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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

Managing the Risks and Opportunities of Climate Change: A Practical Toolkit for Investors
Apr 08, 2008
April 2008 - The next 50 years will require a massive shift to cleaner energy sources and technologies to avoid unmanageable climate disruption. This toolkit is designed to help investors begin to comprehensively address climate risks and opportunities in four key areas: internal statements, policies, and governance; engagement with companies, investors, and others; investment practices; public policy support.
Investor Progress on Climate Risks & Opportunities: Results Achieved Since the 2005 Investor Summit on Climate Risk
Feb 08, 2008
February 2008 - This report reviews the substantial progress that investors have made toward the objectives in the 2005 INCR Action Plan, including clean technology investments, shareholder resolutions, development of the Global Framework for Climate Risk Disclosure and successful engagement with Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Corporate Governance and Climate Change: The Banking Sector
Jan 15, 2008
January 2008 - This report analyzes the corporate governance and strategic approaches of 40 of the world's largest banks to the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change. The financial community is at the center of this economic transformation. With nearly $6 trillion in market capitalization, banks are the world's major capital providers and risk management experts. As such, banks have a vital role in finding timely, practical and cost-effective solutions to mitigate climate change and adapt the economy to its already apparent effects.
The Quiet Revolution in Business Reporting
May 06, 2007
May 2007 - This report discusses the limitations of business reporting under today's accounting rules, chronicles the progress made by a variety of disclosure initiatives since the 1990s, and identifies the Global Reporting Initiative as the emerging standard in comprehensive non-financial reporting. The report anticipates a future where comprehensive business disclosure has become a core component of good corporate governance, enabling corporate executives and boards to anticipate new challenges, make effective long-term investments, and respond to the increased complexity of an interdependent global economy.
TXU's Expansion Proposal: A Risk for Investors
Feb 06, 2007
February 2007 - The report concludes that TXU's investors &mdash whether as public shareholders or private investors - will face a multitude of financial risks if the company moves forward with its plans to build 9,000 megawatts of pulverized coal-fired capacity. The report cites construction cost over-runs, burdensome regulatory costs as climate regulations take hold and a slowing of power demand in Texas as state legislators aggressively push energy efficiency and other energy-saving programs.