Danone’s water strategy is based on four priority projects: Water in Agriculture, Water in Operations, Water Resources & Ecosystems and Water Access.
In 2004, to ensure fair and sustainable management, Danone introduced a charter describing the actions undertaken by each subsidiary to protect water resources in the long-term. A site assessment tool called SPRING (Sustainable Protection and Resources managING) was developed to assist this local water management. Considerable progress has been made since then, because the company’s water consumption has registered a drop of 46% since 2000, and a 60% reduction is being targeted by 2020.
As a responsible player, Danone is also involved in numerous projects to protect this resource, which include a commitment as regards its ecosystems and support for local communities including two different projects for Danone Ecosystem Fund.
Unidos por el Agua
In Argentina, access to drinking water remains a major problem: 5.3 million Argentinians do not have access to it in their homes, while in Tulumba Norte – a group of 11 villages in the province of Cordoba – the drought of 2007 dried up all the water sources above ground.
To remedy this situation, Danone is now carrying out the Unidos por el Agua project with all the local communities, which consists in building cisterns to collect rainwater. To finance the project, the Villa del Sur brand has offered to double the sum of donations collected for this project, and also encourages people to contribute equipment and their own time. To date, 106 cisterns have been constructed: three for schools and the rest for families.
Terragr’Eau, the methanization project
How can the Evian mineral water resource be protected and agricultural development ensured in the long-term? For a consortium of around 40 farmers, 16 towns and the Evian Water Company, the solution lies in Terragr’Eau. This project involves an innovative methanization facility based on a process that treats and recovers effluents from livestock farms. For the farmers, who are under considerable pressure in economic and regulatory terms, methanization is a sustainable alternative that reduces the risk of pollution.
Through its methanization project, Terragr’Eau is designed to control the fertilization of soils of all the surface of water infiltration area – Evian’s impluvium – being around 35 km2. While preserving the quality of the site’s drinking water, Terragr’Eau promotes the sustainability of local agriculture and will allow in the long term to contribute to the district’s development by creating eleven jobs.