Creating a sustainable brand: the secret of success for tomorrow’s businesses  


On September 1 and 2, 2015, at the Sustainable Brands international forum in Buenos Aires, Aguas Danone de Argentina presented environmental and social innovations driven by its brands Villavicencio and Villa del Sur: exemplary projects that demonstrate Danone’s commitment to making growth and sustainability go hand in hand.

This year, many multinationals were invited to attend a series of conferences in San Diego, Rio de Janeiro, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Istanbul, Boston, Barcelona and Buenos Aires. The aim of these international gatherings was to stimulate companies’ CSR strategies, give them practical tools for developing sustainable brands, put them in touch with competent experts, and share the model commitments of industrial players from all over the world.

The impetus behind these exchange sessions was Sustainable Brands, a community of businesses and consultants from NGOs and the private sector that joined forces in 2006 to promote environmentally and socially sustainable brands.

Within this context, Aguas Danone de Argentina was able to present the work carried out by its brands Villavicencio and Villa del Sur, in collaboration with the Danone Ecosystem Fund, before 1,000 professionals in Buenos Aires, come from every sector of industry.

Bottle recycling and universal access to water

Danone Ecosystem and Aguas Danone de Argentina ran everything through a fine-toothed comb, including business analyses, the company’s organization, product manufacturing methods, and the identification of consumers, their needs and the commercial messages targeting them. The idea behind the operation was to place social and environmental innovation at the heart of the two brands’ value creation activities. For example, Villavicencio dedicated itself to setting up a highly efficient network for recycling its plastic bottles – 50% of which are now made out of recycled materials – while Villa del Sur has now introduced a program to make running water and drinking water more widely available through the installation of water tanks in Argentina’s isolated rural zones.

To spread the word about its initiatives among the general public, Aguas Danone de Argentina launched a viral social media campaign. Its short film on the stages of Villavicencio’s bottle recycling process has now been viewed 3 million times on YouTube. Similarly, Villa del Sur asked popular singer Axel to take part in a music video entitled “Unidos por el agua” (“United for Water”), to encourage better access to water in northern Argentina’s Tulumba region. The video has really hit the mark, with nearly 5 million views to date.

Rising sales

 The media coverage of Aguas Danone de Argentina’s sustainable engagements with Argentinians has borne fruit, as the advertising campaigns focused on the two brands’ environmental and social innovations have had a real impact. With a 17% increase in sales for Villavicencio in March and April 2015, and 4.5% and 6% in March and April 2015 for Villa del Sur (compared with the same months in previous years), this is clear proof that social and environmental innovation is compatible with value creation and, in these two cases, has even been a driving force for growth.

This is encouraging news in the lead-up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), whose aim is to limit global warming to 2% – a process in which companies will have a key role to play.

Photo © : Sustainable Brands Buenos Aires

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