A group of Australian housing providers have sought to replicate an ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) reporting standard developed by UK housing organisations in 2020.
The Sustainability Reporting Standard (SRS) – launched in November 2020 by Sustainability for Housing (SfH) and The Good Economy – provides a common reporting framework for more than 100 housing associations, lenders, and investors.
The project has encouraged Australia’s Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA), along with 27 housing associations, to create their own ESG reporting standard.
The Australian standard will operate in a similar way to the SRS, by attempting to harness interest from organisations looking to invest in businesses with strong ESG credentials.
It was modelled on the SRS but has been adapted to fit the Australian policy environment.
Wendy Hayhurst, chief executive at CHIA, said: “The project was very much motivated by the UK’s SRS, and we want to acknowledge the support, assistance, and overall generosity of SfH chair Brendan Sarsfield and the team at The Good Economy.
“The Australian standard was developed with support from 27 community housing organisations (not for profit housing providers) along with our major financier, the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, and other private sector partners.
“We want to see the standard widely adopted and helping us make a better business case for expanded government support for social and affordable housing, better debt and equity finance arrangements, as well as demonstrating the value brought by our sector.”
Brendan Sarsfield, chair of SfH, said: “We are delighted to see more organisations in the global social housing sector capitalising on the ESG agenda.
“The work of CHIA and its partners is a vote of confidence in social housing in the UK and our ESG reporting standard.”
Sarah Forster, board member of SfH and chief executive of The Good Economy, said: “For the ESG movement to be successful, it is vital that it is recognised as widely as possible.
“Therefore, it is enormously encouraging to see our international partners following the lead set by the UK social housing sector.
“A growing community of organisations at the intersection of ESG and social housing will only help improve transparency and accountability around reporting.”
Image credit: EyeofPaul/Shutterstock
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