputation, the cost of living crisis amongst many other topics over the three days.

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
6 min read

What Are ESG Risks?

By Lottie Wright on 27/06/23 14:49

As Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing grows, consumers and investors alike look to engage with more sustainable businesses. With sustainability plans and strategies becoming a key part of an organisation’s future goals, it is important that Boards of directors be on the lookout for ESG risks. 

ESG risks may vary in their components, but they share a common factor: they greatly affect a company’s profitability and sustainability in the long run.

Topics: Governance Sustainability ESG Business Insights
3 min read

Julia Miranda talks about her process

By Gabriella Mangham on 27/06/23 14:02

At Housing 2023 we are joined by Julia Miranda, a graphic artist, who has helped us put together visual representations of trending issues in the sector relating to governance and ESG. We recently spoke to her about her process in creating these works. 

Topics: Housing
3 min read

Convene Sponsors the NHF Housing Governance 2023

By Lottie Wright on 22/06/23 18:10

On the 22nd June 2023, Convene ESG exhibited at the Housing Governance Conference at the Royal College of Physicians, organised by the National Housing Federation. We want to thank all of the speakers and attendees for their engagement both online and in person, as well as the NHF for putting on a fantastic conference.

The conference is the sector’s only event specifically for Governance Teams and Company Secretaries to learn the latest legal, policy and regulatory updates and analyse their impacts.

The focus was on improving governance skills and performance, allowing delegates a space to reflect on how their organisation responds to crisis, and what skills and knowledge is needed to better prepare for the future.

The main goal of the conference was to establish what good governance looks like, at a time when the social housing sector is under enormous pressure. With governance teams finding themselves pulled in many different directions, Boards need to know they are meeting the requirements of the regulator, and of residents.

The topics that were discussed in the conference looked to emphasise the importance of flexibility and adaptation within the housing sector. There were several important talks throughout the day, including discussions on the use of data, resident voices, culture, Board succession, facilitating EDI conversations and more.

Topics: Governance Sustainability ESG Housing
5 min read

Why Housing Associations Should Care About Greenwashing

By Lottie Wright on 20/06/23 14:10

With ESG regulations on the horizon for many industries and sectors in the UK, and investors and consumers alike requiring organisations to have good ESG practices, it is important to understand how these efforts can be undermined.

The ‘E’ in ESG is particularly under fire, as an increase in greenwashing activity in recent years means that environmental efforts are being falsified. This makes it even harder to know exactly what sustainable improvements are being made, and who to hold accountable for this.

Housing Associations should care about greenwashing practices because environmental efforts being undermined can be damaging to the sector, its markets and the economy, as well as the planet.

However, before we dive into why you should take notice of greenwashing, let us first explore what greenwashing is and what it can look like.

What Is Greenwashing?

Greenwashing is the attempt to make a product, practice or even an entire organisation appear more environmentally friendly, ‘green’, and sustainable than it really is. 

The lines between genuine reporting on ESG efforts and greenwashing can be a little blurred, due to the evolving nature of the ESG landscape and its regulations, so it’s crucial to understand what actually constitutes greenwashing. 

Forms of greenwashing include:

Topics: Sustainability ESG Housing
7 min read

How To Prepare For A Board Meeting

By Lottie Wright on 09/06/23 18:53

The responsibilities of Board administrators, members and secretaries are immense when prepping for a Board meeting. Board meeting materials must be prepared enough in advance so Board Members are given time to read them, as well as for edits to be made to Board packs and documents.

This is why it is crucial to be well-prepared for your meetings, as if the preparation is thorough, the meeting will be more productive. Preparing for Board meetings well enough in advance helps the entirety of the Board come to the meeting prepared as well. This means your meetings can be as effective as possible and meet your objectives.

To help you learn how best to prepare for a Board meeting, this blog will take you through the necessary steps and how a Board portal could help your overall Board meeting process. 

1. Schedule the Meeting 

The first part of your Board meeting preparation is deciding when and where the meeting will take place. In addition to this, you will also have to consider a location, and confirm that a potential meeting space is available, accessible, and has any equipment that your organisation might need.

If your Board meeting is going to be remote, administrators need to create the necessary channels for the meeting and add in the relevant participants within the platform your organisation uses. Calendar features can help to schedule meetings that align with the schedules of internal participants, and reminders can be sent out automatically.

2. Develop The Agenda

A clear and solid agenda is a framework for running efficient and productive meetings, and should be developed and prepared for as early as possible. Reviewing the previous meeting’s minutes is a good way to understand the objectives of the Board meeting ahead. 

The agenda should focus on actionable and relevant matters for the Board to discuss in the meeting, and there should be sufficient information on each of these action items

Each matter should have a specific timeline and purpose, such as providing information, gathering data, or reaching a decision, to help keep the Board on track and ensure the best use of their time when tackling problems.

3. Contact Necessary Participants

In the previous Board meeting minutes there should be the action tasks assigned to separate Board members from the last meeting. Contact those individuals to check in on progress so you know what to address in the upcoming meeting. This acts as both a reminder and a way to offer additional support for the assigned tasks.

Additionally when sending meeting materials, they should be sent at least a week in advance to the necessary participants. Board Members are often busy and may serve on multiple Boards and teams so it is important to also give them the time to prepare, as well as yourself.

4. Compile All Necessary Documents

You should prepare your Board packet well in advance of the meeting, to give yourself a good amount of time to make additions and change

A Board packet is a collection of documents providing all the information Board Members will need for your meeting in a single place.

The basic meeting materials will include:

Topics: Governance Board Portal Features Remote Working
6 min read

What Is Shareholder Activism?

By Lottie Wright on 02/06/23 18:07

In recent years, many large companies have been subject to shareholder activism, which has been a very visible part of the global markets and continues to evolve. Shareholder activists have been making news for their attempts to challenge some of the largest corporations in the world.

In the past, activists were seen in a very negative light; they were often thought of as people who would take over a company for their own benefit without regard for anyone else's interests. Now, however, it is a lot more complex. It is no longer as simple to consider activism as an immediate threat, but rather a more varied phenomenon.

Topics: Governance ESG Business Insights
4 min read

Key Features Of Convene In Teams That Can Benefit Your Business

By Lottie Wright on 01/06/23 13:25

Convene in Teams (CiT) offers you seamless integration and additional features in Teams to enhance your overall meeting experience, which in turn can greatly benefit your business.

Being able to run remote meetings with the quality of in-person meetings is vital in making sure your team can communicate and collaborate effectively.

From every stage of your planning, preparation, and participation, CiT provides a better meeting experience by embedding Convene’s powerful end-to-end meeting features within MS Teams, eliminating the hassle of switching between applications and maintaining separate tools.

Here’s how some of the key features of CiT can strengthen your online meeting process and benefit your business in the short and long term.

1. Notes and Annotations

During a meeting, it is important that your team is able to make notes and annotations on documents all while staying within your meeting application. With CiT, you can share annotations in real time to collaborate with fellow participants on the meeting documents while engaging in the video call. 

Participants can also take meeting minutes and notes for documentation and reference all while on the call, enabling productive discussions and helping your team and business in its collaboration and communication.

Additionally, CiT makes it possible to edit documents in real-time during active meetings. Once opened, documents can be annotated, edited, and commented upon by meeting participants. This can be done without ending or pausing an ongoing video meeting, to help your meeting process and workflow.

2. Document Collaboration

Organising structured meetings requires accessing and compiling various documents from different departments and resources. With CiT, access all your resources on one platform anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

CiT eliminates the hassle of going through SharePoint or other resource libraries to find and compile relevant meeting documents. CiT is the one searchable platform you need to access everything — meeting files, agenda packs, decision records, and minutes.

Meeting participants can also prepare for structured meetings. Having all the meeting documents in one location can equip participants with all the information they need to discuss during the meeting — for a well-informed and productive collaboration.

3. Review Rooms

Convene in Teams offers the Review Room, where your meeting participants can collaborate and communicate on documents even without video-conferencing

With Review Rooms, you can meet without having meetings; your participants access a document pack and collaborate without needing to be on a video call.

Review Rooms are a secure, access-controlled virtual workspace built around collections of documents. Participants may be granted access based on their level of involvement in a project or their need to know. 

As part of the document collaboration tools, participants can review and privately or publicly annotate documents, take notes, and suggest important changes to files. Users will also receive notifications when changes are accepted or rejected and when other important edits are made or suggested.

This ability to collaborate without needing to be in an official meeting will greatly help your team and your business maintain communication no matter what, no matter where.

4. Audit Trails

With the number of documents and meetings administrators are handling, it is difficult to track all actions done during meetings and on documents.

