Environmental Reporting: The origin and effect of the CERES Principles

1. In your opinion, would CERES exist today if the Exxon Valdez wreck had not occurred? Why or why not? What values does CERES add to the current business environment?

In our humble opinion, Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) would not have existed today if not for the Exxon Valdez wreck or issue. Due to its adverse effects on media coverage, disruption to local business, industry and long term environmental damage, the people became aware of the negative effects of business operating without corporate accountability and responsibility toward the environment.

In terms of its values to the current business environment, We think that CERES will promote greater Corporate responsibility towards the environment and create awareness on businesses to take a stand on various environmental issues. They will take a leadership role in standardizing environmental reporting by organizations.

2. What do the ten CERES principles have in common with the seven steps to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations discussed in Chapter 4? How are they different?

CERES principles offer guidance for organizations or companies wherein they can measure their performance on environmental and social issues. The ten principles of CERES where established mainly with a certain goal to reduce harm on our environment such as air, water and earth. It is also established to diminish the use of toxic materials, to communicate to the public or people about potential safety hazards, reverse the damage done to the environment and lastly to sell safe products and services to people.

While Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations (FSGO) is to encourage organizations to develop certain effective programs for their employees to prevent and trace violations of such laws. Penalties or punishments are given to employees that violate such laws.

CERES principles and FSGO are common in way that they are both for the good of the organization and on how a organization will improve. Both offers guidelines or principles wherein the organization must follow or must comply so that there will be a harm free and healthy global economy and environment.

The difference between CERES and FSGO are that first CERES principles are for the whole organization, meanwhile FSGO are for the employees or agent working for the company or organization. Second, CERES doesn’t give penalties or punishment to its employees or people who violate the principles while FSGO gives penalties to employees who violate such laws. Lastly, CERES principles are mainly for the protection of our environment while FSGO is for the employees associated with the company so that there will be a healthy workplace.

3. Visit CERES’s website ( http://www.ceres.org) and compare and contrast the two formats for the CERES report. Why did CERES create two formats?

4. Visit the Global Reporting Initiative website (http://www.globalreporting.org) and review the progress of the pilot program. What successes have been reported? What areas need additional improvement or refinement before the GRI is ready to be launched?