Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co. James Quincey
The Paris-based Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has added Daniel Zhang, chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group, and James Quincey, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co., to lead its board of directors. The global organization whose mission is to pursue positive change across the consumer goods industry also said that Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize, and Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, were appointed vice co-chairs.
Zhang and Quincey will serve two-year terms and replace outgoing co-chairs Özgür Tort, CEO of Migros Ticaret, and Emmanuel Faber, former chairman and CEO of Danone.
“I am honored to join the board of CGF, a unique organization that works to protect the planet and its people,” Quincey said. “Özgür and Emmanuel have done a tremendous job and I look forward to building upon their work to drive sustainable solutions to the challenges we face as an industry. Together with Daniel and the CGF Coalitions of Action, we will be working against an ambitious agenda to build a better shared future for all”.
The addition of Zhang to a key leadership role at the group is notable because it is the first time the organization has been co-chaired by a multinational company born in China.
“Together with James, I look forward to building on this foundation by driving broader representation and inclusivity across our CGF membership, as we work to transform the industry to address challenges and capture opportunities of the future,” Zhang said.
Quincey and Zhang take over the co-chair roles following a challenging period brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and an increasing need for companies to show consumers, employees and investors that they are proactively addressing today’s sustainability, health and safety challenges, according to CGF. The global group has also gone through its own strategic shifts with the creation of eight Coalitions of Action that include: Forest Positive, Plastic Waste, Food Waste, Collaboration for Healthier Lives, Product Data, Human Rights – Working to End Forced Labor, Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative and Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
While these coalitions have now been successfully launched, Quincey and Zhang will have a leadership role to play in ensuring CGF members accelerate actions on the ground in regions all over the world.
In addition to launching the coalitions, CGF highlighted other accomplishments, including:
Issuing a call to action for businesses to support the most vulnerable during the pandemic and publishing a set of case studies that highlighted actions taken.
Calling on the UN to do more to support seafarers negatively impacted by the pandemic.
Publishing a series of reports analyzing the successes of its local CHL initiatives, including those in the United Kingdsom, Turkey, France, Japan and China.
Publishing a set of commodity roadmaps – palm oil, soy and paper, pulp and fiber-based packaging – to increase transparency around how CGF members will help build a forest positive future, and publishing the first-ever report from the Forest Positive Coalition, Taking Root.
Launching the GFSI Race to the Top Framework, which proposes a collaborative enhancement of the oversight of the GFSI ecosystem with the aim of improving trust, transparency and confidence in GFSI-recognized certification and audit outcomes.
Holding the first-ever virtual editions of the GFSI Conference and Sustainable Retail Summit and bringing leaders together for the CEO-led Virtual Knowledge Series to share experiences on mitigating the impacts of COVID-19.
Publishing the first two Golden Design Rules in an effort to tackle plastic pollution and help advance a world where no plastic waste ends up in nature. Work is now focused on the remaining seven.
Increasing its emphasis on tackling industry issues on diversity and inclusion, setting the ambition to create a world where the workplace ensures equal opportunity and inclusion for all.
“Sustainability and efficiency have gained even greater importance and relevance for us all during the pandemic. In a period of uncertainty, we provided service without limits. As a new era dawned, we were proactive in reinterpreting our practices to make them relevant in the new reality,” said outgoing co-chair Tort. “Within the CGF, we set up eight separate Coalitions of Action, each with its own mission and a remit to create a sustainable world and bring about positive change. Each Coalition brings together corporate leaders from various sectors with the aim of focusing on new solutions for the future of our planet. By doing this CGF has created a much more inclusive and diversified structure. This flexible structure will inspire new initiatives all around the world”.
Wai-Chan Chan, CGF managing director, The Consumer Goods Forum, said, “Özgür and Emmanuel have done a fabulous job during very challenging times. Under their stewardship, the CGF has re-focused to ensure positive impacts on the ground happen quicker and more effectively and we are now starting to see the benefits of this work. However, we are only just getting started and I look forward to now working more closely with James and Daniel as we get to driving positive change faster than ever, and ensure our industry has a positive voice built on tangible actions as we head towards the UN Food Systems Summit and COP 26. Despite our successes, we know there is still a lot more we can do”.