The Consumer Goods Forum says it intends to work toward ending deforestation, and to phase out the use of refrigerant gases with high global warming potential.
The Forum, formed in 2009, is a CEO-level organization of 400 global consumer goods manufacturers and retailers with combined revenue in excess of $2.8tr. The initiatives were announced by the board of directors, comprising 50 CEOs and co-chaired by Muhtar Kent of The Coca-Cola Company and Lars Olofsson of Carrefour.
"The initiatives that our industry announced ... are good examples of the kind of bold and positive action that will be needed to move the needle in combating climate change," Kent said.
On deforestation, the forum pledged to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020. Deforestation is one of the principal drivers of climate change, accounting for 17 percent 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 deforestation.
Sir Terry Leahy of Tesco and Paul Polman of Unilever, who lead the forum's sustainability program, 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 sustainably."
On refrigeration, the forum agreed to begin phasing out hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants as of 2015 and replace them with non-HFC refrigerants.
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. HFC emissions are projected to represent 9 percent to 19 percent of projected greenhouse gas emissions in 2050.
For a full text of The Consumer Goods Forum statement and initiatives, visit http://www.mycgforum.com/_files/Board_resolutions_on_Deforestation_and_Refrigeration.pdf
Source: Consumer Goods Forum
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