PARIS, 25th April 2018 – To help meet the needs of our members, and to support the development of socially and environmentally responsible supply chains around the world, the Board of The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has decided to create the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI).  Under the leadership of a high-level Steering Committee, co-chaired by Ahold Delhaize and Nestlé, the CGF is currently building the SSCI into a robust programme to benchmark and recognise sustainability standards. SSCI will streamline benchmarking processes across the CGF by replicating the successful approach of its Global Food Safety Initiative to recognising standards.

The SSCI will provide buyers and suppliers with clear guidance on which third-party auditing and certification schemes cover key sustainability requirements and apply robust verification practices. By undergoing benchmarking and achieving SSCI recognition, scheme owners signal a strong commitment to raising the bar while driving harmonisation. The SSCI will ensure confidence in sustainable sourcing, reduce audit duplication and complexity for all stakeholders and ultimately drive positive social and environmental impact on the ground. It will initially focus on social compliance with a view to expanding the scope to environmental compliance. The development process for the environmental benchmark is planned to begin in early 2019.

In addition to its members, the CGF will closely involve stakeholders in the process. Following a public consultation in Q3 2018, which will be open to all interested parties, the official launch is expected to be in Q4 2018.

Peter Freedman, Managing Director, The Consumer Goods Forum said,“The creation of the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative is another example of the CGF’s focus on providing practical implementation support. Today, any company wanting to assess the sustainability of their value chains faces a confusing array of different technical standards and auditing approaches. The SSCI is designed to help them navigate through this complexity and make sustainable sourcing more efficient. I would like to thank the many organisations that have helped us develop this innovation, including our member companies, scheme and certification programme owners and many other stakeholders. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with them through to, and beyond, the launch later this year”.

Mike Coupe, CEO, Sainsbury’s, said, “We are working closely with The Consumer Goods Forum on the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative to support the development of socially and environmentally responsible supply chains around the world. The harmonisation of global sustainability standards is extremely important to us as a business and so is sourcing our raw materials sustainably. We hope this will provide our buyers and suppliers with clear guidance on third party audits and certification and avoid duplication and complexity of sustainability standards in our value chains”.

Chris Tyas, Global Head of Supply Chain, Nestlé, said, “I am delighted to announce that the CGF Board’s decision to create the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative is now coming to fruition. Through the SSCI, we will ensure that CGF recognised sustainability auditing and certification schemes cover key sustainability requirements and verify their implementation. SSCI will support continuous improvement of these schemes worldwide in order to achieve our common goal of more sustainable supply chains. We look forward to providing our industry with the necessary tools to implement sustainability commitments”.

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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 more information, please contact:

Sonja Schmid
Manager, Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative, The Consumer Goods Forum

Lee Green
Communications Director
The Consumer Goods Forum

Louise Chester
Communications Officer
The Consumer Goods Forum