A new partnership has been formed to help housing providers and companies across the built environment deliver on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda.
Communications agency, Social and corporate finance advisory firm, Newbridge Advisors have come together to support organisations with their ESG reporting and storytelling.
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.
Having recognised their compatibility, shared values and objectives, based around delivering high quality services and advisory to housing associations of all sizes across Great Britain, Social and Newbridge will offer clients an end-to-end service.
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.
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.
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.”
The partnership aims to simplify and smooth out the process for HAs, connecting strategy with technical support and communications.
Luke adds: “Newbridge already has extensive expertise and knowledge in investor relations and ESG disclosure. By working together in this area, we’ll add value by aligning that expertise with specialist communications, offering a complete service that delivers value and desired outcomes.”
The Newbridge partnership follows Social Invest’s appointment of Kim Goodall as a consultant. Kim spent eight years at what became Aberdeen Standard Investments, working across global ESG implementation and strategy. She also has a background in communications and marketing.