Environmental Performance

Environmental Performance

To deliver on our commitment to "One Planet. One Health", Danone is focusing on four key ambitions, which are at the center of our Nature agenda: combat climate change, protect water cycles, co-build the circular economy and promote regenerative agriculture. Strengthened collaboration with all of our partners along the supply chain will help us achieve these transformations.

To deliver on our commitment to "One Planet. One Health", Danone is focusing on four key ambitions, which are at the center of our Nature agenda: combat climate change, protect water cycles, co-build the circular economy and promote regenerative agriculture. Strengthened collaboration with all of our partners along the supply chain will help us achieve these transformations.

Environmental Performance Scorecard
(91 KB)

Environmental indicator coverage rate

The table below provides information relative to Danone sites' environmental data coverage rate at December 31, 2016 and 2017 (marked “sites’ environment scope” for relevant indicators).

For 2017 data, the coverage rate represents around 95% of the total production.

In the following KPIs, variations compared with 2016 may be expressed on a like-for-like basis, meaning that the scope of production sites present during financial years (excluding the production sites acquired or launched in 2017 and production sites sold or shut down in 2016).

Number of ISO 14001 Certified Sites

Danone bases its environmental management policy on the international ISO 14001 standard. ISO 14001 certification is a prerequisite set by the company for achieving the highest performance level in its GREEN environmental risk assessment audits (see following paragraph).

Green Program (Global Risk Evaluation for Environment)

Danone has developed the GREEN (Global Risk Evaluation for the Environment) program, which it implements worldwide to monitor the main environmental risks related to its industrial sites (risk of accidents, risk to reputation and non-compliance with environmental regulations) based on internal audits.

By December 31, 2017, 69% of Danone’s industrial sites (Production Sites Environment Scope; see Methodology Note), i.e. 124 sites, had undergone an external GREEN audit at least once. Of these 124 sites, 104 complied with the company's standards (scoring over 800 out of 1,000). By contrast, in 2016, 64% of the group’s production sites had undergone an external GREEN audit at least once.

The complete assessment of the sites is based on six risk categories specific to Danone’s production activities: environmental management system, operating permits, water quality management, atmospheric emissions (air quality management), waste management and hazardous waste disposal. It is carried out on the basis of three risk management levels that determine audit frequency.

For non-compliant sites, action plans are implemented in order to remedy deficiencies. The implementation of these plans is monitored through the increase of GREEN audit frequency.

Environmental investments and expenditures

In 2017, Danone’s investments in environmental protection amounted to €27 million, approximately 2.8% of Danone’s total capital expenditure (in 2016, €25 million, approximately 3%). The main categories of these investments in 2017 included:

  • environmental compliance: waste treatment, wastewater treatment, treatment facilities, noise measurement, air quality, etc;
  • investments to reduce carbon emissions (energy savings, use of renewable energies, logistics and eco-design of packaging);
  • Operating expenditures related to the environment amounted to €120 million in 2017 (€116 in 2016). They included €37 million for waste, water and air quality management and €30 for environmental taxes excluding taxes on packaging. Taxes on packaging amounted to €53 million in 2017.





To grow our business sustainably and ensure our global food cycle is resilient, we must address the systemic challenge of climate change. Danone is fighting climate change by reducing its carbon footprint and working to sequester more carbon. We have committed to building a carbon-neutral value chain by 2050 and our carbon reduction targets were officially validated by the Science Based Targets initiative in 2017.


Danone measures greenhouse gas emissions on its extended, direct and shared responsibility scope following the three categories defined in the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard: scopes 1, 2 and 3.


  • Scope 1: direct emissions arising from combustion facilities and refrigerant facilities located inside the operational perimeter (consumption of fuels; vehicles; refrigerant leaks).
  • Scope 2: indirect emissions arising from the production of electricity, steam, heat or cold purchased and consumed by the company.
  • Scope 3: all indirect emissions due to the company’s activities that are not taken into account in scope 2. This covers all the emissions arising from the complete value chain, including suppliers’ and consumers’ emissions. For instance, scope 3 emissions can encompass agriculture, transportation and distribution of purchased goods and services. 

Greenhouse gas emissions in scope 1 and 2

The direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions of scopes 1 and 2 (see description above) are calculated using the methodology described in the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard (Greenhouse Gas Protocol) (see Methodology note). The approach chosen by Danone is to integrate in the measure of scopes 1 and 2 all emission sources under the operational control of our industrial sites, warehouses and vehicles.

