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Sustainability News

December 11, 2012

The Sustainability Consortium logoARIZONA, USA, – December 11, 2012 – As the consumer goods industry continues to drive sustainability throughout the supply chain, there is an increasing need for a globally harmonized science-based approach to measure and communicate product life cycles. Today, a partnership between two leading global organizations was announced that will create tremendous progress in achieving this goal. The Sustainability Consortium (TSC), an independent organization of global participants developing science and integrated tools to support informed decision making for product sustainability across the consumer goods industry and The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global industry network with over 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders are announcing a strategic alliance.

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) is an independent organization of diverse global participants with over 90 members representing the world’s largest suppliers and retailers, non-profit and government organizations, and leading academic institutions in the area of product sustainability. TSC’s goal is to design and implement harmonized, transparent and scalable science-based measurement and reporting systems to measure environmental impact of product sustainability that will be accessible for all producers and users of consumer products.

CGF companies have made significant progress in assessing the greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts of their operations. In June 2011, the Board collectively agreed to measure those emissions of business operations using the World Resource Institute / World Business Council on Sustainable Development GHG Protocol and report through the Carbon Disclosure Project, the recognized global GHG standard and reporting mechanism for companies.

The partnership between TSC and CGF will advance this work by focusing on Product Life Cycle Impacts, which will benefit from a single global framework to share information between companies, regulators, consumers, and CSOs. This framework enables value chain participants to improve sustainability performance by gaining transparency and better understanding into the environmental impacts of individual consumer products and their life cycles. TSC and CGF will accelerate the development and implementation of this global framework in the pursuit of harmonization with other similar initiatives in which CGF are already actively engaged.

Helen Fleming, Climate Change Director, Tesco and Co-Chair of the CGF Sustainability work stream, said “The partnership with TSC is an important step in the CGF’s plan to move towards a common global system for measuring and communicating the environmental impact of products, beginning with their carbon impact. It is an exciting development and we all need to work together to bring it to fruition”.

The Co-chair of the Sustainability work stream, Gail Klintworth, Chief Sustainability Officer of Unilever, added “successful collaboration between leading global Consumer Goods companies and the TSC is a key driver in helping our members to reduce their carbon emissions and other environmental impacts, and so improve the environmental footprints of the products they sell. The vision is for us to help consumers make more sustainable choices about the products they buy – empowering them to become active agents as we take on the challenge of living and growing within our natural planetary boundaries.” Both Tesco and Unilever are members of The Sustainability Consortium.

According to Kara Hurst, CEO of The Sustainability Consortium, “A strong partnership between The Sustainability Consortium and the Consumer Good Forum will allow us to openly share information, in particular, research on environmental and social impacts. We are honored to have CGF as a partner and look forward to working with them as we move the science of sustainability forward.”

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) is an independent organization of diverse global participants that work collaboratively to build a scientific foundation that drives innovation to improve consumer product sustainability. TSC develops transparent methodologies, tools, and strategies to drive a new generation of products and supply networks that address environmental, social, and economic imperatives. The Sustainability Consortium advocates for a credible, scalable, and transparent process and system. The organization boasts over 90 members from all corners of business employing over 57 million people and whose combined revenues total over $1.5 Trillion. The Sustainability Consortium is jointly administered by Arizona State University and University of Arkansas with additional operations at Wageningen University in The Netherlands and has recently launched an office in China. Learn more at

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 2.5 trillion. Their retailer and manufacturer members directly employ nearly 10 million people with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain.

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 Chairmen.

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.

Media Contacts

Elizabeth Kessler, Marketing Coordinator

The Sustainability Consortium

Arizona State University | (480) 965-3810

Sabine Ritter, Executive Vice President

The Consumer Goods Forum | +33 6 45 56 66 44