29 July 2014
Consumer Goods Forum publishes soy sourcing guidelines
PARIS, 29th July 2014 – The Consumer Goods Forum (“The Forum”) today announced publication of the first ever “Sustainable Soy Sourcing Guidelines”. The new document, available publicly, is seen as another important step for the consumer goods industry that looks to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020, as outlined in The Forum’s resolution on deforestation.
Deforestation accounts for 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Whilst the causes of deforestation are complex, it is generally acknowledged that the biggest drivers are the cultivation of soya and oil palm, logging for the production of paper and board and the rearing of cattle. All of these commodities are major ingredients in the supply chains of most consumer goods companies, and following on from the 2013 Paper, Packaging & Pulp Sourcing Guidelines and the recent Board statement on climate change, The Forum’s Sustainable Soy Sourcing Guidelines are seen as key to helping the industry meet their 2020 deadline.
The guidelines are intended to assist companies in the development of their own policies for effectively sourcing soy, and were developed by a large set of retailers and manufacturers from within The Forum membership. As part of the development process of these guidelines, a working group benchmarked company sourcing practices, considered public procurement practices and engaged with certification organisations, NGOs and suppliers for their input and feedback. That feedback was then actively used in the creation of the final document. The guidelines will serve as a helpful and ‘live’ tool for those companies involved in sourcing soy, as the document will continue to be evaluated and updated as the landscape evolves.
Hugo Byrnes, VP Product Integrity at Royal Ahold and lead of the Sustainability Pillar's Soy Working Group said: “The publication of the ‘Sustainable Soy Sourcing Guidelines’ is an important step forward for our industry, and it’s a testament to what can result from effective cross-sector collaboration. This isn’t just a document from The Consumer Goods Forum, it’s a document that is built on a global industry’s commitment to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020, and several stakeholders have been involved in getting it to this point. With the publication of these guidelines, our industry is now one step closer to achieving its goal”.
A webinar - registration now open - has been organised for Monday 1st September to walk interested parties through the guidelines and answer any questions. Hugo Byrnes will elaborate on:
- The recommended approach for sourcing deforestation-free soy;
- The scope of the proposal;
- The risk criteria and classifications;
- The recommended verification mechanisms;
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact The Forum’s Sustainability Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
07 July 2014
AIM-PROGRESS Systems Reference Document update now available for members
As part of AIM-PROGRESS Systems work, the Systems Reference document has been prepared to provide members with an overview of existing supplier assessment data sharing systems which are available to support responsible sourcing programmes. About 70 % of AIM–PROGRESS members use the services of Sedex, a collaborative platform for sharing ethical supply chain data. Others use EcoVadis or rely on internal capabilities. AIM-PROGRESS does not mandate its members to use any specific platform. The systems reference document is aiming to help members to make informed decisions when they choose a platform.
The profiles available in the systems reference document are based mainly on publicly available information drawn from websites and other supporting documents. These profiles seek to highlight how these systems differ from one to another, not only in technical aspects, but also in relation to topics covered, data collection and ownership, risk analysis, integration with other services, governance and development, membership and charging structures.
It is important to note, that several of the systems are designed, or are evolving, to include multiple layers of a supply chain, promoting transparency and traceability within whole supply chains. Others are an integrated part of a broader ‘compliance management’ approach, offering complementary services such as auditing, training or capacity building.
The document is only available to AIM-PROGRESS member companies and can be accessed on the member zone.
04 July 2014
Latest addition to AIM-PROGRESS membership
We are pleased to announce that Creative Werks, a supplier to many of our branded goods companies, has joined the growing number of AIM-PROGRESS members. The company brings over 60 years of experience to state-of-the-art manufacturing, co-packing and design facilities.
This now brings the AIM-PROGRESS membership to 37 FMCG sector companies, four of which are from the supplier community.
30 June 2014
Record attendance at AIM-PROGRESS meeting in Reims
A record 53 participants, representing 34 companies and organisations, attended the second AIM-PROGRESS membership meeting this year, hosted by Pernod-Ricard at their GH Mumm site in Reims (France) on 23-25 June.
Orkla’s account of how they collaborated with Greenpeace on mitigating deforestation and climate change risks from palm oil sourcing provided a topical background to a panel discussion between senior representatives of companies from the AIM-PROGRESS Advisory Board (Coca-Cola, General Mills, Mars, Nestlé): how are companies’ sustainability commitments operationalised throughout their organisations and translated into clear responsible sourcing practices, and how can companies manage and respond to critical NGO campaigns? All recognized that senior company management engagement, as well as involvement of buyers was key to ensure that sustainable sourcing targets were achieved. Collaboration with different stakeholders, in particular with NGOs, creates opportunities for companies to achieve more and is becoming the norm for responsible businesses.
Practical testimonials on how companies are implementing responsible sourcing are a regular feature of AIM-PROGRESS meetings, both to share best practice and also to obtain advice from the companies present on problem areas presenters may be experiencing. Participants had the opportunity to get inspiration from L’Oreal and Keurig Green Mountain.
Human Rights and operationalising Ruggie remain a top priority for responsible companies. Participants heard from IMPA-Act about the shipping industry’s efforts to adapt their responsible sourcing approach to the due diligence processes required by the UN Guiding Principles and discussed future work plan priorities for AIM-PROGRESS.
Agriculture is a focus area for responsible sourcing for many food companies represented in AIM-PROGRESS. SAI Platform presented their recently launched Farmer Self-Assessment tool and provided insights how to take sourcing requirements to farm level without overwhelming small-scale producers. AIM-PROGRESS members expressed their support for this tool, and those companies using Sedex made a strong recommendation that any update of the Sedex SAQ should mirror the SAI tool.
Participants worked in break-out sessions to provide input into further developing the AIM-PROGRESS three strategy pillars: member capability development, effectively assuring compliance and going beyond compliance. Particular attention was given to the question on how to drive compliance in the supply chain through advanced member capability. A “top-tips” document was shared by the Mutual Recognition work stream for comment by participants. For all three pillars concrete deliverables will be suggested for AIM-PROGRESS to achieve until the end of 2016, in support of our mission of Positively impacting people’s lives through our combined leadership of robust responsible sourcing practices throughout our supply chains. Members expressed an appetite for pooling their individual efforts to support concrete projects “on the ground” together, such as supporting development for key commodity providers.The ambitious strategy will require an adaptation of the resources which are currently at the organisation’s disposal.
The next meeting will be held in New York City (US) 3-4 November 2014, hosted by Colgate-Palmolive.
02 June 2014
Ruggie self-assessment questionnaire
After many months of work by the Human Rights work stream, AIM-PROGRESS is pleased to announce the release of its Human Rights Self-Assessment Questionnaire. The SAQ can be used to assess member companies' own operations and/or begin the journey with their supply partners. It attempts to spell out the Ruggie requirements in easy-to-use questions regarding:
- A policy commitment to meet the company’s responsibility to respect human rights;
- A human rights due-diligence process to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how companies address their impacts on human rights; and
- Processes to enable the remediation of any adverse human rights impacts they cause or to which they contribute.
AIM-PROGRESS hopes this is a useful tool to support the incorporation of human rights into companies' business initiatives.It is an open-source document which can be used by other initiatives. Please find a copy of the SAQ via this link.
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