Bob Massie wins two Joan Bavaria Awards

by John Elkington 17 April 2009

Bob Massie, as CSRwire puts it, has helped build “one of the most effective systems ever for monitoring and improving corporate performance on environmental and social impacts”. Now he has been honored by Ceres [one of our Phoenix 50] and Trillium Asset Management as this year’s winner of two Joan Bavaria Awards for Building Sustainability into the Capital Markets. The awards were announced at the opening reception of the Ceres annual conference.

Bob, a long-standing friend, has been one of the most effective champions of sustainability worldwide, even when slowed by severe health problems. “Bob Massie’s legacy in weaving social and environmental considerations into our global economic accounting system is far-reaching,” said Ceres President Mindy S. Lubber at the awards reception. “Whether by launching the Global Reporting Initiative [one of our Trailblazers] or introducing global investors to the concept of climate change risks, Bob has always been a step ahead in understanding the linkages between capital markets and the long-term sustainability of our planet – and the steps needed to strengthen those linkages.”

Massie received two awards, the Bavaria Award for Innovation and the Bavaria Award for Long-Term Impact. The awards honor the late Joan Bavaria, a pioneer of social investing who founded both Ceres and Trillium Asset Management. Bavaria passed away last November.

The Bavaria Awards honor two types of leaders – a proven innovator and a long-term results-getter – in the effort to move capital markets from a focus on short-term profits toward a system that balances financial prosperity with social and environmental health.

A few highlights from Massie’s speeches and writing over the years:

“We are taught – falsely – that we must accept injustice because of the physical limits of the earth. We accept – wrongly – that what is defines what will be. We think that we are confined by our material conditions, but I believe that we are mostly hemmed in by our lack of dreams.”

“What transformations will be possible in the future? We will only find out if we dream the biggest possible dreams … If there is one motto that I would like you to write down and pin by your bedsides so that you see it every morning when you wake up, it is this: Reality follows ideas.”

“Every day we make choices that (either) support or suppress the moral immune systems of our society. Do we seek security, or do we seek justice? Do we blame, or do we forgive? Do we fear, or do we love? It will be up to you – and people like you – whether tomorrow’s inventions will be stolen by the cruel and the powerful – or employed to achieve prosperity and democracy for all.”

The Bavaria Impact Award honors an individual or organization whose work has created lasting change in moving capital markets from a short-term focus on profits toward a system that balances financial prosperity with social and environmental health.

The Innovation Award goes to a person or organization whose recent work has great potential in catalyzing markets to change their focus.

About Ceres:
Founded in 1989, Ceres is a leading coalition of investors, environmental groups and other nonprofit organizations working with companies to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change. For more information, visit

About Trillium:
Trillium Asset Management, founded by Joan Bavaria in 1982, is the oldest and largest independent investment management firm devoted exclusively to socially responsible investing. Her pioneering work there laid the groundwork for the tremendous growth and interest in the socially responsible investing industry today. For more information, visit

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