The concepts of 'green loans', 'sustainability linked loans' and 'impact investment' are really beginning to permeate the social housing sector and pique the interest of borrowers and funders alike.
Whilst stakeholders such as the LMA have led the way by helping set out what the parameters of these sorts of loans should be, we have lacked a set of common metrics which borrowers can report on and upon which funders can build their credit processes.
The Sustainability Reporting Standards (SRS), originally set out in May this year, seek to provide a credible, consistent and comparable set of reporting criteria.
The commitment by a number of lenders and investors to adopt the SRS is a welcome endorsement of these principles and hopefully paves the way to a standard approach to impact reporting to investors and potential investors.
This should ease the information burden on housing associations by providing clarity as to what should be measured and assisting RPs/RSLs in attracting capital.
The SRS set out 45 criteria across 10 themes, such as affordability, building safety, placemaking and ecology, as well as climate change. A number of housing associations have also signed up either as early adopters or endorsers.
The finalised SRS standard is set to be published at the end of October.
A call for ‘early adopters’ of a new standardised approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting within UK social housing has attracted interest from 19 lenders and investors.