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Ceres, Inc. Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 09/19/2014: Ceres, Inc.

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 10/17/2014: CERES INC

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Boston, MA
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GuideStar Summary

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&1002; Registered with IRS Legitimacy information is available
&1002; Evidence of Impact Expert Assessment and Reviews available
&1002; Financial Data Annual Revenue and Expense data reported
&1002; Forms 990 2012, 2011, and 2010 Forms 990 filed with the IRS
&1002; Mission Objectives Mission Statement is available
&1002; Impact Summary Impact Summary from the nonprofit and Charting Impact Report are available
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Basic Organization Information

Ceres, Inc. Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 09/19/2014: Ceres, Inc.

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 10/17/2014: CERES INC

* The GuideStar Exchange allows nonprofits to regularly update key information directly to GuideStar. It provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more.
Physical Address: Boston, MA 02111 1703
EIN: 22-3053747
Web URL: www.ceres.org 
Blog URL: blogs.forbes.com/mindylubber/ 
Video URL(s): Ceres: Mobilizing Business Leadership for a Sustainable World
NTEE Category: C Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification
C01 Alliance/Advocacy Organizations
C Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification
C02 Management & Technical Assistance
W Public, Society Benefit
W99 Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C.
Ruling Year: 1990 


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Mission Statement

Ceres’ mission is to mobilize business and investor leadership to build a thriving, sustainable global economy. Growing climate disruptions, water and resource scarcity, and fragile supply chains are indicators of an economic system grossly out of balance with long-term human and environmental needs. Ceres leverages the power of key economic actors – major corporations, institutional investors, and market drivers such as policymakers and the SEC – to mitigate climate change, address water availability, and tackle other sustainability threats.

Legitimacy Information

This organization is registered with the IRS.

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Annual Revenue & Expenses (GuideStar Exchange,
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September 2014)

Fiscal Year Starting: November 1, 2012
Fiscal Year Ending: October 31, 2013

Total Revenue $9,178,941
Total Expenses $8,377,340

Revenue & Expenses (GuideStar Exchange,
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September 2014)

Fiscal Year Starting: November 1, 2012
Fiscal Year Ending: October 31, 2013

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Balance Sheet (IRS Form 990)

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Forms 990 Received from the IRS Additional Information
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Forms 990 Provided by the Nonprofit

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Annual Reports

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Leadership (GuideStar Exchange,
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September 2014)

Ms. Mindy Lubber

Profile:

Ms. Lubber has held leadership positions in government, in the financial services sector, in the private sector and in the not-for-profit sector. As Regional Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency's New England office, Ms. Lubber was responsible for the administration and management of the 800 person, $450 million dollar office. In that role, Ms. Lubber was the chief environmental law enforcement official for New England and the senior decision maker on federal law and regulations impacting the New England states. Prior to the EPA, she was the Founder, CEO and President of Green Century Capital Management, an investment firm dedicated to investing in environmentally responsible companies. Ms. Lubber launched the Green Century Funds' two environmentally screened mutual funds. Ms. Lubber was Senior Advisor and Communications Director to former Governor Michael Dukakis. For a decade, Ms. Lubber held leadership positions with the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG) including Chairwoman of the Board of Directors. She founded the National Environmental Law Center, directed two successful, statewide ballot campaigns including the Massachusetts Bottle Bill Campaign and the Campaign to Clean Up Hazardous Waste, both of which resulted in the enactment of new environmental protection statutes. Ms. Lubber is an Attorney and holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

Leadership Statement:

Climate change is dramatically altering ecosystems and water resources even as a growing global population places unsustainable demands on freshwater supplies. Sea-level rise, coupled with more frequent, intense storms, will bring storm surges that threaten major metropolitan areas and energy and transportation infrastructure. These changes are happening everywhere; there isn’t a single business that doesn’t face climate and water risks, risks that must be fully integrated into business and investment decisions. As our global population soars toward 9 billion by mid-century, the demand for energy, especially in developing countries where energy is key to economic develop- ment, is expected to grow exponentially. If we continue to meet that need with fossil fuels, we will accelerate and deepen the climate crisis. The solution is the development of affordable clean and renewable energy sources — an investment that will require huge capital investments with the potential for equally large investment returns. Indeed, economic opportunities abound for new sustainability-related products and services — electric cars, waterless manufacturing and innovative energy- efficiency financing, just to name a few. Ceres has worked tirelessly to mobilize capital toward the opportunity side of the equation because creativity and innovation — the power of markets — are our best hope for building a sustainable global economy for generations to come. Focusing companies and investors on sustainability is a strategic lever for the large-scale changes needed to protect the human and natural resources that are the foundation of a vibrant, sustainable economy. Over the long term, it also makes economic and business sense: the companies that are best prepared for sustainability risks and opportunities will be those that thrive in a 21st century economy.

