Herein you can find all the archived news and updates on our work around deforestation. You can also navigate to other workstreams of the Sustainability Pillar by clicking on the topic of interest below.
TFA 2020 Partners: The Triple Win of “Produce-Protect”
Marco Albani, Director of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, shares his thoughts on a window of opportunity.
As we prepare to negotiate international action on climate and transition to pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, a window of opportunity appears for a “triple win”: to deliver rural development and domestic economic growth, while protecting and restoring forests on a large scale.
J.P. Morgan and Societe Generale Join 10 Other Banks in Adopting the 'Soft Commodities' Compact
J.P. Morgan, one of the ten largest banks in the world, has adopted the 'Soft Commodities’ Compact, becoming the first US bank to join an initiative that mobilises the banking industry to combat deforestation. Last week, French bank Societe Generale also adopted the Compact, which has been jointly developed by The Consumer Goods Forum and the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI).
These announcements bring the total number of banks who have adopted the 'Soft Commodities' Compact to twelve, representing a combined share of over 50 percent of the global trade finance market.
Ignacio Gavilan, Director of Sustainability at The Consumer Good Forum, said: “The global challenges business and society face today are too complex for any one player to solve by themselves, so it’s important to us that the consumer goods industry works with key intermediaries in the economy such as international banks. The BEI is providing impressive leadership by changing the norms for how banks integrate a strategic response to deforestation into their financing policies and products such as trade finance solutions”.
Members Speak at Innovation Forum on Deforestation
A number of our members involved in our resolution to achieve zero-net deforestation by 2020 were present at the recent Innovation Forum in London on how businesses can tackle deforestation. Held on 2nd-3rd November, the two-day event brought together corporate practitioners, key NGOs and community representatives to discuss the trends and debate the issues in the deforestation space.
Our Director of Sustainability, Ignacio Gavilan was in attendance, as were key Sustainability Steering Committee and Working Group members from Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Mondelēz International, Carrefour and Mars. With the need for greater collaboration being a key theme of the two days, the CGF was referenced by several of the speakers, including by attending NGOs. The CGF was highlighted as helping bring companies together to drive positive actions and in helping move the consumer goods industry forward through specific commitments and the production of useful tools like the sustainable sourcing guidelines on soy, palm oil and paper & pulp and the CGF Soy Ladder document.
During the event, Ignacio was interviewed by the team at Innovation Forum for a short podcast. In the podcast Ignacio talks about how the CGF is working collaboratively to help tackle deforestation and to drive positive change across the industry and beyond.
Our Palm Oil Working Group leads recently introduced the CGF’s Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines and how your business can begin to implement them. This webinar was a unique opportunity for members to hear directly from those leading the industry’s charge towards achieving zero net deforestation associated with palm oil sourcing by 2020, learning more about the scope of the guidelines, priority areas of concern, what standards are available and more.
The webinar was held at the beginning of November, and was led by Jonathan Horrell, Sustainability Director of Mondelēz International, and Fiona Wheatley, Sustainable Development Manager of Marks and Spencer.
[Press Release] The Consumer Goods Forum Helps Make Soy Footprinting Possible
PARIS, 23rd September 2015 – The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) today publishes a new document designed to provide consumer goods companies with a framework to better understand soy usage within their respective supply chains and help companies understand what proportion of their soy footprint is at risk of causing deforestation. It allows them to target their energies and resources in the areas of most risk. The ‘Soy Ladder’, developed in conjunction with KPMG, supports a company in making its soy usage more sustainable by providing companies with greater insights into where that soy usage is within the supply chain and which product lines contribute the most to that company’s ‘soy footprint’.
To further support understanding of the document, we also hosted a webinar detailing the Soy Ladder document. This was hosted with the support of KPMG. This webinar is now archived online.
