Danone is one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, with market-leading positions across four business groups; dairy and plant-based products, early life nutrition, medical nutrition and waters. Danone is headquartered in France, but it was founded in Barcelona, Spain when Isaac Carasso launched the brand "Danone" in 1919. Danone sells products in over 120 countries, with USA, China and France its main markets, and overall earns 66% of its revenue from outside Europe. Its portfolio includes brands present worldwide such as Activia, Actimel, Alpro and Danette.

Baseline assessment

Environment

On track

Nutrition

On track

Social inclusion

Started the journey

Summary

Danone publicly discloses comprehensive commitments across all three dimensions. In environment, it discloses time-bound targets for GHG emissions (alongside a pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050), deforestation-free supply chains, catchment-based water management, plastic use and packaging, animal welfare and food waste. In addition, it regularly reports on progress against all of the above. Elsewhere, it commits to improving soil health and agrobiodiversity, albeit without linking to targets. With regard to nutrition, Danone has set detailed nutritional targets across various geographies and consumer groups, reporting that 82% of its 2019 sales volumes were compliant with targets, including product quantities of sugars, saturated fats and proteins. The company also has a strategic commitment to increase the accessibility of healthy foods, with Danone Communities co-financing 12 social businesses on nutrition and water access in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Rwanda and Mexico, among others. Danone also sets out clear commitments, policies and expectations across other key nutrition topics, including food safety, product labelling and responsible marketing. While the company has launched multiple plant-based products, it has not accompanied these with a clear target to diversify proteins in its portfolio. In the social inclusion dimension, Danone’s seven Fundamental Social Principles prohibit child and forced labour in the company’s own operations and supply chain. Moreover, the company discloses the number of injuries and accidents alongside its commitments to employee health and safety. The company’s Livelihood Fund for Family Farming reportedly helped to improve the productivity and market access of 1,100 farms and 15,000 smallholders. However, the fund is not accompanied by a commitment to respect and uphold the land tenure and resource rights of smallholder farmers worldwide. Finally, while living wage is an element of the company’s sustainability materiality matrix, it does not disclose a clear commitment to ensuring its own employees and workers in the supply chain are in fact paid a living wage.

Food and Agriculture Benchmark

The Food and Agriculture Benchmark will assess 350 keystone companies on the issues underpinning the food system transformation agenda. The benchmark’s aim is to stimulate companies to apply sustainable business practices throughout their operations as well as use their influence to encourage value chain partners to do the same. WBA has organised the food and agriculture value chain into six sub-sectors. These sub-sectors are also reflected in the methodology framework.

Food and agriculture revenue
EUR 24,700,000,000
Food and agriculture revenue USD
USD 27,651,028,000
Onwnership structure
Publicly listed
Number of employees
105,783

Value chain sub-sectors

Other benchmarks

The company is also included in the following benchmarks developed by WBA and our Allies. These benchmarks help to deepen our understanding on key issues and industries.