Catalyst has become the first company in Europe to receive the highest accreditation mark across all three categories in the ‘Certified Sustainable Housing Label’ from German consultancy RITTERWALD.

The label helps ratify and benchmark Catalyst’s sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) credentials and is open for all affordable housing companies across Europe. The housing association has been given ‘Frontrunner’ status for its work in each of the Environmental, Social and Governance dimensions.

This follows an intense examination process, which was conducted in record time, showing Catalyst’s firm foundations in ESG. The results were then independently verified by imug rating, one of the leading sustainability rating agencies in Germany and a specialist in ESG research.

The ‘Certified Sustainable Housing Label’ scrutinises how sustainability is considered across the entire operations of an organisation, looking at over 40 different ESG criteria compliant with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

The initiative will allow Catalyst to better demonstrate and report its sustainability performance, as well as attract a wider range of likeminded, ethical investors looking for opportunities.

Ian McDermott, Chief Executive of Catalyst, said: “I am immensely proud that we’ve received this accolade. Catalyst is absolutely committed to sustainability, we see it as something that runs through every part of our organisation, from the energy efficiency of our new homes and the investment we make in retrofitting and upgrading our existing homes to our commitment to providing jobs and training opportunities for our customers”.

“This is becoming more and more important to the housing sector, particularly as we see a growing appetite from investors to look at affordable housing organisations like Catalyst.  The RITTERWALD accreditation process was demanding and rewarding, providing an excellent way of looking at our sustainability ambitions in a fresh light”

Dr Mathias Hain, Managing Director of RITTERWALD, said: “There are differences between the participants – that’s why we have created several status in each of the ESG dimensions to show investors that there can be differences between certified housing associations. Catalyst are unique as they have reached the highest status in all three dimensions.”

The news comes soon after Catalyst committed to becoming an early adopter of the ESG Social Housing Working Groups new “Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing” and its first sustainability-linked loan in March 2020.