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.
It is likely you are already considering how you can be more energy efficient. By doing this and maintaining good governance practices you are already having a positive social impression. This all impacts your ESG performance.
It is also important to note that even just producing an ESG report can help you gain access to funds including bonds to grants.
How Easy Is ESG For Smaller Housing Associations?
The first step in developing a strategy is selecting an ESG standard. There are many to choose from, but the Sustainability Reporting Standard for the Social Housing Sector (SRS) was conceived to target the specific issue in ESG and housing. Within the SRS there are “core” and “enhanced” qualifiers to report on, and smaller housing associations only have to report on the “core” issues.
The second step is to take a look at your metrics. You probably already have a lot of this data as you will have your energy efficiency ratings and other numbers on your rent and affordability metrics. The difficulty may come when you start to assess your supply chain. However for the SRS this is currently within the “enhanced” section of the report, which as stated is optional for smaller housing associations.
The final step is producing a report. Barnsbury Housing Association, a smaller housing association, has already produced an SRS report, so you can too! All you have to do is follow the table formula and insert your data and you can publish a report.
The most important part is keeping in mind and regularly updating your data. However, there is software that is able to help you. This is where Convene ESG can step in!
How Can Convene Help?
Working with our vast number of housing industry clients, Convene has developed Convene ESG to help you produce the best ESG and SRS reports possible. By simplifying the ESG reporting process, Convene makes reporting simple, so you can focus on developing sustainable strategies.
With Convene ESG, you can develop a collaborative workflow - assigning sections of the ESG or SRS report to the required people. Once all the sections are filled in, Convene ESG will produce a formatted Word Document ready for publication!
Convene ESG also has a built-in comparison feature, which allows you to compare against competitors' formatting of their publicly accessible reports! This will help the whole of the housing sector develop the best results possible.
On the 6th December Convene ESG will host a breakout session at 1pm at the National Housing Federation’s National Smaller Housing Associations Conference discussing “How can smaller housing associations communicate their engagement with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters?” So pop by and discover more about how you can improve your ESG practices!