Skoll Foundation

 

Ceres

Skoll Entrepreneur(s): Mindy Lubber
Award Year: 2006
Focus Area(s) Addressed: Sustainable Markets

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As a teenager on Long Island, New York, Mindy Lubber became frustrated that the town’s civic leadership did not have a recycling plan, so she started one herself. Today, the town recycles nearly 4,000 tons of material per year. After earning both an M.B.A. and J.D., Mindy became executive director of Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group and later started the National Environmental Law Center. In 1991, she launched Green Century Capital Management, the first U.S. mutual fund company to be wholly owned by nonprofit public interest groups. A founding board member of Ceres, Inc., Mindy became  president in 2003.

IMPACT AS OF SEPT. 2014:

  • After many years of hard work by Ceres and others, five states announced that they will require insurance companies to disclose the climate risks they are facing and how they will respond.
  • In Oct. 2013, Ceres organized a coalition of 70 investors worth $3 trillion call on world’s largest oil & gas, coal and electric power companies to assess risks under climate action and ‘business as usual’ scenario.
  • Leading US investors filed shareholder resolutions with Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Chesapeake Energy, ConocoPhilips and 14 other oil and gas companies, pressing them to disclose their plans for environmental and workplace risks.  Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk coordinated the filings.
  • Over the last four years, the number of shareholder resolutions filed and those withdrawn because of positive action by companies has soared as a result of Ceres’ work.
  • On May 1, 2012, 300 companies (90% of the US industry) reported their climate risk exposure consistent with new regulations.  NAIC tapped Ceres to analyze reports to determine efficacy of approaches to managing increased risk.
  • Ceres’ leveraging of financial power on climate helped lead to Texas Utilities’ decision not to build 8 of 11 traditional coal-fired power plants; Centex’s commitment to increase energy efficiency in new homes by 30–40%; and FirstEnergy Corp’s agreement to transition to dry storage of coal ash. Its Investor Network on Climate Risk now has 100 members, with $11 trillion in assets.
  • Ceres’ efforts to ensure business accounting of environmental/social factors have yielded big breakthroughs. In 2009, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners adopted a climate-risk disclosure framework — a first worldwide. This year, the SEC issued guidance on climate-risk disclosure requirements, a key step toward economic system change.
  • Ceres mobilizes partners as credible economic messengers on policy. BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy) now includes 23 companies. These messengers have met with 60+ Senate offices. Ceres has generated more than 1,000 articles in national/state media, countering opposition arguments and putting pressure on U.S. policymakers to act.

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