A sustainable food chain
As early as 1972, Antoine Riboud was drawing attention to the importance of environmental impact for business.
A VISIONARY STANCE: TODAY, ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES REMAIN AT THE HEART OF DANONE’S MISSION.
AT DANONE, HEALTHY FOOD BEGINS WITH HEALTHY NATURE
Danone adopted a global Environmental Charter in 1996 and defined a 10-year plan and objectives in 2000. We boosted our efforts in 2008 by setting the goal of reducing our global greenhouse gas emissions by 30% in five years - we surpassed that goal in 2012.
Today, looking ahead to 2020, we are focusing on four key areas: climate, water, packaging and agriculture.
Our challenges is finding a balance between guaranteeing food security and preserving natural resources and cycles, whilst taking into account the diverse needs and circumstances of each country.
POPULATION SIZE, CHANGES IN EATING HABITS AND PRESSURE ON NATURAL RESOURCES
Both the world population and the demand for food are growing significantly. By 2050, food production will have to increase by 70% to keep up with the needs of nine billion human beings and changes in the consumption habits of developing economies. The pressure on natural resources will increase proportionally.
World population growth will impact:
• pollution and loss of soils
• pollution of streams and groundwater
• greenhouse gas emissions
• rising waste production
• loss of biodiversity
THE ROLE OF FOOD COMPANIES
The global economy is transitioning from a period of abundance to a period of resource scarcity, which will ultimately drive up costs.
These major environmental and food security challenges are core concerns for Danone. Preserving our resources and sustainably managing strategic raw materials (in particular water and milk) are the foundation of our sustainable model within our ecosystem.
A NECESSARY REINVENTION OF AGRICULTURE
While agriculture is vital to mankind, it is also responsible for:
• 25% of greenhouse gas emissions
• 70% of water consumption
• 40% of groundwater pollution
Agricultural production is threatened by the erosion of biodiversity, which is forecast to decrease by a further 25% by 2050.
Agriculture needs to reinvent itself to rise to these challenges.
We must produce more with fewer inputs on a smaller cultivated area, while also significantly improving the impacts of agricultural practices on climate, water, biodiversity and soil.
CLIMATE CHANGE: ECOSYSTEMS UNDER THREAT
Livestock farming is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation is responsible for 20%.
Climate change affects our planet and weakens ecosystems, which humans depend on.
Forest protection and restoration are critical issues. Pollution of water resources is speeding up the disappearance of natural water-based ecosystems, particularly in wetlands and forests.
1. FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE
PHIL calculates the annual carbon footprint of our UK Early Life Nutrition division and makes sure we comply with environmental legislation and meet our own targets, minimising our impact on the environment.
DANONE’S GOAL IS TO ACHIEVE A GREATER THAN 50% REDUCTION OF ITS CARBON FOOTPRINT BY 2020 TO STABILIZE CO2 EMISSIONS.
(since 2007, this applies to CO2 emissions under Danone's direct responsibility, and excludes raw materials and upstream agriculture).
FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE
REDUCING CARBON FOOTPRINT
In 2008, Danone we began developing and deploying a single global carbon measurement tool in all of our subsidiaries: Danprint - an innovative solution co-developed with software editor SAP.
We use this tool to measure the carbon footprints of the entire life cycle of the UK's top 10 products.
We have already reduced our global emissions by 37.4% since 2007 and we've successfully separated our carbon emissions from volume growth (our CO2 emissions are nearly stable in absolute value since 2007).
Our current goal is to achieve more than 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020, and to stabilise CO2 emissions while continuing sales growth.
Danone created the Livelihoods Fund. This fund invests in major natural ecosystem restoration projects which have the added benefit of capturing carbon. Today, nine other companies have joined the fund.
These projects contribute to tackling climate change, by capturing large volumes of carbon, and also help improve the well-being of local populations.
Our global goal: Capture seven million tonnes of carbon over 20 years for a minimum investment of €30 million. Livelihoods has already funded the planting of more than 100 million trees in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The UK was part of Danone's drive to reduce global carbon intensity of evian by 40%.
