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Achieving Global Alignment

As a CEO-led organisation, the work within our individual pillars is often guided by publicly-announced resolutions and commitments that have been approved by our Board of Directors. Our Board help to set an aspirational vision and agenda of positive change for the industry – following consultation with members – and it is crystallised in the agendas of our initiatives. 

Our resolutions and commitments then serve to ensure our work remains focused on targets that can help ensure positive business actions that benefit both people and the planet, as well as provide a solid platform for long-term business growth. The full list and text of these resolutions and commitments is below.

Environmental Sustainability

As the Board of The Consumer Goods Forum, we pledge to mobilise resources within our respective businesses to help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.

We will achieve this both by individual company initiatives and by working collectively in partnership with governments and NGOs.

Together we will develop specific, time bound and cost effective action plans for the different challenges in sourcing commodities like palm oil, soya, beef, paper and board in a sustainable fashion.

We will also work with other stakeholders – NGOs, development banks, governments etc – to create funding mechanisms and other certification programmes that will incentivise and assist forested countries to conserve their natural assets and enable them to achieve the goal of zero net deforestation, whilst at the same time meeting their goals for economic development

As the Board of The Consumer Goods Forum, we recognise the major and increasing contribution to total greenhouse gas emissions of HFCs and derivative chemical refrigerants. We are therefore taking action to mobilise resources within our respective businesses to begin phasing-out HFC refrigerants as of 2015 and replace them with non-HFC refrigerants (natural refrigerant alternatives) where these are legally allowed and available for new purchases of point-of-sale units and large refrigeration installations.

We recognise that barriers exist to wide scale adoption of more climate-friendly refrigeration, namely legislative restrictions in some markets, availability, cost, safety, maintenance and servicing. We will work to overcome those barriers by strengthening existing collaborative platforms and initiatives. We also will use our collective influence to encourage our supply base to develop natural refrigerant technologies that meet our business demand under commercially viable conditions.

The Board of Directors of The Consumer Goods Forum recognises that a rapid phase down of high GWP (global warming potential) HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) and more sustainable management of refrigeration and systems is necessary to meet the ambitious goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to further pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C, as set out in the Paris Climate Agreement (COP21). We additionally recognise that our 2010 Resolution has helped stimulate innovative alternatives to HFC refrigerants which are commercially available and deployed today.

We therefore, as individual member companies, commit to the following in all commercial and industrial refrigeration equipment under our control(1) along the food & beverage supply chain:

  • – In markets where viable(2), to install new equipment that utilise only natural refrigerants or alternative ultra-low(3) GWP refrigerants, effective immediately;
  • – In markets where barriers to deployment exist, to engage with our suppliers, civil society, business partners and governments to overcome remaining technical, regulatory and other barriers in certain geographies and sectors, to enable the purchase of new equipment that utilise only natural refrigerants or alternative ultra-low GWP refrigerants as soon as possible and no later than 2025;
  • – Work to reduce the total equivalent environmental warming impact of our existing and new refrigeration systems, including (but not limited to) improving energy efficiency, optimising refrigerant charge sizes, and minimising refrigerant leaks;
  • – Develop individual targets and action plans to measure and achieve the above and regularly publish information on progress.

Furthermore, we recognise that effective regulation is essential to ensure the equitable global phase down of HFCs and therefore call for the inclusion of HFCs within the Montreal Protocol, including transfer of technology and finance to support emerging markets.

(1) The scope includes all stationary and mobile refrigeration systems commonly used in commercial and industrial applications along the food & beverage supply chain including point-of-sale (restaurants supermarkets, retail shops, vending machines), factories, processing plants, distribution centres, vans, trucks, trailers and shipping vessels.

(2) Legally allowed, commercially viable and technically feasible with safe operation assured
(3) GWP less than 150, in line with the European Union’s “F-Gas Regulation” (EU No 517/2014) on fluorinated gases.

