MAY 13, 2015 // SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Geeta Aiyer, sustainable investing entrepreneur and Founder and President of Boston Common Asset Management, has been awarded the seventh-annual Joan Bavaria Award for Building Sustainability into the Capital Markets. The announcement was made at the Ceres Conference, which is running today and tomorrow in San Francisco.
Nearly three decades ago, at the start of Aiyer’s career, few investment firms were thinking about sustainability and social responsibility in their investment practices. But, as a founder of Walden Capital Management and Boston Common Asset Management, which now has $2.2 billion assets under management, Aiyer has established a proven track record of strong returns while focusing on shareholder engagement on social and environmental issues. Her effective leadership has helped incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns globally into investment strategies and shift the landscape of sustainable investing. Epitomizing her broad reach, Aiyer was elected recently to the Advisory Council for the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment.
“Like Joan Bavaria, for whom this award is named, Geeta Aiyer is a pioneer in the Sustainable and Responsible Investing industry”, said Matthew W. Patsky, CEO of Trillium Asset Management. “Throughout her career, she has shown that investors can integrate their values into their portfolios without sacrificing financial performance. I appreciate the visionary leadership that Geeta continues to demonstrate.”
“Geeta is a pioneer in Sustainable and Responsible Investing and has given her career as an investor and entrepreneur to advance the cause,” said Steven Heim, Director of ESG Research and Shareowner Engagement at Boston Common Asset Management. “She was a catalyst in the creation of two significant sustainable investment management firms and introduced dedicated international and global sustainable equity investment strategies to a U.S. centric marketplace.”
Sustainable and Responsible Investment firms (SRIs) play an important role in the transition to a sustainable economy. Aiyer’s approach to impact investing has evolved, and she has led the movement combining ESG integration and financial returns with long-term dialogue and shareowner advocacy on the global scale. An activist in her personal life, she has also founded an NGO, Direct Action for Women Now (DAWN) Worldwide.
“Geeta Aiyer has been a monumental force in building the SRI movement, which has been expanding in leaps and bounds,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres and director of the $13 trillion Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR). “She has challenged traditional thinking and promoted a new way to approach investing.”
“I feel honored to be selected as one who follows in the footsteps of Joan Bavaria and the award’s inspiring past recipients,” Aiyer said. “I have been fortunate to work with many outstanding people along the way who have all played integral roles in developing this movement. Boston Common and other leaders have adopted the model of deep integration and tenacious engagement to make long-term thinking become common practice. There is still much work to be done, and I will try to the best of my ability to move things forward with Joan Bavaria’s imagination and spirit.”
The Bavaria Award is presented by Ceres and Trillium Asset Management each year to honor an inspiring leader working to move capital markets toward a system that balances economic prosperity with social and environmental concerns. The award honors the memory of Joan Bavaria, a pioneer of social investing who founded Ceres and Trillium Asset Management. Past recipients include Sister Patricia Daly, OP, Executive Director of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, Tessa Tennant, President and co-founder of The Ice Organisation, and William Foote, founder and CEO of Root Capital.
Contact: Peyton Fleming, 617-733-6660, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Trillium Asset Management: Founded in 1982, Trillium is the oldest independent investment advisor focused exclusively on sustainable and responsible investing. Trillium manages over $2.2 billion in assets for clients including individuals, foundations, endowments, religious institutions, and other non-profits. To learn more, please visit www.trilliuminvest.com or follow us on Twitter @TrilliumAM.
Ceres is a nonprofit organization mobilizing business and investor leadership on climate change, water scarcity and other sustainability challenges. Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $13 trillion. Ceres also directs Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), an advocacy coalition of dozens of companies committed to working with policymakers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation. For more information, visit www.ceres.org or follow on Twitter @CeresNews.