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Bromford, England’s leading builder of social-rented homes, today published its updated Sustainable Finance Framework. The framework, first published in 2021, will link over £1bn of future funding to a range of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) projects to empower its 100,000 customers and 1,800 colleagues, and positively impact the spaces where they live and work.

Having issued the first green and first governance-linked loans in the sector over recent years, Bromford continues to pioneer sustainable finance and reporting. Last month, the 46,000 home housing association became the first housing association to publish sustainability golden metrics in its year-end trading update, with a firm commitment to driving more visibility, accountability and comparability of its sustainability performance.

The updated framework is underpinned by Bromford’s recently unveiled 2023-2027 corporate strategy. This strategy, driven by a customer-focused approach with a renewed focus on place, scale and impact, makes a bold and purposeful commitment to measuring Bromford’s performance and the outcomes it delivers for its people and communities. It presents the perfect alignment to the updated 2022 and 2023 market principles published by the International Capital Markets Association and Loan Markets Association, which also require a greater commitment to measuring and reporting outcomes. The framework is accredited with a Second Party Opinion (SPO) provided by DNV Business Assurance Services UK (DNV).

Imran Mubeen, Bromford's director of treasury, commented:

As a social landlord, we remain absolutely committed to working with our customers and colleagues to understand the drivers that deliver truly sustainable outcomes. We must lead our own sustainability agenda to create appropriate discussion and scrutiny on the performance measures we know will have a positive impact on our people and places. Ultimately, we must own and be accountable for our investment decisions. The power of this framework is in setting out our narrative and commitments so that investors can understand and challenge how their funding helps to unlock these powerful ESG outcomes, and alongside our customers, colleagues and other stakeholders can hold us to account against those commitments

Bromford’s framework continues to set out the projects initiated in 2021, covering a broad range of activities across the ESG spectrum, and aligned to seven United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). These projects include the retrofitting of existing homes, delivering more modern methods of construction (MMC) homes, transitioning to a green fleet of electric repair vans, fostering a diverse and inclusive culture and enhancing employment levels and reducing homelessness in the communities Bromford serves.

Each project is target-driven over the life of the corporate strategy to 2027, as Bromford aims to deliver over 10,500 new affordable homes whilst reducing its total carbon emissions to under 3 tonnes per home. With a clear focus on customers and colleagues, the landlord also aims to bring 1,000 customers into employment or training; achieve a customer advocacy score of 85% each year; and continuously reduce its gender pay gap from its current level of 6.5%.

Niki Bowen, Principal Sustainability & ESG Consultant, DNV Business Assurance Services UK (DNV), commented:

Bromford’s framework focusses on enabling access to ESG-financing that drives real, credible impact in the social housing sector. We are delighted to see Bromford Housing has focussed on how sustainability outcomes and impact will be truly demonstrated for affordable housing, alleviating unemployment, and driving socioeconomic advancements and empowerment. This framework is sector-leading and will help to transition the sector. We hope that it encourages others to follow or copy Bromford’s lead in the future.

Imran Mubeen, Bromford's director of treasury, commented:

DNV has quickly established itself as a key player in the accreditation space with a significant footprint in the housing sector. It's powerful that DNV also accredits the frameworks of some of our key funders and can be part of the journey which helps us to understand one another’s key drivers of sustainability. We want to have our golden metrics and future impact reports audited, and DNV offers a service in this space that may be a game changer for the sector

Looking ahead, Bromford intends to use this updated framework for its next capital markets issue, which is expected to be a private placement within the next 6-12 months. Imran commented:

We are proud of the collaboration that has taken place across our directorates to embed sustainability at the core of everything we do. This framework completes that golden thread by linking our ESG journey to the aspirations of our funders and investors. We look forward to working with investors to co-create new linkages to funding which will mean there is nowhere to hide if we don’t deliver

I love to highlight the stories that make Bromford and our customers stand out.

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