FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
General Mills, Time Warner and Piper Jaffray Accepted into Ceres Network of Companies
BOSTON -- Citing their commitment to reporting and improving their social and environmental performance, Ceres today announced that it has approved three new companies - General Mills, Piper Jaffray & Co. and Time Warner - into its network of companies.
The newly-approved companies are among over 65 businesses - including nearly a dozen Fortune 500 companies - to be accepted by the Ceres board of directors into the Ceres network. Boston-based Ceres is a 16-year-old coalition of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups working with companies to tackle sustainability challenges such as global warming.
Ceres President Mindy S. Lubber said the new additions are a great opportunity for Ceres to work closely with companies in the consumer foods, securities and media & entertainment sectors.
"General Mills, Piper Jaffray and Time Warner have all demonstrated a commitment to improve the sustainability of their businesses, whether through stronger recycling, enhanced resource protection programs or confronting global warming," Lubber said. "Working with investors, environmental groups and other stakeholders, Ceres is excited at this great opportunity to take sustainability deeper into these companies and their supply chains."
Companies that join Ceres must commit to engage with shareholders and other stakeholders on sustainability issues, to report publicly on sustainability performance and to make additional sustainability improvements. Ceres will facilitate this stakeholder engagement by connecting the companies with the experience and best practices of other Ceres organizations and companies.
General Mills in Minneapolis, MN
General Mills has released corporate social responsibility reports for the past two years outlining the company's key sustainability values, including sustainable agriculture, energy efficiency and renewable resources. The company's program for environmental stewardship includes continual evaluation of use of raw materials, tracking and reducing energy use across the corporation, minimizing the use of hazardous materials and maximizing use of renewable resources, such as recycled paper packaging.
"General Mills strives to be environmentally responsible in all of our activities and in every aspect of our business," says Gene Kahn, Vice President of Sustainable Development at General Mills. "The General Mills sustainability initiative is a companywide effort to responsibly manage the natural resource base that our business depends on.
"Reducing waste and pollution, using less energy, and using fewer material resources is not only beneficial to the environment, but it also makes great business sense. We believe this effort will drive financial, strategic, and competitive advantage," says Kahn. "Ceres has been a leading organization in the advancement of corporate sustainability accountability, and General Mills looks forward to working with them."
"General Mills shows an appreciation for the importance of balancing current needs with those of future generations," Lubber said "We are pleased to work with the company to help it develop specific targets for minimizing its environmental impact, as well as improve its transparency."
General Mills is a Fortune 200 company and a producer of packaged consumer foods. It is the second largest cereal maker in the United States. General Mills' brands include Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Yoplait and Pillsbury.
Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis, MN
Piper Jaffray & Co. is a client-focused securities firm that delivers financial advice, investment products, and transaction execution within targeted sectors. The company is a founding member of the Minnesota Keystone Program, which promotes corporate support for communities through grants and employee volunteerism. Piper Jaffray has not yet prepared a Corporate Social Responsibility report and will look to Ceres for advice as it moves forward on the project.
"We are committed to corporate responsibility and sustainability and are pleased that the Ceres board has approved us for membership," said Andrew Duff, chairman and CEO of Piper Jaffray. "It is becoming increasingly important to our clients that we provide socially responsible investing advice, and that we participate in the significant role that alternative energy will play in our future."
"Piper Jaffray is well known for its support of communities and corporate giving, and we look forward to supporting the company on its corporate social responsibility initiatives as part of their exemplary leadership in the financial services industry," Lubber said.
Time Warner in New York, NY
Time Warner plans to release its first Corporate Social Responsibility Report in 2006 and will work with Ceres in engaging its many stakeholders on this important milestone. The Fortune 100 company has had a long tradition of responsibility to the community and this report is part of a continued effort to honor that commitment.
"At Time Warner, we are committed to embedding principles of sustainability into our business strategy and communicating our values to the public," said Lisa Quiroz, Vice-President for Corporate Responsibility at Time Warner. "We look forward to working with Ceres and its members as we develop sustainable operating systems that deliver profits to our shareholders while being responsive and accountable to our stakeholders. "
"Time Warner's commitment to engage stakeholders at the beginning of the process in the development of their first corporate responsibility report is a strong signal of their commitment to integrate social and environmental issues deep within their businesses and to demonstrate leadership in the media and entertainment sector," Lubber said.
Time Warner is a Fortune 100 media and entertainment company, with businesses in film, Internet services, television networks, cable systems and publishing. Its divisions include leading companies, such as America Online, Time Inc., Time Warner Cable, Home Box Office, New Line Cinema, Turner Broadcasting System and Warner Bros.