PARIS, 5th May 2020 – The consumer goods industry has extended a formal invitation to third party audit & certification schemes to undergo the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative’s (SSCI) Benchmarking Process. This call to action follows the publication of the SSCI’s first set of benchmark criteria, in October 2019, to support the development of responsible supply chains around the world.

The SSCI was created by The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) following a request from the CGF’s CEO-led Board of Directors in June 2017. Designed with the input and support of key stakeholders, the SSCI benchmark sets industry expectations and provides clear guidance on which third-party auditing and certification programmes cover sustainability requirements and apply the appropriate verification practices. 

“Now more than ever, the world understands the critical importance of global supply chains. From stocking grocery shelves to retooling production lines, well-managed value chains are an essential part of any operation. In these times of uncertainty, CGF and the SSCI remain committed to sustainable supply chains.” said Thomas van Haaren, the Senior Manager of SSCI.

Social compliance programmes can begin benchmarking according to the SSCI methodology and provide evidence that all essential social and scheme management benchmark criteria are met. The methodology includes a Self-Assessment, a review by an independent expert The SSCI benchmark criteria are made up of two main parts:

  • Social Criteria: Topics typically found in codes of conduct (e.g. child labour, forced labour, working hours, discrimination, etc.)
  • Scheme Management Criteria: Ensure the effective implementation of the procedures and policies claimed by the programme (eg standard-setting mechanism, independent oversight of audit firms and auditor competence requirements, etc.)

Requests from regulators and demands from stakeholders require companies to constantly examine the effectiveness of our sustainable supply chain programmes. Our industry can only continue to engage with third-party social sustainability programmes with some level of independent oversight.

Achieving SSCI recognition allows successful certification schemes   by the industry as ready and able to meet our expectations for a credible responsible sourcing programme.  This move signals a strong commitment to not only building trust in the industry’s supply chain work, but also driving continuous improvement. SSCI is not a one and done approach – it continuously verifies a programme’s alignment in a rapidly changing landscape.

To receive the SSCI application materials and begin the benchmarking process, please contact the SSCI team at: We look forward to formally recognising your work towards our common objective of credibility and transparency in third-party standards and certification programs.


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About the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative

The Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) builds trust in sustainability standards worldwide by benchmarking third-party auditing and certification programmes and recognising schemes that meet industry expectations. By providing an open-source list of recognised programmes, the SSCI delivers clear guidance on which schemes cover key sustainability criteria and apply relevant verification practices. The SSCI improves transparency in the market, facilitates decision-making on schemes at both buyer and supplier level and sets the responsible sourcing expectations for the industry. The Initiative initially focuses on social compliance with the potential to expand the scope to environmental compliance. The SSCI is facilitated by The Consumer Goods Forum. For more information, visit

About The Consumer Goods Forum

The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit:

For further information, please contact:

Thomas van Haaren
Senior Manager, SSCI
The Consumer Goods Forum

Madelaine VanDerHeyden
Communications Officer
The Consumer Goods Forum

Learn More about Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative

SSCI Benchmark
SSCI Recognition
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