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Ensure Honest Accounting

Current accounting systems fail to value environmental and social factors in business decision-making. Investors and companies too often “externalize,” or ignore, the ecological and human impacts from their activity. As a result, companies are able to exploit finite water resources at minimal cost and emit carbon freely. We must ensure that capital markets integrate the full costs of environmental and social factors in business strategies, risk management and public disclosure. Achieving this will ensure companies are rewarded for strong sustainable performance.

Honest AccountingCurrent accounting systems fail to value environmental and social factors in business decision-making. Investors and companies too often “externalize,” or ignore, the ecological and human impacts from their activity. As a result, companies are able to exploit finite water resources at minimal cost and emit carbon freely.

Ceres is working to ensure that capital markets integrate the full costs of environmental and social factors in business strategies, risk management and public disclosure. Achieving this will ensure companies are rewarded for strong sustainable performance.

How We'll Get There:

  1. Propel all companies to use a carbon ‘shadow’ price in capital investment decision-making and to share that information with investors.
  2. Ensure all analysts, rating agencies and financial firms are factoring environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities in their research and valuations.
  3. Integrate sustainability factors, such as water availability, forest protection and human rights, into company and investment decision-making.
  4. Embed sustainability factors into the disclosure requirements of key capital market drivers such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, New York Stock Exchange and Financial Accounting Standards Board.


Resources

Climate Change Risk Perception and Management: A Survey of Risk Managers
Apr 22, 2010
April 2010 - This report describes the results of a survey of corporate risk managers conducted by Zurich Financial Services, the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA) and Ceres. The survey is a first step in assessing whether and to what extent risk managers are concerned about the risks posed by climate change regulation and/or by climate change itself, and how well the insurance industry is or is not serving risk managers to transfer or manage the risks in this arena.
The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability
Mar 10, 2010
March 2010 - The Ceres Roadmap serves as a vision and practical guide for integrating sustainability into the DNA of business — from the boardroom to the copy room. It analyzes the drivers, risks and opportunities involved in making the shift to sustainability, and details strategies and results from companies who are taking on these challenges. The Ceres Roadmap is designed to provide a comprehensive platform for sustainable business strategy and for accelerating best practices and performance.
2010 Investor Summit on Climate Risk Final Report
Feb 10, 2010
To highlight the enormous opportunities of this transition and to assess the need for climate change policy, Ceres, the United Nations Office for Partnerships, and the United Nations Foundation co-hosted the fourth Investor Summit on Climate Risk at the United Nations on January 14, 2010. The Summit brought together more than 520 financial, corporate, and investor leaders with more than $22 trillion in combined assets. Speakers from the investment community, business, labor, and government highlighted the fact that private investment in climate change solutions is crucial for addressing the climate crisis and will not happen at the necessary scale without strong climate and energy policies that limit emissions and put a price on carbon.
Investors Analyze Climate Risks and Opportunities: A Survey of Asset Managers' Practices
Jan 10, 2010
January 2010 - The report highlights specific best practices that asset managers are using to incorporate climate risks into their due diligence, corporate governance and portfolio valuation. It also outlines questions that institutional investors can be asking asset managers – in requests for proposals (RFPs) and in annual performance reviews – to better ensure that managers are giving climate change risks and opportunities the attention they deserve.
Addressing Climate Risk: Financial Institutions and Emerging Markets
Sep 08, 2009
September 2009 - The results of the survey show that emerging market banks recognize the challenges from climate change and are beginning to position themselves for its wide-ranging risks and opportunities, whether from carbon-reducing regulations, international carbon trading schemes or far-reaching physical impacts.