Social Sustainability3

Finding the best methods for promoting social sustainability

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Social sustainability is an important issue for the entire real estate sector and there is a growing focus on the role of property owners and financiers in promoting it. Niam Credit has commissioned a report to get a deeper understanding of the issues and help find the best methods to make a real difference.

As two important pillars of society, companies and financial institutions are in a strong position to have a positive impact on society. This is certainly the case in the real estate sector, given that properties play such a central role in their surrounding communities and can contribute to advancing the economic and social well-being of people.

“Segregation, poor security and inequality are important challenges facing society today, and we would like to have a positive impact on these issues. Beyond the value for people there is a connection between social sustainability and property values. That is why investments contributing to social trust, well-being and security not only add value to society at large but, in the long run, also to property owners,” comments Ulrika Lööf, Head of Sustainability at Niam Credit.

Segregation, poor security and inequality are important challenges facing society today, and we would like to have a positive impact on these issues.
Ulrika Lööf, Head of Sustainability at Niam Credit

The challenge is that promoting social sustainability can be complex. Establishing the root causes of social problems and doing something about them is not as straight-forward as, say, making a building more energy efficient. In a social context, it can also be challenging to establish the real impact of efforts and causality between various initiatives and actual outcomes.

“As a real estate credit fund, Niam Credit is committed to drive positive impact through our lending activities, but we also recognise that our role goes beyond simply providing capital. We want to find out how we can best support and enable social sustainability projects within the sector,” continues Ulrika Lööf.

Social Sustainability

To improve the understanding of the area and identify solid, proven methods for promoting social sustainability, Niam Credit turned to experts and commissioned a report on the subject written by economist Ingvar Nilsson and behavioural scientist Eva Nilsson Lundmark. They have over 40 years of experience of working within investments in social sustainability and have been involved in several successful initiatives to this end in Sweden.

We will use the report’s findings in our own methodology when evaluating potential financing opportunities with social targets
Ulrika Lööf, Head of Sustainability at Niam Credit

“We also hope to provide insights and guidance for real estate lenders and investors on how they can approach the work with social sustainability,” says Ulrika Lööf

The report, which was also the subject of a seminar organised by Niam in May 2023, points out how real estate owners can take a wider role in collaboration with other actors and how financiers can approach social investments.

“An important point, however, is that there are no quick-fixes, and the appropriate actions differ between individual cases. A deeper understanding of the challenges and the right scope of action are very important factors for positive long-term impact,” concludes Ulrika Lööf.