The Global Journal Top 100 NGOs: Number 6, Ceres
Shaping the future of sustainable capitalism.
HQ location: United States.
Judging by the direction of contemporary debate, it can appear at times that the environment and sustainability have fallen off the edge of the map as salient issues of public policy. All the more impressive then to see how, since 1989, Boston-based NGO Ceres has managed to lead a parallel normative shift in the corporate world when it comes to climate change, clean energy, water scarcity and supply chain sustainability.
Through an innovative and effective approach based on leveraging the undeniable power of business and capital markets, the organization has succeeded in influencing corporate governance practices to value the competitive advantage promised by sustainable strategies.
Key to Ceres’ deep impact is the group’s unique position at the nexus of the business, investment and advocacy communities. The Ceres Coalition, which comprises more than 130 institutions, public interest groups and investors, the Company Network, which connects over 80 leading corporations, and the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), which includes in excess of 100 investors collectively managing more than $11 trillion in cumulative assets, together allow Ceres to engage in a robust dialogue with powerful decision-makers in order to mobilize meaningful corporate commitments. Just some of Ceres’ achievements to date include the wide uptake of its Global Reporting Initiative – a de facto international standard used by more than 4,000 companies for triple bottom line reporting – successful advocacy campaigns requiring companies and insurers to provide climate risk disclosure in financial filings and the use of the Company Network as an incubator for new best practices in corporate sustainability.
Ultimately, Ceres stands alone in the non-profit world as an environmental NGO able to work collaboratively in partnership with the private sector to spur significant and lasting reforms.