RIO DE JANEIRO, 20th June 2012 – In November 2010, the Board of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) announced two major initiatives on climate change: to help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020 and to begin phasing out the use of refrigerant gases with high global warming potential as of 2015. Good progress is being made towards both these objectives.
On deforestation where the challenge is to achieve specific and time bound plans for the sustainable sourcing of commodities like palm, soy, paper and beef complete success will only be achieved by working in collaboration with governments and NGOs.
The CGF therefore welcomes the announcement made yesterday by the US government at the Rio plus 20 Conference to “forge a private-public partnership to support a concerted international effort to
reduce deforestation by promoting sustainable supply chains”.
The US government will work with the companies of the CGF, NGOs and other governments to identify a series of practical actions to eliminate deforestation. Speaking in Rio de Janeiro Paul Polman, the CEO of Unilever said that “Individually both governments and business have already mobilized significant resources to address the challenge of deforestation but we all recognize that much more can be achieved if we align our efforts and work in partnership”.
Philip Clarke, the CEO of Tesco, and the co-chair with Paul Polman of the CGF work on sustainability, pointed out that “the companies of the CGF had enormous global reach and are therefore the ideal partners to work with governments and civil society organisations to find practical solutions in the supply chain to put an end to deforestation”.
Ambassador Steinberg, the Deputy Administrator of US AID said: “No one company, NGO or government can solve the problem of deforestation alone. We applaud the companies of the Consumer Goods Forum for their courageous action. We are pleased to be partnering with them and with civil society and invite other governments to join the commitment for net zero deforestation.”
The Forum brings together over 400 retailers and manufacturers from 70 countries. The member companies have combined sales of $3.1 trillion and employ nearly 10 million people.
Sabine Ritter, The Consumer Goods Forum,
+33 6 45 56 66 44
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Overview of The Consumer Goods Forum:
The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) is a global, parity-based industry network, driven by its members. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of over 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders across 70 countries and reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Forum member companies have combined sales of EUR 2.1 trillion.