After 15 years with Westpac, Emma Herd will leave her role as executive director, emissions and environment to become the new chief executive of the Investor Group on Climate Change.
Ms Herd played a number of roles in Westpac, beginning in corporate responsibility and sustainability back in 2001, moving onto director of emissions and environment for Westpac Institutional Bank in 2007 before heading to the current role of Westpac executive director, emissions and environment.
The company has become known as the most sustainable of Australia’s “big four” banks, and in 2014 was named the world’s most sustainable company by the World Economic Forum (though went down to 41 in 2015).
The IGCC represents members with over $1 trillion in funds under management, and works to increase investor understanding of the emerging risks and opportunities surrounding climate change.
“Emma brings extensive experience to the role in translating policy into practice, having been at the forefront of climate change in the financial services sector for over 15 years,” IGCC chair Frank Pegan said.
Ms Herd said 2015 was a “milestone year” for investors and climate change, with a rapid acceleration in investor engagement around the issue.
“As the peak body in Australia and New Zealand for investors focused on managing carbon exposure, I am excited about taking on the leadership of the Investor Group at this time,” she said.
““There is no doubt that climate change is a key risk for investors which needs to be managed responsibly. At the same time, there are substantial returns to be made for investors successfully capitalising on a changing policy landscape. I look forward to working with IGCC members and investors in advocating the benefits of a strong climate change response.”
Ms Herd will formally commence the role effective 10 August 2015.