Pillar ResourcesSupporting Implementation; Driving Change

Archived General Sustainability Updates

Herein you can find all the archived general news and updates from the Sustainability Pillar. You can also navigate to other workstreams of the Sustainability Pillar by clicking on the topic of interest below.

General Updates | Deforestation | Refrigeration | Solid Waste | Food Waste

Back to 2016 Updates



General Updates

Q4 2015:

[Press Release]  The Consumer Goods Forum Announces Partnership with Climate Action and the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2015

PARIS, 30th October 2015 – The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) today announced a partnership with the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2015 (SIF15). The Sustainable Innovation Forum takes place on the 7th and 8th of December at Stade de France in Paris, just outside the Le Bourget area where the main COP21 negotiations are taking place. Now in its 6th year, and hosted by Climate Action and the UNEP at each COP, SIF15 is endorsed by the host country and COP21.

Read Full Press Release


Q3 2015:

[Press Release] The Consumer Goods Forum Statement of Support for Sustainable Development Goals and Post 2015 Development Agenda

PARIS, 28th September 2015 – The Consumer Goods Forum would like to welcome the publication of the Sustainable Development Goals. These goals provide an important roadmap for the sustainable world that mirror our own strategic objectives, and we are delighted to be representing consumer goods companies as enablers of this post 2015 development agenda.

Read Full Press Release

The Consumer Goods Forum & the Sustainable Development Goals



Sustainability Steering Committee Next Meet in Cincinnati this September
The Sustainability Steering Committee will soon be heading to Cincinnati to discuss next steps for the Pillar and to report back on the recent actions of the Pillar's working groups. The teams have been busy since the last meeting in March and we've seen confirmation of the Food Waste Resolution and publication of the Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines.
On the agenda this time around will be an update on where food waste will be heading in 2016, including the possibility of a new food waste event, as well as what's next for refrigeration. The Pillar's working groups on palm oil, soy, paper & pulp, refrigeration, solid waste and food waste will all be reporting back to their committee peers to discuss next steps and ongoing challenges. The team will also be discussing the Road to Paris, with regards to the upcoming COP 21.
Around the Web
For those interested in keeping up to date on how the world outside The Consumer Goods Forum is looking at our work within the Sustainability Pillar, take a look at the Around the Web section on our corporate site. Here you can find a selection of articles on everything the CGF is doing, including those related to palm oil, food waste and refrigeration.
Webinars on Resolutions Held Exclusively for Members
Three member-exclusive webinars were recently held in July to discuss next steps and challenges around our three sustainability resolutions on food waste, deforestation and refrigeration. The webinars came following a bold call to action from Marks and Spencer CEO Marc Bolland at the 59th Global Summit in New York. 
The series of webinars were hosted by the respective working groups leads and our steering committee co-chairs and topics included the stories behind the resolutions, updates on progress, next steps and the challenges still being faced. Members were also given time to ask questions to some of our industry's biggest sustainability influencers.
For those members who are interested in learning more, but were unable to attend the live webinar, please feel free to connect with Debora Dias, manager of our sustainability work, to ask for the recording(s).
Webinars for non-members are also being planned for the near future.


Q2 2015:

CGF Attends UN Global Compact Event; Contributes to Good Practice Note
We were delighted to attend the recent 2015 Business Association Forum on Sustainable Development that was convened on 24th June 2015 by the United Nations Global Compact and the International Chamber of Commerce. Being held as part of the GC+15, it brought together more than 50 representatives of global business associations and companies to discuss the role that business associations can play in advancing the sustainable development agenda.
Based upon the findings in the Good Practice Note “Business Associations and Sustainable Development”, of which we were a contributor and that was soft-launched during the event, the participants discussed key activities that business associations can undertake to support their members in contributing to sustainable development. The meeting highlighted specific actions and roles that business associations can play in this regard, as well as specific challenges they face to scale up impact in their respective sectors.
The public launch of the Good Practice Note is scheduled to coincide with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in September.
Marks and Spencer CEO Calls for Action on Sustainability Resolutions
During the 59th Global Summit held in New York recently, sustainability was a key discussion point for the 1,100 attendees throughout the three-day event, but none of the sessions were more hotly-discussed than that of Marks and Spencer CEO Marc Bolland. Marc’s message was clear, urging members to get involved and take action on the three significant resolutions to tackle climate change adopted by The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF). He gave delegates a choice. He said you can either wait for things to get better or you can take action and make things better, noting consumers were expecting the latter. 
Sustainability will also, of course, be a key focus of the 60th Global Summit that is scheduled for Cape Town in June 2016. You can keep up-to-date on all the latest Summit announcements via its dedicated website tcgfsummit.com
17 June 2015 TFA 2020 Listening and Problem Solving Session on Critical Supply Chains in South America
The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020) is convening a Listening and Problem Solving Session on Critical Supply Chains in South America in São Paulo, Brazil on 17 June 2015. Attached is a list of TFA 2020 Partners and other invited organisations. The meeting is designed to provide regional participants with an opportunity to meet with TFA 2020 Partners, members of The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), and other leaders from the region to provide their perspectives and ideas regarding the challenges and opportunities encountered in the management, harvest, processing and use of key commodities in Brazil, Colombia and other regions in South America. TFA 2020 Partners want to hear firsthand about challenges in regional work relating to beef, soy and other important commodities to seek ways in which the public-private partnership offered by TFA 2020 might help with addressing challenges in these commodity supply chains.
If you are interested in attending the meeting, please express your interest and provide your contact information.


