Global Issues

Since 2000, advancements have been made on many health fronts. However, progress must be accelerated, in particular in regions with the highest burden of disease. A particular attention must also be given to maternal, newborn and child health, and to non-communicable diseases. Indeed, 38 million  people  die  each  year  from  non-communicable diseases (mainly cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes). In addition, knowing that malnutrition is the single largest contributor to disease in the world, promoting and enabling a healthy alimentation for all is key to meet with this goal's expectations.

 

SDG 3 Targets to which Danone Contributes

Source: United Nations

  • Target 3.2: By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births.
     
  • Target 3.4: By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.
     
  • Target 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

 

Related Business Themes Relevant for Danone

Source: SDG Compass

  • Support the delivery of health needs around the world through their products, services and business activities.
  • Ensure occupational health and safety practices and provision of employee benefits.

 

Danone Engagement on SDG 3

Danone is engaged on SDG 3 as a major focus

Our company mission is to" bring health through food to as many people as possible" and, in line with our commitment to social progress, we aim to promote healthier eating and drinking habits at every stage of life, starting from early childhood. And as a global company employing more than 100,000 people in over 55 countries, we believe that our health mission is starting within our company by supporting the health and well-being of our employees.

Our commitment to promote healthier eating and drinking habits to prevent non-communicable diseases

Today’s modern societies, because of more sedentary lifestyles and less healthy eating habits, are facing major public health issues. Obesity is the third largest social burden on our global society in combination with child and maternal undernutrition. Therefore, as a food multinational company with a social impact mission, we have committed to contribute to the health and wellbeing of society.  

 

Our strategy for a healthier alimentation is built around 4 pillars:

  • Understanding local nutrition practices and public health issues: a good understanding of local nutritional contexts, public health concerns and eating practices is key to defining appropriate local strategies and a product portfolio that promote healthier diets. To date, more than 55 countries are covered by Nutriplanet studies aiming at having in-depth understanding of local and global nutrition and health contexts.
  • Better products: we continuously improve our products’ nutritional profile. To date, 89% of our products are fit for daily consumption and more than 10% of products were improved within the year
  • Better choices: we aim to design products which offer healthier choices by combining superior product experience for the consumer and superior nutritional quality, compared to the most commonly consumed alternatives. Better choices are also encouraged through transparent nutritional labeling and responsible company practices.
  • Contribute to address local public health challenges: we engage in the co-development of services and education programs that can have the greatest impact on health and wellness of communities, and people around the world, including that of our employees. To date, 30 education and information programs for consumers are active.

This healthier alimentation strategy is reflected in Danone Nutrition Commitments released in 2016:

  • Commitment 1: We thrive to continuously improve the nutritional quality of our products. Target: By the end of 2020, 100% of our products will reach our nutritional targets, which are based on our publicly available standards.
  • Commitment 2: We constantly design healthier alternatives relevant for consumers. Target: By the end of 2020, top Danone brands will contribute to providing healthier alternatives in consumers’ diet.
  • Commitment 3: We further reinforce our expertise on the understanding of local nutrition practices and public health contexts. Target: By the end of 2020, in its top businesses, Danone will have implemented and published outcomes of research programs supported by local experts to understand eating and drinking habits and food cultures.
  • Commitment 4: We contribute to address local public health challenges on which Danone can have a most favorable impact through partnerships. Target: By the end of 2020, Danone will have contributed to a local public health cause, with relevant actions and programs in the top 15 countries where it operates.
  • Commitment 5: We develop even more responsible marketing practices, especially to children. Target: By the end of 2020, each country in which Danone operates will have disclosed and embedded a local comprehensive policy on responsible marketing practices. This will include our commitment regarding breast milk substitutes.
  • Commitment 6: We provide the most appropriate product labelling to encourage healthier practices. Target: By the end of 2020, 100% of Danone products will display comprehensive nutritional information to guide consumers, in particular regarding portion guidance.

Our commitment to support health at every stage of life starting from pregnancy and early childhood

Nutrition in early life is crucial for growth and development, from the start of pregnancy, until the baby is two years old, in particular through breastfeeding and adapted nutrition. Through our Early Life Nutrition activities, we aim to create high quality products, contributing to a healthy start in life for children worldwide.

