French food giant Danone has committed to a new environmental policy to reach "zero net carbon emissions" in all of its activities. That is to say everything under its direct responsibility, which includes suppliers.
Ecological footprint of 18.8 million tonnes
Danone's new climate policy aims to get "zero net carbon emissions" in the long run, starting with a 50 % reduction in greenhouse gas intensity by 2030. It also commits itself to lowering the emissions prior to 2025 already. The company says it currently has an 18.8 million tonnes ecological footprint.
To reach its lofty ambitions, the company will not only focus on the areas under its direct control (production, packaging, logistics, end-of-life), but also in areas where it has a shared responsibility. The agricultural area in particular, which represents 65 % of all emissions, will get increased attention.
"Our activities are directly linked to nature and agriculture. The risks of global warming are high and they affect both the natural cycles on which we depend, and people's living conditions, starting with family farmers and livestock breeders. Today we have decided to go much further and we are adopting another decisive step for a resilient growth model", CEO Emmanuel Faber said.
Climate policy contains 5 priorities
To achieve these ambitious goals, Danone has listed 5 priorities in its climate policy:
- Reduce the company's full scope carbon emissions
- Develop “carbon positive” initiatives to capture carbon in natural ecosystems such as forests, mangroves and soil
- Fully eliminate deforestation impacts from Danone’s supply chain by 2020
- Build resilience into our food and water cycles
- Offer preferred and healthier diet options produced in a resource-efficient way, using sustainably-sourced ingredients.
Danone has plenty of experience when it comes to limiting its carbon emissions. Back in 2008, it launched a plan to lower the carbon intensity 30 % in 5 years' time - related to all activities it had under its direct control. That was a success: at the end of 2012, the group announced it has lowered its carbon intensity by 42 % (measured in the grams of CO2 per kilogram of items sold). That meant it had not only reached its goal, but also a year earlier than anticipated.