Consumer Goods Industry Highlights Positive Climate Change Actions

PARIS, 20th May 2015 – The Consumer Goods Forum (the CGF) today published its first-ever Climate Change Booklet. The Booklet highlights 18 real-life examples from the CGF’s retailer and manufacturer members on how they are making business changes to have a positive impact on the climate. The CGF applauds the engagement of these members on this critical issue and hopes the booklet will help inspire others to take up the baton. 

Read the full press release.


Climate Change Booklet


Ignacio Gavilan Answers Your Questions!

Director of Sustainability Ignacio Gavilan took part in a twinterview for the Business & Climate Summmit here in Paris. Ignacio answered a number of questions and all can be seen via our YouTube channel. And, as a taster, here's Ignacio talking about how the CGF and our members are helping to have a positive impact on climate change.

View All Videos on YouTube


Ignacio Gavilan - Submit Your Questions!

Director of Sustainability Ignacio Gavilan will be part of a twinterview for the upcoming Business & Climate Summmit here in Paris. Ignacio will be responding to questions on 11th May. Submit your questions on Twitter to @BClimateSummit.

Ignacio Gavilan, Twinterview for @BClimateSummit


Head of Sustainability Reflects on First Three Months and Challenges Being Faced

Ignacio Gavilan, head of the Sustainability Pillar here at the CGF, recently shared his thoughts around the sustainability challenges being faced by our industry and his reflections on his first three months here. 
In the post, Ignacio pays specific attention to challenges around measurement, increasing pressure on FMCG companies, the fact that companies have now got the message and the complexity of these challenges, as well as the need for multi-stakeholder collaborations.


[News Release] The Consumer Goods Forum Partners on Upcoming Business & Climate Summit 
PARIS, 9th April 2015 – The Consumer Goods Forum (the CGF) today announced it is an official partner of the upcoming Business & Climate Summit in Paris from 20th-21st May 2015. The two-day event, held 200 days before COP21 and an official part of Paris Climate Week, is designed to showcase how business is now ready to play its role in meeting the climate challenge. Members of the CGF Board are expected to speak throughout the event.


Q1 2015:

Sustainability Steering Committee Meet in Paris

The Sustainability Steering Committee met in Paris from 11th - 12th March 2015. The team, hosted by Carrefour at their Headquarters in Boulogne Billancourt, discussed a wide range of relevant topics for the Sustainability Pillar and the current status of the implementation of the Sustainability Resolutions. With more than 25 key sustainability influencers from member companies in attendance, the meeting was instrumental helping decide on the future priorities of the Pillar.  

On the agenda, the Committee talked about progress and actions in the areas of waste, deforestation and refrigeration, as well as looking at better ways of working together within the Committee and in how consumers and stakeholders are engaged.
Mr Brice Lalonde, UN Ambassador for Climate Change Negotiations and former French Minister of Environment and was invited to address the Steering Committee and discuss upcoming events such as the Business & Climate Summit and COP 21, with both being hosted in Paris. 
Further details on specific actions for the key Working Groups and workstreams will be forthcoming.

