On 8th March, Managing Director of The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), Wai-Chan Chan, spoke at the FT Climate Capital Live event in London. The three-day event was heavily focused on what needs to happen to address the climate emergency now facing the world, with Wai-Chan talking more specifically on how the consumer goods industry must work together to reduce carbon emissions.

ft-event-wai-chan-1In a session titled, “Reducing the Carbon Embedded In Consumer Goods”, Wai-Chan was joined by Barry Parkin, Chief Procurement & Sustainability Officer, Mars, Incorporated and Co-Chair of the CGF’s Plastic Waste Coalition of Action, and Chiara Medioli, Chief Sustainability & Communications Officer, Fedrigoni. The session was moderated by Judith Evans, Consumer Industries Correspondent at the Financial Times.

Wai-Chan focused his comments on how the CGF provides a way for businesses around the world to commit to collective actions that make their companies and the entire industry more sustainable. He said, “The consumer goods sector is vital to achieving the net zero transition. While the scale of the climate challenges facing the industry are unprecedented, they are also shared – and our approaches to tackling them must also be shared. Through co-ordination, open dialogue and tangible action, we can achieve a fairer, zero carbon world more quickly”.

On decarbonisation, more specifically, he said the topic cuts across the work of the CGF – from combatting the emissions caused by food waste to creating a forest positive future and moving towards a circular economy for plastics. Underpinning everything is our shared commitment to transparent reporting, he noted, which is essential to track progress and build trust.

As part of using our influential reach to drive change, CGF became an official Accelerator of the UN’s Race to Zero campaign at COP26.

Both Barry and Chiara also talked on decarbonisation and supply chain challenges. Both also talked on the redesign of plastic packaging, with Barry referencing the work of the CGF’s Plastic Waste Coalition and its Golden Design Rules. Chiara then provided some concrete examples of how her company is working to redesign packaging, like producing self-adhesive materials without a film to remove and paper-based alternatives to plastic.

FT Climate Capital Live 2022, held from 8th-10th March, is a platform for politicians, business leaders and financiers to evaluate the risks and opportunities they face in light of the climate crisis. Providing actionable insights on how regulatory changes, business strategies and innovative financing structures are moving the world forward to achieve net-zero goals and rapidly reduce GHG emissions through action rather than talk. Building on the success of the 2021 event, FT Climate Capital Live is growing to reflect the scale of the climate challenge. Speakers and attendees were able to join in person in London or virtually online.

The event also welcomed other high-level speakers including Alok Sharma, COP26 President; Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation; Ken Murphy, CEO, Tesco; Andrew Steer, President, Bezos Earth Fund; Matt Brittin, President, EMEA, Google; and Tanya Steele, CEO, WWF.