Board Chair (GuideStar Exchange,
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September 2014)

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September 2014)

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September 2014)

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Board Leadership Practices (GuideStar Exchange,
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September 2014)
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Board Orientation & Education ?
Why does this matter? Without clarity around their responsibilities and expectations, board members are not positioned to succeed. They may find themselves challenged to fulfill their governance responsibilities or frustrated by the expectations that the organization has set for them. BoardSource recommends that every new board member participate in a formal orientation process, and that all board members sign a pledge or agreement committing to their board service and to all of the responsibilities and expectations that come with service. Ideally, board members also should participate in a formal governance training program prior to serving on a board.

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Response Not Provided
CEO Oversight ?
Why does this matter? Oversight and management of the chief executive is one of the board’s most important legal responsibilities. The CEO or executive director is the board's single employee, and - just like any other employer/employee relationship - regular and written assessment is critical to ensuring that the chief executive and board are communicating openly about goals and performance. BoardSource recommends that boards conduct formal, written reviews of their chief executives on an annual basis, which should include an in-person discussion with the chief executive and distribution of the written evaluation to the full board.

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
Response Not Provided
Ethics & Transparency ?
Why does this matter? A commitment to handling conflicts of interests is essential to creating an organizational culture of transparency. Boards should create and follow a policy for identifying and handling conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived. BoardSource recommends that organizations review the conflict-of-interest statement and require signed disclosures from all board members and senior staff on an annual basis.

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements within the past year?
Response Not Provided
Board Composition ?
Why does this matter? The best boards are composed of individuals who bring a variety of skills, perspectives, backgrounds, and resources to tackle the complex and strategic challenges confronting their organizations. BoardSource recommends that boards commit to diversity and inclusion by establishing written policies and practices, which include strategic and intentional recruitment of diverse board members, continual commitment to inclusivity, and equal access to board leadership opportunities.

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Response Not Provided
Board Performance ?
Why does this matter? Boards need to regularly assess their own performance. Doing so ensures that they are being intentional about how they govern their organization, which is a critical component of effective board leadership. BoardSource recommends that a board conduct a self-assessment of its performance a minimum of once every three years to ensure that it is staying on track with its roles and responsibilities.

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?
Response Not Provided

Officers for Fiscal Year (IRS Form 990)

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Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation (IRS Form 990)

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Programs

Program: Sustainable Business Strategies (GuideStar Exchange,
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September 2014)

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Program Description:

Goal: Advance large-scale change in sustainability strategy and performance by building on and expanding the leadership actions of companies in pivotal industries  Accelerate uptake of leading practices in The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability by companies and their suppliers Mobilize the 70+ Ceres companies to achieve comprehensive environmental and social performance improvements in products, operations and supply chains Establish sustainability as a permanent strategic governance priority at the corporate Board and CEO levels and ensure it is managed throughout the enterprise Shape global consensus on corporate disclosure frameworks to drive integrated reporting, comparable key performance indicators and transparency of sustainability information for investors and stakeholders

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Program: Sustainable Capital Markets (GuideStar Exchange,
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Program Description:

Goal: Mobilize the most influential financial market actors to promote and integrate sustainability into investment decision-making, corporate practices and public policy. • Accelerate the adoption of leading investment practices for integrating environmental, social and governance issues across the financial markets, including the $10 trillion Ceres-led Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), through The Ceres 21st Century Investor Roadmap for Sustainable Investing • Leverage the strength of investors to promote and implement sustainable business practices among major global companies • Achieve robust sustainability risk management practices among key gatekeeper market institutions, including securities and insurance regulators, credit rating agencies, investment consultants and global stock exchanges • Launch a Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change focused on strong climate and clean energy policies to reduce carbon emissions and facilitate sustainable investment worldwide • Catalyze significant increases in investment in energy efficiency and other low-carbon solutions necessary to achieve sustainability throughout the world’s economy

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Program: Climate & Clean Energy (GuideStar Exchange,
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Program Description:

Goal: Accelerate the sustainable global economy by championing low-carbon business, investor and policy solutions to drive economic growth and mitigate the impacts of climate change  • Decarbonize the electric power and transportation sectors by advancing low and no-carbon electricity generation and infrastructure, clean fuels, and clean transportation choices that create jobs and stimulate sustainable economic development  • Reduce the risks and minimize the social and environmental impacts of higher-polluting fossil fuel production • Mobilize the insurance industry to encourage broad, aggressive • action to boost climate resiliency and address the root causes of climate change • Expand coalitions of companies and investors advocating for bold public policies to steeply reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand efficiency and renewable energy • Engage major corporations and their global supply chains in the implementation of new business strategies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and source renewable energy