CiT helps meeting administrators automate action tracking. It can transparently track and monitor activities with its comprehensive audit trail. Not only does it help uphold transparency, but it also provides records that can help identify irregular and suspicious activities.

With CiT, meetings are permanently documented, giving you a tangible reference source for all meeting events, with all notes and action items made during meetings intact.

Topics: Convene in Teams
5 min read

The Difference Between A Board Of Directors And An Advisory Board

By Lottie Wright on 26/05/23 16:34

There are many different types of Boards an organisation can have, and there can be some overlap in their focus and purpose.

Almost every organisation will have a Board of directors, but not every organisation will feature an advisory Board. While there are commonalities between these two Boards, there are also some clear differences in their function within a company.

In this article, we’ll explore exactly what each Board does, and what they have in common, and what they do differently. 

Topics: Governance Executive Committee Business Insights
4 min read

What Does The E In ESG Mean?

By Lottie Wright on 23/05/23 11:26

As issues such as climate change threaten our planet, organisations are becoming increasingly aware of the damage they can have on the environment, and the efforts that must be taken to diminish these environmental impacts.

Managing environmental factors has become a core component of companies’ endeavours in investing more into Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG), its risks and its opportunities. 

ESG is a framework for doing ethical business, and understanding the ‘E’ in ESG means understanding how businesses interact with the environment, and what can be done to protect it.

Topics: Sustainability ESG
5 min read

What Is The Role of The Treasurer?

By Lottie Wright on 16/05/23 17:36

There are many different roles and responsibilities that Board Members can have within an organisation, and these positions require different skills and expertise to help achieve the Board’s goals.

Topics: Governance Business Insights
3 min read

Convene Sponsors The ESG Summit 2023

By Lottie Wright on 28/04/23 15:05

On Thursday 27th April 2023, Convene sponsored Chartered Governance Institute’s annual ESG Summit in London. We want to thank the CGI as well as all speakers and attendees for participating in such an engaging Summit.

The ESG Summit focused on exploring the changing Environmental, Social and Governance landscape for Boards, and answering questions about how organisations can contend with developing regulations, both in the UK and globally.

There was a specific emphasis on how “the ‘G’ in ESG underpins and facilitates the ‘E’ and the ‘S’”, and how governance professionals are key in ensuring their organisations meet ESG standards. 

There were several compelling presentations, panels and case studies at the Summit, including talks about how governance is at the heart of establishing good ESG practices, how to tackle greenwashing accusations from a governance perspective and how to nurture a diverse Board and make sure inclusion policies are embedded throughout your organisation.

The Summit also facilitated many discussions about ESG reporting, from how organisations are responding to ESG disclosure requirements to how you can improve the quality of the ESG data collected.

This is where Convene ESG came in as a sponsor of the event.

Topics: Governance Sustainability ESG Business Insights Why Convene?
5 min read

Your Meeting Process: Teams vs Convene in Teams

By Lottie Wright on 27/04/23 14:11

In this digital age, remote and online meetings are becoming more commonplace than in-person ones. Due to this, there has been an increase in meeting software that is designed to help you run your online meetings as smoothly as possible.

Microsoft Teams is at the forefront of this, and offers a comprehensive service to organisations in helping them run seamless remote meetings from all over the globe.

Teams is a powerful tool to improve remote collaboration and productivity. However, the software is not built for board management. 

This is where Convene in Teams comes in. Convene’s own Award Winning Board portal software is now integrated with Microsoft Teams, so you can have both the benefits of Teams and a Board portal in the same space.

By using the integrated Convene app, secretaries and directors alike can compile meeting packs and engage with documents in a secure, efficient manner.

Here’s how Convene in Teams improves your meeting process:

Topics: Convene in Teams
6 min read

10 Top Tips For Working From Home

By Hisham Al-Ramah on 26/04/23 13:02

The working world has taken some unexpected turns in the last few years. Working from home has become the new normal, as well as remote meetings, and it seems for many organisations this trend will continue long into the future.

There are many opportunities that arise from working from home: no commuting; more time to complete home chores; travel and lunch financial savings; better work life balance. There are however, some down sides too, including increased feelings of isolation, work overload, and job dissatisfaction.

In order to combat these downsides of remote working, here’s our top tips for working from home and how you can make the most of it. 

Topics: Remote Working
2 min read

What is Earth Day?

By Gabriella Mangham on 22/04/23 00:00

Today, 22nd April, the world is celebrating Earth Day, but what is it exactly?  

Topics: Sustainability ESG
4 min read

How To Raise ESG Concerns At Board Level

By Gabriella Mangham on 17/04/23 10:27

From Public Companies, Housing Associations to Private Enterprises, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) concerns are becoming an increasingly discussed topic. You may be thinking about how to start raising these ESG issues to your Board of Directors, so we have written this helpful guide.

Topics: ESG Business Insights
7 min read

How Can Your Board Ensure Cybersecurity?

By Lottie Wright on 13/04/23 13:15

In this digital age, cybersecurity is of ever growing importance to organisations. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many organisations have had to enter a period of rapid digitalisation in order to stay afloat. This has led organisations to have not considered the cybersecurity implications of their digital transformation. 

It is important for Boards of directors to not just understand how a cyberattack could affect an organisation, but also to have a greater responsibility for it, and take an active part in ensuring cybersecurity.

While you cannot completely prevent a cyberattack, you can be completely prepared to deal with one, and it's important that every level of the organisation understands their role in this.

Why It Is Important For Boards To Understand Cybersecurity

Having a Board that understands cybersecurity, puts in place a risk management framework that includes cyber risk and promotes cyber awareness is vital in ensuring your organisation’s cyber resilience. 

The Board has a responsibility to make sure that its executive team has a plan, and that the whole organisation is prepared for the eventuality of an attack.

Boards of directors need to be cyber literate, which doesn’t mean your Board needs to become IT experts but it does mean they need to have an understanding of how to be cyber secure. 

The Board should understand:

Topics: Security Business Insights
2 min read

Convene ESG Sponsors Track League 2023

By Lottie Wright on 05/04/23 17:11

For the fifth year running, Convene is delighted to be sponsoring Herne Hill Velodrome Track League 2023 with Convene ESG

As we continue to find answers to climate change, organisations and companies are increasingly required to demonstrate their sustainability through strict environmental-based frameworks. ESG is one such framework, and with Convene ESG you can help your organisation simplify their ESG data collection and reporting.

ESG stands for Environmental, Social, Governance, and refers to the documented sustainability efforts that a company can make in order to shape better environmental, social, and governmental practices for the future.

With Convene ESG, our aim is to alleviate some of the challenges of ESG data gathering, performance tracking, and reporting for ESG factors so organisations can focus instead on their moves towards global sustainability and net zero.

Here at Convene, it is important to us that we maintain our eco mission and green philosophy. We are a paperless company dedicated to helping other organisations develop their sustainability goals, and Convene ESG is just one of our products that achieves this.

Sponsoring Track League is a chance for us to demonstrate further our commitment to sustainability, as well as support a community space that so many people enjoy. 

Topics: Community ESG
6 min read

How Can Your Board Deal With Instability?

By Lottie Wright on 31/03/23 15:54

In recent years, there have been many times when what the future held was uncertain, unstable and unknowable. Whether this was caused by a fluctuating economy, global pandemic or any other factors, many organisations have had to face and deal with these kinds of crises.

Topics: Governance Business Insights
5 min read

What Are The Different Types Of Audit Reports?

By Lottie Wright on 23/03/23 16:14

Audit reports are a crucial and necessary aspect of running any organisation, and are an important process to understand. 

The goal of an audit report is to document that a company’s financial statements are free from error, and they matter greatly for the success of your organisation.

Topics: Governance Business Insights
6 min read

How Does An ESG Software Save You Money?

By Gabriella Mangham on 22/03/23 17:31

Forbes estimates that organisations can save up to $4 million annually through automating simple processes with software. It has also been proven time and time again that investing in ESG saves you money. But why is this, and how can you apply this to your ESG reporting?

Topics: Sustainability ESG SRS for Social Housing Why Convene?
4 min read

Webinar: ESG Reporting: Cutting through the complexity

By Gabriella Mangham on 21/03/23 16:41

Today Convene ESG sponsored Inside Housing’s Webinar on “ESG Reporting: Cutting through the complexity”, with guest speakers including Andy Smith(The Good Economy), Julie McDowell (Chair, Blackwood Housing), Russell Smith (ESG Lead, Orbit Group), Brendan Sarsfield (Chair, Sustainability for Housing) and our very own Arturo Dell (Convene ESG). We want to thank everyone for an insightful discussion into the status and future of ESG in Housing. In case you missed it, here are our key takeaways. 

