Leading consumer goods companies not delivering on sustainable soft commodities sourcing: WWF

NGO calls for reporting to GRI standards on softs.

Just a handful of the world’s leading consumer goods companies have taken action to source sustainably produced soft commodities derived from forestry, farming and fisheries despite commitments to the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), which has pledged to help member companies to achieve goals such as zero net deforestation by 2020, according to a report by WWF, the conservation NGO.
As a result, the NGO has called on the CGF to have all its members, which represent annual sales of more than US$ 3.5 trillion globally, publish an annual sustainability report in 2018 using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Guidelines.
Stephen Watson, Head of Corporate Engagement and Asia, at WWF Market Transformation Initiative, said the report was “disappointing news”, especially when the CGF members had the enormous potential to contribute majorly to preventing deforestation, overfishing and water scarcity. According to Watson, ‘sourcing credibly’ key commodities such as soy, palm oil, pulp, and paper is essential to ensuring sustainable production and responsible social policies.The WWF report, titled: “Slow Road to Sustainability:http://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/?269970/WWF_report_slow_road_to_sustainability reviews the policies and performance of CGF brand manufacturers and retail members regarding soft commodities sourcing. It analyses actions taken by companies through their recent annual reports, sustainability reports and websites. It counts only 22 companies – out of 256 CGF brand manufacturers and retailer members – that have made quantified and time-bound commitments to source the commodities needed for their business, and just 42% of CGF companies publish sustainability information in their annual report.
The leading 22 companies identified by the report are: Grupo Bimbo, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate Palmolive, Coop (Switzerland), Danone, Ferrero, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, S.C. Johnson, Kao Corporation, Kimberly-Clark, L’Oreal, Mark & Spencer, Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund, Nike Stores, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, Royal Ahold, SCA, Sofidel, Unilever, Waitrose.
Further, the WWF is calling on CGF member and non-member companies to commit publicly to source only credibly certified commodities for 100% of their volume requirements by 2020.