Scroll Top

Housing quality, resident satisfaction and environmental disclosure emphasised in updated social housing ESG standard

A consultation into Version 2.0 of the SRS has launched, with refreshed criteria to help the sector tell its story and meet ongoing demands for greater transparency.
Sizing for Housing Executive(530)

A consultation into Version 2.0 of the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing (SRS) has launched, with refreshed criteria to help the sector tell its story and meet ongoing demands for greater transparency.

The UK social housing sector’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting standard is out for consultation today (Monday 3rd April 2023).

The proposed draft of the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing (SRS) has been updated to encourage housing associations to produce more precise information about the quality of their stock, resident satisfaction, net zero strategies and approaches to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

The draft has been designed following an initial series of focus groups and interviews with housing associations and funders, conducted by Sustainability for Housing (SfH), the body overseeing the Standard.

More than 160 organisations have already adopted the Standard, including small and large housing associations and all the sector’s main funders.

With the social housing sector undergoing significant challenge and upheaval, and ESG and sustainability reporting requirements and regulations evolving across the financial markets, it is more important than ever that the sector tells its story effectively.

SfH will be consulting on the changes throughout April and is seeking views from all adopters, endorsers and other interested parties.

The proposed Version 2.0 of the SRS speaks to new sector requirements, including new Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSMs), and external frameworks and guidance, including from the Investment Association and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

It would include a ‘comply or explain’ approach, along with a request to show year-on-year data.

Some of the key criteria changes include:

  • A greater focus on housing quality and how providers manage and mitigate risk of damp and mould for residents
  • The condition of stock, as well as data on gas safety checks and fire, asbestos and legionella risk assessments
  • Information on net zero strategies, retrofit and environmental disclosures such as SAP ratings as well as EPC ratings of stock
  • Disclosures around EDI policies and approaches, as well as training and professional development of staff
  • Adopters should lay out their net zero strategy as well as completed energy efficiency work

Since its inception in November 2020, the Standard has been adopted by more than 88 housing providers as well as 37 funders including institutional investors with more than £1trn of assets under management, including Legal & General, M&G Investments, abrdn, Schroders and Aviva.

The updated Version 2.0 of the SRS has been designed in consultation with adopters and endorsers over the last year.

“The worlds of ESG and social housing continue to evolve at pace and ESG reporting needs to keep up. This new draft version of the standard has been created in consultation with the housing and finance sectors and hopefully meets new emerging demands whilst recognising the importance of continuity.

“We are pleased so many adopters have helped us with this update and we hope more will continue to contribute to the consultation in the coming weeks.”

Brendan Sarsfield, Chair of SfH

“Demand for investment in ESG areas such as social housing is only going to grow and the sector needs to be alive to this opportunity as it looks to tackle the housing crisis.

“The sector also needs to maintain its solid reputation when it comes to ESG reporting, which is why SfH has sought to tighten up key areas of focus within the SRS.”

Sarah Smith, Chief Financial Officer at Southern Housing and SfH board member

Related Posts