Gaining Ground: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability
The scientific and economic realities facing corporations today have shifted substantially from even just a decade ago. From the risks posed to operations and the supply chain due to a changing climate, to an increasingly resource-constrained world with a growing population, to mounting human rights abuses—finding solutions to these business challenges will require collaboration, innovation and transformation.
This report, Gaining Ground: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability (pdf), evaluates how well 613 of the largest, publicly traded U.S. companies are integrating sustainability into their business systems and decision-making. The report—a collaboration between Ceres and Sustainalytics—assesses corporate progress across the four strategic areas first outlined in 2010 in the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability: Governance, Stakeholder Engagement, Disclosure and Performance.
Click on a link below to explore company performance by Roadmap expectation.
Governance: Companies will embed sustainability into core building blocks—management and board structures, goal-setting and strategic decision-making.
Stakeholder 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: 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: 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.
Ceres and Sustainalytics last evaluated these companies in the 2012 report, The Road to 2020, where companies were placed into one of four performance “tiers.” Two years later, the Gaining Ground report reveals that while there is progress being made by an increasing number of companies and sectors, we are still not seeing the speed of change that is required—or the scale of innovation that is possible. Incremental progress in tackling global climate change and other sustainability threats is simply not enough. The findings of this report should inspire companies to examine their own progress and identify where they stand on the path to sustainability. If they’ve taken steps towards sustainability, are their efforts translating into results? If they are well on the road to sustainability, what else can they do to drive sustainability leadership? And if they are still at the starting line, what are they waiting for?
The online report features interactive data and charts—useful tools for understanding the results, comparing the performance of peers within sectors, and identifying opportunities for taking action. The website also features additional analysis for eight priority sectors, and examples of leading practice by topic area. New this year is the “company scorecard,” which provides a snapshot of how the companies evaluated perform on each Ceres Roadmap expectation—allowing users to search by both company name and stock ticker.
Most importantly, Gaining Ground reaffirms the compelling case for faster, more comprehensive business action on sustainability. The time to get started is now.
Learn more about the Ceres Roadmap and the findings of Gaining Ground: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability in the presentation below: