Thursday, November 26, 2020
Real EstateUK

Clarion publishes its first ESG report

housing uk

The housing association said it has invested £150m in supporting communities over the next decade

The UK’s largest housing association has published its first-ever environmental, social and governance (ESG) report setting out its sustainability credentials to potential investors.

Clarion Housing Group, which owns and manages around 125,000 homes, said the report looks at several indicators, from the energy efficiency of its stock to the size of its gender pay gap – which stands at 2.7%, with men earning marginally more per hour than women.

The report noted that Clarion has nearly halved the number of homes in its portfolio with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of ‘D’ or below since 2018 and has committed to increasing annual investment in housing energy efficiency from £2m to £6m.

It also said the group has invested £150m in supporting people and communities over the next decade, which is expected to generate more than £1bn worth of social value.

Clarion follows 45,000-home landlord Optivo, which became the first housing association to publish an ESG report in August.

An increasing number of ESG-linked deals have taken place in the sector over recent months as housing associations take advantage of a drive to make ‘positive impact’ investments among lenders.

Clare Miller, chief executive of Clarion, said: As a social landlord, Clarion has an integral role to play as stewards in our communities. Many of our residents live in Clarion homes for decades, so we know the importance of environmental and social investment that will help them to thrive over the long term.

I am pleased to have published our first-ever ESG report and determined that we will continue to make progress on this agenda every year, by holding ourselves accountable for delivering sustainable change, Miller said.

The report is benchmarked against criteria under a new Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social housing, which has been developed as part of the ESG White Paper, launched in May by The Good Economy, Peabody, Clarion and Optivo. Details of the standard are due to be set out next week.

The working group behind the white paper estimated the UK sustainable investment market to be worth £2tn and argued that providing a standardised ESG reporting system would allow housing associations to harness this capital.

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