Next month, The Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Sustainability Directors, Ignacio Gavilan and Didier Bergeret, will be speaking at The Economist Group’s World Ocean Summit 2021. The CGF is a proud association partner of this year’s event, which will this year take the format of a virtual week from 1st to 5th March.

The event brings together cross-sector experts to explore the role that the oceans play in tackling climate change, enhancing biodiversity, restoring ecosystems, and protecting coastal communities. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in high-level conversations across six dedicated tracks: aquaculture, fishing, energy, plastics, shipping, and tourism.

Joining the session entitled “Is focusing on the consumer goods sector the best way to minimise plastic use?” on Wednesday 3rd March, Ignacio Gavilan, the CGF’s Sustainability Director, will be joined by Ann Tracy, Chief Sustainability Officer at Colgate-Palmolive, Simon Reddy, Director at PEW, and Simon Hombersley, Chief Executive at Xampla, to discuss the role and responsibility of the consumer goods industry in minimising plastic use to prevent marine plastic pollution. They will also explore how policy can encourage the industry to act.

Ignacio Gavilan said: “Plastics belong in the value chain, not in our oceans. The consumer goods industry has a powerful role to play in encouraging circularity to help keep our natural spaces free of waste, but companies can’t do it alone. Collaboration across sectors is critically important, and platforms like the World Ocean Summit, which bring together different perspectives on key sustainability issues concerning our oceans, help accelerate the conversation and collective action towards real systemic change.”

Didier Bergeret, Director, Sustainability at the CGF will join Niklas Wehner, Corporate responsibility manager at Aldi, and Steve Trent, Executive director at the Environmental Justice Foundation, on Thursday 4th March to take a deep dive into the topic of fishing from the social sustainability perspective, in a session entitled “Developing a common position on human rights due diligence in fishing.” With human rights laws notoriously difficult to enforce at sea, the panelists will discuss the role that the industry can play in taking human rights abusers out of the supply chain, and how technological advances can be used to drive progress. 

Didier Bergeret said: “With millions of people employed in the seafood sector worldwide, the task of ensuring that their human rights are respected is huge, both in scale and in importance. Human rights due diligence can be the key to unlocking solutions to the social problems and increased vulnerabilities affecting the seafood sector and more largely ocean workers. Its success depends on the support of stakeholders from across different sectors, which is why elevating the discussion of human rights and due diligence in fishing and beyond as a key topic at the World Ocean Summit is a promising sign that positive collective action is ahead.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the event and attending Ignacio and Didier’s sessions, view the full speaker line-up, agenda, and register here.

For more information about the CGF’s work to help drive progress towards a world where no plastic ends up in nature and to support the development of sustainable supply chains in the seafood sector where human rights are respected, learn about our Plastic Waste Coalition as well as our Human Rights Coalition – Working to End Forced Labour and the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative.