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.