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
3 min read

Housing Finance 2023: What We Learnt

By Lottie Wright on 16/03/23 19:07

On the 15th and 16th of March, Convene attended the Housing Finance Conference and Exhibition 2023 in Liverpool. We want to thank the NHF, as well as all speakers and attendees for putting on and participating in an engaging and insightful conference. If you missed our talk, please join us at our Inside Housing Webinar next week.

The Housing Finance Conference focused on ‘building resilience through turbulent times’, and featured many interesting talks on topics surrounding the cost of living, sustainability and green finance, cybersecurity and the future of the housing sector.

Topics: Governance Switching Board Portal ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing Why Convene?
4 min read

5 Must Have Features For A Board Portal

By Lottie Wright on 15/03/23 14:59

In recent years, with the increase in remote and online working, organisations have had to adapt to a new way of work. The adoption of communication tools and Board management software has no doubt eased the transition to this new norm. 

Board Portal software has played a vital part in helping boards, executive and leadership teams to manage meetings. So, what are the essential features that your Board Portal must have to navigate the remote working world?

Topics: Board Portal Features
4 min read

How To Integrate ESG into Your Housing Governance Processes

By Gabriella Mangham on 10/03/23 17:09

Housing Associations are paving the way for other sectors with their ESG efforts, but the task of ESG shouldn’t just fall on one ESG manager. ESG needs to be integrated into everyone’s day-to-day task management and governance processes. Here are our helpful tips on how this can be achieved simply and seamlessly.

Topics: Governance Sustainability ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
6 min read

What Does The Board Of Directors Do?

By Lottie Wright on 09/03/23 16:08

The Board of directors is a crucial element for any organisation. They are a key and necessary part of managing an organisation efficiently and ensuring the needs of both the organisation and its stakeholders are met.

Topics: Governance Executive Committee Business Insights
2 min read

The Women Who Changed Computers

By Gabriella Mangham on 07/03/23 19:14

Did you know that “computers” existed before software and hardware. Not too long ago, we relied on “human computers” to get our calculations and from the 1800s onwards this task was predominantly performed by women. 

2 min read

Webinar: An Introduction To Ritterwald

By Gabriella Mangham on 07/03/23 16:03

Today we were joined on our webinar by Dr. Ad Hereijgers from Ritterwald to discuss what their label means for the future of the SRS. 

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
5 min read

What Is A Board Resolution?

By Lottie Wright on 28/02/23 14:29

A Board resolution is a formal document that confirms the actions and votes taken by the Board of directors at a Board meeting. It outlines the duties of all corporate officers and the outcome of any decisions that were made. 

Topics: Governance
6 min read

What Is An Advisory Board?

By Lottie Wright on 23/02/23 16:59

An advisory Board is a group of expert individuals who offer advice to the management of an organisation. 

Advisory Boards are an advantage to businesses, as they offer more freedom in terms of administration and oversight than a Board of directors

Topics: Governance Business Insights
6 min read

Why Use A Board Portal?

By Lottie Wright on 20/02/23 11:00

Businesses are transitioning away from manual, paper-based procedures and towards digital solutions for their Board processes. This shift has demonstrated many benefits, such as improved communication, streamlined operations, cost savings, and heightened security.

Topics: Governance Board Portal Features Why Convene?
5 min read

What Is A Board Portal?

By Lottie Wright on 17/02/23 16:02

A Board portal is a solution for running seamless meetings in the digital age. Board portals enable digital Board meetings between Boards of directors. 

Topics: Governance Board Portal Features
4 min read

How Can Convene Improve Your Housing Governance?

By Gabriella Mangham on 13/02/23 17:07

Convene is the leading Board Portal provider to the Housing Sector. Read on to find out why.

Topics: Governance Housing
7 min read

5 Top Tips For Effective Board Reports

By Lottie Wright on 09/02/23 16:35

With more and more organisations transitioning into remote and online meetings, traditional in-person Board meetings are becoming a thing of the past. 

In order to maintain order within your organisation, effective Board reports are key to keeping things running smoothly. 

What Is A Board Report?

A Board report is information from several departments or committees condensed into a short and readable format. These reports are kept as records and are a part of the Board meeting minutes. These reports are useful as they document the actions of the Board and so can be called upon at any time, especially if there are any legal issues. 

Board reports should be reviewed by every member of the Board of directors and it should be made sure that the details of the report remain intact.

Board reports are usually prepared by the executive committees, as the organisation's executive branch reports to the Board.

What Is The Purpose Of A Board Report?

A Board report can serve a lot of different purposes. It can be used for setting milestones in fundraising or for financial reporting. 

They are useful tools for bringing Board Members up to speed, reminding said members of the commitments they have made to the organisation and creating a space for discussions and questions to be initiated. 

It condenses the information from committees reporting on their tasks and the executive director’s report on the performance of the entire company into a single, easy to digest document. This is then sent to the Board and presented during the Board meeting.

Board reports are crucial documents for every organisation. Knowing how to effectively communicate your organisation's performance, processes, activities, and direction is an important part of good governance

It informs the Board about company performance, what’s happened since the last meeting, and where the organisation is headed. They can really help in establishing the big picture for an organisation.

Here’s our Top Tips for ensuring your Board reports do their job:

Topics: Governance Executive Committee Business Insights
4 min read

Why Choose Convene?

By Lottie Wright on 06/02/23 14:27

Convene is a pioneer in the Board Portal software market. We are constantly adapting to the shifts and changes in the market, and ensuring customer satisfaction.  

Topics: Board Portal Features Why Convene?
3 min read

Convene at the 2023 Board Excellence in Housing Conference

By Lottie Wright on 03/02/23 15:30

Over the 2nd and 3rd of February 2023, Convene sponsored the NHF’s Board Excellence in Housing Conference. We want to thank all of the speakers and attendees for their engagement, as well as the NHF for putting on a fantastic conference.

This year, the conference was an online event. As a Board Portal, we were especially excited to be involved, as we are dedicated to pioneering virtual collaboration and communication. 

NHF’s online platform allowed us to participate in a number of informative talks and workshops on topics surrounding Board effectiveness and housing.

A central theme of this conference was flexibility, and the need for housing associations to be open to change due to the uncertainty of this year’s financial landscape.

Speakers were focused on exploring the challenging road ahead, and preparing associations for mitigating this unsteady future, with rising rates of inflation and the cost of living crisis within the housing sector.

Another key theme of this conference was sustainability and monitoring decarbonisation practices for housing associations.

Convene’s Associate Consultant Arturo Dell spoke about the Sustainability Reporting Standard (SRS) and the challenge of reaching decarbonisation targets with the current speed of progress within the sector.

He spoke about Convene ESG, and the importance of data integrity and quality for housing associations to manage their sustainability.

With Convene ESG, the aim is to alleviate some of the challenges of ESG data gathering, performance tracking, and reporting for ESG factors so organisations can move towards global sustainability and net zero.

Arturo expressed the importance of associations and organisations embedding ESG principles into the fabric of the organisation, and this links to another vital theme of the conference which was a focus on inclusivity and diversity

The NHF launched their Roadmap to Equality: an Inclusive Future resources, and alongside this was a series of talks about the importance of diversity and inclusion, especially for housing associations that work so closely with a diverse range of people. 

Speakers highlighted how crucial it is that Boards reflect the communities they serve, and how there is still a lot of key work to be done to improve diversity, equality and inclusion at every level of organisations.

This tied into the conference’s overall emphasis on a need for both change and changeability for housing associations.

Here at Convene, we want to make sure you have software you can rely on, even in uncertain times. 

As the leading Board Portal Provider for the Housing sector, the future of the industry is extremely important to us. We want to help pioneer flexible, sustainable and accessible communication for your housing association.

Convene is an all-in-one Board Portal designed to streamline meetings, and it is now fully integrated with Microsoft Teams, so you can have your workflow all in one place.

We also feature Convene ESG, our own ESG reporting tool, to help your organisation get one step closer to Board excellence.

To find out more about how Convene can help your organisation, you can contact us or book a demo today. Or read our success stories from your peers here. 

Topics: Governance Housing
3 min read

How To Make An SRS Plan

By Gabriella Mangham on 01/02/23 14:03

The first step on any journey is a plan, and SRS Reporting is not a simple process! 

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
2 min read

Housing Webinar: ESG in 2023

By Gabriella Mangham on 25/01/23 15:37

Today we hosted yet another successful webinar, this time choosing to focus on the future of ESG. 2023 will also bring in new challenges, including how to report on Scope 3 emissions, net zero targets and how to sustainably build new homes. The SRS can help massively with this as it allows for a collaborative effort amongst other Housing Associations. Convene ESG is working on assisting you with these problems by creating a Carbon Calculator and ensuring our “best practices” library is regularly updated. 