[Blog] Stopping Deforestation Must be at Heart of a Successful Paris Climate Deal
Jeff Seabright, Chief Sustainability Officer, Unilever, and Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business, Marks and Spencer; Co-Chairs of our Sustainability Steering Committee:
As we approach COP21 we must consider which interventions can make the biggest difference. We cannot expect every building block of a low carbon future to emerge perfectly hewn from Paris. We need to focus on those decisions that will make the most difference at least cost, and with greatest likelihood of successful implementation.
Action on forests is one of the single most important and beneficial steps that we can take globally to secure a low carbon future.
Sangeeta Haindl, founder of Serendipity PR & Media Consultancy:
Palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet. It’s estimated that it is used in about half of all packaged products sold in the supermarket from shampoo to ice cream and detergents. It is the most widely consumed vegetable oil because it’s extremely versatile and cheap to grow! However, it also comes at a cost. Palm oil grows in the same area as tropical rainforests, and the uncontrolled clearing of land for conventional oil palm plantations has led to widespread loss of these irreplaceable forests. Plantations have also been connected to the destruction of habitat of endangered species such as orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers as well as the displacement of indigenous peoples who have lost their land and livelihoods. Malaysia and Indonesia are the leading producers, accounting for 86 percent of global production.
[Press Release] The Consumer Goods Forum Publishes Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines
PARIS, 11th August 2015 – The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) today announced publication of the first-ever ‘Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines’ (the “Guidelines”). This publicly available document is an important step in helping the consumer goods and retail industries to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020, as outlined in the CGF’s Deforestation Resolution.
40 regional stakeholders from the private sector and civil society met to discuss the challenges and opportunities that exist in implementing supply chain-focused strategies in the region. The main focus areas that came out of the stakeholder meeting were (i) cross-sector and cross-border learning and exchange (ii) better interpretation of company commitments, and better integration with farmers, landowners, and existing policies and organisations; and monitoring and verification.
The TFA 2020 can support Brazilian activities by contributing to existing initiatives and build bridges for support where necessary.
[Press Release] The Consumer Goods Forum Publishes Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines
Consumer Goods Industry’s First Ever Set of Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines to Help Drive Implementation of ‘Zero Net Deforestation’ Resolution
PARIS, 10th August 2015 – The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) today announced publication of the first-ever ‘Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines’. This publicly available document is an important step in helping the consumer goods and retail industries to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020, as outlined in the CGF’s Deforestation Resolution.
[New Blog Post] Can Changing How World Trade is Financed Actually Change the World?
Back in 2013, the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) partnered with The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) to help develop the ‘Soft Commodities’ Compact. The Compact is a partnership agreement made by banks to align the banking industry with the CGF’s goal of achieving zero net deforestation in supply chains by 2020. Such cross sector collaborations are seen by us and the CGF as essential to driving positive change around the world.
Read the full post from Andrew Voysey, Director, Finance Sector at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership on our corporate blog.
Members Present at Innovation Forum on How Business Can Tackle Deforestation
The Consumer Goods Forum was referenced on more than one occasion during the recent Innovation Forum on "How Business Can Tackle Deforestation" held on 14th-15th April in Washington, DC. Robert ter Kuile, Senior Director of Sustainability at PepsiCo, and member of our Sustainability Steering Committee, and Katherine Neebe, Director of Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement at Walmart, were just two representatives from our member companies on hand to provide the corporate perspective.
The Innovation Forum is designed to be an annual meeting place that discusses the trends, debates the issues, connects the key players and drives change with regards to overcoming the challenge of deforestation. The latest edition once again proved to be successful in bringing together corporate practitioners and NGOs.
Sustainable Soy Sourcing Workshop Highlights the Right Way Forward in South America
Some 78 key sustainability stakeholders – including those from the private, public and NGO sectors as well as local suppliers and growers - met in Brasilla, Brazil recently to assess whether and how the CGF can influence the development of sustainable soy supplies from South America. The workshop was chaired by Hugo Byrnes, Vice President Product Integrity at Royal Ahold.
