Ceres, the pioneering sustainability non-profit organisation positions stakeholder engagement, alongside governance and disclosure as core processes to achieve a sustainable global economy.
Ceres was instigated in 1989, making it a pioneer in the world of sustainability. Among its achievements are the development of the Global Reporting Initiative, the Ceres coalition and promoting sustainable investment funds. The video on this page provides an excellent overview of Ceres first 20 years.
Ceres’ sustainability prescription is outlined in The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap to Sustainability. It includes 20 key expectations, with 5 for governance, 6 for disclosure, 4 for stakeholder engagement and 5 for performance factors. The stakeholder engagement expectations are:
- focus engagement activity, including systematic processes for mapping, risk and materiality analysis
- substantive stakeholder dialogue, expecting “on-going, in-depth, timely” engagement that informs strategy and decision-making
- investor engagement, including “addressing specific risk and opportunities during annual meetings, analyst calls” and other investor communications
- c-level engagement expects senior executives to engage to inform strategy, risk management and decision-making.
The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap to Sustainability outlines these expectations in more detail.
The disclosure expectations includes reporting with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). This is ok for well-resourced large corporates, but if resources are tight, I believe that stakeholder engagement processes have the greatest potential to effect positive change towards broader sustainability as outlined in an earlier blog.
Ceres is a trusted authoritative source of sustainability knowledge and guidance. I am sure it will be around in another 20 years.