2013 to today
Worldwide, evian strengthened its long term investment in the Livelihoods Fund, whose projects have been supported by the brand since 2008. The projects paid for by this investment will progressively offset evian's carbon emissions, with the aim of becoming 100% carbon neutral by 2020.
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Danone is conscious of the critical importance of preserving forests for the planet and the need for concerted action with all parties involved. Our dedicated Forest Footprint Policy sets out how we protect forests through our supply chain practices.
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DANONE SUPPORTS THE USE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY
In 2013, we commissioned a 4.5MW biomass boiler to supply high-pressure steam to our factory in Wexford, Ireland, replacing the existing high carbon heavy fuel oil-fired boilers.
The boiler supplies the necessary heat demand of the factory, including the energy for the spray drier, which vaporises liquid ingredients to turn them into dry infant formula powders.
The boiler uses woodchips sourced from local suppliers instead of relying on heavy fuel oil. As well as significantly decreasing our carbon footprint by 8500 Tonnes CO2, we have promoted a social and economic programme which is enabling local farmers to benefit from delivering viable renewable energy fuel to markets.
2. PROTECT WATER RESOURCES
Water is a precious and sometimes scarce resource that must be used in harmony with local ecosystems and communities. We are therefore committed to preserving the quality of this indispensable resource and to respecting its natural cycles by adopting responsible practices at a local level.
AT OUR NUTRICIA LIVERPOOL FACTORY, WE HAVE REDUCED WATER CONSUMPTION BY 50% IN THE LAST Five YEARS.
PROTECT WATER RESOURCES
Nutricia Liverpool, part of the Medical Nutrition division, is dedicated to product development and manufacturing in the UK. As part of our commitment to protecting water as a resource, we have made improvements to our boiler water management, as well as fitting a new Clean-In-Process system which is able to re-use rinse water and contribute to water reduction. The site also monitors water usage with monthly independently analysed samples.
MEASURE FOOTPRINT IN A 'WATER CYCLE' APPROACH
In 2012, we continued our global water footprint measurement research, with our partner Quantis, and we also contributed to the development of international (ISO) and European standards (Envifood protocol).
This approach led to the development of the Water Scarcity Footprint, a water footprint evaluation methodology taking water stress factors into account.
This tool will help to identify at-risk zones and ways to reduce Danone's impact across our entire value chain.
PROTECT THE RAINWATER CATCHMENT AREAS AND RESPECTING NATURE’S CYCLES
SPRING (Sustainable Protection and Resources Management) has been deployed across 100% of our Waters division’s sites since 2008.
It was developed in partnership with the RAMSAR (United Nations Convention on Wetlands of International Importance) and the UICN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature).
REDUCE CONSUMPTION AND WASTE
Danone aims to ensure used water is returned to nature in a state suitable for downstream ecosystems and users, by implementing strict corporate standards (defined in the Danone Clean Water Guidelines). In addition, we have set a new global water reduction goal of 60% by 2020.
To preserve our natural sources of mineral water, we protect and restore the ecosystems connected to water in the regions where Danone operates.
For example, Villavicencio in Argentina protects a nature reserve of 72,000 hectares (178,000 acres) and all the rich biodiversity within it. Danone is so proud of protecting this nature reserve that we developed an innovative partnership with the NGO Banco de Bosques to implement the 'Dejá tu Huella' (Leave Your Mark) operation. This initiative allows consumers to participate in creating a new nature reserve.
3. TRANSFORM WASTE INTO RESOURCES
FRÉDÉRIC is persistent: if he decides he wants a new material, together with his team, they will find one.
REDUCING THE WEIGHT OF PACKAGING AND OPTING FOR RECYCLED OR BIO-SOURCED MATERIALS IS AN APPROACH WHICH MOTIVATES ALL OUR EMPLOYEES.
TRANSFORM WASTE INTO RESOURCES
REDUCING PACKAGING AT THE SOURCE
This is a number one priority wherever possible. Danone is constantly working to optimise the weight of packaging across the board, while maintaining product quality and the service provided to our consumers.
