Tessa Tennant wins Joan Bavaria Award for Building Sustainability into the Capital Markets

Award presentation kicks off Ceres conference in Boston.

Tessa Tennant, the sustainable finance innovator and current board member at the Carbon Disclosure Project, which she co-founded, and at the Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA), which she helped set up, has won the 2012 highly-respected Joan Bavaria Award for Building Sustainability into the Capital Markets. The award, launched in 2008, was created as a tribute to Joan Bavaria, founder of Ceres, the US investor/corporate coalition on environmental issues, and former founding president and chief executive of Trillium Asset Management, who passed away that year. It honours investor and NGO leaders who are working to transform the capital markets to balance economic prosperity with social and environmental concerns. Tennant accepted the fourth annual award by video at last night’s (April 24) opening of the Ceres 2012 conference in Boston. She said she was “deeply honoured” by the recognition and paid tribute to Joan Bavaria, noting that she had been an “inspiration” when Tennant had worked with her as an intern in the late 1980s. Tennant enjoyed a successful career in SRI investment before launching a series of sustainable finance initiatives. She co-founded the UK’s first equity investment fund for sustainable development in 1988, now called the Jupiter Ecology Fund.She subsequently led one of the most successful UK SRI teams at Henderson Global Investors, building a strong book of institutional business.
She was also co-founder of the UK Social Investment Forum and in the early nineties helped to develop HRH The Prince of Wales’s Business in the Environment initiative. In addition, she is Chair of the Global Cool Foundation, an initiative that specialises in communicating sustainability to the mainstream, particularly young people, through music, fashion and the arts.
Tennant is also President and co-founder of The Ice Organisation, an environmental rewards programme encouraging shoppers to be more sustainable in their purchases. Matt Patsky, Chief Executive Officer at Trillium, which co-sponsors the award with Ceres, said: “Tessa has been instrumental in elevating sustainability as a business and investor issue across the globe. She has created multiple funds and organizations that are driving sustainable investment behaviour and having a real impact on business, the environment and the global economy.”
Hugh Wheelan, Managing Editor of Responsible-Investor.com was one of the judges for the 2012 Joan Bavaria award. Video link