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.
In 2007, Ceres was named one of the 100 most influential players in corporate governance by Directorship magazine. Ceres was a recipient of the Skoll Foundation Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2006, as well as a recipient of the Fast Company Social Capitalist Awards in 2008. As of May 2017, its president is Mindy Lubber.
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. Ceres was the ancient 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), 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.
In 2003, the organization dropped the CERES acronym and rebranded itself as "Ceres"
On January 27, 2016 Ceres and the United Nations Foundation convened the seventh Investor Summit on Climate Risk at the United Nations in New York, attended by more than 110 institutional investors who collectively represented more than $22 trillion in assets, with a goal of doubling global investment in clean energy by 2020.
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. 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- Climate Risk Disclosure in SEC Filings: An Analysis of 10K Reporting by Oil and Gas, Insurance, Coal, Transportation and Electric Power Companies: June 2009 
- Water Scarcity & Climate Change: Growing Risks for Business & Investors: February 2009 
- Managing the Risks and Opportunities of Climate Change: A Practical Toolkit for Investors: April 2008 [permanent dead link]
- Corporate Governance and Climate Change: The Banking Sector: January 2008 [permanent dead link]
- Risk to Opportunity: Insurer Responses to Climate Change: November 2007 [permanent dead link]
- Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR)
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Sustainable business
- Global Reporting Initiative
- Climate Risk
- Sustainability Reporting
- Business For Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP)
- Organic certification
- "Investing in sustainability". Khaleej Times. 8 January 2013.
- "Directorship Honors the 100 Most Influential Players in Corporate Governance". Directorship Magazine. December 11, 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
- "Skoll Foundation Awards $16 Million to Nonprofits Around the World in Support of Social Entrepreneurship". Skoll Foundation. March 14, 2006. Archived from the original on May 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
- "The 2008 Social Capitalist Awards: Ceres". Fast Company. Archived from the original on 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
- "Ceres Principles". Archived from the original on 2012-07-22.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-05-30. Retrieved 2009-06-19. Ceres website
- "2003 Ceres Annual Report". Retrieved 2017-05-06. Ceres website
- "Global investors mobilize action in wake of Paris Climate Agreement". January 27, 2016. Retrieved 2017-05-06. United Nations website
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-04. Retrieved 2009-06-17. Ceres website
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-20. Retrieved 2009-06-19. INCR Home Page
- "Trillions turn green: Investment dollars flow to climate change, clean tech". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
- Pattberg, Philipp (October 2005). "The institutionalization of private governance: how business and nonprofit organizations agree on transnational rules". Governance. Wiley. 18 (4): 589–610. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0491.2005.00293.x.