As the Board of The Consumer Goods Forum, we recognise that food waste is a major social, environmental and economic challenge. It undermines food security, contributes to climate change, consumes scarce natural resources such as water unnecessarily, and costs money. We are committed to doing our part to help reduce food waste. Our aim is to:

  • – First prevent food waste, then maximise its recovery towards the goal of halving food waste(1) within our own retail and manufacturing operations by 2025, versus a 2016 baseline(2).
  • – Contribute to the UN goals by 2030(3):
  •    – to halve per capita global food waste at the consumer level, and
  •    – to reduce food losses along production and supply chains including post-harvest losses and maximise the value of the remaining waste.

We will achieve both by individual company initiatives, by engaging with our supply chains and end consumers (where material) and by working collectively in partnership with governments and NGOs.



(1) Food waste will be assessed by individual member companies as food and/or associated inedible parts removed from the food supply chain and sent to disposal (landfill, draining or incineration without energy recovery) per unit of food sales (in constant currency).

(2) Please refer to point 2 of the Implementation Plan for further details.

(3) Based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals on Food Waste adopted by UN Member States in September 2015.

Social Sustainability

As the Board of The Consumer Goods Forum, we recognise our role as responsible businesses to respect and promote human rights and decent working conditions worldwide, in alignment with ongoing efforts such as the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other international frameworks including the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the recently launched United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  

As part of our wider efforts to promote human rights and decent working conditions worldwide, we acknowledge the broad societal problem of modern slavery and we strive to eradicate forced labour from our value chains. We will also continue not to tolerate forced labour within our own operations.  

To do so, we will harness the power of collective action as an industry group to identify and address issues and geographies of shared concern, enhancing the efficiency of any individual company initiatives in this area.  

In areas of shared concern, we will jointly develop specific action plans supporting the eradication of forced labour, in alignment with the widely embraced guidance provided by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.  

To achieve this ambitious goal, we will work closely with other industries, with governments and with civil society. 

Forced labour is an unacceptable human rights violation that can take multiple forms, and must be addressed.

While certain employment and recruitment practices may not initially appear problematic, in aggregate or combined with other forms of leverage, they can result in forced labour, particularly among vulnerable workers.

We will take active measures to apply these Principles across our global value chains and own operations, to cases where such practices may lead to forced labour. We will seek to apply these Principles to all workers regardless of their employment status, location, contractual arrangements or role. We will do this as part of our collective journey to advance the human rights of workers and positively shape global labour markets.

The Principles

I. Every worker should have freedom of movement.
The ability of workers to move freely should not be restricted by their employer through abuse, threats and practices such as retention of passport and valuable possessions.

II. No worker should pay for a job.
Fees and costs associated with recruitment and employment should be paid by the employer, not the employee.

III. No worker should be indebted or coerced to work.
Workers should work freely, aware of the terms and conditions of their work in advance, and paid regularly as agreed.

Health & Wellness

As Members of the Board of The Consumer Goods Forum, we believe that manufacturers and retailers, by working together, have a key role to play in improving the health and wellness of consumers, employees, their families and the communities we serve.

  • – Provide consumers with choices and information that empower them to make decisions for a healthy life.
  • – Further encourage a culture of prevention, promoting active, healthy living for all and engaging with other stakeholders to accelerate and increase the positive impact of our efforts.
  • – Monitor and learn from our efforts and will report on our progress.

The Health & Wellness Resolutions are built upon and leverage existing Industry initiatives. They encourage retailers and food and non-food manufacturers to further develop and implement self-regulatory tools to support healthier diets and lifestyles.

