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. 

The event started with an introduction to RITTERWALD’s new external assessment of the SRS. They proposed to verify the quality of the data for 14 metrics, which lenders have indicated are of most interest. The hope is that this will help lenders feel assured in the fact that Housing Associations are submitting high quality data.

Discussions then began in which it became obvious that data quality is a priority for both lenders and Housing Associations alike. However, the concern for the Housing Associations present was the cost. High quality data requires an administrative burden that smaller Housing Associations can’t afford to factor in. 

There were also warnings to Housing Associations to not over-focus on the size of their problems in relation to data and decarbonisation. Instead, Housing Associations should hone in on the areas in which they can and are making a difference. Lenders want to hear their stories and see the difference they are making. 

Many were concerned about the affordability of the multitude of reporting standards. The uptake in the TCFD, SRS and the potential of the CSRD for anyone with an EU supply chain, the number of standards is constantly increasing. This means there has to be a shorter term expense of looking into the supply chain. The discussion then turned to the importance of a value supply chain. 

You need to be making sure that your supply chain is considering ESG, and asking for information from them will help to improve the whole process. Housing can be a trailblazer in this sense, by requiring others in the supply chain to meet a set requirements. This is because the main issue is Scope 3 emissions. The concern many shared was debating the most appropriate way to measure Scope 3, as most supply chains are not measuring this yet.

The other problem is measuring carbon emissions. The current wave of retrofitting, and building sustainable homes is meaning carbon emissions are temporarily going up, and this needs to be communicated to residents and lenders. 

These talks are all still at a preliminary stage but Convene ESG are very excited to see where the conversation goes and the outcome of this network of minds coming together to resolve these issues. We also feel like we can offer a unique solution to some of these problems.


How Can Convene ESG Help Your Housing Association?

Convene ESG is an ESG reporting solution designed for Housing Associations, with Housing Associations, to resolve your unique issues. We ensure that there is a smooth reporting process across frameworks by analysing them for you and ensuring you only have to input your data once and it gets carried across to the relevant sections. 

We can also help you monitor your data collection with our helpful features such as a progress tracker. You can then download your report as a word or spreadsheet document with a simple click of a button. 

If you would like to learn more please contact us or book a demo today!

Gabriella Mangham

Written by Gabriella Mangham

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