Ceres

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Ceres
Headquarters Location: Boston, MA
Founded: 1989


Mission: Ceres's mission is: Mobilizing investor and business leadership to build a thriving, sustainable global economy


Tags: 2012, national, climate change, business, coalition, susainability, aternative energy


Ceres
Story: Ceres is always looking to open new doors, especially with companies that have enormous potential to drive corporate responsibility across entire industries. A good example is our engagement with computer giant Dell, which faces daunting challenges regarding energy use, toxics,… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
Ceres works to engage a group that is often seen as being in direct opposition to environmental wellness, the business community. By engaging business leaders as their voice, they add credibility to the perspective that emissions reduction is just as much an economic investment as an environmental one. Through their work they are able to apply pressure to organizations that are not working toward reduced emissions, and celebrate those that are. They help to facilitate these changes by providing practical advice as regulations change, hosting an annual conference to have genuine discussions among the business community, and facilitating two coalitions that drive for changes in policy and in the business community.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
Ceres Mindy Lubber. Mindy S. Lubber is the president of Ceres and a founding board member of the organization. She also directs Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a group of 100 institutional investors managing nearly $10 trillion in assets focused on the business risks and opportunities of climate change.

Under Mindy’s leadership, Ceres launched The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap… See full bio.


Transparency Information
Silver-big
This organization has earned the GuideStar Participation Level Silver, demonstrating its commitment to transparency (learn more)


Financial Data
Charity Navigator Rating: 4stars (profile)
Total Revenue:
$7,096,274


From the Nonprofit
The nonprofit has not added any comments yet. If you are a representative of this nonprofit and would like to leave a comment, please email us at feedback@myphilanthropedia.org with your request.


Contact Info
E-Mail:
info AT ceres.org
Phone:
617.247.0700
Facebook:
Follow_fb
Address:
99 Chauncy Street 6th Floor
 
Boston, MA 02111 , USA
Twitter:
Follow_twitter


Ceres Story: Ceres is always looking to open new doors, especially with companies that have enormous potential to drive corporate responsibility across entire industries. A good example is our engagement with computer giant Dell, which faces daunting challenges regarding energy use, toxics, waste disposal and supply chain practices.

Responding to growing consumer concerns about the industry’s environmental impacts, Dell decided several years ago to elevate its leadership on corporate responsibility. The company set specific goals to improve its sustainability practices, but it lacked the necessary outside-party engagement that would lend credibility and expertise to the company’s initiatives. Dell joined Ceres in 2006 to get that outside expertise.

In April 2006, a Ceres-convened group of investors, labor experts and environmentalists met with Dell executives to discuss how the company could improve its environmental and social performance. The group reviewed Dell’s 2006 sustainability report and helped develop the company’s sustainability strategy for the coming year. The meeting included a broad discussion on supply-chain compliance, product recycling and environmental design, as well as the company’s role in fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS in countries where it has a presence.

The Ceres meeting was a defining moment that led Dell to support state and national electronics recycling legislation. Dell has also unveiled a first-of-its-kind product recovery program, including free recycling of any Dell-branded products for consumers around the world. The program has already shattered expectations: Dell recycled 40,000 tons of computer products in 2006, a 72 percent jump over 2005.

In addition to pledging to triple the recovery and recycling of used computer equipment by 2009, the 2006 sustainability report included specific goals for improving supply chain working conditions, product energy efficiency and compliance with hazardous substances mandates.

Ceres is now encouraging Dell to take a leadership role on climate change – an effort that has already resulted in Dell committing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2012. The company is also pressing its top suppliers for annual reports on their own greenhouse emissions – information that will affect how much future business Dell will do with the suppliers.

Expert Reviews of Ceres

Evidence of Impact Summary:

Ceres works to engage a group that is often seen as being in direct opposition to environmental wellness, the business community. By engaging business leaders as their voice, they add credibility to the perspective that emissions reduction is just as much an economic investment as an environmental one. Through their work they are able to apply pressure to organizations that are not working toward reduced emissions, and celebrate those that are. They help to facilitate these changes by providing practical advice as regulations change, hosting an annual conference to have genuine discussions among the business community, and facilitating two coalitions that drive for changes in policy and in the business community.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

