Danone UK& Ireland certifies major division as a B Corp

Danone's UK & Ireland arm has announced the achievement of B Corp certification for its Specialised Nutrition operations, meaning that all parts of its operations in the UK and Ireland are now certified.

Danone UK& Ireland certifies major division as a B Corp

Pictured: Danone's factory in Wexford

Brands included in Danone UK & Ireland’s specialised nutrition portfolio include Cow & Gate, Aptimil and Nutrica. It owns and operates three manufacturing sites for products within these brands, all of which have been assessed by B Lab.

To become a B-Corp, a business has to be assessed on its environmental impacts; impacts on the community; worker treatment; governance frameworks and interactions with customers. It must also reassess every three years. The certification process involves the completion of a ‘B Impact Assessment’ activity, which gives companies points based on best practice in each of these areas. An overall score of 80 is the minimum requirement for certification; Danone UK & Ireland Specialised Nutrition achieved 90.2 points.

Danone UK & Ireland said in a statement that years of work towards “balancing profit and purpose” has helped it to achieve certification for all parts of its operations. Its official statement of purpose for specialised nutrition is “We Nourish Life”.

Environmental highlights include reducing emissions from the Wexford factory by 70% since 2010, despite doubling production volumes, and then offsetting residual emissions to achieve The Carbon Trust’s carbon-neutral certification for the facility.

Danone UK & Ireland’s senior vice-president of specialised nutrition Gustavo Hildebrand said: “Despite ongoing challenges throughout the pandemic, we have pushed ourselves to go further for our patients and consumers.

“We’re incredibly proud to have this recognised through B Corp certification – the culmination of a lot of hard work by employees across all levels. Our factories becoming B Corp certified is a significant achievement – and one we hope will inspire other companies and manufacturing sites to engage with the B Corp values and join the community of like-minded businesses.”

The firm’s president James Mayer added: “There has never been a more critical time for greater action from responsible businesses. And more than ever, people want to buy from, work for, invest in and partner with businesses they trust to make a positive impact.

“Being part of the B Corp movement helps to accelerate collective progress to tackle the social and environmental issues we face. As one of the largest B Corps in the UK and Ireland, we will continue to do more to meet the needs of people and the planet.”

The news from Danone comes after its water brand evian certified as a B Corp last May.

B Corps boom

There are now more than 4,000 organisations across the world certified as B Corps. The UK is home to one of the fastest-growing B Corp communities, with some 600 businesses at present. Certified companies include Coutts, innocent Drinks, Gousto, Pukka Herbs and Jamie Oliver Group.

edie’s publisher, Faversham House, is notably working with Seismic in a bid to achieve B Corp certification this year. Seismic and edie have, to date, hosted two online events aimed at helping other businesses to certify. You can access the first event on-demand here, and the second event here.

Join the conversation at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum 2022

edie’s biggest event of the year is returning as a live, in-person event for 2022. The dates have been moved from early February to March, to ensure collaboration and celebration can take place in person. 

The Sustainability Leaders Forum will now take place on 8 and 9 March 2022, and will unite hundreds of professionals for inspiring keynotes, dynamic panel discussions, interactive workshops and facilitated networking. There will also be digital tickets.

Taking place at London’s Business Design Centre, the event will feature more than 60 speakers, including experts from Natural England, the Green Finance Institute, the World Economic Forum and the Centre for Climate Repair. We’re planning our most diverse and inspirational programme yet, with a big focus on purpose-led business.

Readers interested in this article will be particularly keen to attend a workshop on the afternoon of Day One, featuring experts from B Lab UK, Danone UK & Ireland, Leo’s Box and Ella’s Kitchen.

Click here for full information and to book your pass.

Sarah George

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