Ceres (organization)

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Ceres
Ceres organization logo.jpg
Founded 1989
Founder Joan Bavaria
Focus Sustainability
Location
Area served United States
Method Advocacy
Employees Approx. 65[1]
Slogan "Mobilizing investor and business leadership to build a thriving, sustainable global economy."
Website ceres.org

Ceres is a non-profit sustainability advocacy organization based in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in 1989, Ceres' mission is to "mobilize investor and business leadership to build a thriving, sustainable global economy". Ceres brings together disparate stakeholders - investors, companies and public interest groups - to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy.[2]

In 2007, Ceres was named one of the 100 most influential players in corporate governance by Directorship magazine.[3] Ceres was a recipient of the Skoll Foundation Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2006,[4] as well as a recipient of the Fast Company Social Capitalist Awards in 2008.[5] As of January 2014, its president is Mindy S. Lubber.

History[edit]

Ceres was founded in 1989 when Joan Bavaria, then-president of Trillium Asset Management, formed an alliance with leading environmentalists with the goal of changing corporate environmental practices. She named the organization the "Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies", or CERES, after the Roman goddess of fertility and agriculture.

That same year, following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, CERES announced the creation of the Valdez Principles (later renamed the CERES Principles[6]), a 10-point code of corporate environmental conduct to be publicly endorsed by Ceres companies.

In 1993, following lengthy negotiations, Sunoco became the first Fortune 500 company to endorse the Ceres Principles. Since then, over 50 companies have endorsed the Ceres Principles, including 13 Fortune 500 companies that have adopted their own equivalent environmental principles.[7]

In 2003, the organization dropped the CERES acronym and rebranded itself as "Ceres".

Ceres principles[edit]

First published in the fall of 1989, the Ceres Principles are a 10-point code of corporate environmental ideals to be publicly endorsed by companies as an environmental mission statement or ethic.[6] The 10 Ceres Principles are:

  • Protection of the biosphere
  • Sustainable use of natural resources
  • Reduction and disposal of wastes
  • Energy conservation
  • Risk reduction
  • Safe products and services
  • Environmental restoration
  • Informing the public
  • Management commitment
  • Audits and reports

Key accomplishments[edit]

  • Launched the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), now the de facto international standard used by over 1,200 companies for corporate reporting on environmental, social and economic performance.[8]
  • Founded and directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a group of 100 leading institutional investors with collective assets of more than US$10 trillion. Its members include Deutsche Asset Management, State Street Global Advisors, and TIAA-CREF, as well as the pension funds of California, Florida, and New York.[9]
  • Coordinates the bi-annual United Nations Investor Summit on Climate Risk, which brings together hundreds of investor, financial and corporate leaders to address financial risks and opportunities posed by climate change. In 2008, nearly 50 leading U.S. and European institutional investors managing over US$1.75 trillion in assets released a 9-point climate change action plan that will increase investments in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies and require tougher scrutiny of carbon-intensive investments that may pose long-term financial risks.[10]
  • Publishes a series of reports each year geared toward helping investors, companies and others understand the economic, environmental and social implications of climate change, water scarcity and other sustainability issues.

Programs[edit]

Ceres Coalition: A coalition of investors, environmental organizations, and public interest groups with the shared goal of increasing corporate responsibility. It is the largest coalition of its kind in North America. It focuses on areas such as accountability, disclosure, and improvement of environmental and social performance.

Ceres Companies: Companies that work with Ceres to improve their environmental and social performance and integrate environmental and social factors into their business strategies.

Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR): Is a network of investors and financial institutions coordinated by Ceres that promotes better understanding of the financial risks and investment opportunities posed by climate change.

Industry: Ceres works with oil companies, insurance companies, and companies in the electric power sector to address climate change, protect biodiversity, and assess environmental risks.

Business For Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP): BICEP is a co-operative group of consumer facing businesses coordinated by Ceres whose primary goal is to call on the U.S. government to pass progressive energy and climate legislation. BICEP currently has 20 members.

Ceres reports[edit]

  • Climate Risk Disclosure in SEC Filings: An Analysis of 10K Reporting by Oil and Gas, Insurance, Coal, Transportation and Electric Power Companies: June 2009 [1]
  • Water Scarcity & Climate Change: Growing Risks for Business & Investors: February 2009 [2]
  • Managing the Risks and Opportunities of Climate Change: A Practical Toolkit for Investors: April 2008 [3]
  • Corporate Governance and Climate Change: The Banking Sector: January 2008 [4]
  • Risk to Opportunity: Insurer Responses to Climate Change: November 2007 [5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Philipp Pattberg, 2005, The Institutionalization of Private Governance : How Business and Nonprofit Organizations Agree on Transnational Rules, Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions, Vol. 18, No. 4, October 2005, 589–610)

External links[edit]