Global Issues

Increasing labour productivity, reducing the unemployment rate, especially for young people and women, and improving access to financial services and benefits are essential components of sustained and inclusive economic growth. Forced labour, child labour and modern slavery are still a reality and poverty eradication is only possible through stable and well-paid jobs.


SDG 8 Targets to which Danone Contributes

Source: United Nations

  • Target 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.
  • Target 8.7: Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.
  • Target 8.8: Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.


Related Business Themes Relevant for Danone

Source: SDG Compass

  • Employment
  • Economic Inclusion
  • Non-discrimination
  • Capacity Building
  • Availability of a Skilled Workforce
  • Elimination of Forced or Compulsory Labor


Danone Engagement on SDG 8

Danone is engaged on SDG 8 as a major focus

As part of our dual commitment to business success and social progress, we create social value by supporting our more than 100,000 employees in over 55 countries with a Human Resources strategy focused on the following topics:

  • Social Dialogue
  • Employee Training and Development
  • Inclusive Diversity
  • Health and Safety

Besides as stated in a visionary speech by former CEO Antoine Riboud in 1972, “our social responsibility does not stop at the factory gates or the office doors”. This vision led us to a long-standing commitment to build inclusive growth ensuring decent work not only for our employees but also for our suppliers and all economic actors along our value chain, even the most vulnerable. We approach this by promoting social principles in our supply chain and creating  programmes with our most vulnerable partners through our social innovation platforms.

Ensuring decent work for all our employees in an inclusive way

  • We strongly believe that social dialogue is key to aligning collective efforts to improve our performance. Social dialogue between management, trade unions and employee representatives at every level has always been a key lever toward this shared goal. In 2016, we signed a 10th international agreement as part of our 40-year collaboration with the International Union of Food Workers that has helped establish a common set of social policies such as equal and non-discriminatory hiring processes, safe and healthy working conditions, or right to training across the company.
  • We provide functional training programs, many of them developed internally and taught by Danone managers from a variety of functions and countries. Through our "Campus for all" events we aim at involving more employees, particularly non-managers, by using a range of training channels, including conferences, e-learning and networking. Danone rounds out these functional training programs by developing a leadership culture based on the principle that every employee can develop leadership skills. Danone’s leadership model is called CODES, for Committed, Open, Doer, Empowered, Self-awareness.
  • Initiated under the name WISE by Danone in 2004, WISE² is a worldwide program with the goal of developing a health and safety culture at all the sites in order to significantly reduce the number of workplace accidents. This program is structured around 13 safety culture components including health and safety policy, visible engagement of management, health and safety targets and indicators, training, accident analyses… and 13 safety standards for the most critical high-risk situations with for instance standards on hazardous energy, working at heights, chemicals…The program also covers sites' compliance with safety standards and convergence between health and safety. By 2020, Danone commits to cut workplace accidents requiring medical absence to half the number for 2014.
  • We continue to build a diverse and inclusive company, embracing the unique contributions that a true mix of gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, education, religion, ways of thinking and leadership styles brings us. Three key priorities guide us—developing inclusive behaviors in the workplace, improving diversity in terms of gender and cultural background and engaging people at all levels of our organization on Danone’s inclusive diversity journey.

Promoting responsible social practices in our supply chain to eradicate forced labor

  • In 2001, Danone formalized its seven Fundamental Social Principles, based on the standards defined by the International Labor Organization (ILO): abolition of child labor; abolition of forced labor; non-discrimination; freedom of association and right to collective bargaining; workplace health and safety; working hours; and compensation.
  • In 2016, Danone joined the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) initiative aimed at eliminating forced labor in global supply chains. In that context, Danone updated its Fundamental Social Principles in 2017 to include the CGF Priority Principles: every worker should have freedom of movement; no worker should pay for a job; and no worker should be indebted or coerced to work. Danone pledged to adopt appropriate policies to embed the priority industry principles throughout its own operations through concrete actions. Formalized in 2018 under Danone Statement on Forced Labor, this commitment aims at addressing the recruitment and situation of Danone’s workers employed through labor service providers and on-site contractors’ employees.
  • In 2017, Danone started upgrading its RESPECT program on responsible procurement to evolve towards a due diligence approach, covering our upstream supply chain and focusing in particular on human rights. This process is inspired by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) and contributes to the development of a vigilance plan, as required by the 2017 French Corporate Duty of Vigilance Law. In 2018, we conducted an inhouse human rights risk assessment on 4,000 supplier sites registered on Sedex, which led to the launch of a two-year audit plan for the 200 sites identified as high-risk.
  • In 2018, to fully implement the Principles within our own operations, Danone sharpened its focus on work agencies or labor service providers that employ workers on behalf of the Company, issuing and launching the deployment of the Global External Workforce Policy.

Fostering decent work and inclusive growth within our value chain through our social innovation funds

  • The Danone Ecosystem Fund co-creates projects with social impact that strengthen vulnerable economic partners in Danone's value chain. Through its 85 projects the fund has improved the employability, social inclusion and secured revenues of thousands of family farmers, street vendors, waste pickers and care givers around the world. Indeed, since its creation in 2009, more than 57,000 directs beneficiaries have been professionally empowered and over 4.4 million people positively impacted in 33 countries.
  • The Livelihoods Fund supports the efforts of disadvantaged rural communities in developing countries to restore their natural ecosystems so as to improve their livelihoods by increasing their food security and their economic revenues.


Danone 2018 Key Performance Indicators


of reduction of frequency rate of workplace accidents with medical absence between 2018 and 2017


Number of worldwide agreements signed between Danone and the IUF


of professionally empowered people by the Danone Ecosystem Fund


farms connected to markets or supply chains of investors in Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming


supplier registrations on Sedex Platform (RESPECT scope)


SMETA audits on potentially high risk suppliers


employees participated in at least on training course in 2018

Danone Partnerships (SDG 17)

  • In 2018, Danone and the OECD launched the Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) Platform, the first global initiative gathering companies and governments to accelerate action on reducing inequalities and promoting inclusion. The 3-year initiative will aim at generating more inclusive economic outcomes and enhancing corporate impact by exploring and promoting business levers for inclusive growth and identifying complimentary public policies, developing new impact metrics and sharing best practices (learn more).
  • In 2016, the IUF and Danone signed a ground-breaking Agreement on Sustainable Employment and Access to Rights built around a joint commitment to promote "permanent, direct employment as an essential foundation for a sustainable business anchored in respect (learn more).
  • Danone and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have partnered and joined their forces with Livelihoods Funds and the Danone Ecosystem Fund to develop disruptive business solutions that boost economic growth in the Latin America and Caribbean region. The three-year strategic partnership will promote sustainable, inclusive development initiatives in the region harnessing Danone’s value chain as well as with implementing partners, Livelihoods Funds and the Danone Ecosystem Fund, while also empowering local communities, and protecting the environment (learn more).
  • In 2016, Danone joined the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) initiative aimed at eliminating forced labor in global supply chains (learn more).