Sustainable Coconut Charter Steering Committee Names BSR as Secretariat
October 31, 2022 (BANGKOK) – An industry-led steering committee has selected BSR, a sustainable business network and consultancy, to serve as secretariat of a coconut platform comprised of signatories of the Sustainable Coconut Charter and participants in the Sustainable Coconut Roundtables.
Following the recommendations from the Sustainable Coconut Taskforce formed in December 2021, USAID Green Invest Asia and GIZ organized in June 2022 the Sustainable Coconut Steering Committee to plan for ways to ensure the charter’s continued momentum, adoption, and roll-out. The steering committee, which included representatives from Barry Callebaut, Unilever, AAK, Ferrero, and Nestlé, approved a scope of work for a secretariat to set up an organization on Sustainability in the Coconut Sector, and following an open Call for Proposals in July 2022, has selected BSR to lead as in this newly created secretariat role. Interested parties had to demonstrate their ability to capitalize on the investments made by USAID Green Invest Asia in the past three years to support the formalization of a new platform to roll-out social impact activities under the charter.
BSR presented a two-year strategy to operationalize the new platform that will aim to improve smallholder livelihoods and incomes and increase access to technology, replant trees, improve productivity, enhance traceability of the coconut supply chain, and reduce its deforestation and encroachment impacts. The strategy is centered on a robust membership model and is leveraging a grant from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to drive effective collaboration in pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“This opportunity to build out the Sustainable Coconut Charter to a professional industry platform aligns perfectly with BSR’s experience working with business to shift to an inclusive, net zero economy,” said Nicolas Ronderos, BSR’s Collaborations Manager. “In this decisive decade, the transition to a low-carbon economy while maintaining living incomes for smallholders could not be more urgent or important. We look forward to scaling the charter and helping to ensure meaningful outcomes.,” said Gregory Bardies, who will serve as Executive Director of the new platform.
USAID Green Invest Asia worked with corporate leaders for two years to develop the framework for the coconut industry’s first Sustainable Coconut Charter. The Charter is a framework to increase farmer incomes,improve livelihoods, enhance supply chain traceability, and prevent deforestation and mitigate climate change. It has already informed and driven several company-led initiatives to lower sector-level emissions in the Philippines and Indonesia, the world’s two largest coconut producers.
“We are proud to support the coconut industry as it launches the Charter to enhance supply chain resiliency. We are confident that BSR’s experience with its over 300 members will guide the industry to achieve meaningful results,” said Roopa Karia, Deputy Director of the Environment Office at USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA). “Our role as a neutral convener is to create the space for business competitors to collaborate on joint climate action. The Secretariat will now guide effective and sustainable implementation to promote precompetitive collaboration among industry, civil society organizations, and government.”
The Charter is the coconut industry’s first attempt at regional collaboration to honor global sustainability commitments, while boosting local farmer livelihoods and coconut supply to meet overall demand.
More updates about the handover will be announced at the 7th Sustainable Coconut Roundtable on “Advancing Resilient and Sustainable Coconut Supply in Southeast Asia,” led by USAID Green Invest Asia, GIZ, and the Sustainable Coconut Steering Committee and scheduled to take place on November 25th in Makati City, Philippines.
For more information, follow USAID Green Invest Asia at https://www.linkedin.com/company/usaidgreeninvestasia, or write [email protected].
ABOUT USAID Green Invest Asia
USAID Green Invest Asia helps agriculture and forestry businesses in Southeast Asia improve the sustainability and environmental stewardship of their operations by connecting them with like-minded investors and reducing barriers to investment. USAID Green Invest Asia advances the U.S. Government’s Indo-Pacific Framework and its commitment to market-driven development by fostering private sector engagement on sustainable supply chains, and supports the USAID Climate Strategy by mobilizing finance to invest in the transition to a net-zero economy.
BSR is a sustainable business network and consultancy focused on creating a world in which all people can thrive on a healthy planet. With offices in Asia, Europe, and North America, BSR provides its 300+ member companies with insight, advice, and collaborative initiatives to help them see a changing world more clearly, create long-term value, and scale impact.