Peabody chief executive Brendan Sarsfield has been appointed as chair of the new Sustainability for Housing board following a competitive process.
The board’s remit is to promote and embed the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing, which was published last year.
The standard is the first set of ESG criteria agreed by any sector of the UK economy and launched last November with close to 100 early adopters and endorsers.
The working group and first early adopters included major banks and lenders in the sector, with them all agreeing to use the standard in their investment and credit policies.
Through an agreed set of 12 themes and 48 criteria, the standard is already helping housing providers report on their ESG performance in a transparent, consistent, and comparable way.
For lenders and investors, the Sustainability Reporting Standard makes it easier to assess the ESG performance of social housing providers, identify ESG risks, and drive positive social and environmental outcomes.
Ultimately, the aim is to increase private capital investment in the UK social housing sector.
Commenting on his appointment and the role of the board, Brendan Sarsfield said: “No other sector has a set, recognised criteria for communicating ESG performance, so this reporting standard is a huge advantage for housing associations of all sizes to access funding, reduce the cost of borrowing, and boost their positive social and environmental impact for the benefit of residents and communities.
“Banks, investors, and housing associations have agreed on what is important beyond financial performance, and I’m looking forward to working with the board to help promote this opportunity to the sector and beyond.”
Sarah Forster, CEO of The Good Economy, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Brendan has been appointed as the chair of the Sustainability for Housing board.
“His experience as a leader in the social housing sector and his understanding of and enthusiasm for the important role of the SRS makes him an excellent appointment.
“I have no doubt that he will steward the wider adoption and further development of Sustainability Reporting Standard as a means for all housing associations to measure and communicate their ESG performance and raise capital that helps maximise their positive social and environment impact.”
Image: Brendan Sarsfield, Peabody chief executive and chair of the Sustainabilty for Housing board
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