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
4 min read

Is ESG Mandatory?

By Lottie Wright on 19/01/23 16:09

In recent years, organisations have had to face increasing operational and compliance risks in both their industries and communities. 

One way to confront and address these issues is by utilising a sustainability lens, or an environmental, social and governance (ESG) lens.

What is ESG reporting?

ESG represents a theory that there is an ethical way to do business, and this method involves prioritising sustainability; focusing on the environment, being socially responsible and establishing transparent governance. 

ESG reporting refers to the disclosures of data on the organisation’s operations and how they function within ESG standards. 

These disclosures are a great way for organisations to demonstrate their ESG policies, practices, and performance, as well as communicating their goals to different stakeholders: customers, investors, employees, suppliers, lenders, and shareholders.

Reports should cover environmental impact (eg. water/energy usage, waste management, greenhouse gas emissions), social elements (eg. community involvement, labour and diversity practices), and governance (eg. compliance, political contributions, board structure).

Why is ESG important?

Creating a quality ESG report is important for demonstrating your organisation’s commitment to sustainability. 

ESG disclosures help further sustainability efforts and good governance practices, as well as enabling a stronger financial performance. The data found in these reports can assist organisations in aligning their purpose, strategy, and operations.

Shareholders and investors can also use ESG reports to understand the related opportunities and risks of the organisation, and see how the company creates sustainable returns and mitigates risks.

Additionally, ESG disclosures can be a useful tool for maintaining transparency. They can aid in shaping better environmental, social, and governmental practices for the future.

Is ESG Mandatory?

Universally, the answer is no, not yet. However, according to the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), recently more global investors have been requesting transparency and quality ESG reporting.

While several countries have incorporated measures requiring mandatory ESG disclosures, it has not yet reached a global scale. Steps are being taken to create a worldwide framework for ESG reporting standards, in order to facilitate the standardisation of the ESG reporting process. 

One such step came in November 2021, when the IFRS Foundation established the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). The ISSB is focused on generating global sustainability standards for investors for its participating countries.

Another example of this came at the end of June 2022, where the European Parliament and the Council (EU Member States) agreed to require the mandatory reporting on ESG  for a considerable number of companies operating on the EU market.

Large or listed subsidiaries of non-EU companies will have to report for fiscal year 2025 on the basis of European Sustainability Reporting Standards.

ESG Reporting in the UK

At present, the UK has no single ESG law or regulation. The UK’s ESG policy consists of domestic and EU-derived laws and regulations, many of which are not ESG-focused.

However, a key regulation for UK ESG disclosures is the Companies Act, as it includes requirements for annual reporting. These rules apply to larger companies that are listed, have more than 500 employees or exceed £500 million in annual turnover

Non-financial information has always been a requirement of annual reports, but in 2022, the Act was extended to include sustainability details. Large UK companies are now required to report on their energy use and carbon emissions as a part of their annual reports.

Some sectors and organisations of a certain size now have standards they may have to report against. For example, the Housing sector has the Sustainability Reporting Standard, which whilst currently optional is paving the way for industries to specialise and standardise their ESG reports.

Additionally, starting in 2023, ESG reporting in the UK will be further defined through Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDRs). These SDRs will provide a structure for organisations to manage sustainability opportunities, potential risks and impacts, as well as set specific metrics and targets. 

While the SDRs are rolled out over the next two years, fully mandatory disclosure is expected by 2025.

How Can Convene Help With Your ESG Reporting?

Here at Convene we have developed our own ESG reporting tool: Convene ESG

Our aim is to alleviate some of the challenges of ESG data gathering, performance tracking, and reporting for ESG factors so organisations can move towards global sustainability and net zero.

Designed in collaboration with our clients, Convene ESG makes reporting simple, so you can focus on developing sustainable strategies. 

Convene ESG can help you report on a range of existing standards including TCFD, GRI, the SRS amongst a range of others, and are always looking to expand.

It also has a built-in comparison feature, which allows you to compare against competitors' formatting of their publicly accessible reports. This will help your whole sector develop the best results possible.

To find out more about how Convene can help your organisation, you can read about our early adopters here or book a demo.

Topics: Sustainability ESG Business Insights
7 min read

How To Foster Board Diversity

By Lottie Wright on 12/01/23 17:01

Board diversity and fostering inclusive and accessible work environments has been in the spotlight in recent years, not only because of the bottom-line benefits but because improving diversity is the right thing to do. 

Topics: Governance Community Business Insights
8 min read

Governance Trends for 2023

By Lottie Wright on 09/01/23 14:07

With 2022 seeing a shift in focus to addressing the climate, energy and cost of living crises – all of which hit the most disadvantaged in society the hardest, 2023 will continue along similar paths. The key things for you to remember for good governance this year are about flexibility and risk management.

Topics: Governance Business Insights
2 min read

Convene's 2022

By Gabriella Mangham on 19/12/22 15:37

2022 has been yet another exciting and successful year here at Convene. At the beginning of the year we were named Best Board Portal by Digital Quadrant Awards!

Topics: Why Convene?
3 min read

Convene ESG Webinar: A Year In Review

By Gabriella Mangham on 13/12/22 13:47


Topics: Sustainability ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
7 min read

How many subcommittees should a Board have?

By Lottie Wright on 13/12/22 13:05

Subcommittees are an essential role in good governance practices, but it can be tricky to know when to use them. You don't want to have too many overloading your Board Members workload, but you also need subcommittees to ensure that projects and issues are managed effectively. So we have put together this helpful guide so you can navigate the challenges.

Topics: Governance Executive Committee Business Insights
2 min read

Convene At The 2022 National Smaller Housing Associations’ Conference

By Lucy Palmer on 06/12/22 17:00

On 6 December 2022, Convene sponsored and participated in the NHF’s National Smaller Housing Associations’ Conference and Exhibition. Having attended the conference last year and had a valuable time, we were excited to once again dive into the world of smaller Housing Associations.

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
4 min read

What Is The GRI and How Should Organisations Use It For ESG Reporting

By Lucy Palmer on 01/12/22 12:19

Organisations are increasingly looking for clear standards by which to assess their ESG performance. The GRI, or Global Reporting Initiative, was established to make sustainability reporting easier by creating a clear framework to follow.

Topics: Sustainability ESG
4 min read

Why Should Smaller Housing Associations Take ESG Seriously?

By Gabriella Mangham on 30/11/22 19:02

Smaller Housing Associations have many important concerns, from safety to financing. Therefore, it is easy for more seemingly trivial matters like Environmental Social Governance (ESG) to get left to the wayside. However, the knock on social impact of not taking these issues seriously for your residents, particularly during this housing crisis, are dire. 

Topics: Sustainability ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
3 min read

What Is The TCFD?

By Gabriella Mangham on 25/11/22 11:03

The Task Force On Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) was set up in 2015 by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) as a set of recommendations. Many countries and trading blocs like the European Union, Singapore, Canada and Japan have adopted it as a regulatory framework. 

Topics: Sustainability ESG Business Insights
4 min read

What Is Transfer Pricing?

By Lucy Palmer on 24/11/22 15:57

Transfer price, also known as transfer cost, occurs when related entities transact and exchange profits. This may be between divisions of one company or between a company and its subsidiaries.

Topics: Business Insights
1 min read

Convene sponsors the ICGN Proxy Voting Conference 2022

By Gabriella Mangham on 23/11/22 11:11

Last week, Convene sponsored the 2022 ICGN Proxy Voting Conference. It was full of informative talks and we want to thank all of the speakers and attendees for their engagement. We would also like to thank the ICGN for putting on a fantastic conference and awards ceremony. 

Topics: Business Insights
2 min read

Convene Discusses SRS Reporting Blockers And Solutions At Webinar

By Gabriella Mangham on 22/11/22 14:01

It was time again for another of Convene’s ESG Webinars earlier today, if you missed out you can watch the recording here

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
4 min read

What Are The Five Steps of a Risk Assessment?

By Lucy Palmer on 22/11/22 11:32

In June 2016, Gillian Leivers at Greenfeeds Limited was jailed for 13 years for gross negligence manslaughter and a health and safety offence following the deaths of two workers. 

Topics: Governance
5 min read

How To Improve Building Sustainability

By Lucy Palmer on 16/11/22 11:01

There are numerous reasons you may want to develop more sustainable buildings. In the long term, creating carbon neutral homes should benefit your organisation as well as your tenants.

