Danone’s social innovation initiatives aim to inspire healthy lifestyles and support those in need here in Ireland and around the world.
We know we can achieve more by partnering with others. We work with partners like FoodCloud to reach vulnerable groups, industry experts such as REPAK to find sustainability solutions, and social platforms, Business in the Community and Neighbourly, to support to those in need in our communities.
SOCIAL INNOVATION IN PRACTICE
Here are some examples of our local and global social innovation initiatives across four areas: supporting local communities; promoting healthy eating choices; co-building sustainability solutions and our social innovation funds.
SUPPORTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES
Volunteering and engaging with our local communities is embedded in Danone's DNA. We encourage everyone at Danone to contribute their working time and skills to support the community.
Danone employees have been given unlimited volunteering time to give back to the community, through a ‘remote volunteering’ offer launched during the Covid-19 crisis. We bring this to life through our volunteering programme with Neighbourly and our charity partnerships across the businesses with Rosemount Family Resouce Centre and Laura Lynn.
In 2020, Danone employees in Ireland, together with our UK colleagues, spent 1,400 hours volunteering, which is an equvivalent of 174 working days.
REDUCING FOOD POVERTY
Today 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally yet there is also profound food poverty which sees millions of people struggle to access food when they need it. We believe we have a role to play in tackling food poverty.
Supporting those in need
We support people within our communities by redistributing food that would have gone to waste to those who need it most. We have partnered with FoodCloud to take any surplus stock from us and recently to activate the 'Give Our Communities Your Best Shot' campaign where we donated Actimel to communites across the country. During the pandemic in 2020, we donated over 250 tonnes of long date stock products to charities across the UK and Ireland.
For over 10 years, we have supported the Wexford Opera Festival, helping to provide artists with career-enhancing opportunities and audiences with access to worldclass performances.
Our commitment to Irish charities includes supporting Barnardos, Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice and Food Cloud.
PROMOTING HEALTHIER EATING CHOICES
EAT LIKE A CHAMP
The need for healthier, more sustainable lifestyles has never been greater due to increasing obesity rates and an emerging sense of urgency to tackle climate change. Eat Like A Champ offers resources for six curriculum-based lessons, aimed to inspire 9-10 year olds to live healthier, more sustainable lifestyles.
Since 2010, over half a million children have been part of the Eat Like a Champ programme. In 2020, we revitalised the programme’s resources, placing sustainability at the heart of the free, evidence-based healthy eating education programme. It has been developed in consultation with teachers and the British Nutrition Foundation, British Dietetic Association and everyday sustainability experts, Hubbub. Topics include healthy eating, food waste, recycling, hydration, climate change and physical activity. Find out more
CO-BUILDING SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS
As a leading food and drink company, we believe we have a role to play in tackling food waste. Food loss and waste happens when edible food is lost throughout the food value chain: at farm level, during processing and production, and at the end of the chain from shops or in consumers' hands.
Reducing food waste in our operations
Across our regional operations in Ireland and the UK, we are committed to reducing our food waste by 50% by 2030 (based on a 2019 baseline). We are raising employee awareness of the impact of food waste through internal food waste campaigns.
Reducing food waste in the home
To help reduce food waste in the home, we are moving from 'Use by' to 'Best before' dates on our fresh yogurts, as they are still safe to eat beyond this date. We are working to increase consumer knowledge and confidence about the difference between these consumption dates.
A PARTNERSHIP APPROACH TO INCREASE RECYCLING RATES
We aim to make our packaging 100% circular. This means eliminating the packaging we don’t need; innovating so all the packaging we do need is designed to be safely reused, recycled or composted; and ensuring the material we produce stays in the economy and never becomes waste or pollution.
Danone yogurt is partnering with TerraCycle® to transform pouches into new products, generating funds for local charities and schools.
SOCIAL INNOVATION FUNDS
GLOBAL SOCIAL INNOVATION FUNDS
Danone’s 'One Planet. One Health' vision reflects our belief that the health of people and the health of the planet are interconnected. We want to support people in adopting healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices, and we want to do this in a way that is aligned with our long term commitment to economic success and social progress.
Globally, our social innovation funds do just that. Our focus is to support inclusivity while creating value for Danone. The funds:
- Find solutions to the planet's current challenges of poverty, environmental degradation, climate change, access to water, nutrition
- Generate innovative social business models
- Reinvent our relationship with key stakeholders through collaboration and co-creation
This Venture Capital fund invests in Social Businessese to empower innovative social entrepreneurs. It provides capital, technical and managerial expertise, as well as creating networking opportunities. Find out more.
By investing in large-scale projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America the Livelihood Funds empower smallholder farmers and rural communities, contribute to climate action, and create value across agricultural supply chains. Find out more.
Danone Ecosystem Fund
The Danone Ecosystem Fund co-creates inclusive business solutions through the professional empowerment of vulnerable stakeholders. Since 2009, the Ecosystem Fund has brought together over 55,000 people from all types of geographical and socio-economic backgrounds to try and build a more just and inclusive economy. Find out more.