Four Things We Learned at the Ceres Conference

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Four Things We Learned at the Ceres Conference

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 3:00pm

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Every year since 2004, sustainability strategists from Addison have attended the Ceres Conference, and every year we return having engaged with some of the most inspiring and passionate people working in sustainability today. The 2012 Conference, with a theme of “Igniting Innovation, Scaling Sustainability,” was no exception.

These are a few useful items that piqued our interest.

  1. The launch of the new Ceres/Sustainalytics report, The Road to 2020: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability, which shows that companies are missing a big opportunity by not fully embracing sustainability. Using Ceres’ Roadmap to 2020—released two years ago and designed by Addison—the report analyzes how 600 U.S. companies are responding to environmental and social challenges, and shows individual examples of strong leadership, but significant need for overall improvement.
  2. Prudential Financial’s incentive program to encourage shareholder voting has taken root. Prudential’s Peggy Foran explained how their unique and eco-friendly incentive program encouraged shareholders to vote by offering either a reusable shopping tote or a tree planted in their name by American Forest. This premium helped the company record an increase of 23% in registered shareholder votes compared to 2009. Additionally, the 2012 Proxy—designed by Addison—included multiple discussions on sustainability (which is now part of the director qualifications chart), shareholder engagement and board diversity.
  3. Levi Strauss made good on its commitment at last year’s Ceres Conference to improve working conditions in its supply chain, by returning this year with a new white paper outlining its efforts to date. The project will pilot at five factories in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Haiti and Pakistan. BSR’s HERproject (Health Enables Returns), a worker program the Levi Strauss Foundation supports in China, Egypt, India and Pakistan, showed that for every $1 invested in women’s health education, $4 of savings was delivered in Egypt, showing once more the ROI potential of supply chain initiatives.
  4. Putting principles into action, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) announced the release of its first e-report on their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) work, Toward Sustainable Investment. Explaining how sustainability is integrated across the fund and outlining a vision for the future, this is CalPERS’ first standalone Sustainable Investment Report. Its aim is to help restore trust and confidence in capital markets through new accounting standards to help reform the derivatives market and to improve auditor independence.

For further insights, or to discuss your sustainability communications needs, please contact Senior Sustainability Strategist Judy Sandford.

 

Contact

Judy Sandford
+1 (212) 229-5082
Addison
Keywords: Events, Media & Communications | CERES | CalPERS | Energy | Environment | Events, Media & Communications | Levi Strauss | Prudential | Research, Reports & Publications | Responsible Production & Consumption | Social Impact & Volunteering

CONTENT: Article