Social Capitalists: Ceres

43 entrepreneurs who are changing the world
2007 Social Capitalist Winner

Ceres

Boston, MA
Year founded: 1989
President: Mindy Lubber
www.ceres.org

Ceres (pronounced “series”) is a leading North American network of investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations working with companies to address sustainability challenges, such as global climate change. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a $3.7 trillion network of investors that is focused on the financial risks and investment opportunities that climate change presents.

Since its founding 17 years ago, Ceres has pursued a vision of a world where business and capital markets promote the well being of society and the protection of the Earth’s biological systems and resources. Ceres advances this vision by bringing investors, environmental groups and other stakeholders together to encourage companies and capital markets to incorporate environmental and social challenges into their day-to-day decision-making. By leveraging the collective power of investors and other key stakeholders, Ceres has achieved dramatic results:

*Creating the Ceres Principles, the first independent corporate code of environmental conduct. Companies worldwide have made this code the model for public commitments to environmental stewardship.

*Launching the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), now an international standard used by over 1,000 companies worldwide for corporate reporting on environmental, social, and economic performance.

*Bringing together 500 investor, Wall Street, and corporate leaders at the United Nations in 2005 to address the growing financial risks and opportunities posed by climate change. This ground-breaking meeting produced an ambitious, multi-year plan that has already resulted in $1 billion of investments into clean technologies.

*Spearheading dozens of breakthrough achievements with companies. In 2005, Nike became the first global apparel company to disclose the names and locations of its 700-plus contract factories, a key step to improving workplace conditions. In May 2006, AIG became the first U.S. insurance company to tackle the financial challenges from global warming. Dell Computer agreed in June 2006 to support national legislation requiring electronic product recycling and “takeback” programs. Insurance giant Marsh collaborated with us and with Yale University to educate 200 U.S. corporate directors on climate change issues.

*Publishing cutting-edge research reports to help investors better understand the implications of global warming, including an August 2006 report “From Risk to Opportunity: How Insurers Can Proactively and Profitably Manage Climate Change,” and a March 2006 report “Corporate Governance and Climate Change: Making the Connection,” which analyzed how 100 of the world’s largest companies are addressing the business challenges from climate change.

For more information about Ceres, call 617-247-0700.

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