Team profile: Katie Gordon, Non-Executive Director

  • Posted: 12 May 2016

What's it like to be a member of the Thrive Renewables board? In this article we ask Katie Gordon, Non-Executive Director.

How long have you been with Thrive Renewables, and what is your role on the board?

I’ve been a Non-Executive Director for three years now. My responsibility, along with the other non-executive directors, is to work closely with the executive team providing objective advice and opinion when required. With a background in Socially Responsible Investment (SRI), together with strategic marketing advice, I bring my experience of marketing and communicating environmental and social impact to the Board, and view Thrive’s development and growth through this lens.

What is your day job, and how do you implement skills from this in your role with Thrive? And what's your professional background?

I am currently Director of Responsible Investment and Stewardship at CCLA, the largest UK fund manager for SRI. I analyse companies’ environmental and social performance and integrate that into investment analysis – at the moment, for example, I am leading on public health issues.

There are many aspects of my background that I bring to the table at Thrive, including my six years in strategic marketing which is necessary for a company as big as Thrive. With a huge base of shareholders, our marketing is more significant than for other renewable energy investments.

Sixteen years ago I persuaded Cazenove Capital to develop an SRI offering and embedded it across the entire investment process. This experience allows me to pick up on what parts of the business are most relevant to ethical and socially responsible investors, and how to utilise that.

I’ve also got board experience as a trustee of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and seven years as a board member of UK Sustainable Investment and Finance (UKSIF) – initiating the launch of member services to support the smaller ethical investment houses – so I’ve got lots to draw on in order to help Thrive grow and develop.

What’s your favourite aspect of your role, and why?

I greatly enjoy supporting the team and the excellent work they do. In particular, always putting the shareholders first – which is absolutely key to Thrive, and working on improving interaction with our shareholders. As a Non-Executive Director we can often offer new perspectives to the Executive team, so I like to be able to help in that way too.

Why did you choose to join the Thrive board?

I had been aware of Triodos Renewables (as Thrive Renewables was) since 2001 – and greatly admired its ambition and the drive of the team behind it. I was particularly drawn to its breadth of appeal and inclusiveness, encouraging anyone to take a stake in renewable energy generation in the UK.  Triodos has established a brand with a great reputation for ethics and Thrive continues to embody them now. It's both an exciting and fulfilling time to be a board member of Thrive today.

What do you think makes Thrive unique?

The shareholder base. We have almost 6,000 individual shareholders who are passionate about taking a stake in the generation of renewable energy – which makes us unlike anyone else. They are very engaged which means they’re a committed and supportive group of shareholders. They are also concerned about the sustainability of the planet and the need to support the energy business in moving to a more sustainable situation, which is a powerful and important foundation of Thrive Renewables. 

"I greatly enjoy.. working on improving interaction with our shareholders."
"(Our shareholders) are concerned about the sustainability of the planet."
"With a huge base of shareholders, our marketing is more significant than for other renewable energy investments."