UK bond aggregator MORhomes launches Sustainable Bond Framework with accredited ESG Credentials for its borrowers
MORhomes, a financial borrowing vehicle accessing the capital markets on behalf of housing associations, has launched its Sustainable Bond Framework. This Framework includes the innovative new Sustainable Housing Assessment (SHA), designed by RITTERWALD. The framework aligns to the UK social housing sector reporting standard.
MORhomes can now issue a Sustainability Bond, one of the first for the housing sector with ESG accreditation. The Framework will apply to prospective borrowers. NatWest’s Sustainable Finance Team supported MORhomes with the development of this Framework.
The SHA covers a range of indicators including the energy performance of existing and new homes, and how tenants are supported to conserve more energy. The SHA of prospective borrowers will be independently validated by RITTERWALD.
Patrick Symington, CEO of MORhomes, said; “This new framework and SHA are testament to our commitment to tackling the housing crisis and decarbonisation agenda. We are proud to have developed a genuinely unique approach to assessing the ESG impact of our current and prospective housing association borrowers. Borrowers who meet the standards are going above and beyond current requirements and helping meet the Government’s zero carbon target”.
The approach has been developed and piloted with the input of five housing associations including Melin Homes, the 4,000-home South East Wales landlord. Elizabeth Howard, director of finance at Melin Homes, said; “It has been a really useful and interesting process to be part of the development of the Sustainable Housing Assessment and provide a Welsh perspective. Like many of our sector peers, we know that Melin does a lot of great work in terms of ESG, but we haven’t always had a clear way of benchmarking this or recording it in a consistent way”.
Dominic Brindley Head of Public Sector & Structured Asset Finance at Natwest, said; “Having supported the working party to produce the Sector Reporting Standards in 2020, it is a great pleasure to have worked with MORhomes, Sustainalytics and RITTERWALD to help expand MORhomes’ existing Social Bond Framework into a Sustainable Bond Framework”.
Ad Hereijgers heading RITTERWALD’s Sustainability Team commented: “It has been a pleasure to work with NatWest, MORHomes and Melin Homes and through the SHA contribute to the Sustainable Bond Framework for widening the UK market for ESG investors”.