Membership status: Strategic Partner
Dedicated to bringing health through food to as many people as possible, Danone is a leading global food and beverage company built on four business areas — Essential Dairy and Plant-Based Products, Early Life Nutrition, Waters, and Medical Nutrition.
Founded in 1919 and headquartered in France, Danone employs more than 100,000 people across 55 countries. Its products are sold in more than 120 countries and global sales reached €23.6bn in 2020. Its leading brands include Evian, Volvic, Actimel, Activia, and Alpro.
Danone joined the Foundation as a Strategic Partner in 2017. The company is committed to further embedding circularity both internally and externally, working with stakeholders and customers to drive behavioural change. It has moved towards a circular business model by organising its key materials — milk, plastic, and water — into cycles, changing the way they are sourced, made and consumed.
Danone renewed its Strategic Partnership with the Foundation in 2020, focusing on plastics, food, finance, and learning. Key areas of work include scaling reusable packaging and collection schemes, developing a circular economy for food, supporting the mobilisation of financial capital towards the transition to a circular economy, and developing learning tools to increase circular economy understanding.
In line with its global vision — One Planet. One Health — Danone is committed to producing healthier products that preserve the planet's resources and enable future growth for the business. Danone is investing in practices that support regenerative outcomes to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.
"Circular economy is the only way we can tackle the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, both as a company and society. As a food company circular economy means transforming both the types of products we offer to consumers, and also how these products are produced."
- Henri Bruxelles, COO End-to-End design to delivery
The circular economy in action at Danone — Evian’s watershed protection programme
In 2014 Danone recognised the importance of protecting the integrity of its water supply in the Plateau de Gavot in the Swiss Alps and created a co-operative with local farmers — the Terragr'eau project. The project aims to reduce the amount of mineral input into the water system whilst supporting other businesses in the area.
The project uses a methanisation unit to cascade organic waste, creating a new revenue source through biogas which is sold back to the national grid and natural fertiliser (the digestate byproduct of the methanisation). Launched in 2016, the facility produces almost 1 million m3 of biogas each year - enough to heat 900 houses. Revenue from the gas sales covers the manure collection and the operating costs. The natural fertiliser is then spread in a balanced way over 65% of the agricultural area so that it does not pose a risk to the water resources.
For further information visit the Danone website
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Cities and the circular economy
This topic area looks at the role cities play in the transition to a circular economy.
Food and the circular economy
This topic area shows how moving to a circular economy for food will help people and nature thrive.