Sustainable Development: “business sense”
As Danone CEO Franck Riboud says in the editorial of the Report, sustainable development is not a virtue or a good deed; it is “business sense.” “We still firmly believe that for a food group like Danone, reducing our carbon footprint, securing sustainable farming supplies, managing water resources and innovating in recyclable packaging will increasingly contribute to building up competitive advantages.” This belief is at the heart of the actions Danone has been leading in the field of sustainability, which include a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% in five years (a goal surpassed at the end of 2012); the support of social innovation labs through projects funded by the Danone Ecosystem Fund and danone.communities, the definition of a Forest Footprint Policy, and a partnership with other stakeholders to protect water resources and ecosystems, support sustainable agriculture and further research on bioplastics, etc.
In line with Danone’s dual economic and social project, these initiatives reflect the group’s ambition for social and business impacts to go hand in hand. Danone does not only foster environmental actions, since the group also strongly supports initiatives involving health, nutrition and social innovation.
Strategic Highlights and Performance
The Sustainability Report is divided into two main sections. The first part, “Strategic Highlights”, analyses the group’s sustainability commitments in four fields:
– The commitment to bring health through food: the group keeps strengthening the framework for its nutrition and health performance, which helps to strengthen the competitive advantage of its core business.
– Being accessible to as many people as possible: progress with accessibility is made every day, notably in developing countries, through the projects carried out by social innovation platforms such as the danone.communities Fund, which supports a variety of distribution projects.
– Employees’ commitment, a transformation lever for the business: the involvement of Danone employees is stronger than ever, and their commitment to the social and environmental plan is particularly high (91%).
– Nature 2020; Nature at the heart of the food chain: Danone is continuing its commitment to environmental protection with the identification of four key focus areas for a new plan looking ahead to 2020: climate, water, packaging and agriculture. “Each of these areas will include ambitious initiatives, some of which the group is already pursuing. Others are seeking to open out new prospects and set new targets, while others involve commitments that Danone will be finalising over the next few months, converting them into operational targets,” says the report.
The second part of the report, “Performance”, is intended for those who wish to dig deeper into Danone’s sustainability performance. It details the two main assessment models used to measure these outputs:
– An internal evaluation carried out using the methodology of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a world standard in terms of sustainability reporting;
This year, for the first time, the report also makes Danone’s impacts and responsibilities in business easily visible at every step of the production chain, through this infographic. This holistic approach clearly illustrates the group’s ambition to pursue its sustainability efforts on a large scale.