Stakeholder engagement is a critical process that helps companies understand their key environmental and social impacts and identify sustainability risks and opportunities. For more than 20 years, Ceres has been a pioneer in stakeholder engagement—bringing companies together with investors, environmental and social issue experts, public interest organizations and other stakeholders in face-to-face dialogues to find smart business solutions to today’s biggest sustainability challenges.
Drawing upon the breadth and depth of our 130-member Ceres Coalition—which includes such groups as the Union of Concerned Scientists, California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), Oxfam America, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Natural Resources Defense Council and AFL-CIO—the Ceres stakeholder engagement model features diverse teams of credible, external stakeholders that provide ongoing input to companies on strategy, disclosure and bottom-line performance.
"Constructive, ongoing engagement between companies and investors on sustainability issues is a critical tool for driving the integration of sustainability factors in business strategies and bolstering investor understanding of how companies are addressing related risks, and capitalizing on opportunities and potential competitive advantages over the long-term."
–Ken Sylvester, Assistant Comptroller for Pension Policy Representing John Liu, New York City Comptroller's Office
Ceres dialogues are a venue for stakeholders to provide candid and constructive feedback about a company’s performance related to:
- Disclosure of its environmental, social, economic and governance performance, as communicated in its sustainability report
- Key sustainability impacts, risks and opportunities
- Strategies and targets for addressing sustainability challenges
- New sustainability initiatives and projects
Ceres’ stakeholder engagements are confidential, collaborative and solution-oriented. Ceres is an active participant in these dialogues, and along with other stakeholders, offers honest and constructive feedback.
The Ceres model is premised on the two-way accountability loop—where companies not only receive input from stakeholders, but are also able to provide a response to stakeholders as to how they will act on it. The unique, customized, and long-term nature of the Ceres’ dialogues helps stakeholders and companies to develop the mutual trust necessary to work together to advance continuous performance improvements.