In January 2015, the GHG published the GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance (see Methodology note). The Guidance introduces “dual reporting” for scope 2 accounting:

  • The location-based method reflects the average emissions intensity of grids on which energy consumption occurs (using mostly grid-average emission factor data)
  • The market-based method reflects emissions from electricity that companies have purposefully chosen. This indicates the organization’s will to engage with a renewable energy use policy.


We set our goal of reducing emissions using the market-based method. This enables us to better take into consideration the impact of the proportion of renewable energies that are used.

(in ktonnes equivalent CO2eq)2016
Market Based
Location based
Market based
Scope 1595644644
Scope 2937937817
Total Scope 1 & 2153315811460

The total emissions of CO2 equivalent per ton on scope 1 and 2 fell by 4.7% between 2016 and 2017 and by 13.1% between 2015 and 2017.


On a like-for-like basis, the total emissions of CO2 equivalent per ton on scope 1 and 2 fell by 5% in comparison to 2016 and by 9.7% in comparison with 2015, mainly thanks to the buying of renewable energy.

Greenhouse gas emissions in scope 3

The indirect greenhouse gas emissions of scope 3 (see description above) are calculated following the product life cycle approach. It consists of conducting an analysis based on all product life cycle steps. This takes into account emissions at every stage: raw materials (including milk and upstream agriculture), packaging, production, logistics, storage, use of the sold product in retail and at home, and end of life of sold products. This method enables us to identify the greatest reduction levers.

This can be broken down by stage of the product lifecycle as follows (in ktons CO2 equivalent):

In 2017, the emissions in tons of CO2 equivalent for the scope 3 are up to 20.2 million tons CO2 equivalent (for 89% of Danone volume sales). This result is mainly due to emissions related to purchased goods and services (15.4 million tons CO2 equivalent), use of sold products (1.6 million tons CO2 equivalent) and upstream ad downstream transporation and distribution (respectively 0.5 million and 1.2 million tons CO2 equivalent). 

Total greenhouse gas emissions on the extended responsibility perimeter for scopes 1, 2 and 3

In 2017, the total emissions on the extended responsibility perimeter for scopes 1, 2 and 3 is up to 21.6 million tons CO2 equivalent (on 89% of Danone volume sales). The total emissions ratio on the extended responsibility perimeter for scopes 1, 2 and 3 decreased by 4.8% between 2016 and 2017; and by 13.2% between 2015 and 2017. The total emissions ratio for scopes 1, 2 and 3 in kg of CO2 is up to 623.3 (versus 654.4 in 2016).


On a like-to-like basis, this ratio decreased by 5.9% in comparison with 2016 and by 10.5% in comparison with 2015, mainly due to the decrease of sales in the Essential Dairy and Plant Based Products Division (whose ratio is higher than the company’s one), to the increase of sales in the Waters Division (whose ratio is lower than the company’s one) and to the emissions’ reduction’ actions (buying renewable energy, using reusable materials for packaging, reducing packaging weight, etc.).


With 93.2% of Danone total emissions on its extended responsibility perimeter, scope 3 is the highest contributor, ahead of scope 1 emissions (3.0%) and scope 2 emissions (3.8%).


Within the scope 3, the most important source of emissions is the one related to the purchase of agricultural products (57.4%), ahead of packagings (11.2%), transportation & distribution upstream and downstream (7.6%) and use of sold products (7.2%).

The emissions related to the purchase of agricultural products are mainly due to milk buying (71.3%), followed by dairy ingredients (17.2%) and other raw materials (11.5%).


Energy consumption within the organization

The table below presents data relative to the total energy consumption of Danone sites at December 31, 2016 and 2017 (Production sites environment scope):

Intensity of total energy consumption (Kwh/Tprod)

Energy consumption intensity

Danone's energy consumption intensity (in KwH/ton of product) fell by 0.8% in 2017 relative to 2016.

On a like-for-like basis, Danone’s energy consumption intensity decreased by 2.6% between 2016 and 2017.

This decrease was mainly linked to optimizing energy production and use at the plants, for example in Africa subsidiaries (-1.5%) ; to the decrease in sales of Essental Dairy and Plant Based Products Division (whose ratio is higher than the company’s one) ; to the increase in sales of Waters Division (whose ratio is lower than the company’s one), resulting in a favorable effect of -1.1%.

In comparison, it increased slightly by 0.5% between 2015 and 2016.

Reduction of energy consumption since 2000

The graph above presents the variation (in kWh/tons of product) in total energy consumption intensity at production sites (in kWh/tons of products) since 2000, for the reporting scope of each of the years concerned. Danone has reduced its total energy intensity by 51% since 2000. The goal for 2020 is 60%.