Sustainability Steering Committee, March 2015 @ Carrefour HQ   Sustainability Steering Committee, March 2015 @ Carrefour HQ


Sustainability Pillar Represented at Upcoming Global Summit in New York

For the first time, the Sustainability Pillar will have a special iZone exhibition space at our flagship event, the Global Summit. Held in New York from 24th-26th June, the Global Summit is the global event for modern retailers, manufacturers and their suppliers and is the essential destination for successful business leaders in our sector.
The Sustainability Pillar’s iZone will look back at the successes already achieved by the Pillar as well as looking ahead to where the Pillar is moving to. The Sustainability team will also be on hand to discuss activities and engagement opportunities with attending members.
The Consumer Goods Forum Welcomes New Head of Sustainability - Announcement from Peter Freedman:
“As many of you will know, Sabine Ritter has resigned from the CGF and will be leaving us at the end of January. 
Sabine has been with the CGF since its creation in 2009 and, amongst many other things, played a key role in supporting the Climate Change Initiative and the associated Resolutions in November 2010. Since then, she has helped the Committee drive implementation of these Resolutions through her work on stakeholder management, the launch of the Tropical Forest Alliance, the Activation Toolkit, the Commodity Sourcing Guidelines and so on. 
We will miss Sabine’s passion, energy and diplomacy and I hope you will join me in wishing her well for the future. 
I am, however, delighted to welcome Ignacio Gavilan as our new leader of Sustainability, focusing on Climate Change.  Ignacio has over 15 years’ experience in sustainability with companies such as BP Alternative Energy and Anglo American, as well as McDonalds. Ignacio has worked in Latin America, the USA, Africa and Europe”.
To reach Ignacio at the Sustainability Team, please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Ignacio Gavilan, Head of Sustainability Pillar
Ignacio Gavilan
Sustainability Steering Committee Represented at Upcoming Business & Climate Summit in Paris
The Consumer Goods Forum, represented by a number of companies of the CGF Sustainability Steering Committee, will be participating in the upcoming Business & Climate Summit in Paris in May 2015. 
The objective of the Summit is to create awareness around the importance of the climate negotiations and the necessity of a globally binding climate deal, as well as to send a positive business signal to negotiators ahead of the Paris COP 21 Climate negotiations at the end of the year.
This message should encourage policy makers to implement the most relevant policies, depending on countries and sectors, to deploy solutions towards a low carbon economy.


General Updates


Happy Holidays & Have a Great New Year!
The Sustainability Pillar would like to wish you all a very happy holiday season and a fantastic new year! We look forward to working with you throughout 2015 to help drive positive change globally. 2014 has been a great year for us and we thank everyone who helped contribute to our successes this year.


Great Work of the Sustainability Pillar & Members Discussed in Lastest Edition of PQ
Our MD Peter Freedman was recently interviewed as part of extensive coverage of our Sustainability Pillar and the great work of our members. In total, six pages in the latest PQ magazine were dedicated to our work on climate change, with two pages dedicated to highlighting what some of our members have been up to. 
PQ is distributed with the Guardian Newspaper and to subscribers with an additional distribution throughout corporate offices, first and business airline lounges, 4* and 5* hotels and various travel ports. Print circulation of PQ runs up to 190,000, while readership numbers can reach as high as 1.4 million. This represents some great exposure for our industry’s collaborative efforts and the progress currently being made.
Click the below images to read the full set of articles.
PQ Magazine and The Consumer Goods Forum, Sustainability PillarPQ Magazine - How Global Super Brands Can Change the World - The Consumer Goods Forum, Sustainability PillarPQ Magazine - Super Brands Commit to Sustainability - The Consumer Goods Forum, Sustainability PillarPQ Magazine - A Pillar of Sustainability - The Consumer Goods Forum




Sustainability Pillar Goes Live With SIAL TV Interview
Sabine Ritter, EVP of Sustainability at The Consumer Goods Forum recently took part in a live interview with other senior members of The Forum as part of SIAL Paris. SIAL, the world’s no. 1 food exhibition, proved the perfect backdrop to a discussion on consumer trust and the importance of our work on sustainability, as well as that on food safety and health and wellness. The interview took place on Thursday 23rd October with SIAL TV, and the interview will be available on the SIAL TV YouTube channel
SIAL is attended by 150,000 high profile delegates from 200 countries with 6,000 exhibitors and food industry suppliers from 100 countries.




