Towards Carbon Neutrality
Climate change is a profound, systemic challenge—not in the future, but right here, right now. Danone is meeting this challenge head on by committing to be carbon neutral by 2050 and co-creating carbon positive solutions.
Carbon neutral by 2050
Consumers today want companies to take a leading role in combatting climate change. Danone is determined to help lead an industry-wide transition to a low-carbon economy; this is why we pledged in our 2015 Climate Policy to become carbon neutral by 2050 across our full value chain. Our zero net carbon commitment means that we are responsible for the carbon emissions from the farms where we source our ingredients to the facilities that manage packaging once our products are consumed.
Danone’s strategy to achieve carbon neutrality is based on the following pillars: reducing emissions, transforming agricultural practices to sequester more carbon in the ground, eliminating deforestation from our supply chain, and offsetting the emissions that remain.
Emissions reduction targets validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative
Our first priority is to reduce carbon emissions on the three categories defined in the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard: scopes 1, 2 and 3.
As part of our journey towards carbon neutrality, we set intermediate carbon reduction targets for 2030, from a 2015 baseline :
- to reduce scope 1, 2 and 3 emission intensity by 50%.
- to achieve a 30% absolute reduction of scope 1 and 2 emissions.
Both targets were officially approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative as being in line with the global measures necessary to meet the Paris Agreement objective of keeping global warming below 2° C.
Our current progress and next steps
To build on our current progress, we are targeting two levers for action : renewable electricity and regenerative agriculture.
Danone is part of the RE 100 — a collection of the companies that have committed to using 100% renewable electricity. We are aiming to reach 50% of renewable electricity by 2020, and 100% by 2030.
57% of Danone’s carbon emissions are linked to agriculture, making it a key lever of reduction. We are working with farmers on low-carbon practices such as increasing productivity and efficiency, reducing energy use and improving manure management.
Keeping carbon in the ground
Agriculture is not just a way to reduce carbon emissions but also actually take CO2 out of the atmosphere by sequestering it in the ground. By transitioning to regenerative agriculture practices, like keeping roots in the soil rather than tilling, our producers can improve soil health, which in turn will help keep carbon in the ground.
Danone is stepping up its support for regenerative agriculture practices. In 2017, we joined the 4 per 1000 initiative, an international platform to catalyze cooperation on soil health and soil carbon sequestration.
In 2018, Danone North America launched a soil health initiative in partnership with experts from The Ohio State University and Cornell University, which will identify ways to help regenerate soils and increase soil carbon sequestration. Danone North America will commit up to $6 million to research over the next five years as part of this initiative.
Danone France issued its own ambition to source 100% of ingredients produced in France from regenerative agriculture by 2025, and announced it would be donating one day of sales turnover (or around 5 million euros) to support farmers in transitioning to this model. Working with partners such as the Fermes Laitières Bas Carbone, Danone France aims to reduce its carbon footprint 15% by 2025.
Deforestation is responsible for approximately 15% of all carbon emissions, making it a major driver of climate change. Danone is committed to eliminating deforestation from its supply chain by 2020. We signed the New York Declaration on Forests, and also support the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) resolution to achieve zero net deforestation in key commodity sectors by 2020.
To meet our zero deforestation commitment, we have set standards for key commodities such as palm oil, soy, timber, sugar, paper and board. To date, for instance, 84% of our paper and board is recycled or FSC certified, and 99% of our palm oil is RSPO certified.
As we work for a carbon neutral future, we are committed to compensating for our remaining carbon emissions in a way that can also improve lives in the most vulnerable communities around the world by restoring the ecosystems they rely on for their sustenance.
Along with nine other corporate partners, we invest in the Livelihoods Carbon Funds to support projects for agroforestry, mangrove restoration, and fuel-efficient cooking tools for communities in Asia, South America, and Africa. Projects are monitored over up to 20 years, requiring a long-term commitment from the investor companies in the Livelihoods Carbon Fund.
Together, since 2011, we have planted 130 million trees, restored 48,000 ha, equipped 120,000 families with efficient cookstoves, and reached over 1 million people. The first Livelihoods Carbon Fund will offset the equivalent of 10 million tons of CO2.
In 2017, we renewed our commitment by investing in the Livelihoods Carbon Fund #2, together with other corporate partners. This fund, with an investment target of 100 million €, aims at improving the lives of 2 million people and at offsetting around 25 million tons of CO2 over a 20-year span.