Danone: Quantifying water use to mitigate risks

At Danone, we believe that healthy food starts with a healthy planet. We have identified five key areas: fight against climate change, protect water cycles, improve the sustainability of our packaging, promote sustainable agriculture and eliminate food waste.

For this case, we focus on our water pillar. We believe that water security is at risk today and we are committed to preserving and restoring ecosystems by respecting natural water cycles. We act where we have the greatest impact, by tackling local water quality, quantity and access. 

Quantifying water use and dependencies helps us mitigate business risks and ensures the long-term availability of this vital resource. We are committed to improving water efficiency in our direct operations and to reducing the environmental impact of industrial processes.

Beyond our direct operations, we contribute to protecting fresh water ecosystems through multi-stakeholder approaches. By 2020, we aim to reduce our operational water use by 60% based on 2000 scope and be fully compliant with our Clean Water Standards. 

Natural Capital Protocol used
  • No, but aligns with the Protocol’s framework
Impact drivers assessed
  • Fresh water ecosystem use e.g. wetlands, ponds, rivers
  • Water pollutants e.g. volume discharged to receiving water body
  • Water use e.g. volume of ground- or surface water consumed
Organizational Focus
  • Corporate
  • Project
Valuation Type
  • Qualitative
  • Quantitative
  • Value to business
  • Value to society
Geographical Scope
  • GLOBAL
Dependencies assessed
  • Regulation of physical environment e.g. flood attenuation, water quality regulation
  • Water e.g. fresh or sea water
Value Chain Boundary
  • Direct operations
Sectors
  • Food and Beverages, Agriculture

Key findings

On the bank of Lake Geneva, a group of 41 farmers, 16 towns and the Société des Eaux d’Evian, part of the Danone Group, have joined forces to protect Evian’s natural mineral water watershed and reinforce sustainable farming practices. The long cooperation between local stakeholders has created the project Terragr’Eau, a methanization site which is supported by the Danone Ecosystem Fund.

Terragr’Eau is Danone’s answer to one of the Group’s main challenges: preserving the purity of the evian natural mineral water which forms the area’s main economic activity, maintaining some 1,300 direct jobs and producing 1.6 million bottles of Evian annually. We work at the basin level and we assess the threats and the maturity of the site managers to respond to local challenges with tailored solutions.

With Terragr’Eau, Evian is continuing a 20-year commitment alongside local stakeholders to encourage economic development that considers watershed protection, aligning with the values of local cooperation that are so dear to Danone.