Ceres Is Working To Prevent A Water Crisis Of Biblical Proportions
On our current path, 40 percent of demand for water is likely to be unmet in 2030. We’re talking about water shortages of biblical scale!
Mindy Lubber, the CEO and President of Ceres, is working to prevent that. Focusing on actors with the most to lose—corporations that have the most exposure to water—she moves investors to advocate for greater accountability.
The results are dramatic. Companies are beginning to report on their use of water and have begun to invest in protecting and preserving clean water sources. There is far to go but Ceres is on the case.
Interview with Mindy Lubber, the CEO and President of Ceres.
The following is the pre-interview with Mindy Lubber. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.
For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit
Revenue model: Ceres is a 503 (c) non-profit organization. Philanthropy makes up about 75 percent of our budget. This includes foundation grants, individual giving, sponsorships and awards. Network membership fees from investors and companies make up about 15 percent.
Scale: We released our FY19 Digital Annual Report the week of July 28. You can view the report here: www.ceres.org/annual-report/2018
What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?
Water is perhaps the most precious of all our natural resources, but investors don’t always consider its economic value. Water is essential for economic growth and for communities. No company on earth can operate without water. Forty percent of water demand is unlikely to be met by 2030, according to a U.N. report. At least 50 percent of the stocks listed in each of the four major stock indices are in industries with medium to high water risk. As population growth, climate change and water pollution dry up the world’s freshwater supplies, investors and companies can no longer ignore this critical issue.
Ceres promotes capital market solutions to the global water crisis by accelerating investor and corporate leadership on sustainable water management, through cutting-edge research and policy advocacy. To drive broader, more systemic change, Ceres leverages the power of institutional investors to drive corporate attention to, and management of, water risks. We work with investors to conduct research to identify gaps in institutional investor water awareness, and share best practices for integrating water into the investment decision-making process. Ultimately it’s about changing the way investors and companies value and manage water.
Last year, Ceres launched the Investor Water Toolkit, the first ever investor-designed, comprehensive resource to help investors better understand and evaluate water risks throughout every step of their decision-making process — from creating institutional priorities and goals, conducting portfolio attribution analysis, to buy/sell decision-making and much in between.
More about Ceres:
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through powerful networks and advocacy, Ceres tackles the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and inequitable workplaces.
Mindy Lubber. Photo Credit: Ceres
Mindy Lubber’s bio:
Mindy S. Lubber is the CEO and President and an early board member of Ceres. Mindy leads negotiating teams of institutional investors, Fortune 500 CEOs and sustainability advocates who have taken far-reaching positions on corporate practices to tackle climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and inequitable workplaces. She briefs powerful corporate boards and directors on how climate change affects shareholder value, and regularly speaks about sustainability issues to high-level leaders at the New York Stock Exchange, United Nations, World Economic Forum, Clinton Global Initiative, American Accounting Association and the American Bar Association.
Mindy is a recognized thought leader and has received numerous awards for her leadership in helping to build a sustainable future. In 2016, she received the Climate Visionary Award from the Earth Day Network, and the William K. Reilly Award for Environmental Leadership from American University’s Center for Environmental Policy. She was honored by the United Nations and the Foundation for Social Change as one of the World’s Top Leaders of Change, and is a recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Change. Vogue Magazine recently named her a Climate Warrior for her contributions in mobilizing business support for the historic Paris Climate Agreement, and Directorship Magazine named her one of The 100 Most Influential People in Corporate Governance.
Prior to Ceres, Mindy held various leadership positions in government, financial services and the nonprofit sector. Mindy joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1995 as a Deputy Regional Administrator and was named Regional Administrator under President Bill Clinton in 2000. Mindy was also the Founder, CEO and President of Green Century Capital Management, a family of environmentally responsible mutual funds. She also served as Director of the Mass Public Interest Research Group.
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