Tessa Tennant, Sustainable Investing Pioneer on Several Continents, Wins Annual Joan Bavaria Award
Tessa Tennant, President and co-founder of The Ice Organisation, has been awarded the fourth-annual Joan Bavaria Award for Building Sustainability into the Capital Markets. The announcement was made at Tuesday’s opening reception of the Ceres annual conference, which runs April 25-26 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston, MA.
“I can’t think of anyone more deserving to win this year’s Bavaria Award,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres. “Tessa is an inspirational leader who has worked tirelessly for more than 20 years integrating environmental and social concerns into investing and business decisions. She has taken Joan Bavaria’s original vision of advancing socially responsible investing and expanded it to the markets in Europe, and now Asia, creating real impact beyond the U.S.”
Tennant co-founded The Ice Organisation, which encourages consumers to purchase more sustainable products and services from a wide range of retail partners, mobilizing mass consumer purchase power to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. She also co-founded the UK’s first equity investment fund for sustainable development in 1988, now called the Jupiter Ecology Fund.
She was Chair and co-founder of the UK Social Investment Forum, which promotes responsible investment and other forms of finance that support sustainable economic development. She also co-founded the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which has enabled hundreds of companies and investors to better understand, report on and mitigate risk from carbon pollution and climate change.
In 2001 she co-founded the Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA) and remains on the Board. Based in Hong Kong, ASrIA is a leading nonprofit organization promoting sustainable investment practices in Asia, including fostering SRI products and services and providing training, research and other resources.
The Bavaria Award is presented by Ceres annually to an inspiring leader working to move capital markets toward a system that balances economic prosperity with social and environmental concerns. The award’s name honors Joan Bavaria, a pioneer of social investing who founded Ceres and Trillium Asset Management. Bavaria passed away in 2008.
“Tessa has been instrumental in elevating sustainability as a business and investor issue across the globe,” said Trillium CEO Matt Patsky. “She has created multiple funds and organizations that are driving sustainable investment behavior and having a real impact on business, the environment and the global economy.”
In the early nineties, Tennant served as a member of the UK Government’s Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment, and helped develop HRH The Prince of Wales’s Business in the Environment initiative, which educates senior business executives on practical ways to integrate social and environmental solutions into their business operations. She is also Chair of the Global Cool Foundation. She has served as a World Wildlife Fund UK Ambassador and is a Fellow of the Schumacher Society.
“I’m deeply honored.” Tennant said in her acceptance speech. “This award is as much for the people in Hong Kong at the Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia, and for the people in London at the Carbon Disclosure Project and other initiatives I’ve been involved with, as it is for me. Joan Bavaria has been a complete heroine of mine all my working life. She gave me that confidence to just go out and do it.” (View her entire acceptance speech here.)
Ceres is an advocate for sustainability leadership. Ceres mobilizes a powerful coalition of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $10 trillion. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and www.incr.com.
About Trillium Asset Management
With a history spanning three decades, Trillium is the oldest independent investment advisor focused exclusively on sustainable and responsible investing. Trillium manages over $1 billion in assets for clients including high net worth individuals, foundations, endowments, religious institutions, and other non-profits. To learn more about Trillium, please visit www.trilliuminvest.com.