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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

Investing in the Clean Trillion: Closing The Clean Energy Investment Gap Executive Summary
Jan 15, 2014
An executive summary of the Ceres report Investing in the Clean Trillion: Closing The Clean Energy Investment Gap.
Investing in the Clean Trillion: Closing The Clean Energy Investment Gap
Jan 15, 2014
In 2010 world governments agreed to limit the increase in global temperature to two degrees Celsius (2 °C) above pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. To have an 80 percent chance of maintaining this 2 °C limit, the IEA estimates an additional $36 trillion in clean energy investment is needed through 2050—or an average of $1 trillion more per year compared to a “business as usual” scenario over the next 36 years. This Ceres report provides 10 recommendations for investors, companies and policymakers to increase annual global investment in clean energy to at least $1 trillion by 2030—roughly a four-fold jump from current investment levels.
Assessing Water System Revenue Risk: Considerations for Market Analysts
Aug 07, 2013
Water utilities are on the brink of extraordinary investments to replace aging infrastructure—the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that by 2030, capital expenditures of more than $300 billion will be needed to safeguard drinking water. Yet this investment comes at a time when Americans’ water use habits are changing—resulting in considerable uncertainty for water systems planning capital programs to replace or expand their assets.
The 21st Century Investor: Ceres Blueprint for Sustainable Investing
Jun 26, 2013
Unprecedented risks to the global economy make this a challenging time for the 21st century investor—institutional asset owners and their investment managers—most of which have multi-generational obligations to beneficiaries. Climate change, resource scarcity, population growth, energy demand, ensuring the human rights of workers across global supply chains, and access to fresh water are some of the major issues challenging our ability to build a sustainable economy, one that meets the needs of people today without compromising the needs of future generations.
Disclosure Framework for Water & Sewer Enterprises
Apr 02, 2013
In its Report on Municipal Securities Market, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission recommends the development of best practices in disclosure to improve the fairness and efficiency of the municipal market. Given the heightened attention to credit analysis across the municipal market, and the shifting operating environment facing issuers within the water and sewer sector, Ceres is issuing this disclosure framework to ensure that all material information is provided to investors in the primary and secondary markets.