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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Ceres

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment

Mission: Ceres is transforming the economy to build a sustainable future for people and the planet.

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 Ceres Investor Network on Climate Risk and Sustainability, a network of 100 leading investors collectively managing more than $10 trillion in assets. Ceres helps Investor Network on Climate Risk and Sustainability 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

100 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.

Mackenzie M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I interned with Ceres for 9 months during college and was continuously blown away by how much important work this relatively small nonprofit accomplishes. They are working at the highest levels of industry and world governance to guide businesses in truly progressive environmental action. Ceres may not be a household name, but they are revered in the environmental community for their integrity and grit.

Eric_Zimmerman

Donor

Rating: 5

The team at Ceres does a remarkable job of leveraging the modest financial support our company provides by influencing large investors. These investors, in turn, influence large companies and capital markets to drive the change we seek. I feel like every dollar we invest in Ceres gets us a 1,000-fold return.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

By focusing on capital markets, the small, sharp team at Ceres has tremendous leverage. As a supporter, I can hardly imagine getting more bang for my dollar. This is an organization that's worth knowing.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have followed this organization for years and have always been impressed with the effectiveness of their efforts to protect the environment. Key is their ability to muster disparate resources in terms of funds, people, other NPO’s and even regulatory agencies.

Also, they seem to target projects that tending right now, no delays allowed. Therefore, impact is even greater.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

For those of you concerned about climate change, Ceres is your most capable and effective advocate.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Awesome organization. They do incredible and effective environmental work. I support them often, and recommend that my friends, family and community do the same! Let's work together to help heal our planet!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with Ceres on behalf of my company, an asset management firm, for several years. I am so impressed with the Ceres people, actionable shared knowledge, efficiency of calls and collaborative efforts, and clarity of mission. The conferences have well-informed speakers, spot-on topics and breakout sessions. This nonprofit knows how to work with for-profits and combine the best of both "worlds" to advance sustainable practices.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became acquainted with Ceres nearly 20 years ago, when I got a job at a sustainable investing firm. Ceres' work then was carried out by a handful of staff, but it was enormously far-sighted. Focusing on the investment risks and rewards of sustainability variables like climate change, pollution and human rights, the organization built a platform that some of the largest asset owners and large asset managers now stand on, along with the smaller SRI asset managers. That big platform has an enormous megaphone now, such that when investors file shareholder proposals at major oil companies asking them to reexamine business plans in light of the need to keep warming below 2C, those shareholder resolutions are passed by a majority of shareholders, for the first time ever. When Ceres first proposed to mobilize investor voices and votes for sustainability, I was certain their ambition exceeded their reach. I couldn't have been more wrong. Now, they are expanding their reach to include deforestation, water, human rights, diversity, and many other efforts, and all of these are, not coincidentally, moving into mainstream investing. Without Ceres, it's hard to imagine that this would be happening.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ceres has been a consistent voice, since its inception, of the necessary role of the business and investor communities in addressing climate change. I have worked with Ceres since 2010, and have come to know the staff as well as its president, Mindy Lubber. They are exceptionally talented, with deep area expertise, and a passion for creating change. They are respectful of where an organization is in its sustainability journey, but also recognize their role is to push it to do more. And they are better than any other organization in succeeding.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Working with CERES to promote sustainable investing in the energy space.

Donor

Rating: 5

There is no non-profit in the world that has done more to inform and enlist businesses in the fight to address climate change risk and reduce emissions!

janee373

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked closely with Ceres as a marketing consultant for two years. They have a hugely influential role with many of the largest companies in driving sustainable business practices and policies. They are thought leaders and have influence far above their size. Their government and financial industry programs help drive effective policy change.

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Advisor

Rating: 5

I worked closely with Ceres for several years. They have a uniquely important mission to drive sustainable business practices among businesses, financial organizations and other non-profits to influence global sustainability outcomes and reduce the effects of climate change. They obtain hugely significant outcomes because of their leadership and influence among these different constituents. Just this past week, they brought leading consumer companies including Kellogg's, Nike, Bloomberg and General Mills to the table to sign the White House's American Business Act on Climate Pledge.

Comments ( 1 )

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seymour 10/26/2015

Thanks, Jane! Hope you saw Mindy's latest blog—http://www.ceres.org/press/blog-posts/big-business-steps-up-on-climate-change

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Few people/organizations demonstrate, from the ground up, their absolute courage/determination/selfless commitment to their cause, in every inventive way, like these good folks do. I'm proud to support them, for an award that they so GREATLY deserve.
GOD BLESS & PROTECT THEM, & THOSE THEY SERVE SO VALIANTLY!!!!!

Vibol S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ceres provides information which is useful for my career.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ever since Rachel Carson's Silent Spring sparked my awareness of the harm humans do to our environment and as a result harm to all of us I have done as much as possible to help bring about positive changes to reduce and hopefully end all manner of harm we as a people are doing to our planet and ourselves.

I have found in Ceres a valuable partner who helping myself and many others make positive changes happen that so important, especially in these times where the Doomsday Clock has moved perilously so close to the midnight mark.

It is noteworthy that Ceres is one that backs up it talk by walking the walk in their monthly donations to other worthy organizations that is fueling important positive changes.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ceres has been a leader providing analysis and networking on issues of climate change and environmental protection and clean energy for a very long time. They deserve acknowledgement for being an effective non-profit leader.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

They publish incorrect information in the guise of sounding sustainable and making companies look bad to raise money. They do not interact with stake holders and then publish false information. I would not trust any document this NGO published.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great articles about important work! Thank you for your insight.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

By business is built on sustainability. Without Ceres and the fact that they offer a place for me to connect with other like-minded people and entities to facilitate change, I would have to research this entire industry myself; very frustrating, time-consuming and non-profitable. Ceres allows me to cut to the chase and immediately work on facilitating changes that affect us all. We are all about change and I am proud to be a part of the network of change makers Ceres has created.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I Follow them closely and their goodwill and success during their work with the Istanbul Stock Exchange was amazing

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Ceres for several years, and am a big believer in their approach to addressing climate change. They have a unique and effective view, working with businesses, investors, nonprofits, and policy makers. No other organization approaches this critical issue through this lens, and as a result they are extremely effective.