Paris, November 29 (ots/PRNewswire)
- On the first day of the
Cancun Climate Summit, the Consumer Goods Forum announced two major
initiatives on climate change: to work toward ending deforestation,
and to phase out the use of refrigerant gases with high global
The Forum, formed in 2009, is a CEO-level organization of 400
global consumer goods manufacturers and retailers with combined
revenue in excess of $2.8 trillion USD (2,1 trillion Euros). The
initiatives were announced by the Board of Directors, comprised of 50
CEOs and co-chaired by Muhtar Kent of The Coca-Cola Company and Lars
Olofsson of Carrefour.
"On behalf of my co-chair Lars Olofsson and the Board of
Directors of The Consumer Goods Forum, we are in Cancun to lend our
support to this monumental but essential task of creating solutions
that lead to a low-carbon world," said Muhtar Kent. "The initiatives
that our industry announced today are good examples of the kind of
bold and positive action that will be needed to move the needle in
combating climate change."
On deforestation, The Consumer Goods Forum pledged to mobilise
their collective resources to help achieve zero net deforestation by
Deforestation is one of the principal drivers of climate change,
accounting for 17% of greenhouse gases today. The consumer goods
industry, through its growing use of soya, palm oil, beef, paper and
board, creates many of the economic incentives which drive
Sir Terry Leahy of Tesco and Paul Polman of Unilever, who lead
the Forum's sustainability programme, stated: "We believe that our
industry has a responsibility to purchase these commodities in a way
which encourages producers not to expand into forested areas. Our
task is to develop specific action plans for the different challenges
of sourcing commodities like soya, palm oil, beef, paper and board
Both CEOs were confident that this commitment would not result in
additional cost to consumers. They emphasised that if the crops were
grown sustainably, yields would rise and input costs fall, thus
resulting in a "win" for both the farmer and the consumer.
Jason Clay, senior vice president of Markets with World Wildlife
Fund (WWF), said "We welcome this initiative. The scale, geographical
presence and purchasing power of the CGF companies could transform
these commodity markets and help put an end to tropical deforestation
in countries like Brazil and Indonesia. WWF looks forward to working
with the entire CGF membership to help them achieve their goals".
On refrigeration, the Forum agreed to begin phasing-out
hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants as of 2015 and replace them with
Refrigeration plays a vital role in the retail and consumer goods
industry, delivering high quality products to consumers every day,
but is also a significant and growing source of greenhouse gases.
HFCs are powerful greenhouse gases that are thousands of times as
potent as carbon dioxide. While they currently have a relatively
small aggregate impact on global warming, HFC emissions are projected
to represent 9-19% of projected greenhouse gas emissions in 2050.
Some Consumer Goods Forum companies already have well-established
time-bound programs to cease the purchase of HFCs. Others are
beginning to take action to phase-out HFC refrigerants as of 2015 and
replace them with natural refrigerants, where these are permitted
based on country-level regulations.
Muhtar Kent of The Coca-Cola Company and Lars Olofsson of
Carrefour noted, "This is the first time that the entire sector has
aligned around the importance of taking action to accelerate the move
to climate-friendly refrigeration. The technologies exist today for
our sector to significantly reduce the direct and indirect emissions
of the refrigeration equipment we use. This initiative by The
Consumer Goods Forum demonstrates our commitment to action."
Amy Larkin, Director of Solutions at Greenpeace, welcomed the
announcement, noting: "The Consumer Goods Forum commitment to
eliminate these potent greenhouse gases shows what corporations can
do when they band together for the benefit of the global environment.
Now it is time for national and international policy makers to match
these corporations' ambition by outlawing HFCs and making the
transition to a climate friendly alternative both cheap and easy."
The team of Forum member companies charged with delivering the
deforestation and refrigeration pledges is co-chaired by Unilever and
Tesco and includes Ahold, Barilla, Carrefour, Coca-Cola, Delhaize,
General Mills, Henkel, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg, Kraft, Kroger,
L'Oreal, Metro, Nestle, Pepsi Co, Procter & Gamble, Sara Lee, S.C.
Johnson, Sobeys, Tesco, Unilever and Walmart,
Both initiatives focus on key aspects of the consumer goods
sector with the greatest impact and opportunity to drive effective
climate solutions The Forum will work to achieve both goals by a
combination of individual company initiatives and by working together
in partnership with NGOs.
Notes for editors:
The US government has targeted HFC reduction as a priority
climate action under the Montreal Protocol, and garnered support from
91 nations at last month's Montreal Protocol conference in Bangkok.
For a full text of The Consumer Goods Forum statement and
initiatives, visit http://www.mycgforum.com/_files/Board_resolutions_
(Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and
paste this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field.
Remove the space if one exists.)
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
The Forum was created in June 2009 by the merger of CIES - The
Food Business Forum, the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) and the
Global CEO Forum. The Consumer Goods Forum is governed by its Board
of Directors, which includes 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs and
The Forum provides a unique global platform for knowledge
exchange and initiatives around five strategic priorities - Emerging
Trends, Sustainability, Safety & Health, Operational Excellence and
Knowledge Sharing & People Development - which are central to the
advancement of today's consumer goods industry.
The Forum's vision is: "Better lives through better business". To
fulfil this, its members have given the Forum a mandate to develop
common positions on key strategic and operational issues affecting
the consumer goods business, with a strong focus on non-competitive
process improvement. The Forum's success is driven by the active
participation of the key players in the sector, who together develop
and lead the implementation of best practices along the value chain.
With its headquarters in Paris and its regional offices in
Washington, D.C., and Tokyo, the CGF serves its members throughout
the world. Further information is available via the Forum's website:
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