Sustainability Steering Committee Meet for Bi-Annual Meeting
The Sustainability Steering Committee met in New York from 16th-18th September 2014 for their bi-annual meeting. The team, hosted by the World Economic Forum, discussed upcoming priorities for the Sustainability Pillar and the current status of the implementation of the Sustainability Resolutions. With more than 25 sustainability influencers in attendance, the meeting was once again a key setting for deciding on the future priorities of the Pillar and in discussing where we are and where we want to be.
Also on the agenda, the Committee talked about progress and actions in the areas of waste, deforestation and refrigeration, as well as looking at better ways of working together within the Committee and in how consumers and stakeholders are engaged.
Further details on specific actions for the key Working Groups and workstreams will be forthcoming.
Sustainability Pillar Committee Meeting
Sustainability Pillar Represented at New York Climate Summit
Following on the heels our Board’s call for a legally binding climate change deal that was made in June at our last Board of Directors meeting, and as part of our bid to engage the wider stakeholder community on our work to tackle climate change globally, members of The Forum’s Board (Paul Polman and Irene Rosenfeld) and of the Sustainability Steering Committee, along with Sabine Ritter, who leads The Forum’s work on sustainability, were in attendance at the recent UN Climate Summit in New York.
As part of the UN Climate Summit, a collaborative agreement to end deforestation by 2030 was also signed. The New York Declaration on Forests is a “non-legally binding political declaration that grew out of dialogue among governments, companies and civil society, spurred by the Secretary-General’s Climate Summit. For the first time, world leaders endorse a global timeline to cut natural forest loss in half by 2020, and strive to end it by 2030. It also calls for restoring forests and croplands of an area larger than India. Meeting these goals would cut between 4.5 and 8.8 billion tons of carbon pollution every year – about as much as the current emissions of the United States”. The Declaration is endorsed by dozens of governments, a number of the world’s biggest companies, and more than 50 influential civil society and indigenous organisations.
The Consumer Goods Forum and the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 were highlighted in the Declaration for not only leading the activities already underway, with reference to The Forum’s resolution to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020, but also in the UN’s recommendation that consumer goods companies can augment existing efforts under The Forum and in how organisations looking to support the goals of the Declaration can join the TFA 2020. This represents a significant and global cross-sector collaboration to end deforestation; one that is welcomed by The Forum.
UN Climate Summit & The Consumer Goods Forum
WWF Presents to Committee on Feeding 9 Billion People
Jason Clay, SVP Markets at WWF, was a keynote speaker during our New York Steering Committee Meeting to share insights and thoughts on the issues facing our industry and the role The Consumer Goods Forum can play in addressing them.
In his lunchtime presentation, Jason talked about the challenge of feeding the world’s soon-to-be nine billion people and how by 2050 we need to double net food availability. He highlighted a number of challenges with regards to the “China phenomenon” and our need to take a page out of China’s book if we are to solve this issue. He said we need to do more, better and faster. 
He also looked at how land and the earth’s natural resources are being used for food.  He provided examples showing how usable land levels for coffee and cocoa are disappearing at an alarming rate, as well as the staggering stat that 52% of all seafood caught is wasted. On climate change and agriculture, his message was clear: climate smart agriculture = efficient production. He emphasised the need to rehabilitate underperforming lands and shared the vision to “create food systems that produce more food, reduce poverty, address climate change, and protect natural habitat”.
Jason Clay, WWF Talks to The Consumer Goods Forum
Sustainability Steering Committee Welcomes New Members
The Sustainability Pillar would like to welcome its new committee members:
  • Lori Michelin, Vice President Global Sustainability & EHS, Colgate-Palmolive Company; and
  • Manuel Gomez, Vice President Sustainability, Wal-Mart
who join the Sustainability Steering Committee to help drive engagement and implementation across the broader membership of The Consumer Goods Forum and beyond.
The Committee would also like to express their gratitude to Ron Martin from Colgate Palmolive who recently left stepped down from the Committee. 