Topics: Sustainability ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
4 min read

Why Retail Companies Choose Convene

By Lucy Palmer on 15/11/22 10:55

Retail companies are an essential part of our everyday lives, and so they must be prepared to handle a constantly shifting economy. Here at Convene, we recognise the importance of the retail sector in serving customers around the world. That’s why we’re so proud of how many retailers have chosen to adopt our software.

Topics: Switching Board Portal Board Portal Features Customer Quote Why Convene?
2 min read

What Was Discussed At Convene ESG's Third Successful Webinar?

By Gabriella Mangham on 19/10/22 12:10

Our ESG Webinar today was well attended, for those of you who signed up but were unable to make it, be sure to check your inbox for a link to the video. Once again we were joined by Arturo Dell, our Convene ESG consultant and also a Housemark Director, and Russell Smith from Orbit Housing who has recently used Convene ESG to produce their latest SRS Report. 

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing
3 min read

Why Hold A Virtual AGM in 2023

By Lucy Palmer on 17/10/22 15:40

AGM season is fast approaching and it’s crucial that your organisation is prepared. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many to reassess the necessity of in-person meetings and encouraged a switch to hybrid working environments.

5 min read

Orbit Speaks At Convene ESG Webinar

By Gabriella Mangham on 17/10/22 15:26

Orbit Housing recently spoke at one of our coveted ESG webinars. Orbit Housing Group is one of Convene ESG’s early adopters and discussed how Convene ESG helped them to successfully execute their ESG goals. If you were unable to attend, you can read on for our summary or attend our next ESG webinar, keep an eye on our LinkedIn and your inbox.

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
2 min read

Australian Housing Associations Replicate Sustainability Reporting Standard

By Lucy Palmer on 10/10/22 17:11

Housing Associations in Australia have developed their own version of the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing (SRS). The reworking of the UK standard establishes guidelines for dealing with ESG concerns in Australia.

Topics: Sustainability SRS for Social Housing
4 min read

Convene at the CGI Guernsey Conference 2022

By Lucy Palmer on 29/09/22 16:09

On September 29th 2022, we headed over to Guernsey to discuss all things governance with CGI Guernsey. Having attended a few great CGI conferences this year, we couldn’t wait to learn more about compliance on the island.

5 min read

A Guide To Board Governance Training

By Lucy Palmer on 28/09/22 10:00

As you know, good governance is essential to running any Board. It’s not only a great way of giving your organisation the upper hand in business, but in certain cases it is the law.

Topics: Executive Committee Business Insights
4 min read

What Is The Role of the CMO?

By Lucy Palmer on 22/09/22 09:00

No matter how great your company is, it’s worth nothing if you can’t communicate this to potential customers. From KFC to KPMG, every successful organisation needs a successful marketing strategy.

Topics: Governance Executive Committee Business Insights
4 min read

How To Access Sustainable Financing?

By Gabriella Mangham on 14/09/22 10:35

Access to funds is an essential part of all business operations and this is no different when funding your ESG projects. Recently, there has been an increase in financial opportunities for those who can demonstrate their organisation’s sustainability efforts. We have written about how an SRS Report has helped housing associations gain access to ESG funds in the past. In this article, we will discuss the wider range of sustainable financing options available and what you can do to access them.

Topics: Sustainability ESG SRS for Social Housing
4 min read

Convene At The NHF National Housing Summit 2022

By Lucy Palmer on 13/09/22 17:34

This week, Convene were delighted to attend the NHF’s National Housing Summit. We’ve attended a number of the NHF’s conferences in 2022 and were delighted to have another chance to connect with housing professionals from around the country. This year, the event was held at the ICC in Birmingham.

Topics: Convene in Teams ESG SRS for Social Housing Housing
5 min read

What Is The Role of the CIO?

By Lucy Palmer on 13/09/22 12:15

A strong software infrastructure is essential to running a modern organisation. You need to feel confident the technology you use is having a positive impact on your processes: from compliance requirements to efficiency.

Topics: Governance Executive Committee Business Insights
6 min read

What Is The Role of the C-Suite?

By Lucy Palmer on 05/09/22 10:27

Every successful organisation in the world needs a strong leadership team. The C-Suite is at the centre of this structure. A great C-Suite will allow an organisation to thrive and achieve their long-term aims. But what exactly does this term mean?

Topics: Executive Committee Business Insights
5 min read

What Is The Role of the COO?

By Lucy Palmer on 05/09/22 09:25

The COO, or Chief Operating Officer, of a company is the person who ensures the organisation functions as it should. They are responsible for planning business strategies to help the company run as smoothly as possible.

Of course, every member of staff should be involved in this process to some degree. But the COO is the main executive responsible for daily organisational processes. They must maintain a clear, cohesive infrastructure for governance.

Topics: Governance Executive Committee Business Insights
4 min read

Top Lessons You Can Learn From a Product Trial

By Lucy Palmer on 22/08/22 14:19

Signing up for a product trial can seem like effort. Especially when the product has the potential to change your organisation’s processes, you may think it’s only worth spending time on something you are sure will work.

Topics: Business Insights
6 min read

How To Improve Your Budgeting Process

By Lucy Palmer on 22/08/22 13:43

No matter the size or sector of your organisation, you will have to deal with budgeting. Putting together a concrete plan on where and how money should be spent is the only way you can function in the modern economy.

Topics: Governance Business Insights
4 min read

What Is A Steering Committee?

By Lucy Palmer on 22/08/22 13:36

A Steering Committee is a group formed to oversee the running of a project and provide advice. It is made up of experts or senior stakeholders – such as high-level executives or clients who will be impacted by the project.

Topics: Governance Executive Committee Business Insights
7 min read

How Can A Standard Improve A Sector?

By Gabriella Mangham on 19/08/22 16:07

Standards are a part of daily business. We all have targets, processes and a quality of work we are expected to maintain. It is so engrained you may not even realise that what you are doing is part of a standard. These goals and methods not only help your organisation but also your industry as a whole.

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing Business Insights
4 min read

How Housing Associations Have Used ESG Reports To Get Funding.

By Gabriella Mangham on 16/08/22 12:53

Housing Associations in the UK have been signing up in droves to the SRS. This ESG metric allows Housing Associations to hone in on KPIs that actually matter to them. The benefits of a solid ESG plan can be seen in your profitability, not only because most schemes will save you money in the long term, but also because it can encourage external investors. 

Topics: Sustainability Community SRS for Social Housing Housing
5 min read

What Is The Role of a CFO?

By Lucy Palmer on 11/08/22 17:06

What Is a Chief Financial Officer (CFO)?

Every company needs to deal with the challenges of finance if they want to succeed. The Chief Financial Officer or CFO is the executive who is in charge of handling this aspect of the organisation.

Topics: Executive Committee Business Insights
5 min read

What Is Business Continuity Management?

By Lucy Palmer on 01/08/22 11:13

Across every sector, there is always the risk of something going wrong. This may be a physical disaster such as a fire, which means you can’t access your supply chain. It can also be a range of other unpredictable events such as losing a key employee, experiencing a cyberattack or facing a global pandemic.  

Topics: Governance Remote Working
4 min read

What’s The Difference Between CSR and ESG?

By Lucy Palmer on 01/08/22 11:00

Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental, Social, Governance are two phrases that appear to have a lot in common. Many organisations in 2022 are seeking to improve their business practices and have a positive impact on the planet. But what exactly is the difference between these two terms?

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing
7 min read

Retrofitting vs Redevelopment: What is more carbon friendly

By Gabriella Mangham on 01/08/22 10:43

There are many different issues you can encounter when trying to make your properties as carbon-neutral as possible. If you acquire older buildings, and the land with them, is it better to retrofit them with the required updates, or should you demolish them and start over?

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing
5 min read

A History of ESG

By Lucy Palmer on 29/07/22 15:54

With increasing focus on environmental, social and governance concerns, many organisations are looking at how to build this into their business practices. Considering the history of ESG issues can help us understand their importance and how to better maintain sustainable governance.

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing
4 min read

What Does An SRS Report Look Like?

By Gabriella Mangham on 29/07/22 15:47

The Sustainability Reporting Standard was set out by The ESG Social Housing Working Group to help establish a framework for Housing Associations to report on ESG

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing
4 min read

How Can Convene in Teams Support Good Governance?

By Lucy Palmer on 13/07/22 16:12

Good governance is crucial for all aspects of decision-making and leadership. It ensures your organisation is doing all it can to fulfil its fiduciary duty and meet the requirements of the law. When it comes to the software you use, you need to make sure you create an infrastructure that makes good governance simple.

Topics: Convene in Teams
3 min read

What is Orbit's ESG Strategy and How Convene ESG Has Helped Them?

