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May 23, 2024

Accelerating the Transition: Reflections of a Shareholder Activist

Hear from Catherine Howarth OBE, CEO of ShareAction, as we dive into the world of shareholder activism and how it can be used to guide institutional investors towards sustainable behaviours.

Moving away from fossil fuels is unambiguously the most crucial step in the transition to a sustainable net-zero world. And yet, governments and institutional investors worldwide continue to heavily subsidise and invest in the fossil fuel industry. The longer we delay the transition, the greater the risks that we face. So, how can we break this cycle?

Today’s guest has been focused on this and other sustainability issues throughout her career. That’s why in this episode, we’ll be exploring her world of shareholder activism, discussing:

  • The toolkit for influencing institutional investors, including naming and shaming the worst performers;

  • The different challenges when engaging with banks, insurers, and asset managers;

  • And how shareholder activism can go beyond climate to create a more sustainable future for us all.

To find out more about the Sustainability and Climate Risk (SCR®) Certificate, follow this link:

For more information on climate risk, visit GARP’s Global Sustainability and Climate Risk Resource Center:

If you have any questions, thoughts, or feedback regarding this podcast series, we would love to hear from you at:

Links from today’s discussion:

Speaker’s Bio(s)

Catherine Howarth OBE, CEO of ShareAction

Catherine has been Chief Executive of ShareAction since July 2008. ShareAction is the leading civil society organisation in Europe promoting responsible investment, transparency and good governance by institutional investors. Catherine is a board member of the Scott Trust, owner of the Guardian Media Group, and a member of HM Treasury’s task force on asset management.

She was a Member Nominated Trustee of The Pensions Trust (the multi-employer pension scheme for the UK’s not-for-profit sector) for five years, where she served on the Investment Committee of this £7bn fund. In 2011, Catherine was named a ‘Rising Star of Corporate Governance’ by Yale University’s Millstein Center, and in 2014 she was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2014.

Catherine holds a First Class BA in Modern History from Oxford University and an MSc in Industrial Relations from the London School of Economics.


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