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.
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
Ceres major achievements include the following:
- 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.
Here’s what Ceres, a successful not-for-profit sustainability advocacy business, has had to say about the scarcity of the world’s water resources, drought and fracking,
Climate change is the greatest social, environmental and economic challenge facing our world today. Slowing carbon pollution and global temperature increases requires exponentially more investment in clean energy. In fact according to the International Energy Agency, the world must invest an additional $1 trillion per year. Ceres is calling this the clean trillion and though this may sound daunting there is good news as well. Companies, investors and policy makers are making progress towards this goal.
However, water scarcity is another urgent problem. In many parts of the world including the United States, freshwater resources are in jeopardy- creating profound long term risks for businesses and communities. The little known truth is that whilst freshwater is a finite and precious resource, our economic systems treat it as limitless and of little value. At Ceres we’re trying to shift such thinking so that smart water management is a business fundamental and water stewardship an economic imperative.