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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

I read the news. Results speak. Investment groups with trillions of $, coordinated by Ceres, seek carbon-friendly investments. Sometimes, CERES coordinates statements by dozens to hundreds of businesses, calling for action to slow climate change. Businesses such as large banks are changing their thinking about investing in fossil fuels, partly was a result of CERES.

Comments ( 1 )

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seymour 10/26/2015

I love the line "results speak." It takes years of behind-the-scenes work to get the point where Ceres' successes are news stories. This public recognition is important; thank you for helping to share it far and wide.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ceres has worked hard to bring game changing vision to thought leaders in finance and industry who can make a difference in the right management of environmental, economic, and social issues. By bringing together diverse contributors to an improved global environment, Ceres is helping to accelerate positive change. Keep up the great work !

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seymour 10/26/2015

Thank you for the strong endorsement and encouragement!

1 Joseph47

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

it's ok but it could be a lot more better and a whole lot easier. I mean it could be a whole lot easier if this website had a toolbar so we can search what we're looking for easily and quickly and it would be easier for us to just type something into the search tool bar and go right to where we're going

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seymour 10/26/2015

Hi Joseph - Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. I'd like to learn more about what you mean by it could be better and easier so that we can improve. Is there a specific part of our programmatic work that you are referencing? Do you have thoughts on what could be changed? Please feel free to reach out to me directly - Barbara Seymour at seymout@ceres.og.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ceres has a series of Declarations, the original one signed by many of our nation's leading corporations stating the need to deal with climate change. About 1500 corporations have now signed, demonstrating that many in the business world endorse dealing with climate change issues. Very helpful!

Comments ( 1 )

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seymour 10/26/2015

We're glad to hear that the Ceres Climate Declaration is making a difference. Thank you.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The reports on Ceres website and their news alerts are very up to date and very much on the relevant topics to make our world more sustainable.

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seymour 10/26/2015

We're glad to hear that this content is helpful. Thank you.

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!

omb

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ceres is playing an invaluable role in mobilizing business, investors, and the public to act on environmental issues and shift capital towards a sustainable economy.

Comments ( 1 )

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seymour 10/26/2015

Thank you for your partnership.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ceres has done more to move capital towards climate solutions than any organization anywhere. They also know how to make companies partners in the cause.

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seymour 10/26/2015

Thank you for this positive feedback.

Former staff

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of working for Ceres for more than 6 years. Ceres is truly one of a kind--working with companies and investors to fundamentally shift the capital markets.

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seymour 10/26/2015

Thank you. Our stellar staff is, of course, the driver of our success.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

All companies and governments around the globe need to understand that adopting environmentally sustainable business practices is critical to their bottom line. Ceres is the leader in advocating for these ideals.

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seymour 10/26/2015

Thank you for taking the time to post this review.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Ceres punches above its weight.. Its proven ability to change multi national companies and large investors/investment firms to integrate sustainability into all that they do, is quite impressive.

Comments ( 1 )

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seymour 10/26/2015

Thank you. Our stellar Board is a big part of our success.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've been developing a career at the cross section of sustainability and business for a few years. Throughout my engagement in the field, Ceres has continually been touted as one of the most effective organizations driving change toward a more sustainable global economy. Because of their reputation, I recently pursued an opportunity to join the Ceres team. After only a short time with the organization I can say that it is composed of an energetic and inspiring group. I am proud to be a part of the Ceres' team!

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seymour 10/26/2015

and we are grateful to have you on staff

Former staff

Rating: 5

I was very fortunate to work at Ceres for 2+ years on the Foundation team. In that role I worked with the highly talented staff across multiple program areas. I have never met a more dedicated, passionate, curious group of people who are completely committed to the cause of creating a sustainable global economy. Ceres leverages its strong relationships with investors and companies to advance meaningful water, climate and human rights goals. And every time they achieve a success, they set their sites on the next, more challenging goal. There are many environmental organizations doing excellent work across the country and around the globe, but when I left Ceres for another opportunity I made a commitment to continue helping Ceres carry out its work by becoming a monthly donor. Please join me!

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seymour 10/26/2015

And to join this Ceres Sustainer monthly donor, visit www.ceres.org/donate. Thank you for your support!

Former staff

Rating: 5

I worked for Ceres for just over three years, and very sincerely,felt that I spent each day working on today's most important issues with one of the most passionate, ambitious, capable, savvy teams out there... which also just so happens to leverage one of the most effective strategies for tackling the giant challenge that is climate change and sustainability more broadly.

