The Consumer Goods Forum’s Sustainability Pillar has now officially been launched in China, following the first meeting of the new Chinese Steering Committee in Shanghai. This represents an important milestone in the CGF’s regionalisation strategy, as it looks to bring more focus on sustainability challenges to help drive sustainable business actions globally, and to engage with local members and key stakeholders. Representatives from 17 member companies attended the meeting, which took place on 13th May, sharing best practices and learning more about the work of the Pillar.

Since its creation in January 2018, the CGF’s China Office initially focused on the Global Food Safety Initiative, before expanding its focus to launch the local sustainability initiative in 2019. In January, Ignacio Gavilan, Director of Environmental Sustainability at the CGF visited China to assist in the creation of a strategy for roll out of activities and met with a number of member companies to explore opportunities for further engagement. Ignacio then presented the project at the Global Sustainability Steering Committee in Atlanta in March, gaining official approval to set up the local committee, while the Chinese team held pre-meeting interviews with core members to understand their expectations and priorities.

Members in attendance at the meeting included representatives from the Chinese branches of Auchan, Carrefour, Coca-Cola, Danone, Mars, McDonald’s, Metro, Mengniu Dairy, Metro, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, New Hope Liuhe, Starbucks, Tetra Pak, Ting Hsin International Group, PepsiCo, Walmart and Yum. Since the meeting, new committee members include Alibaba, Beijing Hualian, RT-Mart. 

During the meeting, participants were able to openly discuss the issues surrounding environmental sustainable development in China and were invited to vote for the priority projects of the committee, as well as their preferred channel for collaboration. Plastics and food waste came out on top, while participants also voted that the committee should use both digital and offline channels to hold seminars, webinars, and share informative videos.  

This kick-off meeting signals a strong start for sustainability implementation in China and has laid the foundation for further cooperation with member companies in the future. In July, the team will host a Sustainability workshop and in October a Sustainability Session during the CGF’s China Day event. More details will be announced in the coming months.

Ignacio Gavilan, Director of Environmental Sustainability

“I am very happy to see the sustainability initiative launched in China this year and very encouraged by the first successful meeting of the sustainability steering committee. The global conversation on sustainable development urgently needs China’s voice. I strongly believe that this is a strong start in China and look forward to hearing more good news from the local team!”

Yangying XU, CGF China General Manager

“Based on previous successful experience in GFSI China Working Group, CGF China is pleased to launch the sustainability initiative this year. Based on China’s development status and consumer behaviour, we will focus on environmental sustainability this year and focus on plastic waste and food waste. We believe that under the leadership of the core members, we can be successful in China. Finally, we also look forward to having more CGF member companies joining us.”