Effective reporting on environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance requires more than a box-ticking exercise, or a set of metrics.
Some of the key components to executing ESG effectively include a technical understanding of why and how you disclose information, robust data and a standard or framework.
It also entails embedding ESG into your organisation, adopting an ESG strategy, policy or approach that aligns with what’s important to you as an organisation, your mission, values and corporate strategy.
Lastly, a key component of ESG is ensuring you are communicating effectively, with messaging that speaks the right language to your audience, particularly specialist audiences like investors. Any ESG narrative needs to be backed by metrics and measures.
As the ESG and sustainability agendas move further into the mainstream in the financial sector, housing associations and companies are increasingly required to demonstrate their environmental and social performance.
Whilst ESG primarily provides funders with a measurable and comparable way to assess performance and material risks relating to sustainability, it is also a powerful way of channelling and communicating what matters to an organisation to a wider audience.
Communications agency, Social and corporate finance advisory firm, Newbridge Advisors have come together to provided end-to-end services, where required by housing providers and other companies in the built environment.
Social’s expertise lies in communications, and its specialist division, Social Invest, will provide strategic and practical support on the formation and delivery of ESG communication plans, reports, presentations and other materials.
Newbridge, which already provides investor relations services to several housing associations, offers technical advisory support around ESG frameworks and financial modelling, as well as investor relations services.
Luke Cross, director at Social Invest, and former editor of Social Housing magazine, says:
“Many people across housing say the sector doesn’t always tell its story as well as it could. ESG is an opportunity to do just that. We hope to support the sector in helping housing providers strike the right chord with the right people. “Along with embracing a standardised sector-wide reporting approach, every housing association has its own story to tell, and it’s critical that it does this well when engaging with funders and other key stakeholders.”
Chris Evans, director at Newbridge Advisors, says:
“So many housing associations have such a positive story to share in relation to ESG, structuring the communication in a format recognised by the financing community is the next stage in bringing the two together.
“It has never been more important to describe how proceeds will be used when arranging new funding”