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Program: Water (GuideStar Exchange,
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September 2014)

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Program Description:

Goal: Advance business, investor and government policies and practices to ensure abundant clean water supplies and healthy ecosystems Accelerate uptake of leading water stewardship practices outlined in the Ceres Aqua Gauge by prominent global companies in priority sectors, including food & beverage, oil & gas, electric power, and apparel Mobilize the largest companies operating in high-stress watersheds to set goals and make significant progress to reduce water use and pollution in their operations and supply chains Advance the sustainability of U.S. water infrastructure by enabling the largest water utilities to promote conservation, reduce water loss and energy use, and invest in green infrastructure

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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit Additional Information
A Charting Impact Report consists of an organization’s responses to the five questions. Helping validate this self-reported data are three reviews. Once an organization has used the online interface to complete its report, its responses will produce a document with a unique URL that will be shared on this website, on your GuideStar profile, on the reports of charities participating in BBB Wise Giving Alliance evaluations, and – in the future – with other websites and information sources about nonprofits. We encourage organizations to use this URL to share their report on their own website and through their own media channels. Participants will receive guidance about promoting their Charting Impact Report, along with other benefits, once they publish their report.

Over our 23-year history we have persuaded major companies and institutional investors that sustainability risks are embedded in every business and portfolio. We introduced the term ‘climate risk’ into the economic lexicon, and we’re now doing the same for ‘water risk.’ We made the case that these are material risks that directors and executives have a fiduciary duty to assess, disclose and address. A decade ago few companies or investors even conceived of these risks. Now hundreds of the world’s largest companies and investors are integrating climate and water risk management across their operations and overall strategies.
For more in-depth information about this organization's impact, view their Charting Impact Report.

Expert Assessment

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. Read More »

Expert Reviews and Comments

2012 Philanthropedia Top Nonprofit

This organization is a 2012 Philanthropedia top nonprofit, recommended by experts as having high impact.

These expert reviews were generated through Philanthropedia's research methodology to identify high-impact nonprofits. Learn more

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.

Facilitating Policy Change
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. Foundation Professional
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. Foundation Professional
Mobilizing the Business Community
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. Foundation Professional
Ceres engages in business outreach and activism. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They mobilize powerful business interests to advocate for progress on climate and clean energy. Nonprofit Senior Staff
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. Nonprofit Senior Staff
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). Nonprofit Senior Staff
Proving the Economic Argument
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. Foundation Professional
They are working to change how investors can affect climate change policy - not through an environmental ethic, but through their aversion to risk. Researcher and Faculty
Using business language to influence businesses is a critical role CERES plays. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Supporting Business
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. Researcher and Faculty
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. Other
They are working with the private sector. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Working with business is crucial to getting something done. Nonprofit Senior Staff

Organizational Strengths

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.

Sharp Focus
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. Foundation Professional
Ceres' strengths are their focus, staff, and leadership. Researcher and Faculty
They have a very clear view of what is required to drive change. Ceres is also a good coalition builder. Other
They are fantastic. They really fill a niche in terms of organizing the financial sector, and they are well managed. Other
Refined Strategy
Ceres clearly understands the motivations and unique challenges of large corporations. They speak the right language. Foundation Professional
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. Foundation Professional
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. Researcher and Faculty
Strong Leadership & Staffs
They have great leadership and staff. Nonprofit Senior Staff
The organization has great leadership, a strong vision, and a good staff. Nonprofit Senior Staff
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. Nonprofit Senior Staff
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. Foundation Professional
Strong Outreach
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. Nonprofit Senior Staff

Areas for Improvement

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.

Improve Collaboration
Perhaps they could improve on collaboration. Nonprofit Senior Staff
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. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Improve Communication
To ensure the longevity of the organization, it would be good to see the media profile of staff, beyond the Executive Director, increased. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They could improve by communicating their impacts better. Nonprofit Senior Staff
I would love to see them get more media attention for their work. Other
Avoid Over-Compromising
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. Foundation Professional
Expand Target Audience
Ceres could help citizens understand how they can help support this strategy. Researcher and Faculty
They could broaden their work and start to engage corporations that have held the climate issue at arms' length. Researcher and Faculty
Continue Taking Risks
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. Foundation Professional
Seek Tangible Outcomes
They are good at getting corporations to talk about climate, but I'm not sure it translates into corporate funding to address national policy. Nonprofit Senior Staff
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