Mark Whitehead 04 September 2019

Council pension fund calls on housebuilders to improve transparency

Council pension fund calls on housebuilders to improve transparency image

One of the biggest local government pension funds has called on housebuilding companies to improve the way they report environmental, social and governance issues.

Northern LGPS, which manages £46bn of assets, found that few of the ten biggest housebuilders it invests in set 'science-based targets' for measuring emissions from domestic buildings.

The report said few companies disclose executive pay as a multiple of average employee pay or the industry average, and little or no information is given about the use of sub-contractors.

It also said little information was provided on warranties or the level of claims to enable investors to evaluate potential financial and reputational risks.

Chair of the NLGPS, cllr Gerald Cooney, said: 'We face a severe housing crisis and a climate emergency, both of which housebuilders can do much to address.

'It’s therefore disappointing to find that just as the sector comes under unprecedented levels of scrutiny, many of the leading housebuilders we invest in are still falling short in their ESG reporting.

'Housebuilders must try harder to fill in those information gaps that this report has identified if they want to become more accountable and transparent.'

The Brownfield Land Release Fund image

The Brownfield Land Release Fund

To what extent does this early initiative of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities deliver on the ‘levelling up’ agenda? Lawrence Turner reports.
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