It was a privilege to work for Ceres, I eagerly follow their ongoing work, and I happily donate to them. Keep it up!

Comments ( 1 )

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seymour 10/26/2015

Thanks Nina!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ceres work with Corporations, especially investors, is playing a unique role in the Climate transition to Clean Energy. Bringing the risks of continued investment in long-term fossil infrastructure and resources is one of the most important approaches to creating this change … change that requires doing things in a very different way.

Ceres work is unique and incredibly important.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sustainability is no longer a pastime for armchair intellectuals. It is slowly but surely assuming a major role in the healthy continuance of life on earth.
As the science of the art of prevailing on the adversity of collaborating opposites, sustainability aims at creating a mutually participatory Cause ⇄ Effect platform of cre­ative de­struction, of out-of-equilibrium, “middle-out” homeostatic adaptive trade-off between allocat­ion and growth, supervised by a source-moderated utilization of Nature. Being a inter- and intra-disciplinary issue with deep and interactive roots in thermodynamics, chaos, complexity and nonlinearity, understanding and appreciation of sustainability calls for much more than neighbourhood get-togethers. It is in this spirit that organizations like Ceres assume defining significance in the propagation, patronage, well-being, and growth of a less-than-intuitive paradigm that sustainability represents.
Sustainability is an out-of-equilibrium phase of Nature, supported by "life" and land-marked by "birth" and "death", much more indeed beyond Brundtland. Newtonian reductionism that we acquire --- and pass onto future generations --- fail to address these issues except for the obviously trivial. In situations such as these begging paradigmatic shift in our attitude to and relationship with the mainstream, dedicated support of organizations like Ceres with the capacity, potency and fortitude to address complex issues are inevitably needed.
Sustainability is much more than rallies, demonstrations, politicians, corporates, climate change, and green economy, important as these might well be. They cannot be substitutes for the analysis-debate-synthesis dialectic of the academia, of a nascent science of the 21st century awaiting a much-needed take-off. Without an academic foundation, it is unlikely to graduate from the present polemical state to the class-room where it rightly belongs.
Ceres, I believe, is uniquely positioned with its rich and varied background of a quarter century, to play the proverbial role of a facilitator and negotiator between academic and corporate social responsibility worlds (and the state) to foster a beneficial homeostasis that either on its own cannot hope to achieve.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

CERES SENSITIZES US TO THE ISSUES THAT MATTER FOR THE PLANET AND HAS DONE A GOOD JOB WITH WATER AND MANY OTHER ISSUES. I BELIEVE ALL NON PROFITS IN THE SUSTAINABILITY SPACE CAN LEARN FROM CERES ON HOW TO DEEPEN KNOWLEDGE ON KEY SUBJECTS.
RAVI FERNANDO

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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As founder and chair of the small non profit company Budgets of Care Limited I have both used the example of, and information from, CERES to grow our influence and understanding within our own community.

I am particularly delighted with CERES influence on many large investor organisations and how they encourage the use of capital for the betterment of businesses throughout the world.

They are certainly one of the most important forces that is help bringing about what Tellus calls the "Great Transition".

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am an unpaid lobbyist for nuclear energy, and watched Ceres, Mindy Lubber, hosting the UN Climate Investor Summit 2015. The conference was well organised with experts in climate science, insurance risk and fiduciary duty - to name a few. Discussing divestment from fossil fuel as a means to mitigate climate change from rising carbon emissions. Moreover, the conference was but one of a series of many more to come, so that governments of the world will not only recognise carbon emissions must be reduced, but commit to investment in 'clean' technologies such as nuclear energy, hydro, solar, and battery storage. Moreover, the conference addressed the need for global inequality and the need for poor countries to be funded for their economies and standard of living to improve. The link to watch this event - part 1 & 2. http://www.ceres.org/investor-network/investor-summit --- A vote of support for Ceres is essentially, a vote to save the planet, a vote for clean air, a vote for your children's, children. There are many worthy non-profits out there that need support. If there were one specifically for Ebola, that would be a global priority as well. But now, we need most of the worlds cooperation and it is Ceres who has managed to pull together most of the worlds attention. Time is not on our side, and if Ceres didn't already exist, the world is be serious trouble. Make our home, Earth, your first priority. People all over the world need their help - and that's what they are more than capable of giving. Sincerely, d'O'yle