WWF Report Illustrates a ‘Slow Road to Sustainability’

15th July 2016

New WWF research published on June 14, 2016 indicates that only a handful of leading consumer goods companies and retailers have taken meaningful action to source sustainably produced soft commodities derived from forestry, farming and fisheries despite commitments.

The report “Slow Road to Sustainability” released ahead of the Annual Summit of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) in Cape Town, South Africa, on 15-17 June, reviews the policies and performance of the 256 brand manufacturer and retailer members of the CGF, representing combined annual sales of more than US$ 3.5 trillion globally.

Analyzing annual reports, sustainability reports and websites, the report shows that a weighted average of just 14 per cent of relevant companies such as Kimberly-Clark, Waitrose, Unilever, Kao Corporation and Royal Ahold have made quantified time-bound commitments to source their required soft commodities such as palm oil, paper, soy, sugarcane or farmed fish according to the credible standards recommended by WWF.

Only 22 companies (or 9 per cent of those analyzed) have made quantified and time-bound commitments to source all or majority of the commodities needed for their business according to other credible certification standards. However, the details of some of the commitments remain imprecise, highlighting the broader issue of transparency. According to the report, only 42 per cent of the companies publish sustainability information in their annual report or a separate sustainability report. […]

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