The Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Sustainability directors, Didier Bergeret, Director of Social Sustainability and Ignacio Gavilan, Director of Environmental Sustainability, recently visited Japan and China respectively to provide support to the regional offices and explore opportunities for further engagement with local members on key sustainability topics. The CGF plans to create a Local Group focused on Social Sustainability in Japan to allow our regional members to work collaboratively on these topics. In China, we also are in the process of setting up a local Steering Committee to work on Environmental Sustainability.

On 7th– 8th February, Didier attended a workshop on Social Sustainability in Tokyo, organised with the kind support of CGF member Ajinomoto. 17 speakers, including 3 representatives from the Japanese government spoke at the event which was attended by 45 participants from 26 different companies and organisations. The Tokyo Organising Committee for the 2020 Olympics Games, alongside ILO and IOM, took part in dynamic discussions around the topic of forced labour that reflected the increased national commitment to tackling the issue of sustainability.

With the 2019 G20 Summit and Ministerial Meetings to be held in Osaka, and the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to be hosted in Tokyo, the Japanese Government has expressed its determination to show strong leadership in advancing discussions on issues facing the international community. Japan is currently drafting its National Action Plan on Human Rights, and the role of the business community will be crucial in supporting dedicated policies and practices. The CGF Japan Local Sustainability Group will therefore also be expanding its activities to encompass social sustainability and drive collaboration among our regional members and local partners to provide a tangible positive contribution to these topics.

During his visit to Shanghai at the start of February, Ignacio met with a number of member companies, together with CGF staff from the Chinese office, to begin the process of setting up a local Steering Committee. In China, increased policy emphasis on environmental sustainability has shifted the composition of demand towards more sustainable commodities. However, the challenges remain. A fast transition into more sustainable refrigerants is necessary, as well as a need for collective action to find solutions to plastic and food waste. Ignacio was very pleased with the energy and enthusiasm and believes that in 2019 the CGF will be able to create a structure to make a difference.

In September 2019, the CGF will host two Sustainability Workshops in Guangzhou, China and Tokyo, Japan.

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