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About the Ceres Roadmap

About The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability

In 2010, Ceres released The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability (“The Ceres Roadmap”), a veritable owner’s manual for the sustainable corporation. The Roadmap contains 20 specific expectations for corporate performance broadly divided into four areas of activity— governance, stakeholder engagement, disclosure and performance.

Governance Section IconGovernance: Companies will embed sustainability into core building blocks—management and board structures, goal-setting and strategic decision-making.

Stakeholder Engagement Section IconStakeholder Engagement: Companies will proactively engage in robust dialogue with stakeholders across the whole value chain, and will integrate stakeholder feedback into strategic planning and operational decision-making.

Disclosure Section IconDisclosure: Companies will regularly report on sustainability strategies and performance. Disclosure will include credible, standardized, independently verified metrics encompassing all material stakeholder concerns, and detailed goals and plans for future action.

Performance Section IconPerformance: Companies will routinely and systematically improve environmental and social metrics across their operations, supply chains and products, including reduced water and energy use, lower footprints for carbon emissions and waste and respect for human rights.


The Ceres Roadmap focuses on areas where Ceres sees enormous opportunities for impact; however, it does not cover every aspect of sustainability. It is designed to be of practical help to all, whether a business aims to establish a leadership platform, to fill gaps in its existing approach to sustainability or is still considering where to begin.

Ceres suggests that businesses start by:

  • Assessing the company’s baseline environmental and social performance
  • Analyzing corporate management and accountability structures and systems
  • Conducting a materiality analysis of risks and opportunities

A company can then formulate its own route to sustainability based on the key directions laid out in the roadmap. The route a company takes will vary according to sector and corporate culture. Some businesses are further along the path toward sustainability than others. Companies that have successfully addressed particular challenges are highlighted throughout the site.

Each business has to create its own strategy for success, addressing both the risks and the opportunities of participating in the sustainable economy. That said, all of the expectations presented in the Ceres Roadmap need to be addressed if a company is to achieve a comprehensive and coherent strategy.

To find out how companies are performing against the Ceres Roadmap Expectations click here.