Discussions during the workshop revolved around four main areas: the role of the supply chain actors for achieving full compliance with the Forest Code; the means to bridge the gap between the Forest Code and zero net deforestation; the pathway for defining and successfully implementing a zero net deforestation definition in the Cerrado; the exchange of best practices and lessons learned in the implementation of the CGF Sustainable Soy Sourcing Guidelines and identify key next steps; and whether certification is the route to a niche market or whether we can achieve full market transformation.
Prior to the workshop, attendees had the opportunity to join fieldtrips to soy plantations in Brazil, whereby they could see sustainable soy sourcing first-hand and speak to plantation owners.
CGF Members Helping to Tackle Deforestation According to Forest 500 Study
The Global Canopy Programme and its Forest 500 project recently issued a report highlighting the 500 bodies that it believes have the power to halt tropical deforestation. And, while there are a number of interesting takeaways, there was good news for members of The Consumer Goods Forum.
The study showed that our members achieved an average score 80% higher than companies who are not part of the CGF. Of particular note, Groupe Danone, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser Group, Unilever and Kao Corp. were applauded for their great work in helping to address this issue.
On 19th-20th January 2015, a workshop on palm oil was successfully held in London. The workshop brought together key retailer, manufacturer, NGO and other stakeholders to discuss actions and ways forward on the sustainable sourcing of this key commodity.
Specific objectives of the workshop included:
Developing and reviewing detailed approaches towards traceability, verification and high-risk criteria;
Providing and discussing feedback on the Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines from the attending external stakeholders and seeking engagement and agreement on specific topics to be covered within the new guidelines; and
Identifying the key implementation paths and key steps to enable them.
The workshop was chaired by Jonathan Horrell, Director of Sustainability at Mondelez International, Fiona Wheatley, Director of Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer, and Sabine Ritter, Executive Vice President at The Consumer Goods Forum.
With 34 stakeholders in attendance, the outcomes include progress towards revised and final Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines and a roadmap for CGF Engagement on a number of topics moving forward.
The world faces enormous human development and environmental challenges, from poverty and disease to food security and climate change. Significant progress has been made in the last two decades -- extreme poverty has halved, hunger has reduced and over two billion people have improved access to drinking water.
But huge problems remain. Inequality has widened, one in eight people still go to bed hungry and climate change threatens everything we have achieved since the 1960s. Half a century of progress stands to be wiped out within a generation.
Sustainable Soy Workshop and Field Trip to Brazil in February 2015
On 26th February 2015, key sustainability influencers will be heading to Brazil for a dedicated sustainable soy workshop and field trip to Brazilian soy plantations. Specific objectives of the workshop include:
Improving the understanding of the issue of soy and deforestation in South America;
Reviewing the results of the recent Soy Standards Mapping Exercise and identify a defined set of soy standards that will help reduce tropical deforestation, as well as achieve consensus to build upon these standards moving forward (included in the CGF Sustainable Soy Sourcing Guidelines);
Discussing ways to increase the supply and demand of certified soy; and
The University of Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership (CISL) recently released an infographic to highlight exactly how banks finance commodity supply chains and how they might support the growth of sustainable production in those supply chains. The infographic will allow stakeholders to better understand the role of banks in this area in order to collaborate more directly with the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI). The infographic also seeks to communicate as simply as possible the range of ways in which the BEI is already looking at this question and was informed by trade and supply chain finance experts..
[New Blog Post] Fighting for Forests: The Leuser Ecosystem
Our new blog post comes from Fiona Wheatley @ Marks & Spencer. In her excellent post, Fiona talks about her experience on the front-line of forest conservation and M&S's efforts to make clear to all stakeholders that M&S customers will not tolerate buying products that contribute to the destruction of carbon rich forests and peatlands, habitat loss and endangering species like the orangutan and rhino.
Sustainable Soy Stakeholder Meeting and Fieldtrip in February 2015
Following the recent publication of the Sustainable Soy Sourcing Guidelines and collection of relevant webinars, the Soy Working Group will meet at a third soy workshop in the last week of February 2015 to discuss how to increase the demand and supply of sustainable soy.
