headline press information

Date 28th July 2010 / www.procarton.com

Global Leadership


The Global Summit 2010, the first global conference of the Consumer Goods Forum in London, was an overwhelming success. Interest among the leading heads of the world’s most important companies was so tremendous, that not all could be admitted. 883 delegates from 49 countries decided to lead the planet into a sustainable future by their joint efforts.

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The Consumer Goods 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. 2400 executives of 650 Forum member companies in 70 countries have combined sales of EUR 2.1 trillion. The strength of the Forum lies in the privileged access it offers to the key players in the sector as well as in the development and implementation of best practices along the value chain.


The Global Summit is the event for the leaders of the consumer goods business, exclusively reserved to members of The Forum. All delegates were clear on one thing, politics alone would be overtaxed on this topic, therefore all decision makers in industry and trade would have to make joint efforts. First results show that especially selection and price policy in the trade are one of the main openings for a sustainable future.


Prince calls for collaborative industry action on sustainable fishing
Delivering the keynote address, His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales — a tireless campaigner on environmental issues — told the delegates to use their collective market power to force urgent and immediate change in the way ocean fisheries are managed because otherwise the world's major ocean fisheries will have collapsed by 2050, posing an "increasing threat to global security".


Retailers such as Walmart, whose insistence that its suppliers be certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council the Prince praised as "courageous", had achieved "remarkable things" individually. But ultimately the industry must work in concert to achieve truly sustainable solutions. "Not everyone reads a paper or watches television news. But everyone shops." Retailers should "stimulate demand for sustainable fish" in their stores and also lobby government for regulatory support.

"No change," he underlined, "is not an option."


Tesco, Unilever Chiefs say: “We must change.”
Sir Terry Leahy, CEO of Tesco, and Paul Polman, CEO of consumer goods giant Unilever, gave an unequivocal call for for immediate, concerted and collaborative action on climate change. Leahy said that consumers wanted business to take a lead and to help them be sustainable in their own lives. "Our challenge is to harness that desire and help fulfill it by creating a mass movement in green consumption.


Paul Polman said that, with 75% of all emissions influenced by consumers, the time to act was now. "To those who say, 'Can't we wait until the recession is over?' I say no. And to those who ask, 'Why can't we leave it to government?' my answer is that no single institution can tackle this problem alone. No one pretends that change will be easy. But we can grow without carbon, there is such a thing as green growth. To achieve it, we need to think afresh."


Leahy said industry needed to challenge the entire value chain and question how goods were designed, sourced, produced, packaged, labeled and transported. Leahy said consumers responded to encouragement when it comes to buying sustainably.


"To make this a reality," Leahy told the Summit, "we have to embrace it together ... We cannot go on as we are. We must change." Polman called the delegates to action: "I ask you to help us in the Forum’s ambition to make our businesses more sustainable, and create a mass movement in green consumption."


Consumer goods industry recognized for sustainability progress
The industry sectors recognized by consumers worldwide as making the fastest progress on sustainability are retail and food manufacturing, according to Joanne Denny-Finch, CEO of research firm IGD. With reason, judging by Denny's long list of examples of sustainable actions taken by major consumer goods retailers and manufacturers.


Tesco, for example, is a leader in climate change, while Nestlé is improving nutrition in developing countries with fortified drinks, Denny said. Sainsbury had "taken a leap of faith on Fairtrade", while Unilever helped set up the Marine Stewardship Council, which certifies sustainably sourced wild ocean fish, and chairs the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.


Walmart is preserving wildlife habitats and South African retailer Pick n Pay is supporting economic renewal in South Africa's the country's underprivileged townships via entrepreneurial sponsorship. Coca-Cola has set up community water partnerships in 70 countries.


Denney-Finch's resounding message was that companies cannot hope to make breakthroughs by acting alone. "You have to work with others," she told The Global Summit. "It could be developing a new standard, agreeing a common language or solving a shared problem."


Consumers, too, want to be involved, Denny said. "They're delegating leadership because the issues are complex, but shoppers are ready to play their part."


Sustainability guru Tony Juniper cites Forum as "exciting vehicle" for global sustainability project
Carbon dioxide levels, both now and projected for the next 100 years, are higher than at any time in at least the last 800,000 years, according to Sustainability advisor Tony Juniper. Meanwhile, global surface temperatures continue to rise, according to Met Office statistics. The warming heralds damage to crop yields, water supplies, ecosystems and increase the risk of extreme weather events and "abrupt and irreversible changes" in the climate system. "Muddling along is not sufficient. We need an unprecedented global project."


Addressing delegates at The Consumer Goods Forum Global Summit in London, Juniper said the sustainability challenge could be met and offered a "huge opportunity" for business. Many low-carbon technologies, for example, are already cost-effective.

"If the private sector takes a leadership now, less regulation will be needed." He said The Forum was a "hugely exciting vehicle" for achieving these aims: "You are where the rubber hits the road," he told the Summit. "It's time to show real leadership — the world needs it and time is running out."

Next Global Summit 2011: 15.-17. June 2011 Tokyo

His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales

His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales

His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales




Richard Dalgleish +44 777 613 8510 dalgleish@procarton.com
Suzanne McEwen +43 1 218 6918 mcewen@procarton.com
Background Pro Carton is the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Its main purpose is to promote the use of cartons and cartonboard to brand owners, the trade as well as designers, the media and politicians as an economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium.