ESG reporting in the social housing sector set for change

Sarah Forster Fri, November 29th, 2019

The social housing sector needs to sustain and increase private capital flows to meet the urgent need for more high quality, affordable housing. However, for the social housing sector to deliver on its capacity to help solve the housing crisis, it is vital that this capital is aligned to both the financing needs of the sector and the delivery of positive social and environmental outcomes.

Today, most financial institutions are assessing the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance of their investments in social housing. More recently new real estate and infrastructure fund investors have entered the market, some of which are committed to ‘impact investing’ strategies, requiring them to demonstrate how their funds deliver both financial returns and positive environmental and social impact. However, there is currently no consistent approach to assessing and reporting on the ESG and impact performance of investments in social housing.

The Good Economy is playing a leadership role in developing a credible and consistent approach to ESG reporting that would benefit the wider social housing market. It could form the basis for a standardised approach to ESG and impact reporting across the social housing sector over time.

This work was initiated by Peabody, one of the UK’s oldest and largest housing association’s and Centrus, a specialist corporate finance firm. Peabody and Centrus brought together a working group to develop the sector-standard ESG approach comprising housing associations (Clarion, Optivo, and Sovereign); investors (Insight and M&G); organisations concerned with growing the impact investment marketplace (Big Society Capital; Impact Investing Institute); and service providers active in the sector (Savills and Trowers & Hamlins).

We are now publishing a draft White Paper presenting the ESG reporting approach for wider consultation. We welcome feedback and inputs from all market participants. If you would like to input into the project, please email

You may also be interested in reading an article in Social Housing magazine about this project.

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