Materiality Matrix

Materiality Matrix

What matters to our stakeholders

Responsible and sustainable business involves engaging with our stakeholders to refine our strategy. In 2017, we renewed our materiality matrix, a key tool to define our Corporate Responsibility strategy, identifying our priorities according to their importance for external and internal stakeholders as well as their impact on Danone’s business success.

The 41 key topics that have been identified in collaboration with our stakeholders are shown in our latest matrix below. Covering environmental, social, societal, business and governance aspects, these topics have been evaluated to determine sustainability risks and opportunities for Danone.

Materiality methodology

In order to refine our understanding of the key challenges and address them strategically, we have conducted a materiality assessment using a three-step process:


identification: an initial internal consultation and a review of existing literature which enabled us to identify an exhaustive list of topics that are directly or indirectly connected to Danone’s business and stakeholders’ interests;


assessment: this step covered both exploratory research which helped to identify the most critical topics for us to address and a quantitative survey conducted worldwide, involving some 130 Danone employees, more than 200 professional stakeholders and 17 key customers. This survey prioritized and assessed these material topics;


prioritization: guided by these insights and 360 degree feedback, the final step consisted in defining the relevant thresholds that identify the 14 key topics that Danone must address as priorities.


The topics were ranked according to their potential impact on the activity and their importance for the interviewed stakeholders.

14 top priorities

  1. Product safety and quality
  2. Integration of sustainability into the business
  3. Portfolio improvement towards healthier products
  4. Sustainable sourcing of raw materials
  5. Transparent product labelling
  6. Food and nutrition access and affordability
  7. Product eco-design, packaging and circular economy
  8. Fair relationships and pricing with farmers and suppliers
  9. Local economic contribution and inclusive growth
  10. Diversified product portfolio in line with local consumer needs and diets
  11. Responsible leadership and governance
  12. Sustainable procurement and supply chain management
  13. Diverse and locally relevant models of sustainable farming and land use
  14. Responsible marketing and consumer education


Understanding the materiality results

Topics tiering

The topics’ distribution on the materiality matrix, across three distinct tiers, provides useful insights on how to understand and manage each topic in the short, medium and long term.

The first tier is made up of the 14 priority topics that are the most material to both Danone’s external stakeholders and the company’s business success. These topics are intimately linked to Danone’s evolving business model. They are core to the activation and delivery of Danone’s ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision.

The second tier is a cluster of major topics for creating medium and long-term value. Many of these topics are already being addressed by Danone through policy development, target setting, local projects management, etc.

The third tier of topics includes compliance-driven matters and emerging topics. These topics are to be addressed through compliance, monitoring and ongoing management.

Interdependence of topics

Material topics do not exist independently; they are linked to one another and their position on the matrix should be understood accordingly. For instance:

The broader topic of climate change mitigation and adaptation (second tier - dark blue) is closely linked to more specific topics such as product eco-design, packaging and circular economy; sustainable sourcing of raw materials and diverse and locally relevant models of sustainable farming and land use (all three topics being in the first tier).


The wider topic of human rights in the supply chain (second tier - medium blue) is also intimately connected to sustainable procurement as well as fair relationships and pricing with suppliers and farmers (both topics being in the first tier).


Workplace diversity and inclusion (third tier - light blue) is part of the bigger strategic imperative to develop a diversified product portfolio in line with local consumer needs and diets (first tier)

Exploring the interdependence of these topics helps us identify the necessary system-wide approaches to put in place in order to drive progress.

Single axis topics materiality

It is also important to highlight that some topics may be crucial only externally (to stakeholders) or only internally (to business success). As a consequence, Danone considers them as key and they are addressed strategically even though they may not be located in the first tier of the matrix.



Exploiting the materiality results

The materiality results are communicated and spread within Danone in order to activate the ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision across our businesses. They will also be refined to meet local specificities through local stakeholder consultations.

The core purpose of this materiality analysis is thus to provide guidance for us to better prioritize sustainable strategic topics, to better meet our stakeholders’ expectations and to better implement commitments and policies towards a sustainable business and society.


The work carried out for this materiality analysis and the identification of material issues was also leveraged as part of Danone's risk identification process. More information on these risks and on the way they are managed and monitored is available in the section Risks and Opportunities.