Danone sustainable procurement’s program, RESPECT, covers all purchasing categories of first tier suppliers except for raw milk, which is addressed through a dedicated program.
Implemented since 2005, RESPECT is based on three social, environmental and ethical pillars:
- Fundamental Social Principles (see above).
- Environmental Principles: introduced in 2009, they cover resource preservation, use of chemicals, climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, environment management and animal welfare.
- Business Ethics Principles: they were added in order to guarantee equity and legality of transactions. They were updated in 2017 to reflect the Code of Conduct for Business Partners.
Together, these pillars form Danone’s Sustainability Principles for Business Partners, which are written into supplier contracts as a ‘sustainability clause.’ By signing a contract with Danone, suppliers pledge that Fundamental Social and Business Ethics Principles are already respected not only within their own organizations but by agents, suppliers and sub-contractors. They also commit to striving towards implementation of Environmental Principles.
In 2017, Danone launched a process to upgrade RESPECT and evolve towards a due diligence approach, covering its 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. To learn more about responsible procurement due diligence, please refer to Danone’s 2017 registration document.
First tier supplier evaluation was the focus of the RESPECT process as implemented until 2017. RESPECT requires suppliers to submit self-evaluations of their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) performance via the Sedex platform (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange), combined with risk analysis conducted by Sedex. Following registration on the platform, suppliers identified by Sedex as high-risk are audited by certified third party organizations. Danone’s procurement teams follow up on the implementation of the remediation plans resulting from the audits.