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Ceres CEO Mindy Lubber delivers remarks at TEDxBoston.

Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets

Our center for excellence within Ceres aims to transform the practices and policies that govern capital markets by engaging federal and state regulators, financial institutions, investors, and corporate boards to act on climate change as a systemic financial risk.

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Our initiatives

Our initiatives are a central pillar of Ceres’ mission to help investors and companies accelerate the transition to a cleaner, more just, and sustainable economy.

accelerates emissions reductions in the highest-emitting sectors.

calls on the world’s largest polluters to act on climate change.

speeds up the transition to electric vehicles by supporting companies in making electric fleet commitments.

is an investor-led initiative aimed at accelerating progress towards a low-emissions future in the food sector.

initiative galvanizes asset managers to commit to and achieve net zero goals.

drives greater corporate action to reverse nature loss and biodiversity decline.

initiative mobilizes asset owners to commit to and achieve net zero goals.

engages companies with a large water footprint to value and act on water risk.

Our History

Ceres was founded in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska by a group of forward-thinking investors who recognized that environmental disasters caused by corporations carry deep financial, business, and economic risk. They called on companies with the largest footprint to acknowledge their environmental impacts and act more responsibly to help protect our communities and economies.

Later in the year, Ceres issued “The Ceres Principles,” a 10-point code of environmental conduct for corporations. Ceres leaders spent the next decade engaging with companies to publicly endorse these principles and holding them accountable for their actions and impacts. Many of these companies have since joined the Ceres Company Network.

Ceres and the Tellus Institute established the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the most ambitious worldwide effort to boost corporate disclosure on environmental, social, and human rights performance. For the next five years, Ceres fostered and grew the initiative, eventually spinning it off as an organization based in Amsterdam. Since then, it has become the international standard for voluntary corporate sustainability disclosure.

Ceres released a pivotal report, Value at Risk, which laid out the various risks related to climate change, including physical risks and regulatory risks, and the financial ripples these risks would create for companies in their portfolios. It caught the attention of mainstream investors including pension funds and state treasurers who were just starting to recognize that climate change was impacting global business.

Ceres and the United Nations Foundation co-hosted the first Investor Summit on Climate Risk at the United Nations in New York City. At the summit’s conclusion, Ceres and a group of 10 institutional investors launched the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), etching the term “climate risk” into the financial lexicon for the first time. INCR would later become known as the Ceres Investor Network.

Ceres, Environmental Defense Fund, and more than a dozen investors petitioned the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to require full corporate disclosure of wide-ranging climate-related business impacts—and strategies for addressing those impacts—in their financial filings. Subsequent petitions were filed in 2008 and 2009.

Ceres launched Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), a new policy network to help leading companies voice their support for the policies our economy urgently needs to prevent the dire financial and material risks of the climate crisis.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued new interpretive guidance that clarifies what publicly traded companies need to disclose to investors in terms of climate-related material effects on business operations. The guidance came after Ceres and investors filed three petitions with the agency to issue climate disclosure rules. While the guidance isn’t mandatory, it is a major step forward and paves the way for future mandatory climate disclosure rules.

Ceres also released “The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability.” This new roadmap outlined 20 expectations in corporate governance, stakeholder engagement, disclosure, and performance that, if met, would transform companies into truly sustainable enterprises. The Ceres Roadmap, which has set a new standard for progress, has helped dozens of leading companies—including Nike, EMC, and Ford—drive change in industries from apparel to electronics and beyond.

Ceres and member companies launched the Climate Declaration, a call to action from leading American businesses urging the public, policymakers, and business leaders to seize the economic opportunity in tackling climate change. Signed by more than 750 companies in all, the Climate Declaration helped raise public awareness and build pressure for more aggressive climate action.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated that a $36 trillion increase in investment in clean energy by 2050 can keep us below the 2-degree threshold to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. As a result, Ceres launched the Clean Trillion challenge, calling on businesses, investors, and policymakers to take measures to close the gap by investing $1 trillion every year.

After years of Ceres building investor and corporate support for global action on the climate crisis, the Paris Agreement was adopted by 196 Parties at the UN Climate Change Conference. This international treaty on climate change aims to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels” and pursue efforts “to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.” The treaty went into force in November 2016.

