• Danone Waters UK and Ireland (DWUKI) secures B Corp status, demonstrating commitment to using business as a force for good
  • Danone Essential Dairy & Plant-based UK (EDP UK) – one of the country’s largest B Corps – improves on previous B Corp assessment
  • Danone on track to certify all global operations as B Corp by 2025, accelerating previous schedule by five years

Danone Waters UK and Ireland, whose brands locally include evian and Volvic[1], today announces its certification as a B Corporation, demonstrating that high standards of social and environmental performance are possible even as a large-scale business. At the same time, Danone’s UK Essential Dairy & Plant-based business – whose brands include Actimel and Activia – has secured reaccreditation with an improved score, having previously been the first UK dairy company to get certified when it became one of the country’s largest B Corps in 2017.

Today’s milestones are underpinned by a range of environmental and employee actions across both businesses, within Danone’s One Planet One Health vision. As part of Danone’s commitment to helping people to live well while preserving natural resources, the company is targeting B Corp certification across all business entities by 2025 – five years ahead of its previous schedule.

Being a B Corp means that a company is legally required to consider the impact of all its decisions on its workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment. To certify, companies undergo a rigorous assessment, demonstrating that they are balancing purpose with profit and committing to give people and environment the same priority as shareholder value.

Danone has been known for responsible capitalism since 1972 when its first CEO Antoine Riboud set out its dual commitment to business and social progress. Danone’s accelerated B Corp timeline highlights its dedication to doing business in the best way possible and is a significant undertaking for a company with 100,000 employees around the world – with previous analysis of B Corps showing that 95% of certified organisations have under 250 employees.

Both DWUKI and EDP UK scored highly in the workers section of their B Corp assessments. As part of its commitment to people, Danone offers all staff shares in the business, and employees across both DWUKI and EDP UKI are given unlimited volunteering time to give back to the community, through a ‘remote volunteering’ offer launched during the Covid-19 crisis. Across Danone’s full UK and Ireland operations, employees have been helping to get critical support to people during the pandemic – including providing over £1.6m in financial and product donations and getting thousands of nutritious meals to families in need.

Danone Waters UK & Ireland (DWUKI)

DWUKI scored 95.7 on its B Corp assessment and joins fellow B Corp Harrogate Water Brands, which it acquired in February 2020. Companies must score at least 80 out of 200 in the B Corp assessment, which is repeated every three years.

Actions that contributed to DWUKI’s B Corp certification include its WeActForWater programme – a series of commitments and investments announced earlier this year around responsible packaging, climate neutrality, community support and healthy hydration:

  • Danone Waters UK & Ireland is committed to using 100% recycled material across its evian and Volvic bottles by 2025
  • evian’s best-selling water product in the UK[2] is now made from 100% recycled plastic bottles[3]
  • evian and Volvic were certified as carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust in April this year, demonstrating significant carbon reductions across their production, packaging and distribution

James Pearson, Managing Director of Danone Waters UK and Ireland, said:

“Using our business as a force for good has always been in our DNA, and becoming a B Corp is a major milestone. Danone is built on the concept that the health of people and the health of the planet are interconnected – and with the far-reaching impacts of the pandemic and the urgent need for climate action, business leadership has never been more important.”  

“Becoming a B Corp isn’t an easy thing to do – especially as a larger business – but it is because of this that B Corps stand out. We know we must strive to keep doing more and going further for people and planet – and we look forward to working with the B Corp community and beyond to accelerate progress on the shared challenges we face.” 

Danone Essential Dairy and Plant-based (EDP UK) 

EDP UK scored 86.2 in its re-accreditation, improving on its 2017 score. The business has implemented a range of actions over the last three years as part of its dedication to continually improve how it acts as a force for good, with employee groups helping to drive the agenda on key environmental and responsible business topics.

Steps that contributed to re-certification for Danone Essential Dairy and Plant-based include its commitment to making all product packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. The business has recently partnered with fellow B Corp, Ella’s Kitchen, to launch a Kid’s Food Pouch Recycling Programme, which will see around 500 public drop-off points for food pouches set up across the UK to help ensure that packaging is recycled. It is also dedicated to reducing food waste in its UK operations by at least 50% by 2030, working with expert partners to distribute surplus stock and raise consumer awareness on the issue.

Adam Grant, regional VP of Danone Essential Dairy and Plant-based UK & Ireland, added: 

“This reaccreditation demonstrates our ongoing commitment to social and environmental progress. It has never been clearer that businesses need to act for the communities we work in and support, and B Corp status helps us to focus on areas where we can keep doing more and challenging ourselves to be better.” 

“Having previously been the first UK dairy company to achieve accreditation, we are determined to keep innovating to be ahead of the curve. The fact that we’ve improved on our previous B Corp score is testament to that. We know we must continue to strive for positive change – and collaborating, sharing and learning with the B Corp community plays a key part in this.” 

Around 45% of Danone’s global operations are now covered by B Corp status, marking major progress towards being one of the first B Corp certified multinationals. Danone North America is already the biggest B Corp worldwide.

[1] Today’s B Corp certification is for Danone Waters UK & Ireland only. The Volvic brand certified globally in March 2020I

[2] Only Bottles with the label “Bottle made from bottles” are made from 100% recycled material. evian’s best-selling SKU 750ml will be made from 100% rpET. Source IRI Marketplace data, value sales, 52we 1st November 2020

[3] Excluding cap and label

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