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.
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.
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.