The most prominent strength of Ceres is the important niche that they fill in the climate change community. Their deep knowledge and understanding of the business community serves to develop a bridge between the two worlds in a way that is truly supportive of the business community. Ceres has a strong vision and is focused in their execution. Their understanding of the landscape helps them to make wise strategic decisions in their work. Their organization is fortunate to have strong leadership in the Executive Director and Board of Directors. They also have knowledgeable staff members.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

Experts suggest Ceres could improve by diversifying their audience. One expert recommends that Ceres broaden outreach to include businesses that have been particularly resistant to climate change work. Another suggests Ceres reach out to citizens and help them understand the role they can play in combating climate change. Ceres could also improve by working to grow the media profile of staff; this could help with the organization’s long term sustainability. Since Ceres’ work requires buy-in from the business community, Ceres should be mindful of the potential to over-compromise and dilute their intensions.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Facilitating Policy Change

F
Ceres has helped to bring about changes in company sustainability reporting, monitoring, and management action on both climate and water risks. They have also facilitated changes in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules around climate risk disclosure.
F
Their BICEP network was spectacular during the cap and trade fight, and staffers Anne Kelly and Chris Fox should be applauded for their incredible service to the whole. The investors network has been spectacular.

Mobilizing the Business Community

F
Ceres has done a great job of getting and holding the attention of large financial players, including the insurance industry, and giving them a platform to link their voices and actions.
N
Ceres engages in business outreach and activism.
N
They mobilize powerful business interests to advocate for progress on climate and clean energy.
N
Ceres has successfully organized shareholder resolution campaigns to target companies that are taking insufficient action on climate change. The approach, while not always successful, is high profile and can be impactful in bringing climate issues to the forefront of the agenda of targeted companies. Ceres also works successfully with companies, pushing for stronger shareholder engagement processes. Their annual conferences are well attended by companies, which illustrates their power to convene companies and realistically discuss corporate strategies to impact climate change.
N
Having a business voice on climate is very important and Ceres has some high profile efforts that are very supportive for taking action (INCR, for example).

Proving the Economic Argument

F
Climate policy has fallen into the "Environment vs. Economy" trap. Environmental groups are not seen as credible spokespeople on issues, such as the economic benefits of a low carbon economy or the jobs that could be created. But, businesses are. Ceres has been successful in engaging major corporations and their leaders, and to have those corporations and leaders speak out about the business and economic risks created by climate change and the opportunities created by moving to a low carbon economy. This work does not replace direct advocacy, grassroots organizing, protests, or other tools employed by the environmental community. But, it adds a new means of countering the Chamber of Commerce and other corporate interests who have denied or downplayed climate and energy issues. Members of Congress and their staffs have consistently said that they need to "hear from more business voices" on climate, and Ceres is one of the most effective groups in getting that voice organized and amplified.
R
They are working to change how investors can affect climate change policy - not through an environmental ethic, but through their aversion to risk.
N
Using business language to influence businesses is a critical role CERES plays.

Supporting Business

R
Ceres provides a springboard for engagement of the business community. They are providing practical advice on issues, like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requirement that companies disclose risks from climate change to their investors, that will help bring climate issues more directly into corporate governance and decision making.
O
Ceres has been a very strong voice in engaging the investor community on climate change risks to companies. They lead the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) and Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), two coalitions driving for action to reduce the risks associated with climate change.
N
They are working with the private sector.
N
Working with business is crucial to getting something done.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

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Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Sharp Focus

F
This organization is guided by the passion and strategic analysis of an excellent Executive Director backed by a strong Board, and the work is executed by uniformly excellent staff. Ceres has grown steadily over the last few years, even in a tough economic environment, due to its clarity of purpose and definitive niche in the nonprofit climate change field.
R
Ceres' strengths are their focus, staff, and leadership.
O
They have a very clear view of what is required to drive change. Ceres is also a good coalition builder.
O
They are fantastic. They really fill a niche in terms of organizing the financial sector, and they are well managed.

Refined Strategy

F
Ceres clearly understands the motivations and unique challenges of large corporations. They speak the right language.
F
Ceres is well run, fiscally sound, and moves easily between the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds. They understand the needs of corporate leaders and shareholders, but are not afraid to push them to become leaders on issues where businesses can be most persuasive to decision makers, the media, and opinion leaders. Some examples of their leadership building work can be seen in their programs involving investors and insurers, and their Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) program.
R
Ceres has smart leadership. They are going to the right places to make a change in investments, such as the insurance and re-insurance industry. Another strength is their large investors, such as California and New York pension investors.

