Brendan Sarsfield will stand down from his role as chair of the social housing sustainability reporting organisation later this year, after more than three years in the position

Brendan Sarsfield, chair of Sustainability for Housing, will step down from the organisation later this year, after more than three years in the role.

Brendan Sarsfield

Source: Sustainability for Housing

Brendan Sarsfield, current chair of Sustainability for Housing, will step down from the role later this year.

Sustainability for Housing (SfH), which oversees the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing (SRS), has started its search for a successor.

Sarsfield was appointed chair of SfH in 2021, following the creation of the sustainability reporting standard for social housing (SRS) in 2020.

Sarsfield said: “I am extremely proud of what SfH has achieved over the last few years.

”Our mission was to create a uniform framework to help housing associations improve and communicate their ESG performance, in order to attract investment into the sector. We have achieved this despite the environment changing rapidly.”

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The environmental, social and governance (ESG) standard was launched by social impact consulting firm The Good Economy and a group of housing associations.

It aims to help the housing sector measure, report and enhance its ESG performance in a transparent, consistent and comparable way, while encouraging private sector investment in social housing. 

Since its creation, SfH has said that the SRS has attracted more than 150 adopters from across the UK with responsibility for roughly 2.4 million homes across the UK.

Of the adopters, 113 are housing providers and 37 are funders to the sector with more than £1trn of assets under management.

SfH’s annual report revealed that 63% of funders using the framework believed it had enhanced their relationship with housing association borrowers.

A similar proportion indicated that it helped housing associations secure favourable financing terms.

Additionally, 57% of respondents reported that the SRS had accelerated the implementation of ESG initiatives.

Sarsfield added: “It has been an honour to be involved with the SRS over the last three years and whoever comes next will no doubt relish this challenging yet rewarding role, supported by an excellent Board. There is still plenty of progress to be made on ESG and I urge the sector to remain engaged with this work, which remains as important as ever.”

Sarah Forster, CEO of The Good Economy, which provides secretariat support for the SRS, said: “We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Brendan for his work as Chair of SfH.

“Under his direction, the SRS has grown to be a vital tool for social housing providers and has enhanced the sector’s reputation amongst funders. As we look to the future, we will be seeking a candidate who can build on his great work and continue to drive the SRS forward.”