On 1st November 2022, The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Directors of Sustainability, Didier Bergeret and Ignacio Gavilan, hosted two keynote speeches at Reuters’ Transform Supply Chains USA conference in Chicago, focused on human rights due diligence and plastic waste, respectively.

In conversation with Patricia Jurewicz, CEO of the Responsible Sourcing Network, Didier held a practical discussion on how businesses can enact strong human rights due diligence (HRDD) systems to combat adverse sustainability risks in their supply chains. He shared that ensuring full supply chain coverage with HRDD systems is a top priority for the CGF Human Rights Coalition – Working to End Forced Labour (HRC). With Patricia, Didier emphasised the importance of actors implementing HRDD systems through an aligned international framework. They also discussed how to include communities at high-risk for human rights impacts, such as migrant workers, in this process to ensure their rights are protected. Finally, they agreed on the critical need for greater transparency around the topic of human rights impacts in global supply chains – particularly with salient issues such as forced labour – and how businesses can effectively monitor and report on their supply chains.

The HRC has created an aligned Maturity Journey Framework for implementing and improving HRDD systems in consumer goods companies’ own operations, as well as in palm oil supply chains, as part of its work to make due diligence the norm in the consumer goods industry. The latter framework has been developed as part of a specific pilot programme to address forced labour risks in the palm oil industry, encouraging full HRDD coverage of the entire value chain.

Later in the afternoon, Ignacio took to the stage to break down corporate commitments around reducing plastic waste and how these commitments can be realised. Ignacio shared how the CGF Coalition of Action on Plastic Waste has created a set of nine Golden Design Rules to help businesses use less and better plastics by transforming how packaging is conceptualised and created. This set of voluntary, independent and time-bound commitments will create significant value for the industry and wider system, and build the necessary momentum for achieving the further design changes required to achieve the targets laid out in the New Plastics Economy Global Commitments. The goal of the Golden Design Rules is to create packaging that is designed for circularity and includes steps such as reducing headspace and removing pigment from PET packaging. 

Didier and Ignacio also hosted a 90-minute workshop on 2nd November focused on practical solutions to common supply chain issues. Didier drew upon the previous day’s keynote around human rights due diligence as a means to tackle salient human rights issues. Meanwhile, Ignacio introduced the concept of food waste and explained how each actor at every step of the value chain has its own responsibility to take action.

Didier and Ignacio are the directors of the CGF’s sustainability activities which focus on forest positive, plastic waste, human rights, food waste, sustainable supply chains, and Race to Zero. To learn more about these Coalitions and projects, visit www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.

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