  • – Specific Resolutions on Access & Availability of Products and Services
    Offer consumers and shoppers a range of products and services that supports the goals of healthier diets and lifestyles.
  • – Specific Resolutions on Product Information & Responsible Marketing
    Provide transparent, fact-based information that will help consumers and shoppers make informed product choices and usages.
  • – Specific Resolutions on Communication & Education about Healthier Diets and Lifestyles
    Use communication and educational programmes to help raise consumer awareness on health and wellness and energy balance to inspire healthier diets and lifestyles

The Health & Wellness Resolutions set out our belief that manufacturers and retailers have a key role to play in improving the health and wellness of people around the world. We have, therefore, asked members for increased alignment and engagement on our ambitious five-year plan, which aims to empower the world’s population to make healthier product and lifestyle choices.  In June 2014, we committed to lead the industry on a number of specific actions from the Resolutions, namely:

  • – By 2016: Make company policies public on nutrition and product formulation;
  • – By 2016: Implement employee health and wellness programmes;
  • – By 2018: Industry-wide implementation of consistent product labelling and consumer information to help consumers make informed choices and usages; and
  • – By 2018: Stop marketing communications to children under 12 for food and beverage products that do not fulfil specific nutrition criteria based on scientific evidence and/or applicable national and international dietary guidelines.
E2E Value Chain & Standards

The Board of Directors of The Consumer Goods Forum recognises the importance of giving consumers easy access to reliable information on the products they buy, including their ingredients, provenance and supply chains.

We also recognise that consumers want to be able to access these data digitally whenever possible and that digital information transparency places additional demands for harmonisation and consistency across the industry. Specifically, research indicates that consumers in any one country want to be able to access a harmonised set of product data, following standardised data definitions and presented in a consistent way – regardless of which manufacturer makes the product or which retailer sells it.

Lastly, we recognise that, given the global nature of the internet, a globally consistent approach to consumer transparency is desirable in order to avoid confusing consumers and incurring unnecessary costs.

We therefore, as individual member companies, commit to support the following principles in all our countries of operation:

  1. Individual countries are encouraged to adopt a nation-wide, industry-wide consumer solutions providing consumers with digital access to product information, defined and organised in a single consistent way
  2. Individual country solutions should provide consumers with a globally-required minimum set of data attributes while also defining additional required and optional data attributes that take account of local law and reflect local consumer insight
  3. All data attributes – globally-required, locally-required and locally-optional – should use Global Data Dictionary data definitions
  4. To ensure that consumers have access to accurate information no matter how they choose to find it, brands should simultaneously publish the transparency attributes via the Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN) so that retailers and other e-commerce sites have access to those same, accurate data
  5. Individual country solutions are encouraged to provide multiple access routes, such as mobile scanning, web search, and click-through links to and from brand sites, in order to make them as easy as possible for consumers to use
  6. Individual country solutions should comply with a common data standard
  7. Individual countries are encouraged to promote locally to build a minimum level of consumer awareness of the consumer transparency solutions to encourage usage.

The members of the Consumer Goods Forum are committed to principles and practices that promote an environment of trust between the consumer and business. We do so against a backdrop of rapidly changing technology and consumer behaviour shifts that put a premium on proactive trust-building and consumer communication.

We endeavour to support the following Consumer Engagement Principles:

  • – Simple Communications: Communicate in a clear, simple and easy to understand language
  • – Value Exchange: Inform consumers about the benefits and value that the use of their personal information provides to both businesses and consumers
  • – Transparency: Fully inform consumers about what we do with the personal information they provide
  • – Control and Access: Enable consumers to easily choose whether and how their personal information is used; and to have access to information on how their personal information is used, and the ability to correct it and/or have it removed
  • – Ongoing Dialogue: Listen and respond to consumer feedback about the use of their personal data
  • – Protection of Personal information: Protect the integrity, reliability and accuracy of consumers’ personal information and, should things go wrong, be open about the status of their personal information
  • – Integrity in Social Media: Preserve integrity through proper disclosure of commercial interests in social media practices such as ratings, recommendations, endorsements and work with regulatory agencies on alignment of practices and guidelines
Food Safety

Individual CGF Board member companies with food activity commit to:

  • – Promote the acceptance of any and all Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-benchmarked food safety certification programmes internally and in their upstream and downstream supply chains;
  • – Require independent scheme owners with whom they have commercial relationships to facilitate the industry’s adoption of GFSI principles; and
  • – Allow this commitment to be communicated externally.
The Board Resolutions & Commitments

Download the complete set of CGF resolutions and commitments in pdf format.