As part of the RE100 initiative (a global and collaborative initiative joining together more than 100 companies committed to 100% renewable electricity), Danone has made a commitment to move toward 100% renewable electricity by 2030. In 2017, 24 production plants purchased electricity from 100% renewable sources (wind power, hydropower, etc.).

In all, these purchases represented 18% of Danone’s total electricity purchases in 2017, versus 7% in 2016. At the local level, Danone is also testing projects to produce and use renewable thermal energy. Since the early 2010s, some sites have adopted energy innovations such as wood-fired furnaces, methane digesters and biofuel. Across all businesses, renewable thermal energy produced and used on site represented 6% of the total thermal energy consumed by Danone in 2017, versus 4% in 2016.


Emissions of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) in ton equivalent CFC

Emissions arising from the leakage of refrigerants that deplete the ozone layer (only HCFC is used) decreased by 32% between 2016 and 2017 (on the Environment production sites scope). This reduction was achieved through gradual replacement of equipment using HCFC gas aligned with Protocol Montreal requirement.

Some refrigerants also have a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions, particularly HFCs. As part of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), under the refrigeration resolution Danone has committed in 2010 to cease buying refrigerators with HFCs for its own fleet at point of sales and move to climate friendly refrigerants (natural or low Global Warming Potential “GWP”) where these are legally allowed and available. Since 2010; under a policy known as the BCool initiative, Danone updated its proprietary refrigerator fleet at points of sale to ensure that only natural refrigerants are in use. By also selecting refrigerators with better energy performance and ensuring their end-of-life recycling, Danone achieves both increase energy performance and reduced environmental impact related to gas leakage. By end of 2016, Danone achieved 100% of total newly purchased refrigerators and coolers installed at point of sale used climate-friendly refrigerants in regions where this is legally allowed and available.

 In October 2016; a revised refrigeration resolution was approved by CGF members and consist to extend the scope of commitment to cover all purchased equipment under Danone’s control (industrial, supply chain and commercial).

At year-end 2017, Danone defined the baseline according to the extended scope of the new refrigeration resolution:

  • For its industrial equipment: 68% in regions where it is legally allowed and available and 15% worldwide;
  • For its commercial equipment 99% in regions where it is legally allowed and available and 91% worldwide.



Water is at the center of each part of Danone’s activities. We are committed to protecting this 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.


Danone’s goal is to protect watersheds and their natural ecosystems to ensure the sustainability of water resources where we operate. As a result of scientific and policy collaboration with the Ramsar Convention and IUCN a new method was co-developed to improve local water resource management. Known as SPRING (Sustainable Protection and Resources managING), this defines management standards for each source of spring water bottled by the company.

The 2020 objective is to deploy this tool at every Waters division site, to assess local water resource management (to identify pollution risks and risks of water scarcity) and to establish a continuous improvement plan.

At the end of 2017, 100 % of Waters division sites had run SPRING audits, compared with only 87% in 2016. This objective achieved 3 years prior to the target year (2020).


Total water withdrawal by source


The following table presents total water withdrawal at company production sites at December 31, 2016 and 2017 (Production Sites Environment Scope):

In 2017, total water withdrawn from the surrounding area was up to 68,685 thousands of cubic meters.

Danone water consumption thus fell by 3.2% from 2016 to 2017 (in comparison, it fell by 0.5% from 2015 to 2016). On a like-for-like basis, total Danone water consumption fell by 1.4% from 2016 to 2017 (in comparison, it fell by 0.3% from 2015 to 2016).  

Of the 68 685 m3 of water withdrawn in 2017, Danone used 29,572,000 m3 in its finished products, primarily at its bottling sites (compared to 29,188,000 m3  in 2016). Water used in the composition of finished products increased by 0.7%.

Water consumption related to production processes


In 2017, Danone used 39,113,000 m3 of water in its production processes (compared to 41,602,000 m3 in 2016). The quantity of water used in the production process decreased by 6% between 2016 and 2017.

The following graphic presents water consumption related to production processes at company production sites at December 31, 2017 and 2016 (Production Sites Environment Scope).

Water linked to the production process is not part of product composition. Since 2016, Danone excluded indicators measuring the water passing through the once-through system (see Methodology Note).


(a) Production sites environment scope.

Water consumption in the production processes (a)
(in thousands of cubic meters)
41 60239 113
Water consumption intensity related to the production
processes (a) (in cubic meters/metric ton of product)

On a like-for-like basis and using the same method, the intensity ratio  decreased by 5.6% between 2016 and 2017. This decrease is mainly due to:

  • the reduction and optimization of water consumption (for example, by -2.4% in the Early Life Nutrition and Waters Division) ;
  • the decrease of sales in the Essential Dairy and Plant Based Products (whose ratio higher than the company’s one) and the increase of sales in the Waters Division (whose ratio is lower than the company’s one), resulting in a favorable effect of 3,2%.

