Investigating the role of ESG bonds and loans in financing housing renovation among social housing providers: A comparative approach to six European countries

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The energy transition across Europe’s built environment will probably be one of the main financial challenges of the coming decades. Renovating the social housing stock to attain the built fabric standards introduced in the European Directive on Energy Performance of Building (EPBD) will require the mobilisation of both public and private funding as envisioned by the European Commission in the Renovation Wave. In this landscape of increased investment needs, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards have risen to a prominent position as the main indicators of sustainable investment. While ESG-earmarked funds have grown significantly in the last years, there is widespread concern about the real impact of ESGfunded projects and whether these are in fact bringing additional investment into key transitional activities such as the renovation of the social housing stock. This project poses two questions, first, How does ESG funding interlock with the renovation strategies of social housing providers? And second, How do institutional factors affect the uptake of ESG funding? To answer these questions, this project draws from semi-structured interviews with finance officers from housing providers across six European countries with large social housing stocks: Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Sweden, and the UK. The main objective of this paper is to critically assess the contributions of ESG funding to the energy transition and contextualise it within traditional forms of private and public financing of social housing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRE-DWELL Conference. "Housing co-creation for tomorrow's cities"
Subtitle of host publicationConference Proceedings
EditorsAdriana Diaconu
Place of PublicationGrenoble
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventRE-DWELL Early Starter Researchers (ESRs) - Grenoble, France
Duration: 6 Dec 20226 Dec 2022


OtherRE-DWELL Early Starter Researchers (ESRs)


  • ESG
  • social housing
  • energy transition
  • green finance
  • sustainability


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