Strong Leadership & Staffs

N
They have great leadership and staff.
N
The organization has great leadership, a strong vision, and a good staff.
N
I think their CEO, Mindy Lubber is one of the best in the business - too busy - but terrific. She has a good sense of what could help the states and federal government.
F
Mindy Lubber is a visionary leader who has assembled a dynamic team and is working with corporations in the U.S. and globally. I admired their efforts to reduce carbon 25% from 1990 levels by 2020. This is a stretch goal that exceeded perhaps every major green group in the fight. They've influenced corporate and investor behavior.

Strong Outreach

N
Ceres' media outreach is strong. They have consistently made news with their progress. They organize their work into coalitions for investors, NGOs, and companies, and that is very effective.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Improve Collaboration

N
Perhaps they could improve on collaboration.
N
I think the management of their business group is very poor. I know many people who would like to work with Ceres who avoid that staff member, and as a result, overall Ceres isn't a great as it could be.

Improve Communication

N
To ensure the longevity of the organization, it would be good to see the media profile of staff, beyond the Executive Director, increased.
N
They could improve by communicating their impacts better.
O
I would love to see them get more media attention for their work.

Avoid Over-Compromising

F
Ceres always runs the risk of having some of their more ambitious actions "watered down" in order to get sufficient support from businesses. This makes them an effective "flank" in the climate war, rather than the leading edge.

Expand Target Audience

R
Ceres could help citizens understand how they can help support this strategy.
R
They could broaden their work and start to engage corporations that have held the climate issue at arms' length.

Continue Taking Risks

F
Mindy seems to be taking more risks that many appreciate. She is risking dissonance and pushing her networks to face the tough reality of a growth based, consumption driven economy. I appreciate the group's efforts to show the way for 21st century green business practices. I want them to keep moving to the edge, bypassing and exceeding the norms set by donors and peers.

Seek Tangible Outcomes

N
They are good at getting corporations to talk about climate, but I'm not sure it translates into corporate funding to address national policy.


Leadership

Ceres
Mindy Lubber
President
Mindy S. Lubber is the president of Ceres and a founding board member of the organization. She also directs Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a group of 100 institutional investors managing nearly $10 trillion in assets focused on the business risks and opportunities of climate change.

Under Mindy’s leadership, Ceres launched The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability, a visionary practical guide highlighting environmental and social performance improvements companies and investors must achieve to succeed in the resource-constrained 21st century global economy. She also helps coordinate Ceres' Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), a coalition of more than 20 leading consumer brand companies advocating for strong climate and clean energy policies in the U.S. and abroad.

Mindy regularly speaks about corporate and investor sustainability issues to high-level leaders at the New York Stock Exchange, United Nations, World Economic Forum, Clinton Global Initiative, American Accounting Association, American Bar Association and more than 100 Fortune 500 firms. She has led negotiating teams of investors, NGOs and Fortune 500 company CEOs who have taken far-reaching positions on corporate practices to minimize carbon emissions, water use and other environmental impacts. She has briefed powerful corporate boards, from Nike to American Electric Power, on how climate change affects shareholder value. She is also a sustainability thought leader and regularly blogs for Huffington Post and Forbes.

In 2010, Mindy was honored by the United Nations and the Foundation for Social Change as one of the “World’s Top Leaders of Change” for her work in mobilizing leading companies to integrate environmental challenges into core business strategies. She is a recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and was named one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Corporate Governance” by Directorship magazine.

Prior to Ceres, Mindy held various leadership positions in government, financial services and the not-for-profit sector. Mindy joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1995 as a senior policy advisor and was named regional administrator under President Bill Clinton in 2000. As regional administrator, she was responsible for the administration and management of the EPA’s New England Regional Office and its then $450 million annual budget. Additional key priorities in her role included organizing aggressive cleanups of hazardous waste sites with a goal of redevelopment, new jobs and urban revitalization as well as ensuring the long-term protection of drinking water supplies.

Mindy was the founder, president and CEO of Green Century Capital Management, a family of environmentally responsible mutual funds. She also served as president of the National Environmental Law Center.

Mindy holds a master’s in Business Administration from SUNY Buffalo and earned her law degree from Suffolk University. She resides in Brookline, Mass., with her husband and two children.

From the Nonprofit

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