Workshop in Indonesia Addresses Challenges to Sustainable Palm Oil
On 13th November 2014, The Consumer Goods Forum co-hosted a one-day workshop titled “Towards Sustainable & Productive Palm Oil Sector of Indonesia” together with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN) and REDD+. The aim of the workshop was to collect comprehensive input from government, private sectors, and civil society to discuss the key challenges facing sustainable palm oil in Indonesia, in order to define policies and a work plan related to sustainable palm oil in Indonesia. There were clear signals of willingness across different stakeholders invited to the event to cooperate and collaborate to address challenges and issues related to sustainable palm oil.
With over 100 local and international stakeholders in attendance, a number of Indonesian and international businesses were represented, as well as the public sector, including the Indonesian Ministries of Agriculture and Environment and Forestry, and civil society, including several TFA 2020 Partners.
Following an introduction from the Minister of Agriculture, there were three panels that provided an overview of the Indonesian palm oil industry’s sustainability and productivity efforts; supply chain transparency and traceability; and sustainable sourcing progress. Breakout groups followed that focused a further exploration of issues associated with palm oil sustainability and production and export.
High Carbon Stock (HCS) and High Conservation Value (HCV) approaches emerged as an issue for further work and consideration. The Forum plans to look into these issues as part of the Palm Oil Working Group. Engaging smallholders, establishing support and knowledge exchange across sectors, and developing strategies for Indonesian leadership on local and regional, as well as global, demand for palm oil were also key topics of discussion.
Logging Off: Is the End of Deforestation in Sight?
Jeff Seabright, CSO of Unilever and Co-Chair of the Sustainability Steering Committee, recently contributed a blog post to the World Economic Forum on the end of deforestation. In it, Jeff noted, "The world is full of seemingly intractable problems, but ending deforestation is not one of them. We know what needs to be done. We just need the collective political will to do it". He also referenced the collaborative actions of The Consumer Goods Forum and those of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020.
The Forum's Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines Now Being Prepared
The Sustainability Palm Oil Working Group is currently working on draft Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines, which will help companies to address the challenge of deforestation in their supply chains with an emphasis on the sourcing of sustainable palm oil.
The document will include recommendations on a stepwise approach for the sourcing of deforestation-free and sustainable palm oil, the scope, key criteria and definitions related to sustainable palm oil and ways to verify sustainable palm oil.
A stakeholder meeting will take place on 19/20 January 2015 in London to finalise the guidelines.
More information on the Guidelines will be forthcoming, once the draft has been finalised and approved by the Board and the document ready for publication.
TFA 2020’s 2nd Workshop Looks to Address Sustainable Sourcing in Indonesia
On 13th November 2014, the second Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020) workshop took place in Jakarta, Indonesia. Titled “Towards Sustainable & Productive Palm Oil Sector of Indonesia”, the workshop had a number of important outcomes as around 200 experts from the private sector, civil society and governments came together to discuss the key challenges facing sustainable sourcing in Indonesia.
As part of the one-day workshop, delegates looked more specifically at Indonesian palm oil production and exports, supply-chain transparency and traceability, and palm oil consumption within Indonesia.
Outcomes from the workshop included increased awareness and understanding of the TFA 2020, The Consumer Goods Forum and on-going initiatives in Indonesia with the Government of Indonesia and KADIN on palm oil, advancing from the 2013 TFA 2020 workshop; increased understanding of key actors' roles, impact and capacity on Indonesia's palm oil supply chain; a better understanding of global and national best practices and existing initiatives on enhancing sustainability and productivity of the palm oil sector throughout its supply chain; and identifying potential actions and collaborative solutions to enhance sustainability and productivity of the palm oil sector in Indonesia, including a platform to monitor progress.
The 2014 workshop also served as an important indicator of the progress that has been made over the last 12 months. During the 2013 TFA 2020 workshop, the President of Indonesia highlighted the importance of strong cooperation among government, business and civil society in order to ensure that efforts to eliminate deforestation in Indonesia continue on the right track.
