Consumer Goods Forum late last year published a report showcasing concrete examples of how the consumer goods sector is implementing low-carbon solutions. By sharing these solutions, the report seeks to share essential knowledge and real-life examples to further their use across the industry and to help reduce the sector’s carbon footprint.

The report came exactly two years after COP 21, and in coordination with the One Planet Summit, where French President Emmanuel Macron sought to drive from commitment to action and bring the Paris Agreement into the real economy.

Consisting of manufacturers, transporters and distributors, the consumer goods sector is one of the largest sectors of economic activity today. Present in our daily lives with household products and food, it represents about 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions across the whole value chain.

For several years now, companies in the sector have tested and deployed solutions related to energy efficiency, renewable energy and technological innovation in order to reduce their environmental footprint. These include:

• Intelligent lighting systems;

• Sustainable refrigeration and air conditioning systems;

• Producing renewable energy on-site;

• Purchasing green electricity (Guarantees of Origin, Renewable Energy Certificates, Power Purchase Agreements);

• Logistics optimization systems;

• Using alternative fuels and natural refrigerants.

These solutions can effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the sector, therefore, it is necessary to deploy them on a large-scale to generate significant impacts.

“The climate challenge is one we all need to take up,” said Peter Freedman, Managing Director of The Consumer Goods Forum. “The time for talk is over. If global temperatures continue to increase at the current rate, the consumer industry – like everyone else – will face increased business risks. Our member companies have long been committed to supporting responsible business and I am happy to see them lead the way, implementing a low carbon, circular economy and sharing their experiences for the benefit of all.”

“The climate change challenge calls for a global transition from all sectors, and all value chains in order to limit global,” said Alexandre Bompard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Carrefour, who share their solution in the report. “From this point of view, our competitors are also partners with whom we can, and must, share the most relevant solutions. Carrefour’s challenge is therefore to further develop collaboration, while also supporting existing partnerships in this global transition.”

However, this can only be regarded as a first step. Indirect greenhouse gas emissions, associated with the sourcing of raw materials and consumption habits, make up the majority of emissions from the sector. The Consumer Goods Forum recognizes that collaboration needs to take place along the entire value chain and across sectors. Only through this collaborative and cross-sector approach can the Paris Agreement and UN Sustainable Development Goals be achieved and longterm business growth secured.

Information for this article was provided by the Consumer Goods Forum. For more information, visit theconsumergoodsforum.com.

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