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Published on October 30th, 2006 | by John-Paul Maxfield

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Ceres At a Glance

Ceres is a national network of investment funds, environmental organizations and other public interest groups working to advance environmental stewardship on the part of businesses.  Ceres is renowned for its unique ability to bring diverse groups together to find positive solutions for complex environmental and social challenges.  For example, in May 2005 at the United Nations, Ceres brought together representatives of U.S. and international pension funds representing $5 trillion in capital to address the profound investment risks and emerging business opportunities driven by climate change. This groundbreaking event received media coverage around the world.

Core beliefs

Ceres works closely with a select group of companies that have made public commitments to stakeholder engagement, public disclosure, and performance improvements. The 85-member Ceres coalition and our 70-plus partner companies share these core beliefs:

  • environmental stewardship and company value are strongly linked;
  • the bedrock of sound corporate governance is measurement and disclosure;
  • responsible companies must provide their investors and stakeholders complete and transparent information about their environmental performance.

History

Ceres was formed in 1989 as a groundbreaking partnership between leading environmental groups and institutional investors. Ceres emerged just as the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska motivated the environmental and investor communities to push for higher standards of corporate environmental performance and disclosure. That work resulted in the creation of the Ceres Principles, a pioneering 10-point code of corporate environmental conduct that has led to the widespread adoption of environmental principles by companies worldwide.

In 1997, Ceres launched the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which has now become the de-facto international standard for corporate reporting on economic, social and environmental performance. Since 2002, GRI has been an independent institution. Today over 700 companies from around the world use the GRI reporting guidelines.

In 2002, Ceres launched the Sustainable Governance Project to raise global climate change and other emerging sustainability issues as significant risks that must be addressed by corporate boards and investment fiduciaries.






About the Author

John-Paul Maxfield is the founder of Waste Farmers. Waste Farmers is a next generation sustainable agricultural company focused on helping humanity meet current and future food demands, while decreasing agriculture’s environmental footprint. The Company started in 2009 with $9,000 and a belief that idealism and capitalism can coexist. Today Waste Farmers has evolved into an innovator respected by leaders in the global community for developing simple solutions to the complex problems of modern agriculture and food security. Prior to starting Waste Farmers, John-Paul founded the "The Inspired Economist", a blog focused on covering the people, places, ideas, and technologies inspiring positive change and redefining capitalism. In addition, John-Paul served as an Associate a private equity group specializing in small to mid cap service companies. In this capacity he focused on planning, forecasting, budgeting, and performance evaluation of MBH and its designated subsidiaries. Prior to joining MBH, John-Paul was an Analyst with Alvarez and Marsal where he spent the majority of his time on a team that aided Louisiana’s Recovery School District with the restoration of public schools post Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. John-Paul is active in the Colorado community, serving on the Board of the Rocky Mountain MS Center. In 2007 he was selected as one of the “Fifty for the Future” by the Colorado Statesman and is a graduate of the inaugural class of Impact Denver. John-Paul holds a BA from the University of Colorado.



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