Global Issues

Currently, water stress affects more than 2 billion people around the world, a figure that is projected to rise. Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all are essential to human health and to environmental sustainability and economic prosperity. Holistic management of the water cycle means taking into account the level of “water stress”, calculated as the ratio of total fresh water withdrawn by all major sectors to the total renewable fresh water resources in a particular country or region. Already, water stress affects countries on every continent and hinders the sustainability of natural resources, as well as economic and social development. Integrated water resources management aims to address this urgent situation.


SDG 6 Targets to which Danone Contributes

Source: United Nations

  • Target 6.1: By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.
  • Target 6.2: By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.
  • Target 6.3: By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.
  • Target 6.4: By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.
  • Target 6.5: By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate.
  • Target 6.6: By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.


Related Business Themes Relevant for Danone

Source: SDG Compass

  • Improved water efficiency through application of 5R principles: reduce, reuse, recover, recycle, replenish
  • Equal, affordable, and safe access to water, sanitation, and hygiene for employees and communities
  • Protection of water-related ecosystems and biodiversity


Danone Engagement on SDG 6

Danone is engaged on SDG6 as a major focus

Indeed, Danone is committed to protecting water, a vital and increasingly scarce resource, by working with partners to strengthen the water cycle at the local level and adopting sustainable practices across our value chain. Sustainable water use is a major focus for Danone, whether it involves the direct use of this resource in its products and production processes or its use in the supply chain. Danone therefore conducted a risk assessment to prioritize and implement the necessary measures at the local level.

Danone identified four priority areas for water stewardship:

  • water resources and ecosystems;
  • water used in agriculture;
  • water used in operations;
  • access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene.

Protecting water resources and natural ecosystems

Danone’s goal is to protect watersheds and their natural ecosystems to ensure the sustainability of water resources where we operate, especially in water-stressed areas. We will keep protecting water-related ecosystems, such as wetlands, with targeted investment and by working locally with stakeholders to implement activities tailored to the local context.

To assess our management of groundwater resources, we use the “Sustainable Protection and Resource Managing” method (or SPRING method) developed with our partners. By the end of 2017, we had conducted SPRING audits in 100% of the Waters Division’s mineral waters sites.

Water used in agriculture

At Danone, we work with farmers, agricultural communities and our key suppliers to develop and promote sustainable agriculture practices that maximise water efficiency and preserve its quality, especially within our water funds where agriculture is one of the main activities. When it comes to water use in agriculture which is part of our extended supply chain, we address it through our regenerative agriculture approach where we work with our farmers partners to develop sustainable farming models that are competitive, inclusive and resilient.


Starting in 2018, Danone extended its water risk assessment strategy to its value chain using the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, from the World Resources Institute. Focusing first on fresh liquid milk supply chain, this work enabled Danone to produce a detailed map of suppliers and dairy farms potentially in water-stressed areas under a 2030 scenario and to identify regions of particular concern. Danone is also working on a number of initiatives targeting other parts of its supply chain, such as fruit and vegetables.


Water used in operations

Our immediate priority wherever we use water is to improve the efficiency of water use and reduce the impact of industrial processes on its quality. Our goal is to manage water quality and quantity risks at the watershed level and return all wastewater to natural ecosystems clean.


Starting in 2017, Danone integrated within its internal environmental audit, called “green audits” the Water Risk Filter, a method developed by the The World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature, international non-governmental organization, to evaluate and better anticipate the risks linked to our use of water and put in place the proper action plan answering to local context issues. Water Risk Filters will be conducted in 100% of Danone's production sites. For the sites identified the most at risk, the Company has introduced the GEMI Local Water Tool (LWT) –an advanced risk assessment and mitigation plan development system– to improve how it manages and mitigates water risks, which can vary from one site to the next.


Furthermore, Danone has committed to reduce its water usage in operations by 60% by 2020 in intensity.

Expanding water access in the communities where we operate, especially in water stressed areas

Danone aims to have all its employees around the world have access to safe drinking water in their workplace. It is an essential condition for employees' health and well-being and to operate in the best condition in our production sites and offices.

Danone supports social-entrepreneurs through Danone Communities fund to provide access to safe drinking water to their communities with a reach of more than 800,000 beneficiaries worldwide in 2018. 



Danone 2018 Key Performance Indicators


of reduction of water consumption intensity in production sites (in m3/T product) (Baseline 2000)


of sites have run SPRING audits in all Water Division sites


beneficiaries with access to drinking water supported by Danone Communities fund

Danone Partnerships (SDG 17)

  • Danone and the Convention of Wetlands Protection - Ramsar have been partnering for 20 years raising awareness on the importance of wetlands and supporting intergrated watershed management at the local level with the design of specific tools as the SPRING tool. Today two Danone's sites have been recognized of national importance by the Ramsar Convention: Evian and The Villavicencio site (Argentina). In 2018, Danone received a trophy of appreciation from the 170 countries part of the RAMSAR Convention for its 20 years of support to protection of wetlands and their biodiversity.
  • Danone is partnering with the CEO Water Mandate (part of United Nations Global Compact) in order to pilot context-based targets initiatives and to synergize water and climate externalities.
  • The Nature Conservancy and Danone are partnering to develop new water fund models aiming to strenghten integrated watershed management at the local level through 3 mechanisms: financing, governance and implementing ones.
  • Danone AQUA (Indonesia) is partnering with World Business Council for Sustainable Development to support its efforts on Water Access, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at workplace among others.