Ceres Conference 2008
Building Leadership, Creating Solutions
The 2008 Ceres Conference, held in Boston, MA, brought together 700 thought leaders from the business, investment, and environmental communities to explore and examine the integration of sustainability into business strategy and long-term shareholder value.
Keynotes and Plenaries
Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy and Ralph Izzo, CEO of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) engaged in a lively discussion about the advantages and challenges of pending national climate legislation. Both CEOs expressed their support of the goal to cut national greenhouse gas emissions to 60-80% below current levels by 2050 outlined in the Warner-Lieberman bill, but debated the details of emission allowances and funding allocation.
Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield and Jeff Swartz, CEO of Timberland had a candid conversation about the environmental, social, and financial benefits of sustainability. The two CEOs reflected on the value of embedding sustainability into their business models and the positive returns they have each seen as a result of early action, company-wide commitments, and clean technology investments.
Van Jones of Green for All, Ted Roosevelt of Lehman Brothers, and Michael Eckart of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) agreed that a global transition to energy efficiency and low carbon technologies means significant opportunities for economic growth and job creation. Chip Giller of Grist set the stage for a stimulating discussion that explored the technologies, policies, and financing needed to obtain a clean energy future.
More than a dozen workshops explored sustainability issues from engaging stakeholders and improving sustainable governance practices to creating green jobs.
2008 Conference Workshops included:
- Models Wanted: How insurance catastrophe models can help business and government plan for climate change
- The Coal Conundrum: Too abundant to ignore, or too risky to pursue?
- Corporate Governance and Climate: Creating sustainable companies from the boardroom down
- Green Collar Job Creation for a Sustainable Economy
- Government Actions on Energy Security and Climate Change: International, national, state developments
Two awards are presented each year at the Ceres Conference.
The Ceres-ACCA North American Sustainability Reporting Awards recognize best practices in reporting on sustainability, environmental and social performance by corporations and organizations. The winners for the Ceres-ACCA Sustainability Awards were:
BEST SUSTAINABILITY REPORT (CO-WINNERS)
The 2006/07 Sustainability Report, Ford Motor Co.
2006 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, The Timberland Company
COMMENDATION FOR CLIMATE CHANGE REPORTING
2007 Report on Sustainability, Suncor Energy, Inc.
COMMENDATION FOR PRODUCT STEWARDSHIP REPORTING
2007 Sustainability Report, Dell, Inc.
This year, Ceres presented a new set of awards at the annual Conference. The Joan Bavaria Awards for Building Sustainability into the Capital Markets recognize investors, corporations, and NGOs that have helped move the capital markets from a system focused on short-term profits toward one that balances financial prosperity with social and environmental health. The winners of the inaugural Bavaria Awards were:
Enhanced Analytics Initiative
Bainbridge Graduate Institute
2008 Conference Sponsors
Thank you to the following sponsors for making the Ceres Conference possible.