Technology – and the efficiency it brings – has an integral role to play towards providing a greener, more effective, and sustainable housing strategy. On a large scale, this relates to climate engineering and clean energy. Whereas the capturing and monitoring of crucial operational data supports ESG efforts on a smaller scale.

Harnessing technology in the right way will support you with meeting your ESG-related goals, helping you attract further meaningful investment from investors who have sustainability at the forefront of their minds. 

In keeping track of technological developments, selecting easy-to-use tools, upgrading legacy systems, and putting seamless processes in place to encourage their uptake, your IT team has a crucial role to play in supporting your ESG-related compliance practices.

The role of technology in ESG, sustainability, and environmental management.

As we have seen in recent reporting, ESG and sustainability factors are becoming a priority to investors, customers, and regulators. This means that housing providers need to back up their words with data to show that their company is being managed responsibly. 

According to Norton Rose Fulbright, businesses are investing in emerging technologies such as blockchain to increase transparency within their supply chains and the Internet of Things (IoT) to create ecosystems of devices and sensors that interact in a smart way to collect and track important data autonomously.

And the investment is worth it. 

Today, technology is being used meaningfully to build awareness of the areas of the business that need to be better managed (e.g., reducing waste or emissions), and for risk management in relation to non-financial metrics (e.g., supply chains during extraordinary events and reducing human error). Where this burden previously sat with IT teams who needed to do things manually, these new tools provide an agile, cost-effective way to automate and monitor specific processes.

Technology also helps leaders prepare for the increased scrutiny of ESG-related compliance within ever-changing regulatory frameworks. Where it’s used as an inclusive solution to collect ESG data from all areas of the business, this quality data aids effective communication to investors, regulators, end clients, and employees.

How can technology make ESG reporting easier for social housing providers?

As there are still yet to be standardised ESG metrics across the social housing industry, technology has the potential to play a significant part in standardising reporting across the sector. This would make investors’ assessments much more efficient. 

Investors with an “ESG mindset” are more focused on long-term, secure, and sustainable investments in social housing stock, especially with recent global events placing more focus on the “S” part of ESG. Therefore, funds prefer to invest in housing providers – with community at their core – that can maintain their resilience and social value in times of economic stress. 

Investing in Proptech and including physical tools within your housing assets can empower your IT team to work together with your finance, compliance and operational teams in building a resilient cash flow through better property management – both socially (by ensuring that properties meet residents’ needs and have a positive impact on the community) and environmentally (through reducing waste and increasing efficiency).

How you can use Proptech to stay ahead of the curve.

To meet increasingly urgent sustainability goals, technology may be the only way to help create significant changes in relation to ESG – without it, your social housing business faces being seen as out-of-date or “behind the times”. 

Proptech supports building and contractor management in real-time using dashboards to view and manage all elements of your housing assets in one place, making it easier and cheaper to compare your business’ overall ESG picture.

By implementing advanced analytics tools like Plentific, your team can:

  • Identify oft-used contractors and their success rates
  • Analyse spending, cash flow, individual and team performance in one place
  • Get intelligent predictions for upcoming repairs, pipeline costs for works-in-progress and much more

Using technology to collect valuable data such as age, condition, and work history enables your team to improve the quality of your housing stock while reducing the company’s carbon footprint – all by making more informed decisions.