Danone Essential Dairy & Plant-based UK recertifies as B Corp

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Danone’s UK Essential Dairy & Plant-based business (EDP) has secured B Corp reaccreditation.
Danone’s UK Essential Dairy & Plant-based business (EDP) has secured B Corp reaccreditation.

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Danone Waters UK and Ireland, whose brands locally include evian and Volvic, has announced its certification as a B Corporation.

At the same time, Danone’s UK Essential Dairy & Plant-based business (EDP) – whose brands include Actimel and Activia – has secured reaccreditation with an improved score. It was the first UK dairy company to get certified when it became one of the country’s largest B Corps in 2017. 

Danone is targeting B Corp certification across all business entities by 2025 – five years ahead of its previous schedule.

Being a B Corp means a company is legally required to consider the impact of all its decisions on its workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment. To certify, companies undergo an assessment, demonstrating they are balancing purpose with profit and committing to give people and environment the same priority as shareholder value.

Both DWUKI and EDP UK scored highly in the workers section of their B Corp assessments. As part of its commitment to people, Danone offers all staff shares in the business, and employees across both DWUKI and EDP UKI are given unlimited volunteering time to give back to the community, through a ‘remote volunteering’ offer launched during the Covid-19 crisis.

Across Danone’s full UK and Ireland operations, employees have been helping to get critical support to people during the pandemic – including providing more than £1.6m in financial and product donations and getting thousands of nutritious meals to families in need.

DWUKI scored 95.7 on its B Corp assessment and joins fellow B Corp Harrogate Water Brands, which it acquired in February 2020. Companies must score at least 80 out of 200 in the B Corp assessment, which is repeated every three years.

EDP UK scored 86.2 in its re-accreditation, improving on its 2017 score. The business has implemented a range of actions over the last three years, with employee groups helping to drive the agenda on key environmental and responsible business topics.

Steps that contributed to re-certification for Danone EDP include its commitment to making all product packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. The business has recently partnered with fellow B Corp, Ella’s Kitchen, to launch a Kid's Food Pouch Recycling Program, which will see around 500 public drop-off points for food pouches set up across the UK to help ensure the packaging is recycled. It is also dedicated to reducing food waste in its UK operations by at least 50% by 2030, working with partners to distribute surplus stock and raise consumer awareness.  

Adam Grant, regional VP of Danone EDP UK & Ireland, said, “It has never been clearer that businesses need to act for the communities we work in and support, and B Corp status helps us to focus on areas where we can keep doing more and challenging ourselves to be better.

“Having previously been the first UK dairy company to achieve accreditation, we are determined to keep innovating to be ahead of the curve. The fact that we’ve improved on our previous B Corp score is testament to that. We know we must continue to strive for positive change – and collaborating, sharing and learning with the B Corp community plays a key part in this.”

Around 45% of Danone’s global operations are now covered by B Corp status. Danone North America is the biggest B Corp worldwide.

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