FILTER BY

also on other fortune lists

Change the World

Courtesy of Danone

11

Danone

DANOY

France

Earlier this year, the French yogurt maker’s $6 billion-plus North American subsidiary became the world’s largest B Corp, a status granted only to companies that meet a rigorous set of environmental, social, and governance standards. It was the latest of eight Danone’s subsidiaries, covering about 30% of the business, to win B Corp certification, and CEO Emmanuel Faber vows it will be far from the last: He is aiming to make his entire $28 billion enterprise a B Corp by 2030.

That will be no easy feat—B Corp standards are high, and the demanding certification process wasn’t initially developed with publicly traded giants like Danone in mind, since they challenge companies to make binding commitments to put social good on par with profit. Faber says that challenge motivates his workers: The North American unit, for example, which enhanced its policies around supplier selection and improved its methods for measuring impact, sped through the certification process in one year (Faber had anticipated it would take three). Faber points out that the journey has been good for business as well as society: The sustainability investments, for example, have reduced costs and helped Danone to negotiate friendlier borrowing rates. Overall, the company’s profits more than doubled between 2014 and 2017, to 2.45 billion euros ($2.8 billion).

To pave the way for other giants to strike the same balance—Faber reports lots of interest from CEO peers—Danone is working closely with B Lab to establish a better-fitting certification process for big public companies.

Looking for leads, investment insights, or competitive intelligence?

Impact Segment

Environmental Impact

Sector

Food & Beverages

Industry

Food Consumer Products

CEO

Emmanuel Faber

Employees

104,843

Company Type

Public

Revenues ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)

$27,816

Profits ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)

$2,765

Market Value ($M)

$52,765

News about Danone

Greek Yogurt Maker Chobani Is Going Traditional For The First Time

New Chobani Smooth is marketed as a low-fat classic yogurt.

Read More →
DanoneWave's Secret To Making Foods Healthier: Stealth

Food giant has reduced fat, sugar levels across the company's portfolio.

Read More →
Facebook Workplace Gets More Businesslike

A new tool will help companies tie Workplace into their other applications.

Read More →
France's Danone in $12.5 Billion Deal to Buy U.S. Food Group WhiteWave

It is the first major transaction by Emmanuel Faber, who took over as Danone CEO in 2014.

Read More →
Probiotics Are a 'Waste of Money,' Study Finds

New questions about the billion dollar food industry.

Read More →