By Gabriella Mangham on 13/07/22 14:12

Orbit Group have published their inaugural ESG report and utilised Convene ESG to do so. We invited them to talk at the CIH Housing 2022 Conference about their efforts. Here’s what we learnt about Orbit’s ESG strategy and how Convene ESG helped them produce the best report possible!

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing
5 min read

How To Improve Employee Satisfaction

By Lucy Palmer on 13/07/22 11:19

Whichever sector you work in, your employees should be at the centre of your organisation. Keeping them satisfied can make or break your business.

Topics: Governance
5 min read

How To Choose A Reliable Software Provider

By Lucy Palmer on 13/07/22 11:14

Imagine this: you’ve spent months preparing for an important meeting. A few days before, you learn your collaboration software has failed, and you can’t access your agenda. You try to contact the provider, but they don’t respond, and you’re at your wits’ end trying to find a solution.

Topics: Switching Board Portal
4 min read

How To Bring Sustainable Development To Life From Design To Delivery

By Lucy Palmer on 13/07/22 10:41

Sustainable development is at the centre of good governance in the twenty-first century. As businesses evolve, they should be prepared to deal with changing demands on their organisational structure.

Topics: ESG
3 min read

Convene At The 2022 AUA Conference and Exhibition

By Lucy Palmer on 11/07/22 10:20

On Thursday 7th July, we headed up to Manchester for the AUA 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition. This was another packed two days, where we had the opportunity to connect with Higher Education professionals from around the country.  

Topics: University
4 min read

Convene At The 2022 CGI Governance Conference

By Lucy Palmer on 06/07/22 18:04

With the conference season in full swing, we headed over to the Chartered Governance Institute’s conference on governance. This was an exciting two-day event from 5-6 July, where we were able to talk about upcoming issues and opportunities in the world of governance.

Topics: Governance
4 min read

How To Set ESG KPIs

By Lucy Palmer on 06/07/22 10:29

The first rule of effective management is setting attainable targets. When it comes to sustainable development, this may seem like a daunting task, as it involves the long-term success of your organisation. However, the future of your company may depend on this small change in your current strategy.

Topics: Sustainability ESG SRS for Social Housing
3 min read

Convene at the CIH Housing Conference 2022

By Lucy Palmer on 01/07/22 10:55

For the past few weeks, our team has been focused on preparing for CIH’s Housing Conference. The three-day event promised to be an exciting opportunity to share ideas about the past, present and future of housing. Last Tuesday, the day finally arrived.

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing
3 min read

Convene at the 2022 NHF Housing Governance Conference

By Lucy Palmer on 24/06/22 10:22

Last year, we attended two conferences by the National Housing Federation. With so many loyal clients in the housing sector, we are always excited to learn more about how the industry is evolving.

Topics: Convene in Teams
3 min read

Spring 2022 Update To The SRS: What Has Changed?

By Gabriella Mangham on 22/06/22 16:49

The Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing was updated on the 25th May 2022 to version 1.2. This exciting change brought forward some clarifications and minor edits to the original SRS published in November 2020. But what exactly are these updates, and how will they affect your SRS Report?

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing
7 min read

How Can Universities Benefit From Hybrid Working?

By Gabriella Mangham on 17/06/22 16:25

The pandemic meant all non-essential sectors, such as universities, had to dramatically shift to remote working, which came with challenges but also benefits. Many have discovered that they are more productive working from home, they are also more well rested and especially in the warmer months, working from home is actually better for the environment! Now, having overcome the initial issues with remote working, we are all looking for a way to incorporate the good into our post-lockdown normal. This is easily possible with hybrid working

Topics: University
5 min read

Simple Explanation: What is AES-256 Bit Encryption?

By Gabriella Mangham on 17/06/22 15:55

Convene uses AES-256 Bit Encryption, which is the best security available on the market, but you may not know what this means exactly. We’ve written a very simplified, helpful guide to explain what it is and why you should value it.

Topics: Security
6 min read

Why Are You Not Getting Reliable Information For Governing Decisions?

By Gabriella Mangham on 15/06/22 14:56

The governing decisions of a university have widespread ramifications that impact not only the lives of your staff and teachers, but also your students, and even their families or future employers. That is a lot of weight on your shoulders, but many university boards and committees find that when any information reaches them it is already outdated. This means you have to make decisions based on facts that are a few days old, which can be ineffective. Change happens quickly, and seeing the most reliable documentation ensures that you can select the right course of action.

Topics: Convene in Teams University
8 min read

Taxonomy of Meetings: What are the Different Types of Meetings?

By Gabriella Mangham on 13/06/22 11:04

Here at Convene, we are meeting experts, so we decided to set out a helpful guide to cover the essential meeting questions:

Topics: Governance Convene in Teams
3 min read

What Is Net Zero and Why Is It Important?

By Lucy Palmer on 13/06/22 10:45

As climate change becomes a more and more consistent feature on the news, the phrase 'Net Zero' comes up increasingly often. In 2019, the UK Government committed to achieving this target by 2050. But what exactly does this phrase mean when it comes to business.

Topics: ESG
3 min read

How To Improve Your Climate Leadership

By Lucy Palmer on 13/06/22 10:37

As stakeholders place an increasing emphasis on ESG, organisations around the world are looking to lead the way in tackling the climate emergency. 

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing
2 min read

Convene at the Climate Change and Sustainability in Housing Conference

By Lucy Palmer on 13/06/22 10:29

From 24 to 25 May 2022, we attended the Climate Change and Sustainability in Housing Conference.This was a great opportunity to connect virtually with peers and colleagues around the country to discuss the future of sustainability in the housing sector.

Topics: ESG SRS for Social Housing
4 min read

How Can Transparency Enable Better Governance?

By Lucy Palmer on 13/06/22 10:24

Transparency is one of the most important parts of good governance in the modern workplace. Access to information about the actions and processes of your organisation should be open and clear.

Topics: Sustainability Digital Transformation
5 min read

How Financial Companies Can Benefit From Convene's Security

By Lucy Palmer on 13/06/22 10:06

Convene is trusted by financial institutions around the world who rely on our software to protect their confidential data. Financial organisations play a crucial role in the global economy and cannot afford to take risks when it comes to security.

Topics: Security
4 min read

What’s The Difference Between A Digital Workplace & Digital Workspace?

By Lucy Palmer on 13/06/22 10:00

As we move into the future, many organisations are turning to virtual solutions for workplace challenges. Digital transformation and evolving technologies can improve your administration, governance and work culture - but it can also be a learning curve!

Topics: Convene in Teams
3 min read

What Is A Document Conference?

By Gabriella Mangham on 13/06/22 09:49

What Is Document Conferencing?

Document conferencing is when a group holds a meeting to review a document or certain documents. This historically was done in-person with a physical document or board pack and each page was read, discussed, approved and signed by every individual present. Now, in the era of hybrid and remote working, this can be a lot more difficult.

Topics: Board Portal Features Remote Working Convene in Teams
4 min read

Why Is ESG Important For The Social Housing Sector?

By Gabriella Mangham on 13/06/22 09:40

There has been a growing trend placing increasing importance on ESG across all sectors. However, ESG has always been important for the Social Housing secret, particularly when it comes to the S in ESG.  

5 min read

What is Corporate Governance For Insurers?

By Gabriella Mangham on 31/05/22 15:34


6 min read

Why Public Sector Organisations Choose Convene

By Lucy Palmer on 27/05/22 15:22

The past few years have put an unprecedented strain on public sector organisations. They have led the way during these difficult times and so have to prioritise accountability and reliability. That’s why we’re so proud of how many have chosen Convene to support their administrative process.

6 min read

Why Membership Organisations Choose Convene

By Lucy Palmer on 18/05/22 16:29

At Convene, our mission is to bring people together so they can collaborate in a safe, simple, secure way. That’s why we’re so proud of how many membership organisations have chosen our software to support vital communication.

5 min read

Why Legal Firms Choose Convene

By Lucy Palmer on 11/05/22 15:30

At Convene, we recognise the importance of accountability and reliability in the legal sector. That’s why we’re so proud of how many law firms have chosen our software to improve their meetings.

Across practice areas, our clients in the legal profession trust Convene to improve their meeting management. We’ve put together a few reasons our legal clients have chosen Convene to enhance their governance:

3 min read

Convene at the 2022 CGI Governance Ireland Conference

By Lucy Palmer on 11/05/22 08:24

Yesterday, Tuesday 10th May, Convene visited Dublin Castle to attend the Chartered Governance Institute’s Governance Ireland Conference. Having recently attended CGI’s ESG Summit, we were excited to take advantage of this new opportunity to connect with peers and colleagues on the future of governance.

