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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment

Mission: Mobilize investor and business leadership to build a thriving, sustainable global economy.

Results: Ceres has achieved dramatic results our 20-plus year history, most recently including: In August 2012, Ceres helped to achieve a truly historic strengthening in fuel economy standards for cars and light-duty trucks sold in the United States. By 2025, vehicle fleets will need to average 54.5 miles per gallon, nearly double the level of today. This milestone rule is a win-win-win for consumers, the economy, and U.S. job creation. Ceres played a pivotal role in mobilizing business and investor support for the rule and in publishing reports demonstrating the job creation benefits of higher fuel economy standards. In September, Ceres mobilized more than 18 companies, including major consumer brands and several Fortune 500 firms, to write a letter to Congress urging the renewal of the Production Tax Credit for renewable energy. Ceres is unique in its ability to convene such a strong force of Fortune 500 companies to weigh in favor of this important measure. The strong message from these companies, many of which are members of Ceres’ BICEP program (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy) demonstrates how a broad cross-section of U.S. companies are already relying on inexpensive and abundant American wind energy to power their businesses. Also this fall, Ceres published a groundbreaking report on the vulnerability of the insurance industry to climate change. Ceres has identified the insurance industry as a key potential driver of change, because of the “double jeopardy” it faces. The industry is reeling from record losses ($32 billion in 2011 alone) due to extreme weather events that are increasingly exacerbated by climate change. And with more than $23 million in assets globally, insurers are also exposed to climate risk in their investment portfolios. With our reports and other pressure, Ceres aims to waken the sleeping giant of the insurance industry and spur it to take bold leadership action on climate change—action that will have reverberations throughout the economy. Finally, in 2012, Ceres was named by Philanthropedia, a project of the charity watchdog group Guidestar, as one of the top 10 nonprofit organizations in the country working to combat climate change. Ceres is honored to be recognized for our unique approach to climate change issues: bringing together businesses, investors, and policymakers to build a healthy global economy. Among the comments of the 121 expert reviewers in the climate change field who participated in Philanthropedia’s survey: Ceres was admired for its “clarity of purpose,” “definitive niche,” and “very clear view of what is required to drive change.”

Programs: Ceres is an advocate for sustainability leadership. Ceres mobilizes a powerful network of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. To accomplish our goals, we work with leading companies, investors, public interest groups, policymakers and other economic players to advance sustainable solutions that will reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants, protect vital natural resources like water supplies, ensure safe and just working conditions for employees and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels while transitioning to a clean energy economy. Ceres is uniquely situated at the nexus of the business, investment and advocacy communities. Drawing on the expertise of the Ceres Coalition, we convene and direct stakeholder engagements with Ceres network companies to find smart strategies and meaningful performance improvements on key environmental and social issues. Our unique engagement model features diverse teams of credible, external stakeholders that provide ongoing input to companies on policies, strategies, disclosure and bottom-line performance. In addition to working with investors in the Ceres Coalition, Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of 100 leading investors collectively managing more than $10 trillion in assets. Ceres helps INCR members leverage their power as shareholders to secure meaningful commitments on sustainability issues companies are facing. Through shareholder resolutions and face-to-face meetings, investors working with Ceres are asking companies to boost their focus and transparency on sustainability-related risks and set tangible performance goals for mitigating those risks – whether by lowering carbon emissions, reducing water and energy use or developing more sustainable technologies and products. Ceres is also working with investors, Wall Street analysts, credit rating agencies and other financial firms to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities into day-to-day decision-making. Ceres produces cutting-edge reports on wide-ranging sustainability topics, including global water scarcity risks, challenges from unconventional oil extraction, corporate climate change strategies, and regulatory/policy-related analyses. Our reports highlight key sustainability risks in the global economy and define new standards and corporate/investor best practices for responding.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Ceres for seven years, or in other words, since I have had kids and begun to grow increasingly concerned about the future of our planet--for their sakes, if not my own. Ceres has given me a hopeful and inspiring outlet for addressing my concerns by investing in their success. I have been so impressed by Ceres' mission and vision, as well as the organization's professional and on point communications. Their goal of building coalitions is inspiring, and their advocacy for climate sustainability as an economic and equity issue, along with an environmental issue, is totally compelling.

Donor

Rating: 5

I learned about Ceres when I was active in the campaign to divest the NYC pension funds. I read up and learned how much Ceres information we were using. I read a great deal of the Ceres information and called the office of our NYC Comptroller. Their lead person called me back and as he answered my many questions, i realized he was confirming my suspicion that we had more to gain by remaining invested. I put together a panel discussion and the Comptroller's office helped me get a Ceres person to come down from Boston to participate. Needless to say I got thrown out of 350.NYC. I now donate annually to Ceres. I like adult solutions.

Donor

Rating: 5

Ceres is awesome in every imaginable way and has done incredible work for many, many years! They have inspired me to further commit myself to climate action and found organizations modeled after theirs. I cannot say enough good things about them!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Getting major businesses on board to address climate change is a very powerfull strategy that helps fill the gap left by out impotent federal legislators

Comments ( 1 )

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seymour 10/26/2015

This success is only possible with the support of donors like you—thank you!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

CERES provides leadership to companies and investors in changing our trajectory on climate change. They are activists with a strong pro-climate point of view, but have earned the respect of institutions that direct much of our nation's capital. They are a lean organization and stretch every dollar. In the "ring of public opinion" they punch far above their weight.

Comments ( 1 )

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seymour 10/26/2015

. . . and it's our donors that make this possible. Thank you for your support.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Ceres is a powerful agent for change; tackling one of the most pressing issues facing our world. A great ROI for philanthropy.

Comments ( 1 )

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seymour 10/26/2015

Thank you for the awesome review—and your support!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I discovered Ceres over a year ago and I have been telling my friends about it ever since. Ceres offers big companies an opportunity to work profitably toward sustainability. And, reading about its endeavors Ceres has spurred me to begin converting my investments to sustainable ones. As a member of Citizens Climate Lobby, Ceres gives me an important viewpoint as I work toward influencing members of our government to put an increasing tax on carbon based fuel at their source and return all dividends to the citizens through the IRS (revenue neutral). Anne Bachner

Donor

Rating: 5

I can't believe the naivety of so many people across the world. We are ruining the planet we depend on. Did we not learn our lesson when we over plowed the Great Plains? We are harming ourselves. Do we think spikes in cancer are pure coincidence?

We need BIG actions and big players to combat these massive issues. That's why I support Ceres, because they leverage those big players and get them to take big action.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The problems we face on sustainability, water shortages, natural resource depletion and climate change are not going to be solved by small, incremental steps. And too often, these big environmental issues are perceived as a choice between protecting the environment or growing the economy. It is not an either/or situation. It is both. Ultimately, the future of our economy depends on protecting the environment - this is Ceres' sweet spot. Ceres makes the business case for fighting climate change and reaches a wide range of companies, investors and policymakers. There's no one quite like them.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Seems to be well managed and cost conscious but more importantly CERES moves corporate practices towards more sustainable approaches to building their businesses. For a relatively small not for profit, CERES has stayed true to their mission and approach and not gone for the fad of the month. there is no one else who has engaged major corporations in understanding the various. Ways in which responsible appraoches to sustainability make both good business sense and them more attractive employers.