Production processes' water consumption intensity since 2000

The graph above indicates the variation in total water consumption intensity related to company production processes since 2000, for the reporting scope of each of the years concerned. The intensity decreased by 50% compared to 2000, with a 60% reduction target for 2020.


To ensure that the used water returned to nature is of adequate quality for the downstream ecosystem and users, in 2015 Danone implemented strict corporate standards for its production sites discharging wastewater directly to the natural environment (as defined in the Danone “Clean Water Standards”). Clean Water Standards performance indicators are based on standard thresholds and measured according to national or international methodologies.

The table below presents the quantities of COD discharged after treatment (including external treatment) by the companies’ production sites at December 31, 2016 and 2017 (Production Sites Environment Scope):

Final discharge of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) (a) (in thousands of
Net COD Ratio (a) (kg/ton of product)0.220.20

The Company's net Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) (i.e. after treatment) per ton of product decreased by 10.4% from 2016 to 2017 (in comparison, it increased by 18.3% from 2015 to 2016). This decrease is mainly linked to the decrease of raw material and finished products losses within the Essential Dairy and Plant Based Products Division, due to actions of reduction and is also the direct result of a volume decrease.,


The table below presents compliance with Clean Water Standards (CWS) of company production sites discharging wastewater directly into the natural environment at December 31, 2017 (Production sites under Clean Water Standards scope).



Danone’s Packaging Policy, published in 2016, reaffirmed our ambition to “co-build the packaging circular economy by sourcing sustainable materials and creating a second-life for all plastics.” Danone is also working to strengthen the circular economy by reducing food waste as much as possible.


While manufacturing our products we might generate waste of packaging materials. These include the scrap, unwanted surplus material, unwanted by-products and broken, contaminated or otherwise spoiled material associated with the manufacturing process of our products.

In 2017 there were 109 thousand tons of packaging waste generated by Danone production sites; so far 91% of total packaging waste is recycled or incinerated with energy recovery. In comparison, in 2016, 116,000 tons of packaging waste had been generated and 90% of total packaging waste was recycled or incinerated.


Danone aims to avoid our factories’ plastic waste ending in landfills for countries with developed collection systems by 2020 and for all our factories by 2025. This will be achieved with better solutions through partnerships and alliances, our factories have already started the work with our partners to maximize their recovery rate.


Danone is deeply convinced that the fact that more than 30% of the food produced is lost to human consumption is a key challenge for health (hunger and malnutrition), for the planet (ecological footprint) and for the economy.

Following the resolution to prevent food waste adopted by the Consumer Goods Forum in 2015, Danone committed to reduce its unrecovered food waste (i.e. waste that ends up to landfill, that is incinerated without any energy recovery or discharged with effluents) by 50% in 2025 versus 2016 and to fight against food waste across its value chain.

  • Within its scope of shared responsibility, Danone works with its suppliers to help them become more competitive by moving toward more sustainable agricultural practices, notably by working to reduce their losses.
  • Within its scope of direct responsibility, Danone reduces finished products and materials losses, gives away unsold edibles products and recovers, preferably as animal feed, what cannot be consumed by humans.

Danone quantifies food waste within its responsibility scope excluding Waters business, in accordance with the first international Food Loss and Waste Protocol (see methodology note scope). These losses involve finished products, raw materials and by-products (whey not recovered for human food). This waste may be collected, discharged in wastewater or be part of the sludge in water treatment plants (see Methodology Note).

The ratio of food waste generated per metric ton of product sold has decreased from 51.8 to 49.3 kg/tons of sales; equivalent to 4.8% reduction. On a like-to-like basis, the ratio decreased by 5.6% thanks to finished products and materials losses reduction programs within Essential Dairy and Plant Based Products and Early Life Nutrition divisions. For example, Danone Wave (Essential Dairy and Plant-Based, USA) implemented Zero Waste program to reduce losses in downstream distribution and reduced by 14% its total food waste per tons of sales.

Among the total food waste generated, more than 3/4 is recovered, mainly fed to animals, composted or anaerobically digested. The remaining unrecovered food waste decreased by 4.4% between 2016 and 2017. On a like-to-like basis, the ratio decreased by 10.7%, mainly thanks to food waste recovery solutions. For example, Danone Brazil (Essential Dairy and Plant-Based, Brasil) diverted 2 500 tons of food waste from landfill thanks to animal feeding.


