Markets working to support sustainable development

Ceres Coalition and Principles

The Ceres Coalition of investors, environmental organisations and other public interest groups states it’s mission as: ‘Integrating sustainability into capital markets for the health of the planet and people’. The coalition includes many Fortune 500 companies and is involved in improving the dialogue between multiple stakeholders through engagement and disclosure.

As part of this mission the Ceres Principles were developed. Companies are encouraged to publically endorse them and move towards implementing sustainable practices in their business activities. By endorsing these principles, companies can make use of the expertise of CERES across many sectors. They also demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. The principles are:

  • Protection of the Biosphere
  • Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
  • Reduction and Disposal of Wastes
  • Energy Conservation
  • Risk Reduction
  • Safe Products and Services
  • Environmental Restoration
  • Informing the Public
  • Management Commitment
  • Audits and Reports

Companies are required to self evaluate their progress annually and to complete the Ceres Report – this is made publically available.

In 2009 Ceres lauched its vision for a sustainable global economy by 2020. This was built on 4 key pillars:

  1. Honest accounting that includes sustainability concerns.
  2. Higher standards of business and investor leadership.
  3. Scalable solutions to spur green innovation
  4. Smart new policies that discourage pollution and reward sustainable technologies.
Market coverage: 

The Ceres Coalition is made up of over 130 member organisations. Ceres works with 65 companies as part of its Company Network. It also launched and directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk – this is a group of over 100 institutional investors with collective assets of more than US$ 11 trillion.

Background information: 

Based in Boston, US, the Ceres Coalition was formed in 1989 as a reaction to the Exxon Valdez oil spill and has since then increased in membership. It regularly publishes reports and was involved in, along with UNEP, setting up the Global Reporting Initiative.

Funding source: 

During 2013, the Ceres Coalition raised over US$9 million from various sources, including: 

  • Foundation and grants, 42 per cent 
  • Company and membership fees, 22 per cent
  • Special awards, 16 per cent 
  • Conference fees, sponsorship and other corporate support, 13 per cent
  • Individual and family donations, 5 per cent