Danone’s Climate Policy: moving on the path to become a net zero carbon company by 2050

Summary

5th June was World Environment day. On this date, we shed light on Danone’s climate policy and dived into the ambitions and past achievements of the compny to work towards a healthier planet. We asked a few questions to Lucas Urbano, Project Management Officer of Danone Climate’s policy, who laid out Danone’s vision on the matter and told us about the path the group has taken so far.

16Juin.
0

Could you introduce yourself? 

I have been working inside Danone since 2008, mainly on topics regarding sustainability and operations. Currently, I am in charge of the implementation of Danone’s climate policy. In 2015, during the COP 21, we released an ambitious Climate policy targeting to become a carbon neutral company, and since that time I have been supporting the implementation and the work between our different Business Units to reduce carbon emissions.

Lucas Urbano
Lucas Urbano

 

What are the achievements of Danone so far? 

We are currently celebrating 50% of reduction of carbon emissions in intensity (grams of CO2e/kg of products sold) within Danone direct scope of responsibility (operations, logistics, packaging, end of life). It is a major achievement: We started this journey in 2008 with the announcement to reduce carbon emissions by 30% before 2012. We did it and now are reaching 50% of reduction four years prior to our set deadline of 2020. This is a genuinely positive sign of progress and of our ability to mobilize teams internally towards ambitious targets. These past achievements give us trust and confidence to push further towards our next ambition: become a  carbon neutral company by 2050 on our full scope of responsibility including our full value chain, as agriculture for instance. To achieve that objective, our biggest milestone is to reach 50% reduction in carbon intensity on our full scope by 2030.

What does such ambition entail for the group?

To reduce our carbon emissions, we focus on four levers. The first one is to reduce our own energy consumption in our factories, R&D centers, offices. The second concerns our packaging. Our packaging has a very important role to play in securing the quality of the products, but we also need to rethink it in order to reduce carbon emissions. We do it by using renewable materials, for instance, or by increasing the recyclability of the material we choose. The next lever is logistics. As any global company offering services worldwide to consumers who are looking for a healthy diet, Danone relies on logistics. This is why we need to work hand in hand with our suppliers to understand the best ways to send our products and at the same time reduce our impact on the climate. We have been working hard on those four sectors since 2008. But in 2015, our climate policy brought change in the way we considered our full scope with agriculture and for instance the milk production aspect; carbon emissions of milk production is what we consider as a shared responsibility between the farmers and us. Since then, we committed to work with our farmers in order to reduce carbon emissions in our production process as well. These four levers will open the path to a zero net carbon company.

What does the World Environment Day represent for Danone?

For Danone, this day is a celebration of our commitment and our DNA. Danone’s activity is deeply interconnected with nature: we source water, we rely on soils and biodiversity to offer healthy foods to people. And we are convinced that healthy environment brings better health. So this day is about reinforcing our conviction that we, as a corporation, need to own the responsibility to move forward regarding climate change, and we are happy to undertake this mission.

- By Usbek & Rica -