 

The first 1,000 days, from conception up to two years old, are critical for lifelong health. The adequate provision of nutrients is crucial to ensure good physical and mental development of young children. Ensuring every mother and child receives adequate nutrition during this 1,000-day window can yield dividends for a lifetime, as a well-nourished child is better protected against disease and is likely to perform better in school. It also benefits society, by boosting productivity and improving economic prospects for families and communities. In reality, mothers and children are often not getting the nutrition they need and despite significant global progress against malnutrition in the last decade, an alarming number of pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and young children suffer from inappropriate, over- or undernutrition.

 

We believe we have a crucial role to play to ensure there is both awareness and understanding of the importance of nutrition in the first 1,000 days. As a leading company in nutrition and health, we are doing our utmost to provide mothers with the right nutritional support for themselves, their infants and young children to help provide the best start in life. We do this via our products and services, and through partnerships. Danone's pledge with regards to health and nutrition in the first 1,000 days is based on protecting and promoting breastfeeding and ensuring the best nutrition for infants, young children and mothers.

 

These 'Danone Commitments to Health and Nutrition in the first 1,000 days' are driving everything we do across our Early Life Nutrition activities.

Our commitment to the health and well-being of our more than 100,000 employees

We are committed to give access to health, education and health care to each of our employee, everywhere accross the world.

  • About 70% of Danone employees live in emerging countries where healthcare systems are often expensive to access: in 2010, Danone launched the Dan’Cares program with the goal of providing all Danone employees with quality healthcare coverage of major risks, while taking account of different market practices. The three main risks are hospitalization and surgery, outpatient care and maternity care. Dan’Cares’ specificity lies in its scope of application: it is destined to be rolled out in all Danone subsidiaries, including in countries where such coverage is not traditionally provided. As end of 2018, 74,420 employees in over 49 countries received healthcare coverage through Dan'Cares.
  • 63,619 employees have access to an active “Health @ Work” program, a health & wellness program for employees with at least one of the three aspects (Healthy Diet, Healthy Body and Healthy Mind) and that provides at least one free offer. In addition, 13,296 Danone employees were trained in nutrition, health and/or hydration over the past two years.

 

Danone 2018 Key Performance Indicators

89%

of volumes sold in 2018 were in "healthy categories"

25%

of volume sold were fortified products

57

countries covered by Nutriplanet studies

74,420

employees in more than 49 countries having healthcare coverage in line with the standards defined by Dan'Cares

63,619

employees have access to an active “Health @ Work” program

13,296

employees were trained in nutrition, health and/or hydration over the past two years.

Danone Partnerships (SDG 17)

  • Starting from July 2018, Danone is and will be co-chairing the International Food and Beverage Alliance for a 2-year mandate. Danone supports the alliance’s commitment to restrict advertising directed towards children under 12 only to products meeting common nutrition criteria based on scientifically recognized guidelines. Members also undertake not to advertize food products or drinks in primary schools (learn more).
  • In the U.S., Danone co-created the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance with Mars Inc., Nestlé USA and Unilever United States focusing on driving progress in public policies and taking action in five key areas: consumer transparency, environment, food safety, nutrition and, people and communities (learn more).
  • In the U.S., Danone also committed to The Partnership for a Healthier America which brings together public, private and non-profit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity (learn more).
  • Danone participates in the Food Reform for Sustainability and Health (FreSH) led by the WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development) and the EAT Food Foundation. This initiative tackle both changes needed in dietary habits while taking into account environmental challenges.
  • The Danone Institute International gathers a network of 15 Danone Institutes (14 local Institutes and 1 International). The Danone Institute International, with the support of its global network, undertake specific activities in the field of nutrition research, education and training. The Danone Institutes are present in 16 countries and gather around 200 experts around the world (nutritionists, pediatricians, gastroenterologists, scientists, sociologists…). All Danone Institutes are non-profit organizations, dedicated to non-commercial activities (learn more).
  • The Collaboration for Healthier Lives working group, co-chaired by Danone and Walmart, oversees the design and execution of several collaborative models to help us learn more about how retailers and manufacturers can jointly create healthier practices and customers live healthier, as well as work collaboratively with public health authorities (learn more).
  • Since 2012, Danone Research signed a Partnership Agreement with Agropolis Foundation to support a research and training initiative on the theme “Food styles and new innovation approaches” (learn more).