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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

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


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


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.



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.

Previous Stories


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 )


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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Rating: 5

love from Europe I wish beautiful work progress Thanks CERES



Rating: 5