Climate change is a profound, systemic challenge
The challenge of climate change is not in the future, but right here, right now. Danone is meeting this challenge head-on by committing to have zero net carbon emissions by 2050.
People today want companies to take a leading role in combatting climate change. Danone is determined to help an industry-wide transition to a low-carbon economy. This is why we pledged in our 2015 Climate Policy to become carbon neutral by 2050 across our full value chain. This means that we are responsible for the carbon emissions from the farms we source our ingredients from, to the facilities that manage packaging after consumption.
Danone’s strategy to achieve carbon neutrality is based on the following pillars:
- Reducing emissions
- Transforming agricultural practices to sequester more carbon in the ground
- Eliminating deforestation from our supply chain
- Offsetting the emissions that remain
As part of our journey towards carbon neutrality, we set intermediate carbon reduction targets for 2030. Our targets were officially approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative in 2017 and were further strengthened when we signed the Business Ambition for 1.5°C pledge. Find out more on Danone.com.
We are members of The Renewable Gas Forum of Ireland who recently launched a KPMG report which sets out the business case for a long-term biomethane industry.
Our journey to becoming carbon neutral
Our Waters brands Volvic and evian, as well as our milk formula plant in Wexford, have all been certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust. This independent organisation specialises in carbon neutrality, helping companies like Danone to reduce their CO2 emissions. All three achieved this internationally recognised certification by committing to a rigorous audit, analysing their carbon impact and identifying opportunities to reduce carbon by reconfiguring production and distribution processes. Carbon Trust audits are based on an internationally recognised standard for demonstrating carbon neutrality known as PAS 2060. The certifications are steps towards becoming a zero net carbon company by 2050 and an illustration of our 'One Planet. One Health' vision in action.
THE FIRST CARBON NEUTRAL BABY FORMULA PLANT IN THE WORLD
Our team at Danone Wexford set out on the visionary journey of becoming the first carbon neutral baby formula production site in the world. On 1st July 2020, Danone Wexford supply point achieved that goal when it was certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust.
Over the last 10 years, carbon emissions were curbed by improving the energy efficiency of the plant and switching to renewable energy sources, whilst improving the waste management in the facility. These actions reduced CO2 emissions by 10,000 tonnes compared to the plant’s emissions in 2010. This 70% reduction was achieved whilst the plant doubled its production volumes. Read the full story here.
Watch to find out about Wexford's transformational 10 year journey
CARBON NEUTRAL WATER BRANDS
Our largest water brands, Volvic and evian, have also been certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust. Here are some of the actions they have undertaken on their carbon neutral journey.
Packaging - Using less, recycling more, changing materials
evian and Volvic have increased their use of recycled plastic. Currently all evian plastic bottles* are made from at least 25% recycled plastic. Since 2020, single 50cl*, 75cl* and 1.5litre* bottles sold in the UK are made from 100% recycled plastic. Volvic made their bottles lighter, to use less packaging materials and are working to use more recycled materials. By 2025, all Volvic bottles will be made of 100% recycled plastic.
Energy - Choosing renewable energy and implementing environmental management systems
evian's bottling site in France is an example of best-in-class energy and environmental management. Entirely powered by renewable energy, it has also received both ISO 50001 and ISO 14001 certifications for sustainable practices, which are international standards for effective environmental management. Volvic is using less energy, reducing consumption by 20% since 2007. In 2020, Volvic switched to renewable energy in their mineral water bottling site.
Transport - Using lower carbon transport alternatives
Some 75% of evian bottles are transported from our factory by train in France to harbours, because trains produce a carbon footprint 10x smaller than trucks.
Volvic has worked with its supply chain to switch to a lower carbon transport alternative and improve distance efficiency. As a result, 40% of the transport in Europe is by train and maritime transport, and emissions have reduced by 40% since 2015. Some 78% of Volvic travels from the bottling site to the UK by train, yielding a carbon footprint 7 times lower than that of trucks*.
*Calculation based on ADEME and actual Danone routes
evian offsets remaining emissions with the help of the Livelihoods Carbon Funds, which Danone co-founded in 2008. The fund has planted nearly 130 million trees to capture carbon emissions naturally. The trees absorb carbon and produce oxygen and act as a living shield for coastal regions. Activities supported by the Funds also preserve the water ecosystem and employ local communities.
South Pole Partnership
Volvic is helping to restore the balance of carbon emissions by investing in natural ecosystem protection projects with our partner and project developer, South Pole. In this way, Volvic contributes to protecting forests, watersheds, biodiversity and local communities in more than two billion square meters of natural ecosystems in volcanic countries such as Peru, Congo and Uganda. These projects help to absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and offset Volvic’s remaining carbon emissions to achieve carbon neutrality.