For more information, please contact Sabine Ritter, EVP at The Consumer Goods Forum.
The Consumer Goods Forum Finalises Sustainable Soy Sourcing Guidelines
The Forum is pleased to announce the finalisation and Board approval of the Sustainable Soy Sourcing Guidelines. The Guidelines are seen as tool to help the CGF members in meeting their deforestation commitment, and are the result of a ten-month process.
The process began with multi-stakeholder workshops in Brussels in September 2013 and London in March 2014. Both workshops welcomed numerous actors along the soy value chain, including retailers, (feed) manufacturers, NGOs, certification bodes, trader associations and traders.
The Guidelines will provide member companies with guidance to the sourcing of deforestation-free soy, including a set of verification schemes contributing to reducing deforestation.
The Sustainable Soy Sourcing Guidelines are now available and The Forum will organise a September 2014 webinar to present the Guidelines in full and to answer any questions that may have arisen. We will share the details for the webinar soon!
Global Banks Collaborate with Consumer Goods Companies
Over 100 representatives of banks, consumer goods companies, agricultural producers and NGOs attended the BEI Forum 2014 in Hong Kong on 23rd June. The event was opened by Antony Jenkins, CEO of Barclays. He was followed by more than 20 speakers in keynotes and panels.
Delegates discussed the BEI’s ‘Soft Commodities’ Compact', produced with The Consumer Goods Forum, which sees banks committing to a range of actions that support the transition of supply chains to sustainable production methods. They also reviewed the first tests of the BEI’s Sustainable Shipment Letter of Credit, a financing solution that can be used by banks to incentivise the international trade of sustainably-produced commodities.
Other sessions included the role that Chinese banking regulators are playing in encouraging sustainability in banking activities and investor perspectives on how social and environmental trends are creating and destroying financial value.
Paul Bulcke and Andrew Steer Talk Technology and Forest Management
Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestlé and Co-Chair of The Consumer Goods Forum, and Andrew Steer, President and CEO of World Resources Institute, recently discussed how technology driven transparency is aiding sustainability in a crucial area - forest management.
Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020) - An Update
The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 continues to gain momentum in 2014, extending its list of partners and defining its key priorities for 2014. An update on their work was presented during the recent bi-annual meeting of the Sustainability Steering Group.
There are currently 18 partner organisations* in TFA 2020: five of which are governments and 12 are non-governmental or civic society organisations, while the private sector is represented by the CGF.
With its goal of contributing to the mobilisation and coordination of actions by governments, the private sector and civil society to reduce tropical deforestation related to key global commodities by 2020, the TFA 2020 has set the following key priorities for 2014:
To implement the actions from the June 2013 Jakarta Workshop;
To assess and act on value-added opportunities for TFA 2020 in South America, specifically Brazil and Colombia;
To initiate a dialogue among African governments, producers, their customers and NGOs to develop a way forward to prevent deforestation from expanding commodity production;
TFA 2020 will also be tracking the outcomes from Climate Day at the 2014 WEF’ s annual meeting in Davos and assist with follow-up as appropriate.
The CGF is a founding partner of TFA 2020, and its Sustainability Steering Group Co-Chairs also represent the CGF on the TFA 2020 Steering Committee. The CGF will continue to look at ways the TFA 2020 can support its members in implementing their voluntary sustainability commitments.
* Current TFA 2020 partners: Carbon Disclosure Project, Conservation International, Forest Trends, Government of the Republic of Indonesia, Government of Norway, Government of the Netherlands, Government of the United Kingdom, Government of the United States, IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, National Wildlife Federation, Rainforest Alliance, SNV, Solidaridad Network, The Consumer Goods Forum, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Resources Institute, World Wildlife Fund.
The CGF & Banking Environment Initiative Launch ‘Soft Commodities’ Compact
The CGF is pleased to announce the launch of the ‘Soft Commodities’ Compact, created in partnership with the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI). The BEI is a group of some of the world’s largest banks, brought together by their Chief Executives to identify ways to collectively direct capital towards environmentally and socially sustainable economic development. It is co-ordinated and supported by the University of Cambridge, via its Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).