Climate Change Announcement Well Received by Global Media
Our announcement  in June calling on heads of state across the world to secure a binding global climate change deal has been a popular choice with the world’s media. From Reuters and Bloomberg to The Guardian and Green Engineering to European Supermarket Magazine and Retail Times, the announcement was heard loud and far. Oxfam, the Centre for Global Development and REDD+ Community were also quick to respond. For a rundown of the media that picked up the announcement, interested readers can take a look at our archived clipping report, which includes some popular tweets on the subject too.
The Consumer Goods Forum Calls for Binding Global Climate Change Deal
Our Board of Directors recently called on heads of state across the world to engage and act with determination, leadership and ambition to secure an ambitious and legally binding global climate deal. As part of their call for action around climate change, they also renewed their own commitment to taking action through the two Board-approved climate change resolutions; namely, help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020 through the sustainable sourcing of key commodities and to begin phasing-out of hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) in new refrigeration installations by 2015 and replace them with non-HFC refrigerants. In doing so, the Board emphasised the unique role of the consumer goods industry in enabling and empowering consumers - through innovation, communication and partnership - to make sustainable changes in their purchasing and in their lives.
The statement also urges governments to make the UN REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) climate change mitigation plan a priority, supporting it with local and national policies that can protect forests and support livelihoods.
Read the full press announcement and statement in full on our corporate website.
Jeff Seabright Becomes New Sustainability Steering Committee Co-Chair
The Sustainability Steering Committee is pleased to welcome Jeff Seabright, Chief Sustainability Officer, Unilever, as its new Co-Chair.
As former Vice-President, Environment & Water Resources, The Coca-Cola Company, Jeff has been a long standing member of the Committee. Having worked for Texaco, USAID, the US State Department, and the Clinton Administration, and being the current Vice-Chair, Global Agenda Council on Water Security, World Economic Forum, he brings in a wealth of experience.
Jeff succeeds Gail Klintworth, the former Chief Sustainability Officer, Unilever who pursues new challenges. The Steering Committee wants to thank Gail for her contribution to the shaping of Sustainability agenda of The Forum and her thought leadership in this area.
Sustainability Steering Committee Welcomes Two New Members
The Sustainability Steering Committee is thrilled to welcome two new members:
Firstly, Pick n Pay, a South African based supermarket chain with operations in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Mauritius, Swaziland and Lesotho. Pick n Pay will be represented by David North, Group Strategy and Corporate Affairs Director.
The second new member is Alliance Boots, a multinational pharmacy-led health and beauty group. Alliance Boots will be represented by Richard Ellis, Group Head of CSR.
Alliance Boots has two core business activities - pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing, and pharmaceutical wholesaling and distribution - and has a presence in over 25 countries including associates and joint ventures. They are determined to be a leader and an example to others in addressing the threat of climate change.   
Sustainability Flyer Provides Simple Overview of Our Sustainability Work
For those looking for a quick and easy document to learn about, or share, information on the work of the Sustainability Pillar’s climate change initiative, our new flyer may be just the document you’re looking for. Designed as a printed, folded leaflet, the image version is available online. 1,200 printed copies were recently shared with the 1,000+ delegates attending The Global Summit in Paris this June.   


Successful Sustainability Steering Group Bi-annual Meeting
The CGF Sustainability Steering Group met mid-March in London for their bi-annual meeting. Hosted by the CGF Sustainability Co-Chair Marks & Spencer, the meeting saw 25 Senior Sustainability Executives from the largest consumer goods companies around the globe gather together to discuss forward strategies on pre-competitive sustainability issues for our Industry. With a strong focus on implementing the CGF Sustainability Resolutions amongst the wider membership, and delivering a long-term strategy on the Waste work stream, the meeting saw a number of key outcomes, including:
  • Revision of the overall CGF sustainability strategy;
  • A forward strategy for the sourcing of sustainable palm oil and need to engage NGOs;
  • Support for the ongoing development of CGF sustainable soy sourcing guidelines;
  • Continuous and increased engagement with two of our strategic alliances: The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 and the Banking Environment Initiative;
  • Agreement to have CGF companies participating in preparations of the September 2014 UN Climate Summit in New York;
  • Support from the Steering Group to continue with the preparations for the CGF USA Retail Refrigeration workshop in May of this year;
  • Confirmation of a long-term plan for the Solid Waste work stream and letter of support to Brazil; and
  • Agreement on next steps in shaping our work on Food Waste.
The various CGF working groups involved have already started to implement the above outcomes. Meanwhile, the next Sustainability Steering Group meeting is planned to take place in September 2014 in New York, USA.
Paul Polman and Christiana Figueres Discuss Paris 2015, the Climate and the Business Imperative
Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever and Co-Sponsor of the Sustainability Pillar, and Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, talk about how the unprecedented impacts of the wild weather being witnessed around the world are a wake up call to all of us. They also look at the possibility of a new, more meaningful and universal climate agreement in Paris in 2015. Read their full post on our blog.



Sustainability UpdatesSustainability News Releases

Sustainability PublicationsSustainability Blog Posts

Sustainability WebinarsSustainability Newsletters