The Danone Ecosystem Fund

Summary

We have been posting a lot of contents related to the Danone Ecosystem Fund, without really taking the time to clarify the meaning of this fund, and the type of projects we support through this platform:

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Definition of ecosystem

The Danone Ecosystem Fund was created at Danone’s shareholders’ meeting of April 23rd 2009. Danone made a capital endowment of € 100 million into the Fund and in addition to this, every year, for a period of five years, the Company and its subsidiaries have been making  annual donations totaling up to 1% of Danone’s total consolidated underlying net income per year.

The Danone Ecosystem Fund is a pioneering model linking Danone’s core business into projects which deliver relevant and powerful social change. We have identified areas throughout our value chain where the fund can add value to our own business, our suppliers and even our consumers. Our strategy is designed to deliver positive social change, in a way that strengthens our business operations.

Structured around five action areas (supply, micro-distribution, recycling, personal services and local development), the fund comprised 43 projects in 2012 involving 35 subsidiaries; they represent a total investment of 34 million euros and aim to create or consolidate over 51,000 jobs.

All 43 projects come within the scope of 5 strategic business axes:

1.Responsible sourcing – Securing the supply of raw materials locally in all countries where Danone manufactures fresh dairy products by improving the life conditions and incomes of farming families.

2.Distribution – Supporting alternative micro businesses and small stakeholders by developing micro distribution as a means to support economic and social inclusion.

3.Recycling – Structuring an otherwise informal economic sector through the creation of cooperatives to collect and transform packaging materials and give them a market value. This will provide income and better life conditions to an underprivileged population dependent on an informal economy.

4.Territory – The territory where factories operate is crucial. The projects are designed to have an active contribution to initiatives that bring local economic, social and environmental value to territories where Danone operations have direct or indirect impact.

5.Caring services – Mainly focused on fragile populations, caring services projects aim at sensitizing and training health care professionals on the link between nutrition and health in dependent people, particularly the ageing population. It’s also a way to develop awareness of Danone brands amongst health care professionals and key opinion leaders.

Across the 5 axes listed above, community benefit sits at the heart of every project objective.

More articles about the fund’s projects:

« We are studying the impact of women’s income growth on poverty reduction »

« Investing in women’s well-being is the best investment for development », by Lourdes Arizpe

Aqua Lestari Danone: a multi-stakeholders approach to protect water resources in a stressed area

Encouraging microentrepreneurship, facilitating access to healthy products and raising awareness on nutrition issues

Find more about the Danone Ecosystem Fund here.

(Photo from: http://ecosysteme.danone.com)