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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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

For years I've been struck by the energy of Ceres campaigns to link investors with leaders in environmental research and advocacy. Add to that the one-of-a-kind Ceres collaborations with the United Nations: Investor Summits on Climate Risk creating a new global network of leaders in and out of government.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ceres has been an instrumental voice and advocate for the Paris Climate Agreement. They built support from the business and investor community to effectively change the debate about how taking action on climate will affect the global economy and brought the business voice to the forefront of the debate. In addition, Ceres is mobilizing business support for the U.S. Clean Power Plan and state-wide renewable energy standards that will help the U.S. meet it's obligations under the Paris Agreement. Ceres is the only nonprofit I'm aware of that is effectively building business and investor support to take global action on climate change -- and it's imperative that we have business on our side if we want to solve this global crisis. Cheers to Ceres!

Advisor

Rating: 5

Ceres is driving the agenda on corporate sustainability practices from managing commodity and supply chain risks to mobilizing businesses and investors to take practical steps to address climate change. Ceres has earned investors' and business leaders' trust and attention in a remarkable way and the leadership has shown they are invested in expanding the organization's impact and capacity to drive change.

I consulted with Ceres for several years advising on technology and digital marketing strategy.

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!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

The causes the organisation takes on are so pertinent and so timely. It is refreshing to see an organisation who is right where the action need to take place and is doing it. They have chosen the path of constructive and collaborative advocacy versus confrontational advocacy. I think it is a lot more effective !

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The most valuable organization for investors focusing on sustainability issues.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ceres is the leading force to advocate, define and promote environmentally sensitive and sustainable business practices. They do so not as outside critics but as shareholder-representatives who collectively have an affirmative basis to benefit from the outcome. And they work without the fanfare that is often associated with social change. Ceres sets the standard for allowing both institutional and retail investors the luxury of sleeping at night, knowing their invested dollars are working to promote sustainable business solutions, fight climate change, and control pollution, and that this is being done around the clock, on evenings, weekends, and the Forth of July. Thank you Ceres for your leadership.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Ceres for years has been a leading voice and force in (1) contributing to raising the level and bar on serious discussion and debate on the causes and consequences of climate change and their relationship to institutional -commercial/industrial, residential, government, etc.- practices, particularly with regard to the production and use of energy and resources in general; and (2) mobilizing interested parties in business, finance/investment to speak out collectively and act in the local, national and international arenas

Volunteer

Rating: 5

love from Europe I wish beautiful work progress Thanks CERES

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ceres is phenomenal source of information and an advocate for some of the most important issues today facing business and our planet.

Comments ( 1 )

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seymour 10/28/2015

Thank you!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've long been impressed by the dedication and vision of the Ceres team -- but seeing it in action at its annual conference moved my admiration and enthusiasm to another level altogether.
The provocative and well-researched presentations and panels, along with the creativity and positive energy buzzing in the room, the depth of practical knowledge, and the vision and hard work to create coalitions across challenging divides--inspiring mix of vision and know-how!

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seymour 10/27/2015

So glad to hear that you were able to make the Conference—and of course, that it was impressive! We will continue to strategize about how to make it the best possible experience for all attendees. Thanks for taking the time to do this review.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ceres is taking on the world's great issues of sustainability, climate change, water shortage, even balanced living. It's hard to imagine more bang for our donative buck. Bringing together far-sighted investors (with trillions of dollars under management) and well-meaning corporate executives (in a broad range of global industries), Ceres represents the beginning of a new model of mindful business.

Comments ( 1 )

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seymour 10/26/2015

Thank you for providing this positive endorsement. We are grateful for your support.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What could be more important than businesses and investors looking at the long term and making choices that conserve the resources? Every child knows you don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Ceres is doing an outstanding job of helping financial leaders incorporate sustainability into their plans.

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seymour 10/26/2015

Thank you for this strong review.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I serve on a number of national boards and support a wide variety of non profits. Ceres is the organization that I think is having the biggest impact bar none. They are changing the way major businesses and investors work and that changes the way our economy functions. I am very proud to actively participate on their tremendous board and assist their incredibly talented and strategic team in accomplishing these hug and crucial goals of a sustainable economy.

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seymour 10/26/2015

Our Board is a huge part of our impact. Thank you for your service!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Among non-profits Ceres has become the indispensable player in pushing environmental awareness among investors and businesses. No group has done more to move the issues of climate change and sustainability to the center of corporate consciousness.

Comments ( 1 )

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seymour 10/26/2015

We are grateful for your positive review, thank you.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

Ceres understands that to implement change and build a more sustainable world, the best path to do that is through business, one of the most powerful forces on the planet. I appreciate their systemic approach to the problem, working with numerous parties in the economic system - businesses, investors, other NGO's, and policy makers. This gives them a unique lens and a unique ability to move business forward in a way that other, more "activist" NGO's can't do. They have high ideals of a more sustainable world, combined with a practical approach that works.

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seymour 10/26/2015

We couldn't have said it better. Thank you!

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.

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seymour 10/26/2015

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