The AgWater Challenge, led by Ceres and the World Wildlife Fund, engaged major companies with significant agricultural supply chains on water stewardship. The effort spurred nine companies — including ADM, Danone North America, Diageo, Driscoll’s, General Mills, Hormel Foods, Kellogg Company, PepsiCo, and Target—to make more than 25 stronger, more transparent, and time-bound and measurable commitments that better protect our limited freshwater resources.

After President Trump announced his plans to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement in June, Ceres and WWF launched the “We Are Still In” movement where more than 1,100 investors and businesses, along with nine states, more than 145 cities, and more than 220 colleges and universities came together to tell world leaders, “We are still in” and reaffirm their commitment to reaching the goals of the climate accord.

In the fall, Ceres and our global investor partners launched Climate Action 100+, an investor-led initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. Since its launch, Climate Action 100+ has become the largest-ever global investor engagement initiative on climate change, with growing influence and impact.

In an effort to scale up corporate climate commitment and drive more corporate action to tackle the climate crisis, Ceres launched our Commit to Climate initiative. The initiative drove hundreds of new corporate climate commitments over the next few years.

Ceres launched the Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets to transform the practices and policies that govern capital markets to reduce the worst financial impacts of the climate crisis. It aims to drive large-scale behavior and systems change needed to support a net zero emissions economy through engaging investors, banks, and insurers.

Ceres launched the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance to accelerate the business transition to electric vehicles (EVs) in all vehicle segments—from light-duty passenger cars to heavy-duty trucks. Members of the Alliance include Amazon, DHL, Hertz, IKEA, Lyft, National Grid, Uber and more.

With the support of thousands of investors and companies as part of the We Are Still In movement co-founded by Ceres, President Biden fulfilled his campaign promise to enter the U.S. back into the Paris Climate Agreement.

In July, Ceres launched its Food Emissions 50 initiative to call on 50 of the highest-emitting publicly traded food and agriculture companies in North America to improve emissions disclosures, set ambitious emission reduction targets, and implement climate transition plans in line with the Paris Agreement.

In the fall, Ceres launched Ceres Ambition 2030, a new initiative to decarbonize six of the highest-emitting sectors and help build a stable, just, and climate-resilient economy by driving greater corporate ambition, action, and accountability on aggressive greenhouse gas emission reductions. These sectors—banking, electric power, food and agriculture, oil and gas, steel, and transportation—account for approximately 80% of total U.S. emissions.

Ceres launched the Valuing Water Finance Initiative, an effort to move corporate water users and polluters to value and act on water as a financial risk. At launch, the initiative had 64 institutional investors representing $9.8 trillion in assets under management that were committed to engaging with companies to drive sustainable water leadership. The initiative has since grown to nearly 100 participating global investors.

Later that year, a group of institutional investors announced the formation of Nature Action 100, a global investor-led engagement initiative driving urgent corporate action on nature and biodiversity loss. Ceres and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) co-lead the initiative’s Secretariat and Corporate Engagement workstreams.

After two decades of pressure from Ceres and investors, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted the first-ever federal rule mandating the disclosure of climate-related risks from all U.S. public companies. Since the draft rule was first released in March 2022, Ceres has actively engaged with investors and companies to educate and prepare them as they align their businesses with the new disclosure requirements.

Our values

Ceres relies on a set of core values to guide our work and build a community where our people, our members, our partners, and our supporters can all thrive.


to the highest standards of ethics, science, honesty, and transparency because in our effort to achieve impact, we must not lose sight of why we do the work and of our expectations of each other and our collaborators.  

Equity and belonging

to build a just community, foster equitable participation, share power and decision-making, grow and develop together, and encourage colleagues to be allies in fighting all forms of oppression and injustice.  


because delivering durable solutions to the world’s most urgent sustainability challenges is only possible when we work with partners with a wide range of expertise and diverse perspectives.  

Compassion and respect

in advocating for our colleagues, our partners, the global community, and for the well-being of the planet.  

Pragmatic advocacy

because our mission is urgent and pursuing ambitious, innovative, and achievable solutions is the most effective way to realize our bold vision to transform capital market systems.

Support our work

As a nonprofit organization, we depend on the generous support of donors and foundations. Your gift to Ceres will help accelerate the transition to a cleaner, more just, and sustainable world.

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