We have introduced several technical innovations with this in mind, such as removing the cardboard from yogurts sold in multi-packs and reducing the weight of bottles.
TURNING WASTE INTO A RESOURCE
After consumption, packaging can be turned back into a useful resource.
Danone is working on collection methods to prevent packaging waste from ending up in landfill. This 'circular approach' is founded on three priorities:
- support innovation in packaging materials and design to make recycling easier
- use more recycled materials: today, a quarter of Danone’s packaging is produced from recycled materials. Despite the challenges involved in expanding the PET bottle-to-bottle recycling industry, the goal is to achieve a rate of 25% of recycled PET by 2020
- develop and scale up with others collection systems around the world.
Between now and 2020, Danone will support innovative and socially inclusive initiatives for transforming waste into resources in at least 10 priority target countries where it is most needed.
PACKAGING MATERIALS… SUSTAINABLE RESOURCES
Our goal is to ensure any cardboard or paper we use is 100% recycled or sourced from responsibly managed forests by 2020 – and by the end of 2015 in regions with a high deforestation risk.
Danone is also experimenting with plastics produced from biomass (sugar cane, sugar cane waste and corn) and has been developing plant-based plastics used by several brands in seven countries.
These initiatives show that it is possible to develop innovative materials from renewable resources. Danone is a founding member of the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA) with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to encourage responsible development of bioplastics.
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4. PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
PETULA's made a lot of changes to her farm after getting business and technical training from Danone. Now she’s sharing her success with other farmers.
DANONE PROMOTES AGRICULTURE THAT PRODUCES HIGH QUALITY FOOD, IS COMPETITIVE, CREATES ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL VALUE AND RESPECTS NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS.
PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
FARMING PRACTICES THAT RESPECT NATURE
Create momentum with local stakeholders supporting a shift towards sustainable agricultural practices. These practices should encourage the development of production models that satisfy food supply needs while also preserving the natural cycles of the soil, climate, water and biodiversity.
As early as 2002, Danone founded SAI (Sustainable Agriculture Initiative) which today unites some 50 actors in the agrifood sector.
For our Early Life Nutrition division’s wet foods business, farmers representing 70% of the volumes of fruits and vegetables delivered to our factories will be implementing farming practices that are in line with our sustainable agricultural standard by the end of 2015.
The health and well-being of animals contributes to food quality, and is simply the right thing to do. We are committed to improving animal welfare among our suppliers and raising awareness among the wider food industry.
A programme initiated by Danone's Fresh Dairy Products division in 2012 with the help of scientists, livestock farmers and NGOs, strengthens farmers’ awareness and rewards good practices, as well as ensuring a high level of animal well-being while improving milk production.
Our Early Life Nutrition division committed to 100% of eggs delivered to our factories being sourced from cage-free farming systems and 100% of wild fish coming from confirmed sustainable sources for the wet foods business by the end of 2014.
BIODIVERSITY: PROTECT ECOSYSTEMS CONNECTED TO AGRICULTURE
The impact of Danone’s activities on biodiversity is primarily related to upstream agriculture.
Farming practices have a strong impact on soil erosion, fertility, moisture and loss of organic matter, as well as on the habitats that play a key role in protection and reproduction.
IN THE NEXT THIRTY YEARS, THERE WILL BE TWO BILLION MORE HUMANS ON OUR PLANET. ONE OF THE GREATEST CHALLENGES OF OUR TIME IS TO MANAGE THE RAPIDLY INCREASING DEMAND FOR FOOD WITH LIMITED NATURAL RESOURCES. ARABLE LAND, THE CLIMATE, WATER, AND BIODIVERSITY WILL BECOME EVER MORE PRECIOUS IN ORDER TO GUARANTEE A FUTURE FOR THE NEXT GENERATIONS. THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO LEARN TO PRODUCE MORE AND BETTER WITH LESS, STARTING RIGHT NOW.