Topics: Governance
5 min read

Why Healthcare Organisations Choose Convene

By Lucy Palmer on 03/05/22 14:44

The past few years have placed an unparalleled strain on healthcare providers. Time, money and inspiration have been stretched to the limit. At Convene, we have supported numerous clients to fulfil their mission by saving precious resources and improving their clinical governance.

2 min read

Convene ESG & The Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing

By Daniel Cadavid on 29/04/22 14:29

In a first for the UK economy, the Social Housing sector welcomed the Sustainability Reporting Standard (SRS) in November 2020 to increase investment in the sector. Although a large number of ESG reporting standards have already been established, SRS has been specifically tailored for Social Housing providers.

Topics: Sustainability SRS for Social Housing
2 min read

Convene at the 2022 CGI ESG Summit

By Lucy Palmer on 29/04/22 00:00

On Friday 22 April, Convene attended the CGI ESG Summit. It was a chance for us to connect with people who share our passion for changing the future of governance and ESG.

5 min read

Why Banks Choose Convene

By Lucy Palmer on 28/04/22 17:34

As the financial sector moves into the future, technology will play a crucial part in improving banking practices. 

5 min read

What is the Charity Governance Code?

By Lucy Palmer on 28/04/22 11:19

Good governance is essential for charities to succeed in promoting their mission and making the world a better place. It supports their compliance with regulation and ensures that the organisation’s resources are well-used.

8 min read

The Importance of the SRS for The Housing Sector

By Gabriella Mangham on 22/04/22 16:47

What Is The SRS?

The Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing was published in November 2020 as a voluntary reporting framework for ESG concerns. This details 48 ESG issues that the Housing Association sector should take into consideration; from stakeholder engagement to zero net carbon targets

Topics: Sustainability SRS for Social Housing
5 min read

Does Your ESG Plan Work?

By Gabriella Mangham on 22/04/22 16:42

There is no time like the present to focus on ESG, with the Energy Crisis and Global Warming reaching a boiling point, the recommendations from last year's IPCC Report need to be implemented. 

Topics: Sustainability ESG
6 min read

Why Housing Associations Choose Convene

By Lucy Palmer on 22/04/22 10:58

Housing Associations play an invaluable role in providing quality homes and creating communities. That’s why we’re proud of how many have chosen Convene to help fulfil their social purpose of housing people.

4 min read

What is the Role of a Chief Information Officer?

By Lucy Palmer on 14/04/22 17:43

A Chief Information Officer (CIO) is in charge of any technology an organisation employs. In the digital age, this role is more important than ever. The CIO is responsible for ensuring any software or hardware used by the company is efficient, reliable and cost-effective.

5 min read

What Is The Higher Education Code of Governance?

By Lucy Palmer on 11/04/22 11:19

Good governance is essential for every organisation in the world, but each sector faces its own challenges. Higher Education Boards need to follow the constantly evolving expectations for a modern academic institution.

4 min read

How To Have Good Governance Over The Easter Period

By Gabriella Mangham on 11/04/22 10:02

The Easter Bank Holidays are a well deserved time to rest and reset, but you may still find yourself contending with a lot of stress in the build-up and aftermath of 4 days off work! You may also find your team will take more time off around these dates. 

Topics: Seasonal Business Insights
4 min read

Why Universities Choose Convene

By Lucy Palmer on 05/04/22 12:30

The role of universities in sharing knowledge is essential as the world works towards a better future. Here at Convene, we recognise the importance of communication and collaboration. That’s why we’re so proud of how many academic institutions have chosen to adopt our software.

5 min read

How To Make Hybrid Work More Productive:

By Lucy Palmer on 04/04/22 12:30

One of the main advantages of working from home has been increased flexibility. Many people have found that they are more productive while working from home than in the office. They are able to create their own work environment and make choices that work for them. 

4 min read

What Is A Board Evaluation?

By Gabriella Mangham on 04/04/22 12:30

A Board Evaluation is a method for scrutinising the actions and efficacy of the Board. This helps improve transparency, effectiveness, and accountability of Board Members. It can also highlight areas or practises that need improvement. All of this improves Board governance and ensures that there are no surprise scandals

5 min read

How Can You Simplify Board And Executive Committee Communications?

By Gabriella Mangham on 04/04/22 12:29

To effectively run any organisation there needs to be good communication. This can be between colleagues, but also between the highest branches of the company.

Perhaps most importantly, there needs to be good relations and, in turn, open communication between the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. The Executives should act on behalf of the full Board and they can only do this if they truly understand the long-term vision for the company.

8 min read

The G in ESG: How To Improve Your Corporate Governance

By Gabriella Mangham on 04/04/22 12:29

ESG stands for Environmental, Social, Governance. The first two terms can be pretty self explanatory but governance is all encompassing so what exactly is it referring to. Effective corporate governance is at the heart of every successful organisation. But how do you have good corporate governance and what is it exactly?

Topics: ESG
6 min read

What Are The Top Leadership Skills?

By Lucy Palmer on 04/04/22 12:28

There are many different leadership roles in every organisation, but they all require a certain set of skills. In short, the most important attributes for a leader to have are dedication to the company, their team members and their personal development. 

4 min read

A Guide To Data Processing Agreements

By Lucy Palmer on 04/04/22 12:27

A Data Processing Agreement is a legal agreement between a data processor and a data controller. It is used to regulate any personal data that is processed for business purposes. The document sets out what can be done with the data as well as the relationship between the processor and controller.

5 min read

How To Choose The Right Software For Your Team Meetings

By Lucy Palmer on 04/04/22 12:26

With a range of software available to businesses, it’s more important than ever that you choose the best software for your organisation.

6 min read

A Guide To Succession Planning

By Lucy Palmer on 04/04/22 12:25

Selecting a new senior leader is a difficult task that should not be underestimated. No matter how perfect your team is, they cannot stay with the company forever. One day, you will have to find a replacement.

5 min read

How To Improve Your Delegation At Work

By Lucy Palmer on 04/04/22 12:24

If you’ve got experience in project management, you know the importance of delegation. Coordinating your team isn’t easy but it’s one of the most essential steps in becoming a great leader.

3 min read

What Is The Role Of A Subcommittee?

By Lucy Palmer on 04/04/22 12:23

A subcommittee is a smaller group of a leadership team that is responsible for overseeing specific tasks.

4 min read

The Difference Between Data Governance and Cyber Security

By Lucy Palmer on 04/04/22 12:22

Maintaining control of your data is one of the most crucial aspects of running an organisation.

3 min read

How To Perform A Performance Assessment

By Gabriella Mangham on 04/04/22 12:21

A performance assessment is a conversation between a manager and employee about performance impact, development and growth. It is a two-way street with both the manager and the employee setting out their expectations. Performance assessments, also known as performance reviews, are essential for good corporate management.

8 min read

A Guide to Building Effective Software Infrastructure for Your Board

By Gabriella Mangham on 04/04/22 12:21

Building effective software infrastructure is essential for any company. You need to know what will best suit your existing operations and the level of security required for any special category data

It can be a tricky task to choose the best options for your Board, so we have put together this helpful guide!



What Every Board Needs to Know about Building Software Infrastructure for Their Organisation:


1) What Is Software Infrastructure?

Software infrastructure is the framework of physical and virtual resources which controls the flow, processing, analysis and storage of data. These physical components are within a data centre hosted on site, externally or in the cloud. The virtual resources are the programmes you select to run on your devices.

3 min read

How Charities Can Benefit From Convene’s Security

By Lucy Palmer on 04/04/22 12:17

While data security is important for all organisations, it can be particularly significant for charities. They may deal with high-level data and cannot afford to risk the confidentiality of their clients.

4 min read

Why Charities Choose Convene

By Lucy Palmer on 04/04/22 11:23

Here at Convene, we understand the importance of working together to create a better world. That’s why we’re particularly proud of how many charities choose our software to support their project delivery.

4 min read

How Can Granular Access Controls Improve Your Administrative Management

By Lucy Palmer on 04/04/22 11:22

Granular access controls allow you to establish permissions for who can access data and what they can do with that data. By assigning user roles, meeting administrators can ensure no one has inappropriate access to important information.

6 min read

How To Prepare For Virtual Meetings

By Lucy Palmer on 04/04/22 11:21

We hear all the time about the importance of preparation when it comes to holding effective meetings. In the case of virtual meetings, this is even more important. You need to make sure that everyone is able to access the meeting, even if they are not in the same place.

