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Choice becomes first HA in NI to adopt sector ESG standard

Choice Housing said reporting on environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance will help reduce its environmental impact.

Sustainability for Housing (SfH), the board that oversees the Sustainability Reporting Standard for social housing (SRS), has gained its first adopter based in Northern Ireland.

Lawrence Jackson, Director of Corporate Services at Choice Housing, said: “Our ESG Reporting not only measures our performance against set industry-led goals, but it is a clear pathway to how we can minimise our impact on the environment, deliver social value and support thriving sustainable communities.

The commitments we make through ESG are all measured against the SRS which sets out key criteria for reporting that allows for a common framework to be used across the sector. This facilitates an industry consensus around measuring and evaluating the contribution of housing associations in Northern Ireland whilst raising awareness of the important work the sector contributes to this area.”

The 12,000-home landlord joins more than 130 other organisations in adopting the Standard, including housing providers and funders across the UK.

The SRS was first launched in November 2020 to provide a common framework against which housing associations and others can present their ESG performance, therefore making it easier for investors and other stakeholders to see.

Brendan Sarsfield, chair of Sustainability for Housing, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome our first housing association from Northern Ireland to the SRS community. The decision by Choice Housing to adopt the Standard demonstrates the power and value of a sustainability disclosure framework that has been created by social housing providers and their funders to reflect the particular needs of the sector and reduce the burden of ESG-related reporting and disclosure.

Housing associations come in lots of shapes and sizes, but they all share that inherent commitment to social purpose, delivering much-needed housing and services to people and communities. Their ESG credentials are built into their ethos and business model, which is why they are so attractive to funders making ESG-focused investments.

It’s a pleasure to welcome Choice to our growing community of more than 100 housing providers and 36 investors and lenders, which comes just as we are also updating the reporting standard to reflect the needs of the sector and its funders, along with the fast-moving ESG regulatory and reporting landscape.”

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