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May 01, 2014
Sister Patricia Daly Honored for Shareowner Advocacy
    by Robert Kropp

The Executive Director of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment and longtime member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility receives the Joan Bavaria award from Ceres for advocacy on behalf of environmental justice.

Longtime shareowner advocate Sister Patricia Daly is the 2014 recipient of the Joan Bavaria Award, Ceres announced at its annual conference this week.

The award is given in honor of the late Joan Bavaria, co-founder of Ceres and US SIF – The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. Bavaria also founded Trillium Asset Management, a pioneering sustainable investment firm.

As executive director of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment and member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), Sr. Daly has been a leading voice for environmental justice and corporate responsibility for 35 years. She began her shareowner advocacy during the divestment campaign targeting apartheid in South Africa.

In 2000, soon after the merger of oil and gas giants that formed ExxonMobil, Sr. Daly led a shareowner campaign to have resolutions addressing climate change placed on the company's ballot.

"Our faith demands that we act as stewards of creation, and global warming threatens to destroy it," she stated at the time. "ExxonMobil's position of denial and misinformation on global warming puts all of creation at risk, and we simply cannot stand by and let them do that."

An indication of Sr. Daly's determination can be gleaned by the fact that nine years later, she was lead filer of a resolution addressing ExxonMobil's position on climate change reporting. “ExxonMobil has not adequately assessed or disclosed the financial effects of climate regulation or industry-changing technologies,” the 2009 resolution stated.

Sr. Daly was also instrumental in pressuring GE to clean up 1.3 million pounds of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) from New York's Hudson River, and helped convince Ford to become the first US automaker to report on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. "Long term investors need to know that there is a plan in place for our company to be profitable in a carbon constrained economy," she said in 2008.

Following the announcement of the award, William Ford, Executive Chairman of the automaker, said, “Sr. Pat was an important catalyst in Ford’s own sustainability journey. She is a visionary leader identifying issues of social and environmental concern.”

“The legacy of women religious in shareholder advocacy and corporate responsibility is long and remarkable, and while it may surprise some to hear of nuns and CEOs working together to solve some of the world’s biggest problems, in practice it is an incredibly healing and effective form of ministry,”said Susan Makos of Mercy Investment Services. “Sr. Pat has been at the vanguard of this important movement, pressing for justice with determination and grace in equal measure. Her many achievements (and even fans) in the corporate world are testament to her success; we are proud to see her honored with this prestigious award.”

ICCR's Executive Director Laura Berry said of Sr. Daly, “She has generously shared her knowledge and networks. She has mentored dozens of investors and corporate managers. And she has willingly shared best practices developed in over three decades of her work to protect our planet. Through her unflagging efforts and her stewardship of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment she has been an influential environmental leader and an inspiration for her fellow ICCR members: someone who builds bridges across difference with compassion and commitment.”

Past recipients of the Bavaria Award include Phil Angelides, President of Riverview Capital Investments, Tessa Tennant, President and co-founder of The Ice Organisation, and William Foote, founder and CEO of Root Capital.


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