To help support the development of socially and environmentally responsible supply chains around the world, The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), Silver Spring, Md., created the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI).

Co-chaired by Ahold Delhaize, The Netherlands, and Nestlé USA, Glendale, Calif., the CGF is currently building the SSCI into a robust program to benchmark and recognize sustainability standards. SSCI will streamline benchmarking processes across the CGF by replicating the approach of its Global Food Safety Initiative to recognizing standards.

The SSCI will provide buyers and suppliers with clear guidance on which third-party auditing and certification schemes cover key sustainability requirements and apply robust verification practices. The SSCI will ensure confidence in sustainable sourcing, reduce audit duplication and complexity for all stakeholders and ultimately drive positive social and environmental impact on the ground. It will initially focus on social compliance to expanding the scope to environmental compliance. The development process for the environmental benchmark is planned to begin in early 2019.

“The creation of the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative is another example of the CGF’s focus on providing practical implementation support,” says Peter Freedman, managing director, CGF. “Today, any company wanting to assess the sustainability of their value chains faces a confusing array of different technical standards and auditing approaches. The SSCI is designed to help them navigate through this complexity and make sustainable sourcing more efficient. I would like to thank the many organizations that have helped us develop this innovation, including our member companies, scheme and certification program owners and many other stakeholders. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with them through to, and beyond, the launch later this year.”
“I am delighted to announce that the CGF board’s decision to create the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative is now coming to fruition,” adds Chris Tyas, global head of supply chain, Nestlé. “Through the SSCI, we will ensure that CGF-recognized sustainability auditing and certification schemes cover key sustainability requirements and verify their implementation. SSCI will support continuous improvement of these schemes worldwide in order to achieve our common goal of more sustainable supply chains. We look forward to providing our industry with the necessary tools to implement sustainability commitments.”