Since 2016, resulting from the application of a new Food Loss and Waste Protocol (see Methodology Note), Danone has consolidated the quantities of waste generated according to the following categories: hazardous waste, lactoserum waste, wastewater treatment plant sludge, packaging waste, other non-hazardous waste and food waste collected on site or thrown out with wastewater.


Danone also monitors the percentage of its waste when it is recovered; such recovery may occur through recycling, reuse, composting or waste-to-energy conversion. The production sites seek to maximize their waste recovery rate by taking the following measures: organizing on-site waste sorting and staff training, finding subcontractors capable of recovering the various types of waste generated and sharing best practices among sites.

(a) Production sites environment scope // scope defined by the Food loss and Waste Protocol.

The table above presents the quantities of waste generated and recovered by Danone production sites at December 31, 2016 and 2017 by Danone’s production sites (excluding the exceptional 29 thousand tons of wastes generated by the Evian plant’s renovation (Waters division, France).

Based on the same methodology, the ratio of waste generated per ton of product was down by 9.8% between 2016 and 2017 (decrease of 2.3% between 2015 and 2016) thanks to the decrease of raw material and finished products losses in the production sites of the Fresh Essential Dairy and Plant based Products and Early Life Nutrition. The proportion of recovered waste remained stable at 83% (-0.2% between 2016 and 2017).

The ratio of total quantity of waste per ton of products went from 12.2 in 2016 to 11.2 in 2017.


Danone is committed to eliminating the deforestation risks of its virgin paper & board packaging supply chain by 2020—and before 2020 in regions with a high deforestation risk (Brazil, China, Indonesia, and Russia). This commitment targets three concrete objectives: actively reduce the weight of paper and board packaging for each product, prefer the use of recycled fibers, and, where this is not possible, prefer FSC certified virgin fibers as paper and cardboard packaging production can have a negative impact on forests.

The table below presents the percentage of paper or cardboard packaging compliant with Danone forest footprint policy.

% paper based pack compliant with DANONE forest footprint policy 86%84%
% paper based pack compliant with DANONE forest footprint policy in top 4 risky countries97%95%


Expanding the use of recycled materials has been one of the company’s major strategic objectives for several years, whether through improved collection or through optimized packaging end of life.

% of packaging coming from recycled materials32%36%
% recycled paper-based71%72%
% recycled PET in waters division (excluding Turkey and China)11%14%

The table above sets out percentage of recycled materials in products sold at December 31, 2016 and 2017. 

In 2017, 36% of Danone’s primary, secondary & tertiary packaging is made of recycled materials, including 72% of Paper-based packaging. 

Regarding plastic packaging, Danone is strongly committed to a responsible circular “from the bottle to the bottle” approach and seeks to build demand for recycled materials by increasing the proportion of recycled PET (rPET) used in its bottles. Despite the challenges involved in expanding PET bottle to bottle recycling industry, the goal is to use at least 25% recycled PET in its water and beverages plastic bottles in countries where local standards and regulations allow for this. Danone will also seek to further increase its reach to 33% by 2025 in countries where allowed. 

In 2017, several brands in the Waters division, including Volvic, Evian and Bonafont, already used rPET. The average rate of rPET incorporation in Waters division output—excluding geographies where it is not allowed—was 14% in 2017(11% in 2016).





As a food company, agriculture is at the heart of Danone’s business. Today’s agricultural system faces a number of challenges, such as animal welfare, loss of biodiversity and water scarcity. We believe agriculture can be a solution to these challenges and a driver of sustainable growth. This is why we are working with our partners to develop regenerative farming models that are competitive, inclusive and resilient.




Palm oil RSPO fully segregated.

Danone uses approximately 39,000 tons (2017) of palm oil, which represents around 0.05% of global production. Danone uses palm oil in certain end-user products, mainly in the Early Life Nutrition and Essential Dairy and Plant-Based businesses.

Since 2014, 100% of palm oil purchased by the Early Life Nutrition business was certified “RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) segregated” (traceable back to the plantations, with the backing of The Forest Trust). With the recent expansion of its Essential Dairy and Plant-Based business, Danone is working to ensure the compliance of its additional palm oil supplies. In 2017, 99% of the palm oil purchased by the company was certified “RSPO segregated” (excluding WhiteWave).




100 %

of lamb and beef have access to pasture (Socrates Scope: Early Life Nutrition food factories in the European Union).


100 %

of eggs are cage-free (Socrates Scope: Early Life Nutrition food factories in the European Union).


90 % 

of Dannon US direct milk sourcing is Validus certified.




Flagship brands already converted to no-GMO project certified: Danimals (96% of volume) and Dannon (79% of volume).