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PARIS, 11th May, 2022 – CEO members of The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Board of Directors have today published a statement encouraging relevant supply chain partners to undertake the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) benchmarking process by the end of 2023. The statement highlights the CGF Board’s ambition to benefit the wider industry by ensuring that third-party certification schemes and programmes are meeting evolving global supply chain due diligence requirements. Achieving this objective can become a reality with supply chain partners embracing the SSCI verification approach, as outlined in the statement below:

“As the Board of The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), we recognise the pressing need for greater trust in sustainability standards globally. Standards and certifications are important tools in our responsible sourcing practices — but with hundreds of schemes on the market and dozens more emerging each year, it can be difficult to know which ones meet our expectations. This results in global inefficiencies, increased costs, and confusion for our customers. It’s a growing challenge for all involved, including the scheme owners who have standards that do meet our social and environmental sustainability needs.

The CGF Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) has been designed to tackle these problems and to make it easier for our businesses to know what standards can be trusted, while giving the scheme owners an effective way to showcase the quality of their standards. The SSCI Benchmark is now becoming a critical tool in identifying which programmes and schemes deliver assessments at the level we expect and need to properly inform our supply chain due diligence.

As such, the SSCI is beginning to build market confidence and is expected to become an integral part of our responsible sourcing conversations and procurement decisions in the future. Today, we are asking the broader CGF membership and our supply chain partners to support the SSCI Benchmark and help build an industry that delivers credible assessments and trust throughout our global supply chains.

If we are serious about taking positive business actions that support the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, supply chain due diligence cannot wait. We need to be able to rely on adequate tools and approaches to meet expectations, and we need to work with supply chain partners who share our vision. Our customers expect us to deliver on the sustainability agenda and we believe the SSCI will make it easier for us to do this while providing scheme owners with a clearer set of expectations and the ability to help build trust in sustainability standards worldwide.

Scheme owners are, therefore, encouraged to apply to be recognised against the SSCI benchmarks and help us build the sustainable future that is now critical to our businesses’ survival. The SSCI team will be available to support organisations at every step of the journey.

Of course, we are delighted that several schemes are already working their way through the process, demonstrating leadership in their field as the first programmes to seek SSCI Recognition. Industry partners have also recognised the importance of processes like the SSCI Benchmark in accepting social audits and certifications. We ask for similar momentum from CGF members and supply chain partners in ensuring existing tools meet expectations for sustainability standards and key governance and verification practices.

Our commitment to SSCI signals our industry coming together to set clear expectations. We created a tool to implement our sustainability commitments and help drive positive change. Now is the time to make use of it and make it work for our businesses and the millions of workers across our value chains, as well as the environment at large.”

About the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative

The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) 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. For more information, visit www.tcgfssci.com.

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 4.6 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 55 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.

For further information, please contact:

Didier Bergeret
Director, Sustainability, CGF
ssci@theconsumergoodsforum.com

Louise Chester
Officer, Communications, CGF
l.chester@theconsumergoodsforum.com