The goal of the BEI-CGF partnership is to identify how the banking industry, through its financing of commodity supply chains, can best support the delivery of the CGF’s 2010 resolution to mobilise resources within their respective businesses to help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020. The ‘Soft Commodities’ Compact is an important early outcome of the partnership and details commitments about the pro-active financing of the transition of relevant supply chains as well as raising industry-wide banking standards to reinforce the demand signal from the CGF.
The ‘Soft Commodities’ Compact was endorsed by the CGF Board in late 2013, welcomed by the Obama Administration at a meeting at the White House shortly after and used as an example of a powerful industry-to-industry partnership at a special session of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2014.
Barclays, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and Westpac are the first adopters of the ‘Soft Commodities’ Compact. The CGF and BEI are now actively encouraging relevant international and regional banks to join this group, including via a Forum the BEI is convening in Hong Kong on June 24th. CGF members are encouraged to participate in this event; please contact Sabine Ritter of the CGF if you are interested.
The ‘Soft Commodities’ Compact and Q&A document are available for download on the BEI website. CGF members are invited to engage directly in the development of this partnership with the BEI and expressions of interest should also be directed to Sabine Ritter.
Sustainable Palm Oil – A Tiered Approach
During the recent Sustainability Steering Group meeting in London, the group discussed the CGF strategy on palm oil and reviewed progress in implementation.
The CGF Board members are making good progress in delivering the Sustainability Resolutions, but were equally clear that much still needs to be done to deliver such ambitious goals.
For palm oil, there was a broad recognition that RSPO is a good stepping stone, but not an end point in itself and that further work will have to be done by CGF members and their supply chains to deliver the goal of zero net deforestation.
As part of the discussions around the strategy, the group looked at what success will look like and the key drivers for demand in sustainable palm oil. And, as a way to help members reach the voluntary commitments made as part of the Deforestation Resolution, a three-tiered approach was suggested as part of the revised strategy:
Drive demand of sustainable palm oil within CGF membership;
Share best practices and leverage influence beyond the CGF; and
Work with partners to remove market transformation barriers.
The group plans to prepare palm sourcing guidelines this year for the CGF members like the ones for Paper, Pulp and Packaging. It was also recognised that commodity traders are a very important lever in delivering sustainable supply chains and it was agreed to develop closer links with them to help deliver the substantial change that is still required.
Continued dialogue between the CGF (and its members) and NGOs and other stakeholders was considered as vital to deliver the Resolutions. The formation of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA) and the work with the World Economic Forum, the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) and now UN agencies shows the determination to galvanise significant change through partnership.
Second CGF Multi-stakeholder Soy Workshop in London
Following a first workshop in September 2013, the Sustainability Pillar’s Soy Working Group organised a second multi-stakeholder workshop in March 2014, in London, to improve understanding of the issue of soy and deforestation in South-America, if and how this affects the industry, and how the industry can help.
The objectives of the workshop included defining what is acceptable as sustainable soy linked to the CGF Deforestation Resolution; defining if and what impact the CGF can have on the soy supply chain; and the development of the CGF Soy Sourcing Guidelines.
On the topic of certification, the attendees felt certification was not the only approach to sustainable soy, and the Soy Working Group will work towards defining with certification schedules are genuinely contributing to reducing deforestation.
The Working Group also noted that further work will be done on creating a deeper understanding on the CGF’s scope for influencing the soy supply chain, with a number of retailers agreeing to begin work on better understanding their own global supply chains.
Attendees were then in favour of finalising the CGF Soy Sourcing Guidelines, given the suggested impact, with various trade associations noting that these guidelines will be helpful in developing national guidelines. The Guidelines will consequently be presented to the Sustainability Steering Group and CGF Board for approval.
The workshop was attended by 32 participants, representing a large part of soy supply chain, including retailers, manufacturers, meat / poultry / dairy / eggs industry representatives, producers, trade associations, certification bodies and NGOs.