Sustainability begins with board oversight and commitment at the top, supported by strong management systems that integrate sustainability across the rest of the company. This chain of accountability—stretching from the boardroom to the factory floor to global supply chains—is the only way to achieve meaningful sustainable business performance.
Ceres works with members of its Company Network to integrate sustainability across governance structures and management systems.
We work with member companies to:
- Establish board committees on sustainability issues or integrate sustainability oversight into board committee charters
- Link sustainability goals and performance with compensation
- Create more robust corporate policies that reflect the company’s sustainability priorities
- Align public policy positions with its sustainability goals.
At Ceres, we consistently find that companies with strong governance systems are better positioned to foresee and adapt to changing economic, social, environmental and political conditions. This usually means stronger long-term value for the company, shareholders and society.
Ceres Companies in Action
“Sustainability is part of our every day discussions at National Grid. Linking executive pay and climate change deliverables has increased accountability and positively impacted our culture. Employees across the company are increasingly incentivized to put sustainability at the heart of the way we do business.”
Getting Sustainability on the board's agenda
While only one-third of U.S. corporate boards of directors oversee sustainability matters, companies like Prudential, EMC, Ford and Nike are leading the way with strong governance practices.
Raising our Business Voice on Climate & Energy Policy
In 2013, BICEP, a Ceres-run coalition of businesses supporting U.S. climate policy action, launched the Climate Declaration, asserting that, "Tackling climate change is one of America's greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century."
Walking the Talk. Released in the fall of 2013, the Guide for Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy provides guidance on how companies can best align their government affairs activities, such as lobbying, with their own stated goals to reduce GHG emissions. Read more.
The ceres roadmap for sustainability
Visit, which lays out five key expectations on governance, highlights more examples of leading practices, and provides data on corporate performance to date.