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FTSE 100 companies’ membership of trade associations that have lobbied against progressive climate policies puts their investors at risk, says ShareAction in an investor briefing released today. 


The briefing analyses the risks of membership of obstructive EU trade associations to companies and their investors, and sets out key recommendations to enable investors to more accurately assess the risks and take action.


Responsible Investment charity ShareAction has given a cautious welcome to reports that oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has responded to pressure from investors and will not renew its membership of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).


ALEC is a US-based lobbying group that has promoted sceptical positions on the links between human activity and climate change, and ShareAction is now asking whether Shell will withdraw from other trade groups that lobby against effective climate legislation.   


Policymakers should stop using heavy-handed regulation to promote behavioural change in the pensions sector and focus instead on encouraging fit-for-purpose business models and governance structures, says influential research body ShareAction.


In its budget, the UK Government has just announced an open consultation on the UK pensions system, acknowledging that consumers’ expectations around savings products have shifted in light of a range of factors, many of which are highlighted in ShareAction’s report. 


National Express is bringing in a wheelchair priority policy on its buses after a disability rights campaigner raised a question on the issues at its Annual General Meeting in May.

Until now, National Express had had a “first come, first served” policy of wheelchair boarding on its buses, where passengers with pushchairs were entitled to occupy the wheelchair bays on their buses, even if they were needed by a wheelchair user looking to board.  


The Chairman of Marks & Spencer, Robert Swannell, and the company’s board, have praised a creative campaign coordinated by the Craftivist Collective and ShareAction’s AGM Army this summer, to press the company to pay the Living Wage. They have also agreed to meet with the campaigners to discuss paying the Living Wage. 

The campaigners coordinated a series of “stitch-ins” at branches of Marks & Spencer across the UK, for craftivists to sew messages onto Marks & Spencer handkerchiefs, which were delivered to the board, celebrity endorsers, and major shareholders of the British retail giant in advance of its annual general meeting at Wembley Stadium today.


ShareAction and Global Witness are calling on MEPs to vote in favour of amendments to the Shareholder Rights Directive on 8th July, which could improve the transparency of businesses to their investors, and help prevent tax avoidance and environmental and human rights abuses.

Camilla de Ste Croix, Senior Policy Officer at ShareAction, said: “By supporting these amendments, Parliamentarians will send a clear signal to citizens and companies alike that Europe is taking steps to curb corporate abuse and intends to strengthen the rights of shareholders to hold the companies they invest in to account.”