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.
We’ve listed five of the most important things your association can do to be prepared for ESG in 2024, and feel confident about coming into the new year.
1) Analyse your last ESG Report for room for improvement.
Looking at previous ESG reports for potential areas to improve is a good way to prepare yourself for what 2024 could bring. By taking note of how your organisation could change for the better, and what needs to be done to raise your ESG standards even higher, you can feel secure in knowing you face 2024 as improved as possible.
This is an especially important step after the introduction of the SRS Version 2.0, as this new version means your ESG report might not be as up to date as it needs to be.
Convene ESG is here to help you with this process, as our software will convert your report from SRS 1.2 to version 2.0 automatically. This way, you can spend more time improving your ESG instead of converting the SRS manually.
As an adopter of the SRS, we have been hard at work ensuring full support for version 2.0
is available on our reporting platform in time for the 2023/2024 reporting cycle.
We are aware of a growing number of housing associations are using Power BI for their internal reporting. Consequently, we will be offering the ability to seamlessly feed the SRS data collected on Convene ESG over to the Power BI dashboards.
2) Discuss with your executive team the importance of ESG in 2024.
Keeping ESG on the agenda is crucial for being prepared for 2024. Your executive team needs to know how important maintaining ESG standards are, not just for your association, or for the sector, but for the planet.
Even if your company won't be subject to mandatory ESG reporting, there's a variety of benefits to doing it anyway. Many Housing Associations, eager to demonstrate their social and environmental credentials, have already introduced ESG reporting on a voluntary basis with the SRS.
There are many reasons why ESG is so important to remind your executive team of. It can help:
- Reduce your carbon footprint
- Attract investors
- Boost your employer branding
- Reduce your operational costs
- Build trust with company stakeholders
ESG reporting means complete transparency. Your organisation is committing to disclosing all its data: the favourable, the unfavourable, and everything in between.
However, this degree of transparency does pay off. ESG reports will help to establish strong, reliable connections with investors, shareholders and stakeholders alike, positioning your association for a more stable future.
3) Keep up to date with any ESG metrics to monitor them over the year.
With so many issues encompassing the ESG movement, investment practices consider a wide variety of metrics across the spectrum as necessary to track. With so many, it can be overwhelming for new and veteran investors as new issues become relevant and require new measures.
With that in mind, here are some ESG metrics to remember to monitor to ensure your association is prepared.
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Energy Consumption
- Water Usage
- Waste Generation
- Board Diversity
- Employee Training & Development
- Service Safety & Quality
- Data Privacy & Security
- Community Engagement
These metrics will significantly help in revealing the inner workings of a company and its efforts to combat particular issues relevant to you. The best way to stay up to date with those is to look at company reports and published ESG ratings, and in this way you are assessing the metrics from unbiased, third-party verified institutions.
4) Fine tune your ESG reporting cycle to prepare for 2024 onward.
Companies working toward any level of assurance need to begin with an evaluation of how data flows into ESG reporting. And the time to define the processes is in advance of implementing them.
Organisations that take the time to prepare beforehand will not only progress further in their journey towards assurance readiness, but they will also reap the rewards of laying a solid groundwork for producing better ESG reports.
Housing Associations should be:
- Developing an ESG Strategy
- Choosing a Reporting Framework
- Gathering data
- Preparing the report
- Communicating the report
It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a perfect ESG report, but associations who present their findings and data in an open and transparent way can build greater trust with their customers and stakeholders.
In addition to this, involving your stakeholders in the reporting cycle can also help to identify the ESG issues that are most important to them, and to get their feedback on your report.
A lot of the reporting process can be fine-tuned with an ESG reporting solution. This kind of software can help businesses enhance the efficiency of reporting and ensure there is no room for errors.
5) Invest in an ESG Solution.
Using an ESG solution is the best way to ensure the data you collect is airtight. You and your stakeholders can rest assured that you’re gathering consistent information, without spending hours checking and correcting it.
Convene, working with our vast number of Housing Industry clients, have developed a new software tool, Convene ESG, to help you produce the best ESG reports possible.
By simplifying and automating much of the process, you can be sure that your ESG report building runs smoothly, so you can focus on developing your sustainable strategies.
With Convene ESG 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.
Convene ESG also has a built-in comparison feature, which allows you to compare against competitors' formatting of their publicly accessible reports, and their results.
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.
As a software provider already trusted by 100s of housing organisations, including Orbit Housing, you can trust us to provide you with dedicated service.
You can find more about how Convene ESG can help your Housing Association here.