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.
We also had talks from Brendan Sarsfield, Chair of Sustainability for Housing (SRS), Julia Messenger, Senior ESG Manager at Sage Housing, and Richard Lupo, Managing Director of SHIFT.
Brendan Sarsfield gave some important insight into the impact of the SRS and how it has been particularly valuable to see that Smaller Housing Associations have been able to produce in-depth ESG reports. He also remarked upon the fact that overwhelmingly the feedback had been positive; that he had seen a shift in the treatment of ESG to a sidelined project to collaboration and cross-department focus on ESG.
Housing Associations have been pillars of the S in ESG for years and it is now time for that to be communicated, and a re-focusing on the Net Zero Goals. Housing Success Stories deserve to be celebrated and your tenants should know why you are implementing certain strategies and how it will benefit them.
Many senior members of these discussions spoke about the importance of understanding that Net Zero goals weren’t just strategies to meet targets they were to benefit residents. Bringing your EPC Ratings up is good for metrics and the environment but it is also a way to combat fuel-poverty. Furthermore, having fuel gauges to determine the heating of the house will also help you as a Housing Association get in early to assist your tenants when they are struggling!
Julia Messenger also furthered this thought, providing evidence that their SRS Report had helped improve communications with their tenants on their Social and Environmental programmes. It also facilitated better engagement with their Tenants which helped them identify areas to improve on the “why” they are making changes. By having residents involved it also helped the Report be more “trustworthy”, as tenants are always more likely to trust other tenants than Housing Associations.
There were also discussions surrounding Scope 3 emissions and how long term the Housing Community and their Net Zero targets will be able to have a wider impact. For example, if you are only selecting construction companies that exclusively use electric vans, then more construction companies will exclusively use electric vans. This will help share the load across the supply chain when it comes to reducing emissions.
We also heard from Richard Lupo, from SHIFT, who reiterated the importance of funding. The SRS Report and other ESG Reports will help Housing Associations have access to funding that will allow them to improve their buildings. This will be furthered by those who opt to do both the SRS and TCFD, something which Convene ESG can make a simple task.
All in all, this was a fascinating evening attended by some of the brightest minds in Housing. We want to thank all those who attended and contributed to discussions.
How Can Convene ESG Help You With The SRS 2.0.?
If there was anything you were struggling to understand about the latest updates to the SRS 2.0 then Convene ESG is here to help you! We have put together a handy whitepaper to explain simply what the changes are between SRS 1.2 and SRS 2.0, which you can access here.
We are also available to help you through the transition stages to year-on-year reporting, and help you quickly notice the gaps in your current reporting, by translating your current SRS 1.2. Report into Version 2.0. By doing this, you will easily see the gaps in your current data collection and be able to rectify this quickly before the next reporting cycle.
If you would like to see first hand how this will look, please book a demo with us here.
What Is 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!
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.