• Awarded: 2006
  • Issue Areas: Clean Energy · Environmental Sustainability · Living Conditions · Responsible Supply Chains · Sustainable Markets · Water Management
  • Region: North America
  • Web:
  • About the Organization

    Ceres is a non-profit organization advocating for sustainability leadership. They mobilize a powerful network of investors, companies, and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy.

    Ceres was founded by a small group of investors in 1989 in response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The organization has been working for more than 20 years to weave sustainable strategies and practices into the fabric and decision-making of companies, investors, and other key economic players.

    Ceres is uniquely positioned at the nexus of the business, investment, and advocacy communities. To advance their mission and vision, they leverage the power of partners – leading investors, Fortune 500 companies, thought leaders, and policymakers – to positively influence change. Ceres relies on the power and expertise of the companies they engage with, the investors they bring together, and the public interest groups they work with.

    In modern corporate culture, sustainability is often an afterthought. Global climate is irreparably harmed by carbon pollution, with disastrous consequences.

    Ceres engages institutional investors to focus on climate risk and supports companies adopting sustainability strategies.

    Mindy Lubber promotes the integration of sustainability solutions into capital markets.

    Ceres worked with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on the world’s first mandatory standard requiring climate risk disclosure by all public companies.

    Ambition for Change

    Capital market practices incorporate long-term environmental and social risks instead of merely relying on short-term returns as a measure of economic health.

    Path to Scale

    Innovation, Thought Leadership, Building Influential Networks By engaging with large institutional investors and working with Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders, Ceres amplifies its message and influence.

    Business Model

    Philanthropic and fee-based support of  tools, research, analysis, and convenings that make the case to businesses, often through investor engagement, that tackling climate change and other sustainability threats is a crucial step to manage investor risk, that benefits everyone.

    When the Exxon Valdez slammed into a reef and spilled a quarter-million barrels of crude oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound in 1989, the ensuing outrage created an opportunity for a public dialogue about and re-evaluation of the role and responsibility of companies as stewards of the global environment. Mindy Lubber was ready to lead that dialogue; since her teen-age years she had been an environmental advocate and entrepreneur, and was building a career that would cast her as a leading advocate for sustainability in the fields of finance, law, and government. She joined with like-minded colleagues and a network of institutional investors to elaborate an environmental code of conduct, which became the Ceres principles. Ceres went on to launch the Global Reporting Initiative, which became the standard for corporate sustainability disclosure, a network of institutional investors using their power as shareholders to advance sustainability and develop the concept of “climate risk” as a key fiduciary issue, and a network of leading companies adopting and promoting sustainability strategies.

    Impact & Accomplishments

    • Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), now includes 110 institutional investors with collective assets totaling $13 trillion
    • Organized an investor petition with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which led to the adoption of the world’s first mandatory climate disclosure standard in 2010, requiring climate risk disclosure by all U.S. public companies
    • GRI used for sustainability disclosure by 6,000 companies worldwide
    • Mobilized investor and business networks to support mileage targets averaging 54.5 mpg for cars and trucks sold in the U.S. by 2025. The standards, adopted in 2012, are the largest carbon-pollution-reduction measure the U.S. has taken to date.


    Mindy LubberPresident, Ceres

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