2 min read

The Oscars 2023 To Be Hosted On Convene

By Gabriella Mangham on 01/04/22 00:00

After declining ratings, and scandal after scandal, the Oscars decided they need a complete revamp and a refocus on good governance. When they contacted us about hosting next year, we turned to them and said “Are you talking to me?” Convene knows that diversity and accessibility is the key to success, so we made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. We did our due diligence before we agreed and audited previous years and realised what we have here is a failure to communicate. That being said, we think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 

3 min read

What Does An Integration With Microsoft Teams Mean?

By Gabriella Mangham on 25/03/22 14:06

Convene is now available fully integrated with Microsoft Teams but you may be confused as to what this means. 

4 min read

Top Tips To Improve Your Informal Meetings:

By Gabriella Mangham on 08/03/22 16:55

Informal meetings have become a staple of the work process, and they are extremely valuable. They allow your team members to hold each other accountable on a weekly or daily basis. Working is a collaborative experience and these settings allow people to plan their own work schedules and project management effectively. This also enables good governance as you open up the possibility for issues to be caught early on. 

3 min read

The Evolution Of The Signature: From The Sumerians To DocuSign

By Lucy Palmer and Gabriella Mangham on 31/01/22 17:35

From the Magna Carta to the Treaty of Versailles, signatures have been at the centre of human history. However, over time, the form of these signatures has shifted significantly. 

5 min read

Who Are The Primary Users Of A Board Portal?

By Gabriella Mangham on 31/01/22 17:34

Who Are The Primary Users Of A Board Portal?

There are three stages to every meeting process: planning, execution and resolutions. As such, there are also three main users of Convene’s Board management software: those who plan, those who meet, and those who do. 

Topics: Board Portal Features Convene in Teams Executive Committee Why Convene?
4 min read

How To Save Time With Auto Generated Meeting Minutes?

By Gabriella Mangham on 31/01/22 17:33

Meeting Minutes are an essential part of the compliance process. They allow you to record meetings and maintain high governance standards. 

4 min read

How To Schedule The Perfect Meeting Time

By Lucy Palmer on 31/01/22 17:31

Bringing your team together is crucial to moving forward in business, but it can sometimes be a challenge. When everyone is busy, finding a date and time that works is not easy. We’ve all seen how difficult it can be to work around many different schedules.

3 min read

Why A Review Room Is Important

By Lucy Palmer on 31/01/22 17:30

A Review Room is a feature for the end of a meeting to ensure you gain the most from the collaboration process. The secure system allows you to review the meeting minutes and check there are no mistakes. This is important from a compliance point of view, but it can also help your meeting process in other ways. Read on to find out more:

3 min read

How Action Items Streamline Your Processes

By Gabriella Mangham on 31/01/22 17:28

Action Items are an essential part of the meeting process, but you may be confused by how broad ranging the term is. We have put together a simple guide to help you effectively utilise our Action Item tool. 

4 min read

What You Should Include On An Employee Survey

By Gabriella Mangham on 31/01/22 17:27

If you want to get a detailed understanding of what your employees think then an employee survey is the place to start. This may seem like a simple term but for clarity’s sake let’s start by defining what exactly an employee survey is.

4 min read

How To Improve Your Boardroom Voting Process

By Lucy Palmer on 31/01/22 17:25

Voting is at the centre of democracy in Board meetings. It can ensure every member of your team has their voice heard and that the best decisions are made. Everyone should come away from the meeting confident with the decisions that have taken place. As a result, you should take every measure possible to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

3 min read

Why Meeting Notes Matter

By Gabriella Mangham on 31/01/22 17:23

Your memory may fade, but meeting notes are forever.

5 min read

How To Improve The 7 Pillars of Clinical Governance

By Gabriella Mangham on 26/01/22 19:14

Clinical Governance is corporate governance designed specifically for the NHS. Implemented first in the late 1990s after the Bristol Hospital Heart scandal, it has grown to be increasingly more important during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The 7 Pillars of Clinical Governance determine how successful a practice is. 

5 min read

How To Build The Perfect Agenda

By Lucy Palmer on 14/01/22 20:35

An effective meeting agenda is at the heart of any meeting. To achieve the best collaboration, a Board needs to know where they are going. There’s no point turning up on the day of a meeting and hoping for the best! 

8 min read

What Is Good Governance In The Public Sector?

By Gabriella Mangham on 14/01/22 20:33

The future of the Public Sector is always uncertain. However, with good governance you can feel confident you will succeed no matter what. 

5 min read

Ask An Expert: The Housing Code of Governance

By Gabriella Mangham on 14/01/22 20:26

Recently Convene spoke to Bill Gill, Director at BG Audit & Consultancy Limited, about the recent changes to the Housing Code of Governance

7 min read

How To Have Good Governance In 2022

By Gabriella Mangham on 04/01/22 09:08

The past few years have caused many shifts in the way we operate. As we begin this new year it is important to start adapting to these changes and look towards the future. 

3 min read

How To Organise a Virtual AGM

By Gabriella Mangham on 13/12/21 10:00

With the tumultuous time we have had the past few years, the way we work has had to shift. The Covid-19 Pandemic is ongoing and the dramatic shift in restrictions has meant that many have decided to have their AGMs as a virtual event. We have some top tips on how this can be done and what to consider when making your decisions.

4 min read

The Difference Between Public Companies and Private Companies

By Lucy Palmer on 10/12/21 09:34

Every company in the world falls into one of two categories: public or private. From Disney to your local pizza restaurant, all companies have to choose between these options. Both types of company are distinct legal entities but are governed by different rules

2 min read

Happy Holidays from Convene!

By Lucy Palmer on 10/12/21 08:24

It’s hard to believe 2021 is nearly over! One of our first articles this year was about racing through the pandemic - and that certainly turned out to be the case. This year has whizzed by!

4 min read

How To Maintain Good Governance Over The Holidays

By Lucy Palmer on 10/12/21 08:23

The holidays are a time to spread joy. Unfortunately, when you are working in business, they can also come with stress.

4 min read

5 Ways To Celebrate The Festive Season In The Office

By Lucy Palmer on 09/12/21 19:37

December is here and that means it’s time to get festive! Hopefully you won’t be working on Christmas Day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the season.

1 min read

Convene Hosts CGI's e-AGM

By Gabriella Mangham on 08/12/21 19:43

Azeus Convene is proud to have hosted the Chartered Governance Institute (CGI)’s Virtual Annual General Meeting.

4 min read

5 features to make your MS Teams meeting more effective:

By Gabriella Mangham on 30/11/21 17:50

The pandemic led many to see the benefits of remote or hybrid working, and in this new age of working most are turning to Microsoft Teams as an all-in-one solution. 

Topics: Board Portal Features Convene in Teams
4 min read

Are Hybrid Meetings Right For My Organisation?

By Gabriella Mangham on 24/11/21 09:59

The pandemic has shifted us all into new methods of working. Non-essential employees have proven to be just as if not more effective at home. However, as we move out of the “new normal” of remote working many organisations are asking how will we move forward?

Topics: Business Insights Hybrid Working
6 min read

The Future of Higher Education Boards

By Lucy Palmer on 22/11/21 10:07

Covid-19 has had a transformative effect on every industry in the world but this impact has not been evenly distributed. Every sector operates in a different way, and so the challenges created by the pandemic are unique.

3 min read

What Is The Role Of A Governance Manager?

By Lucy Palmer on 22/11/21 10:07

For many companies, a Governance Manager is a useful role when it comes to maintaining compliance. Although it is not essential, the responsibilities of the Governance Manager must be fulfilled by someone in the organisation.

Topics: Governance Executive Committee
4 min read

What Is The Role of The Head of Corporate Services?

By Lucy Palmer on 22/11/21 10:07


Topics: Governance Executive Committee
4 min read

What Is A Board Administrator?

By Gabriella Mangham on 22/11/21 10:07

A Board Administrator manages all aspects of secretarial support for the Board. They usually double as the secretary or head of administrative staff for the CEO or Chairperson of the Board. 

6 min read

What Is The Role of the Company Secretary?

By Lucy Palmer on 15/11/21 10:49

Every company has to maintain governance standards. All public companies in the UK must have a Company Secretary who is responsible for this role. For private companies, it is not a legal requirement to have one, but many still do.

3 min read

Tips For An Effective Audit Trail

By Lucy Palmer on 15/11/21 10:39

Audit trails are essential to running a successful organisation. They help you keep on track of security, administration, governance and compliance. If anything goes wrong, the audit trail is the first place you should look to find answers.

4 min read

What Is An ESG Score And How To Improve It

By Gabriella Mangham on 04/11/21 15:39

A company is more than just profit. You should also be looking to contribute to society, but the impact here is less quantifiable. 

Topics: ESG

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